Sunday, December 29, 2013

Vanilla Essence’ing

“What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world-and defines himself afterward.”
Jean-Paul Sartre

There is no ‘essence’

When we first built our house, we came to our empty block of land and there was a pile of lumber, cladding, roofing iron and stumps sitting on the ground. Over the next couple of weeks this pile of material turned into a house. The same material was now sitting on the block, in the same location, but now it’s ‘essence’ had been transformed from a pile to a house. When we look at a pile of timber, it is the same timber molecules that exist in a tree, and it can be the same timber molecules in a house. The material is the same but the arrangement is different. And the affordance and experience of that material varies profoundly and markedly. A pile of timber on the ground won’t keep you dry, warm and protected on a winter’s night. A tree won’t do that particularly well either, especially on a wild and stormy night. But arrange that timber into a house and you are kept warm, dry and safe. The ‘essence’ of house is not imbued in the timber molecules. You could take the same piece of timber and turn it into a house, a rocking chair, a kitchen spatula or even, if you were skilled enough, into a rose.

Let’s take the example of a rose. What is a rose? It’s a flower of the Rosaceae family. But this includes strawberries, pears, almonds and cherries. So what is a rose? We now have genetically engineered roses that are black! There’s even a rose that is rainbow colored.

With a bit of genetic tinkering magic we could create a black rose that smells of lavender. Would it still be a rose? If I took a nano-fabricator, a device that builds objects one atom at a time, and I took the atoms from a piece of lumber… atoms of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen etc. and built a rose one atom at a time, so that before you was a manufactured rose. But it was identical atom by atom to a ‘real’ rose, it looked identical, smelled identical and felt identical. I’d argue that if you didn’t know I’d ‘manufactured’ it, that you’d think it was a ‘real’ rose. That it had the ‘essence’ of a rose. And isn’t this just what the rose bush does, it manufactures (so to speak) the rose, atom by atom, molecule by molecule in the growth process, so that it can seed and propagate itself. In essence, it is ‘rose-ing’.

Looking deeper – arrangements of energy

So let’s look a little deeper into this idea of ‘essence’. We spoke above of atoms and molecules. So let’s use those to explore this notion. Elements like carbon, oxygen, copper and zinc etc. are made of atoms. Atoms themselves are made of arrangements of protons, neutrons and electrons. These in turn are made of sub-particles, all the way down to what physicists suspect are tiny multi-dimensional wiggling string like energy quanta. Indeed, the field of quantum physics has shown that at the smallest levels, particles are really just probability distributions of energy. And this is backed up by Einstein’s discovery that energy and matter are one and the same,

E is energy and M is mass. You can convert matter to energy and vice versa. So atoms are arrangements of energy!

Now with this insight under your belt, let’s take a look at ‘essence’. If you took a piece of carbon, a black lump of soot or graphite for example. It is relatively hard (indeed, diamond, which is a form of carbon is one of the hardest elements known to man), it tastes like carbon, it is black etc. And it is made up of 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons. These components arranged together create a substance that appears to have a particular ‘essence’. But if we add another proton, neutron and electron to this arrangement, we get a very different result. We now have Nitrogen, the clear, odourless, invisible gas that makes up 80% of the Earth’s atmosphere and consists of 7 protons, 7 neutrons and 7 electrons. And underlying all this it’s just energy. So with the same component processes, rearranged in different amounts, we end up with a completely different apparent ‘essence’. It’s as if I was building a house and I added some extra timber and ended up with a very different result. The material is the same, it’s just arranged in a very different way and produces a very different result. And this is what we mistakenly call ‘essence’.

So I hope I’m convincing you that there is no ‘essence’. There is just arrangings of energy and process. And these arrangings, lead to propensities for action, interaction and the production of phenomena and affordance. And this is an incredibly powerful and profound insight that opens up new possibilities that you don’t get if you think things have fixed ‘essences’.

Ancient Wisdom

Now these insights have been known about for thousands of years. This knowledge actually predates the erroneous Greek philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Buddhism for example is closest to the scientific understanding of the nature of reality, in that it makes a strong and accurate assertion that all phenomena are empty of any essence,

“What is the reality of things just as it is? It is the absence of essence. Unskilled persons whose eye of intelligence is obscured by the darkness of delusion conceive of an essence of things and then generate attachment and hostility with regard to them.”
But along the way, we got derailed in the West by the assertions of what Edward de Bono calls the ‘gang of three’ (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). Plato in his Dialogues propounded that the universe is made up of fixed ‘Forms’ which are eternal, unchanging and complete and that real concrete bodies are the imperfect copies or instantiations of these underlying essence forms. Aristotle moved the Forms of Plato to the nucleus of the individual thing and said that they made up its essence. But as we have seen, at the quantum level and above, there is no fixed essence, no platonic ideal Forms. There is just arrangings of energy and process and the arrangings lead to the behaviours and propensities. And this we naively and mistakenly generalize as the form of the physical entities. But the Buddhists had it right. Science has unequivocally shown that there is no fixed essence or substance, it’s all inherently empty of essence.

There is no ‘essence’ of You!

So there is no inherent essence. There’s no vanilla essence of ‘you’ deep within you, hiding like a platonic ideal. You do not have an ‘essence’. What you do ‘have’, (and this is powerful), is a current arranging of a huge myriad of complex processing that leads to certain propensities for action and responding. ‘You’ are an emergence from the processes that currently constitute your ‘being’. You are a human becoming. There is no ‘essence’ for you to find or discover. And this is the point of my book mBraining and the associated ‘mBraining Evolve your World‘ personal evolution workshop! It’s not about doing a re-birth to find your ‘true’ self. There is no fixed platonic essence you need to connect with and discover. It’s ‘Evolve your World’. It’s about evolving. About changing and creating.

As we teach in mBraining and Evolve, you are inherently creative! You are the author of your self’ing. The self is not fixed but is an emergent phenomena that comes out of your multiple braining. The intelligencing of your body/mind, of your distributed neural intelligences and other underlying processes, gives rise to your ‘self’. And this self-ing and the very neurons that generate it are adaptive, plastic and able to evolve and change. You can do conscious evolution. You can direct your ongoing creation, your evolving and your becoming.

So it’s not about essence. There’s no vanilla essence of you. In reality, there’s just the arranging of you’ing. And the insight of mBraining Evolve is that you are able to evolve yourself wisely to create a more generative way of doing you’ing!

Nothing is fixed, all is flowing

As the great somatic therapist Moshe Feldenkrais pointed out many years ago, “There is nothing permanent or compulsive in your system except what you believe to be so”. So throw away any notions of fixed essences. There is no vanilla essence of the human soul. That road leads to a dead end. You as a human are amazingly adaptive, creative and flexible.

"Every brain evolves in its ability to operate as a processor, as a receiver, as a user of information."
Dr. Michael Merzenich

We have yet to find the limits to what humans can aspire to. We can evolve new neural structurings. We can evolve our minds and bodies. With greater scientific understandings we are learning about the power of epigenetics and how it is influenced by thought and belief. We are learning to tap into the intelligence that exists throughout our bodies. We are gaining a power to become the highest expressing of the human spirit. Evolving your world opens up totally new possibilities in your life and your world. This is its gift and its power.

life enhancing thoughts

Friday, December 13, 2013

Evolving Consciousness

“Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.”

The Evolution of Consciousness

In 1976, the American Psychologist Julian Jaynes published an amazing and intriguing book with an equally amazing title. It was a book that rocked both my world and mind at so many levels, and its implications and applications still echo and reverberate to this very day in my life and work.
The title of Jaynes book was, ‘The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind’. A hell of a mouthful!

The book covers a lot of ground, but at its heart it says that somewhere around 2500 to 3000 years ago, the meme (self-replicating idea) of self-consciousness (of reflective meta-consciousness) was bootstrapped in the human brain and that meme, over a number of generations lead to the breakdown of bicamerality (of split brained-ness – our left and right hemispheres of our head brain operating separately as ‘bicameral’ [two lobed]). Along the way, Jaynes explored the nature and structure of metaphor and how humans use it to organize their reality and make meaning. He examined what the evolutionary purpose of consciousness was. And he looked at extant literature as an archeological record, finding that the expression of self-consciousness only arose around 2500 years ago, and before that humans had no language or symbolic references for self-consciousness and allied conceptualizations.

Neural Plasticity

“It is now well known that behavior, and therefore brain activity, naturally changes the structure of the brain.”
John L. Locke
Harvard Medical School

Before talking more about what Jaynes’ ideas mean to us today, I need to make a quick detour into the processes of neural plasticity. Modern neuroscience, over the last several years, has discovered that our brains are incredibly plastic. It was once thought that you were born with all the neurons you’d ever have and that slowly over time brain cells would atrophy and die off and the number of neurons in your head would inevitably dwindle. This meant that if you suffered from some debilitating brain disease or damage such as a stroke, then you were forever broken and your brain would not and could not repair itself. This has now been overturned, literally turned on its head (so to speak). Science has uncovered that our brains (and not just the ones in our head, but also the ones in our heart and gut regions i.e. the cardiac and enteric brains) grow new neurons, new dendrites and new synapses all the time. This is called structural plasticity. Our existing neural connections also undergo ongoing change and adaptation, modifying hour by hour the synaptic strength and response of our neural connections. This is known as functional plasticity.

As neuroscientists like to point out, “Our brain is a verb”, it’s not a fixed object but an ongoing changing and evolving process. I like to think of it as a garden, an ecology, and the thoughts, feelings and experiences that you generate in your life, change the physical structure of your neural networks – of your brains. As Dr. Norman Doidge points out in his excellent book on neural plasticity, “The brain that thinks changes itself”. And in keeping with this garden or ecology metaphor, it turns out that cells called micro-glia in our brains, monitor this garden and tend it, helping to build new dendrites and synapses for those neurons that are being used and eating up and dissolving dendrites and synapses that are no longer being used. As a result of this ‘gardening’, as the neuroscientists like to say, “Neurons that fire together, wire together; and neurons that are out of synch, unlink”. Another way of saying this is use it, or lose it. And that the brain builds itself based on focus, attention and action. We’ll come back to this later.

Neural Darwinism
“There is no singular mapping to create the mind;
there is, rather, an unforetold plurality of possibilities.”
Dr. Gerald Edelman

Now while we are on this detour into neural plasticity, I’d like to pay a quick visit to another fascinating and incredibly important set of understandings. To do this I need to tell you about another pivotal thinker and scientific genius. Back in 1992, Dr. Gerald Edelman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his foundational work in immunology. Edelman had shown that the immune system operated as a Darwinian selection system. Another way to say this is that the immune system functions in such a way that it evolves itself to cope with the pathogenic environment it’s living within. Now, having won the Nobel for this work, Edelman decided to challenge himself by stepping beyond immunology and applying his considerable intellect to the human brain.

He reasoned that if the human genome (and thereby the human organism) operates as a Darwinian selection system, and the immune system, the part of the body tasked with tracking and maintaining bodily self/not self (and good self/bad self) operates as a Darwinian selection system, then given that evolution works by building on and extending existing processes, it’s likely that the human brain may also operate as a Darwinian selection system. So he created the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego USA, attracted funding and some of the top scientists from across the globe, and set out to explore this notion. What he and his colleagues ultimately uncovered is what is now called, ‘The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection’. [If you are interested in reading more about this, then check out one of his most accessible books entitled ‘Bright air, Brilliant fire’.]
“Competition for advantage in the environment enhances the spread and strength of certain synapses, or neural connections, according to the ‘value’ previously decided by evolutionary survival. The amount of variance in this neural circuitry is very large. Certain circuits get selected over others because they fit better with whatever is being presented by the environment. In response to an enormously complex constellation of signals, the system is self-organizing according to Darwin’s population principle. It is the activity of this vast web of networks that entails consciousness by means of what we call ‘reentrant interactions’ that help to organize ‘reality’ into patterns.”

What Edelman has shown, and it’s supported by the work and ideas of a growing number of independent neuroscientists, is that the human brain (and of course this ultimately means, head brain, heart brain and gut brains) function as evolutionary systems. Our brains evolve and change based on their informational (and physical) environment. The way they evolve is that groups of neurons fire and wire together and build ensembles of allied neurons working in synchrony together. And these neuronal groups compete with each other and get selected based on their success in their environment. Again, we’ll come back to this later. The take home message however is that the brain is a verb, it’s an evolutionary based system that evolves over hours, days, weeks and months. The neural groups evolve, grow, morph, connect and reconnect based on the thoughts, feelings and actions you are generating in your life. This is an incredible insight and its implications are profound.

Combining the insights on a journey to Consciousness

Now when we combine the insights of Julian Jaynes, with the understandings of neural plasticity and those of Gerald Edelman, an incredible thing happens… But let me share with you how I first came to the insights I’m about to uncover… It was 2004 and I was driving across the great Australian outback.

The roads in Central Australia are long and straight. You can drive for hours across the vast sweeping planes of red sand and low harsh scrub without coming to a curve or bend in the road. It’s an ancient vista and lends itself to deep and philosophical thoughts. I’d decided to bring Jaynes book on this outback chataqua, re-read it at night and then cogitate upon it during those long mesmerizing drives each day. I’d already read it and absorbed it a couple of times, but it’s a book that deserves and rewards many readings. And I well remember the epiphany I had on that long hot day when it finally hit me!

Jaynes was saying that at some time long ago, the meme of self-consciousness started. He suggests that it got started with the metaphorization of time –  that we started to see ourselves and our lives as external agents operating through time. And that when we did this, new ways of thinking, doing and being opened up for us. (In NLP we would talk about this as our time coding and how it relates to ‘time-lines’.) Over a number of generations, this ability to do self-consciousness’ing grew to dominate the societies it was bootstrapped into, probably in large measure because it provided greater levels of success. And remember, children learn by unconscious modeling of their parents’ behaviors, amplifying and refining what they see the parents do, and thereby building new neural structures that perform these operations, largely outside of conscious awareness. So here’s the epiphany that hit me…

Jaynes combined with Edelman and neural plasticity are saying that around 2500 years ago, through a new and pivotal way of using our brain, we evolved new neural structures that had not existed on the planet before. These were actual physical structures. While it came about through what the evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls ‘memic evolution’, because of the Darwinian selection processes of neural plasticity, this means that it actually created and evolved new neural structures. These neural structures and processes aren’t coded by DNA, and are not passed down through the genome. But they are passed down from brain to brain and generation to generation through a process that the great General Semanticist, Count Alfred Korzybski termed ‘time-binding’. Korzybski noted that humans as a species uniquely do a process via language, abstraction and symbol use that binds information in time and allows it to be passed down through generations. Each generation learns and stands on the semantic shoulders of the generation before it, not having to reinvent and recreate knowledge and insights. Instead, we have time-bound societal practices and human modeling processes that allow us to learn from all that has gone before us. In part, we call this education.

Evolving our neural networks

But this learning isn’t just ideas stored in abstract memories. Learning changes the structure of the brain that learns! We evolve our neural networks. When we systematically and with emotional salience, learn something new, we create new neural structures. A great example of this was described in a talk I heard recently from one of the fathers of the field of neural plasticity, Dr. Michael Merzenich. Merzenich, using the example of reading, stated that when we learn to read, we create the neural machinery for reading. In the case of non-readers or those who haven’t learned to read properly, it’s because they haven’t developed (through neural plasticity) the correct neural circuitry for reading in their brain. Wow! This is incredible. This is profound!

In a TED talk, Dr. Merzenich summarized this evolution of the self in an even more succinct way:

“What it's all about is the selective representations of things that are important to the brain. Because in most of the life of the brain this is under control of behavioral context. It's what you pay attention to. It's what's rewarding to you. It's what the brain regards, itself, as positive and important to you. It's all about cortical processing and forebrain specialization. And that underlies your specialization. That is why you, in your many skills and abilities, are a unique specialist: a specialist that's vastly different in your physical brain in detail than the brain of an individual 100 years ago; enormously different in the details from the brain of the average individual 1,000 years ago.
Now, one of the characteristics of this change process is that information is always related to other inputs or information that is occurring in immediate time, in context. And that's because the brain is constructing representations of things that are correlated in little moments of time and that relate to one another in little moments of successive time. The brain is recording all information and driving all change in temporal context. Now overwhelmingly the most powerful context that's occurred in your brain is you. Billions of events have occurred in your history that are related in time to yourself as the receiver, or yourself as the actor, yourself as the thinker, yourself as the mover. Billions of times little pieces of sensation have come in from the surface of your body that are always associated with you as the receiver, and that result in the embodiment of you.
You are constructed, your self is constructed from these billions of events. It's constructed. It's created in your brain. And it's created in the brain via physical change. This is a marvelously constructed thing that results in individual form because each one of us has vastly different histories, and vastly different experiences, that drive in us this marvelous differentiation of self, of personhood. “
Dr Michael Merzenich

A profound insight

Driving across the desert I was so blown away by this insight. I had to pull over our Campervan, stop and walk around in the hot and drying desert wind, exclaiming over and over to my beloved Fiona who was travelling with me, “Oh my god! This is amazing, this is profound!” When I finally calmed down, and hopped back in the air-conditioned driver’s seat and resumed our journey, I then explained to her my insight and what it means to us all…

The structure of our brains (head, heart, gut) isn’t fixed. It isn’t determined by our genetics. Instead, it is evolved within the social and informational fabric of our personal world. And it changes on an hourly, daily and monthly basis. When we think (and feel) specific thoughts and take specific actions in a repeated way, with focus and emotional value and salience, we can and do build/evolve/grow/garden new neural structures. This means that if we think, act and feel in ways that have not explicitly been done before on this planet, if we use new metaphors, new abstractions and engender new ontological (ways of being) and phenomenological (subjective experience) experiences, then we can evolve brain structures that have not been seen before on this planet. And if we time-bind this through educational processes and societal mechanisms (such as a new personal evolution field like mBIT – multiple Brain Integration Techniques) then we can lead a change that can bring new evolutionary wisdom to what it means to be human.

Evolving your World!

And that is both exciting and incredibly profound! It changed my world. I could no longer live the same. And ultimately, this epiphany and insight lead to me co-creating mBIT and a number of other technologies for generative human change. And this is just the beginning…

As neuroscience uncovers greater knowledge and distinctions on how neurons and brains work, about how to target and strategically change specific neural structures, about what produces the quickest and most enduring neural plasticity, we’ll be enabled to empower even greater engineering of our brains. But this power comes with a great risk. Thoughts change the thinker and the neural structures that embody the thinker. If we use this great power to pursue selfish goals and myopic greed based outcomes, then we’ll create monsters in our brains. Instead we need to evolve our brains and our worlds through greater wisdom, through that which is the highest expression of ourselves and through ways that bring the innate human spirit alive.

To do this we need to time-bind ways of tapping into the most transformative and adaptive ways of human-being and human-becoming. We need to bring Compassion, Creativity and Courage, aligned through our multiple brains (head, heart, gut, reproductive, ANS etc.) and facilitated via ANS balance, to the evolution of our neural structures and to the fabric of our society. We need to create and promulgate throughout society, throughout our businesses, our education systems and our daily lives, rituals, metaphors and behavioural mechanisms/practices that embody new ways of wisdom’ing. And when we do, we’ll have evolved new neural patterns, never perhaps seen before on the planet. A race of neurally wise bodhisattvas. A connected and aligned way of mBraining our world, so that we evolve it generatively and for wiser ecological complexity.

What’s the most Compassionate, Creative and Courageous you?

And this is what inspires me, and drives me every day when I awake, and ask myself the life enhancing question: “What’s the most compassionate, creative and courageous way of being and doing that I could do today?”

What inspires you to be the highest expressing of yourself? What are you evolving in your brains, life and world?

You can make a wise and generative difference! Make sure you do. It’s life enhancing.

“Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. This leaves us with a clear physiological fact…moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves…”
Dr. Michael  Merzenich

Smiles and great thoughts and wishes

Thursday, December 5, 2013

mBIT - The Power of Dreams

"Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you."

Dreams have an incredible power to connect you with the deeper aspects of your innate wisdom. I’ve written before about how dreams are often messages from the ‘other than conscious mind’ and can be ways our heart and gut brains communicate with us.

Many Wisdom Traditions say that dreams are portals to the spiritual and esoteric planes, and that in dreams we can unlock the gateways to para-normal consciousness. As a scientist by training, I’m usually sceptical of such claims, however many years ago, after completing my first Physics Degree, I spent a substantial period of time doing a Masters Prelim. for a degree in Parapsychology, and during that research process I discovered evidence that to this day I still can’t explain with current scientific paradigms.

A fascinating experience from our mBIT workshops

So it came as a delightful surprise when a participant at one of our mBIT Coach Certification workshops reported an incredible and powerful dream experience with the ‘homeplay’ we had set for the evening of the first day of the workshop.

In the training, we ask participants to get in touch with their dreams as messages of wisdom from their heart and gut brains. You see, every night as you sleep, your head brain goes through periods of what is known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is a normal stage of sleep, occurs approximately every 90 minutes on average, and is associated with the act of dreaming.

Fascinatingly, the gut brain also goes through a process akin to REM sleep, only in the gut this is known as RGM (Rapid Gut Movement) sleep. Approximately every 90 minutes, while you sleep, the gut goes through periods of RGM. It is suggested by some researchers that this is a time when the gut and head are communicating and integrating the knowledge and experiences of the day. It has also been noted by researchers that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other inflammatory bowel disorders suffer from poor sleep patterns, experience abnormal amounts of REM and RGM sleep periods and report more intense and prolific dreaming compared to control subjects.

So we instruct participants that “as you lay in bed, just before drifting off to sleep, do mBIT Balanced Breathing and fill you heart with peace, love and compassion. Then breathe these up into your head and down to your gut. Fill all your brains with calm, peaceful love. Talk kindly and lovingly to your brains and ask them to give you a message in your dreams about what you need to know to make a transformational shift in your life.”

And this is what one participant, Diane, reported next day in the class:

“I was somewhat dubious about this exercise because I rarely remember my dreams. I went to bed, thinking that I would take notes first thing in the morning about either a dream or whatever came to mind.

Just before I woke, I had a vivid dream. I was in the kitchen of a beach house, I recognised the fridge as the one I currently have, but the building, the furniture, the view & everything else was not familiar to me. There was the sound of people discussing things. I was feeling an immense sense of peace, looking at a hand drawn picture on the fridge in 3 colours – green, red, blue - on a square of white paper, boat, beach, trees, and lighthouse. I knew it was special to me because I was immersed in a profound sense of peace, as I looked at it.

A woman came into the room, she was very upset. I put my arms around her as she sobbed. Neither of us said anything. I had no idea what was wrong. At the same time, I knew that I just needed to be there for her. Her daughter came in, also crying & her son was behind, poking the daughter in the back, teasing her, ridiculing her, finding it really funny & looking very proud of himself. The daughter joined the mum & I in a hug & the son walked off.

As I awoke, I was aware of the head-brain message – write down the facts.

On reflection I now feel how the gut-brain kicked in simultaneously – performance anxiety of not having anything to offer back to the class, of sharing something that I sensed is really deep. My heart brain response was go back to bed & meditate, aligning my 3 brains – which I did, & after feeling my way through the experience received a message – draw the fridge drawing on paper. However, my head brain said: ‘I can’t draw’. I had a sense of something coming from outside of me, an energetic strong urge. Draw the picture!

But I thought, I don’t have any markers. Then I remembered. One of my clients had given me 3 whiteboard markers last month, they had told me that they didn’t need them back, but I am seeing them next week & had them in my bag. I thought of how I would draw the image & went into fear. Since I believe I really can’t draw.

I moved into my heart & waited, picked up a pencil, sketched, tried to fix it, to get it perfect. Started again, moved into the beautiful sense of peace I could easily recall from my dream & was in flow. As I finished, I looked at the drawing – it wasn’t perfect, things were out of proportion, the lighthouse was higher on the fridge drawing. I put it in a plastic folder to take to class. I felt at ease. I had a story to relate to the class.”

And here is the picture that Diane drew, which she showed the class at this juncture in her story:

Diane then continued:

“With a couple of minutes before I needed to leave, I checked my email. There was one from my first ever paying coaching client. I worked with him over a decade ago in the USA. He is now living in Canada. One of the things we worked on then was him getting back in touch with his creativity. He started to paint again. We stayed in contact, maybe an email every 2 to 3 years after the coaching, he had not painted. He contacted me last year & we did 4 more sessions. He started a pen & ink art class & I asked if he could send me some of his work – I thoroughly enjoy sharing in client’s engagements in ‘being themselves more with skill’ (Goffee & Jones).

I opened the email from him.  I was stunned. He had sent me his first ever color drawing which he had only recently completed and wanted to share with me. It was so similar to the drawing in my dream! How do we explain this?”

And here is the drawing from Diane’s client, (shown with his permission):

An incredible experience

Isn’t this an incredible experience! The images are so very similar, especially when you consider that Diane was drawing an image from her dream. You can see that both images share common elements, a lake, boats with cord dangling from the front (in one there is 2 narrow boats laying against each other, in the second image there is one wide boat), trees on the shore, etc. Diane’s drawing is like a dream distorted version of the client’s artwork, mirror imaged and with identical image elements. Where hers has a lighthouse, this is similar to the trees on the edge of the lake in the client’s picture. The rope at the prow of the boat is the real kicker!

There are fascinating elements in the dream that relate strongly to the gut brain and heart brain prime functions. The upset woman and daughter hugging Diane are clear heart messages about connection and relational affect. The boy pushing the young girl (the younger Diane perhaps) in the back is about courage that pushes from the back to the front in the gut. Diane is standing in front of the fridge (where we store food to protect it, food is a core focus of the gut brain and perhaps symbolic of that which is life affirming) on which the picture is placed on the fridge door. The picture ends up being an image of a real picture that Diane’s first ever paying coaching client had sent her while she was sleeping in real life.

I spoke with Diane sometime after the training about what the dream meant to her and what messages she got from it. She said that the whole experience of the dream and the subsequent email had spooked her quite a bit, but that as a message of transformational shift it had opened her up to thinking about the deeper spiritual import of life. As she described herself, she had up until the mBIT training been “a head on two legs”, that she had denied her heart and gut and their intuitive competencies most of her life and been largely living from head-based cognitive and rational functioning. But mBIT changed all that, and the dream was an important part of the shift. It proved to her that she could connect with something that rational logic and science could not explain. How could she have dreamt and drawn such a similar image sent to her in email while she was asleep? It defied logic. Yet it happened. So intuitive and para-normal experiences were opening to her and she was learning to trust the messages and intelligence of her heart and gut brains. To connect with the whole of herself and her deeper spiritual aspects.

Indeed, in follow up with Diane six months later, she related to me that she had now had a number of strange and bizarre intuitive communications and experiences. The workshop and her subsequent use of the mBIT techniques has opened the doors of intuitive perception for her. She is now tapping into something beyond the normal 9 to 5 experience of life. And this has helped her to truly bring her spirit alive and connect with a deeper and more generative wisdom.

It’s amazing, but when you learn to align and connect with your heart and gut brains, something larger than the ego self really does emerge. And mBIT facilitates this type of connection. We’ve now had quite a few people report that they’ve tapped into amazing transcendent experiences through mBIT. And isn’t that what Wisdom Traditions have been saying for thousands of years? According to the majority of spiritual traditions, we have 3 souls (head, heart and gut) and the heart and gut souls are the portals to the spirit and to a wisdom that can’t be gained by focusing on the head brain alone.

It’s a truly fascinating and life enhancing experience. If you haven’t already, you may want to read mBraining or go on an mBIT workshop. With mBraining and mBIT you truly can evolve your world!

Life enhancing wishes and dreams