Archive - August 2009

What Do You Want….Really?
Wasting Psychic Energy: A “Green” Brain
National Relaxation Day…Did You Miss It?
So, Where Is Security To Be Found?
Limiting Beliefs

What Do You Want….Really?

Ruler.jpgMore than anything else, it is what you believe that rules your life. You will create what you believe. What happens when you behave differently from what you believe? After a while, you will change your belief and circumstances to match your behavior, because the difference between the two is just too uncomfortable. Think about that for a minute -in cases where your behavior will not match what you believe, that you will change what you believe to match how you’re behaving. Think about how many horrendous crimes have been committed, because slowly over time, people changed their beliefs to match how they felt compelled to behave. Belief will drive our lives, even if we have to change it.

With a rare number of people, their beliefs or principles are so strong that they will not change either their beliefs or their principles, no matter whSplit_Brain.jpgat. They will not rationalize, they will not compartmentalize, they will not deny, they will not use a host of defenses and rationales and excuses that most of us use to justify the fact that we are behaving differently from what we believe.

Knowing Wantings.jpgwhat you believe is the same thing as knowing what you really want. When you grasp what you really want, your principles manifest into sharper and sharper reality.

What do you believe?
What are your principles?
What do you really, really want?

When you have discovered what you want, you will have discovered, as well, the ultimate ground of your being and your principles will be clearly revealed.

Wasting Psychic Energy: A “Green” Brain

Everyone has heard the myth that we only use 9/10 of the brain. We are always using all the brain, in one Brain_Green.jpgway or another. However, there is a part of this that is true. The neuro-associations that the brain can make, called neuroplasticity, and learning are infinite. The more interconnection between neurons, the greater the intelligence, the ability, and the growth of the individual.

It is a matter of your neurons getting acquainted, in a sense. They have to relate together, they have to get to know each each other through a wide variety of neuropathways of association. The greater the network, the greater the well-being and efficient functioning of the brain will be.

While the brain is unlimited in terms of the associations and the networks it can build, every day you have only a certain amount of psychic energy before you wear out and get tired. The fuel of the brain that makes it run most smoothly is positive emotion. The greater the synchrony of the brain, fostered by positive emotion, the greater the efficient use of the brain. Wasted energy is conflict, worry, fear, all the DownSpiral experiences. The DownSpiral uses and wastes 3 times more psychic energy than the UpSpiral.Synapse.jpg

Rather than build new networks of associations, knowledge, learning and meaning, we can spend way too much psychic energy going over the same old networks of the things we think need to occupy our minds. If you like to clean house and get rid of things, start with the clutter in your brain and life, the piles of meaningless involvements and negative relationships that are simply psychic clutter. Clean ‘em out, get rid of ‘em. Recycle and make the brain “green” and the environment will follow.

This means choices. Usually we get too excited and too caught up in the “small change” items of life. We would rather than be right than be happy. We can’t tell the difference between what we can change and what we can’t. We put our noses in business where it doesn’t belong. We watch CNN as though there were some impact we were going to have on every negPocket_Change.jpgative global sneeze. Does it really help you to find out who is responsible for his death, (I mean, other that himself- imagine that -he’s responsible!)

Where do you want to spend your psychic energy? I would suggest on joy and happiness. Decide again today, as I am, that I would rather be happy than right and let go of the “small change.”

National Relaxation Day…Did You Miss It?

Saturday, August 15th was the date…a whole day set aside to remind us of the need to relax! It seems typical of the age we live in that we need to be reminded to Planner.jpgtake the time to adjust our daily routine and consciously dedicate one whole day to relaxation. And for those of us who didn’t even know there was such a holiday, the reminder to pause and focus on what brings a greater sense of peace, relaxation, and yes, even fun, to our lives, is a sure sign that we need to mark our calendars now for every August 15th in the foreseeable future!

A recent post on the website provides some recommendations on a proper observance of this holiday. They include:
• Take the whole day off, lounge around the house; just enjoy a lazy day.HourGlass.jpg
• Read a good book, watch a movie or TV marathon that you enjoy.
• Spend the day in a setting that is tranquil and relaxing.
• Spend time relaxing on your patio or deck.
• Take a technology break. Let your calls ALL go to voice mail. Revisit your connection with silence and nature.
• Pamper yourself with a massage or spa visit.
• Take a break from cooking and household chores. Order out or dine out.

There is a Starbucks4.jpgwhole new branch of positive psychology dedicated to the nature and importance of “savoring” in our lives. Recent studies in this area have confirmed what to many may seem obvious, i.e., that there are significant physical and emotional benefits to one’s ability to focus on the positive feelings associated with everyday activities. This means, for example, that an otherwise perfunctory visit to Starbuck’s becomes an occasion for savoring. When I first came to the desert, and found my favorite coffee spot, it became a place where I began to connect with others. I became aware as well of how long I had waited to relocate here, how much I loved the desert landscape, and of the joys and challenges I had met along the way. These all became the “fuel” of my savoring. And eventually, all of this became an occasion of even deeper gratitude for my very self and for my journey.

So, mark your calendars today…don’t let another holiday like this one get away. Savor the idea that there even is such a holiday, and sBuddha2.jpgee if you can begin to celebrate it a little every day.

Why wait another whole year? Go ahead, relax right now and savor the positive emotions you feel.

So, Where Is Security To Be Found?

TheBoxing.jpg world, through centuries of its history, has learned all there is to be learned from suffering. It is time to learn– from “feeling good,” from joy, and from gratitude– what is important to each of us and in what direction we are headed.

Why “feeling good,” why from joy? Because they come from within and the only security to be found is within. The journey within is a journey of joy.Spiral_Stairs.jpg

We have introduced the first “positive” 12 step groups -an entirely new concept which represents the next evolution born from the original 12 steps. We call them “UpSpiral Life Groups.” It’s not enough to get over addiction -to whatever and to whomever it may have been. It is not enough to help others get beyond their individual addictions.

Healing and the continued need to be healed have too often become an excuse for not getting on with the business of finding, experiencing, and spreading joy. The real journey now is to joy, experiencing it and sustaining it. It is joy that will tell us, not only where the security is within us, but moreSpiral4.jpg importantly, where the journey will take us next. 

Contact us and we will tell you where an UpSpiraLife group exists or how to begin one.

Limiting Beliefs

Hurdles.jpgAll of us have beliefs that limit our experience of joy, that keep us from flourishing.

Limiting beliefs are not necessarily negative thoughts, but they are beliefs about something that we want or would like, but that we think is out of reach.


What do you want, which, if you knew you could have it, you would want even more passionately?


What do you want, which, if you didn’t have to figure out how to get it, you would still clearly want very much?


What seems impossible– so much so– that you just don’t think about it much?


The “hFinish_Line.jpgow” doesn’t come until you are clear about the “what.”


What is it that you want, with no-holds-barred in giving the answers?  Own them, write them down, claim them and make them your five year goals.  Go ahead… you can change them along the way.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute