Author - Dr. William K. Larkin

1
GOAL SETTING, HEALTHY ATTACHMENTS
2
Pushing Against Transition?
3
Your Brain On Flow & “Chaos”
4
Flow Is “Just This”
5
The Secret To Letting Go
6
Your VibeCore: What Do You Want?
7
The “Vibration” Of Flourishing
8
Life As A “Flow” Experience
9
Need The Balance Of Negativity?
10
Our Strengths As Our Values?

GOAL SETTING, HEALTHY ATTACHMENTS

Goals Post Its

 

Wanting what we want and owning that we do can be a difficult thing to do. There is a hesitancy to wanting what we want because we have beliefs that we are being selfish and self-centered.

Denying ourselves what we want seems to have some special virtue. The guilt of “having” can cause us to be less than honest about what we are wanting. Living with less can seem to be more “spiritual.”

There is the idea that if we live with less, the goods of the world will somehow magically become a more equitable distribution of good. And so we hang back for a while, denying ourselves, before we impulsively and compulsively give ourselves what we’ve been depriving ourselves of having.

The simple truth is that you’re playing less than, you’re having less than, you’re holding back from being and having the fullness of who you are, and what you want helps no one.

Your acting like you don’t want lovely things serves no one. Your being “less than” for the sake of some misbegotten notion of modesty and humility keeps you from entering into the wholeness of the person that you have been created to be. It also keeps you from contributing to a consumer economy which is, by far, the greatest means by which you are likely contribute to the good of the world.

Healthy patterns of attachment mean an ability or capacity to want what we want and to be able to attach to it with appreciation, full of enjoyment and a sense of ownership that is proud and grateful.

Attachment also applies to job and professions, to friends, associates, and to relationships. The attachment is a mark of mental health. Healthy patterns of attachment are developed from childhood, and even when they are weak and not so healthy, they can grow and develop by being honest about our wanting.

Ambivalent patterns of attachment cause low self-esteem because we are never fully able to attach, to own, to be a part of, to have and to hold nearly and dearly those people and things that are significant aspects of our wanting.

Goals are mechanisms of attachment to life. They seek to create a fuller, more satisfying life and their very nature is to believe that the goal is possible to reach.

So goals are healthy indicators of attachment to life, especially when they are pursued with intention. The difficulty with “attachment” shows itself in a lack of hope, in fear, in the dread of being disappointed and let down.

This disappointment-oriented thinking results in flat-lining and in depression. It is a deeply rooted pessimism.

Goals are expressions of positive expectation and of hopefulness. Goals expect to be met. To grasp the goals means to grasp the hopefulness that keeps the believing going that the goal will be met.

© Dr. William K. Larkin

 

 

 

Pushing Against Transition?

Focus NYT

The skills of positivity, which really means evolution, enable us to more easily deal with negativity and defensiveness.

At the root of our negativity is the way we self-sabotage, our defensiveness, the things we do when we feel threatened. The part of us that brings us down, that is convinced that we are not worth much.

It is the part that lives in wherever we reject who we are.

These mechanisms and systems of defense are entrenched, but they can be changed by the tools of positivity.

Self-sabotage is often what people do when the feel good for a while. Self-sabotage is what we do to in avoiding the change and transition that life is pushing us toward.

We balk at growing and being better and stronger.

It can seem too good to be true and unfamiliar.

You are evolving always toward higher and higher levels of reasoning and creating.

The structures of your brain are changing and growing, and you are always growing smarter, if you allow it.

Intelligence is not fixed. It grows if we allow novelty to happen.

Living in an UpSpiral is like lubricating your brain to grow, to learn, to be open and to have more options.

Our own self sabotage wants us to stay put, doubt ourselves, be safe, take no risks, shut down, and shut off.

It is out for nothing less than our self-destruction because its grounded in our self-rejection and the sense in us that we don’t deserve the best things in life.

Self sabotage exists is how we believe that we don’t have the right to be happy.

You cannot deal with self-sabotage by using negative tools or by digging up negative memories and talking about how hurt you have been.

That just reinforces the negative memories the brain is trying to heal. But you also can’t deny the negative.

Recognize it without reliving it.

Try this. Take a good look at the negative, take a good look at any negative memories that seem to be following you around and simply pulse peace, peace, peace.

That’s what you learn in our Emotional Gym- the agility and facility of emotions that serve your good.

Get yourself to an emotionally peaceful place and then look at these negative things through one of your strengths.

For sure, if you are more positive, you are going to shine a light on your negatives. But you do not chase negatives with negatives, you chase them and spotlight them from the positive, from a higher place and then you apply the tools of positivity to squarely deal with them.

You learn to have a hero for each of your strengths and how that hero with whom you identify will tell you how to use the strength it represents.

Yes, your hero will talk to you inside your head.

You have a strength for every negative that occurs in your life.

In fact, it sometimes seems that the negatives in life, the problems are tailor made to get us to practice using our strengths so we grow them.

If you are more focused on your negatives that on your strengths, which ones do you think you are growing?

© Dr. William K. Larkin

Your Brain On Flow & “Chaos”

Brain Chaos

It is the brain state of “flow” that we get into that is like being “one with the music.”

It points us in our emotions and thoughts more toward the experience of inner connectedness, making our lives much more an experience of “oneness.”

“Flow” is interestingly enough really about chaos and differentiation.

We define “chaos” as novelty.

It is about novelty and how much novelty we are able to allow into our lives. The opposite would be how much we choke off life and demand satisfaction from the world around us in ways that become narrower and narrower.

The opposite of chaos might be addiction or any other form of extreme narrowing.

Differentiation means the ability to allow things to be diverse and different –to be “other” than us without fear or intimidation of their “otherness” or “differentness.”

Life is about as interesting as the amount of chaos and differentiation we allow into our world.

Remember, chaos here doesn’t necessarily mean chaotic in the sense of everything out of order and gone awry, but chaos in terms of the ability to allow and tolerate wider and wider, larger and larger spaces of things that are different and don’t seem to make sense, but actually do.

Chaos “theory” refers to how random a system can be and how full it can be of different ideas, notions, facets, and particularly, of novelty.

Chaos here is the potential to allow novelty, newness or differentness. It is the capacity to tolerate and allow “otherness” and diversity in our lives.

Too little chaos or differentiation in a system means that things get boring, because the “same old, same old” keeps showing up.

Here’s the main theme: the greater the “flow,” the greater the novelty and differentiation.

Put differently, when you know what you want, believe you’re going to get it, and are open to all the ways it can happen, or at least on the way to this, you’re beginning to experience “flow” in life.

You begin to be cool or easy with a way of life that is one with the music –things seem to be more of a whole.

When that happens over time you are going to find that there is more chaos, in terms of novelty and diversity in your life. You will also experience or try to experience greater differentiation.

However, allowing chaos (novelty) and differentiation in your life is not always an easy thing. The better you are at getting into flow, the easier it will be.

The more used to a more frequent and consistent experience of flow you become, the more you will be capable of increasing novelty and differentiation.

The more difficult this is for you, the “tighter” and narrower you are.

The whole process of flow aims to open you up.

Where in your life are you most open to “chaos” and expanding differentiation?

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Flow Is “Just This”

Flow Light

When we dance, the dance is what matters. It is “just this,” just the dance. When we paint a picture it is “just this.” When we make love it is “just this.”

UNTIL THE EGO STEPS IN and asks, “HOW AM I DOING?” We kill it when we start to judge and evaluate and compare. Can you imagine making love and thinking, “how am I doing?” or thinking about what you have to do with the kids or what you have to get at the market?

You know we all do it.

Here’s a hint to stay on track- just say to yourself “just this, just this, just this, just this,” and stay in the moment with what you love, whatever and whoever it may be.

“Just this” is the psychological state of flow that is the capacity to be “one with the music,” to get lost in a thing that is both a challenge and requires some skill, but we love doing it.

I love working on my house, fixing things over, planting things, and changing things around. I love working on a project that I bought for next to nothing from a garage sale and make it beautiful again –until I start to think, I should be doing something productive, I should be doing something more worthwhile than all this “wanna be” artistic playing around.

That just kills it.

As it kills the flow, it also kills the parasympathetic, healing, restorative, homeostatic response going on in the body.

Flow is restorative, getting lost in what we love that heals and creates an inner unity and oneness with everything. The parasympathetic nervous system response in our body is the healing restorative response that is characterized by “calm and connect” instead of “flight-flight”.

Evolutionarily we are as equipped to make this calm and connect response as we are the fight-flight response. Over millions of years our brains have grown and developed that way.

What is your flow? Where is your flow?

When and where do you get lost in what you’re doing so that time just flies by and you do “just this?” Those are very important and significant activities and times.

Do more of them, build more of them into your life.

They are moving meditation and the whole purpose of meditation is wrapped in those times when we are able to do and be “just this.”

“Just this” is “moving meditation.”

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

 

The Secret To Letting Go

Letting Go

…Is identifying where you want to attach.

Your VibeCore is a like a magnet of energy you put out that attracts to you what you get in life.

Let’s first talk about the whole idea of a personal vibration. It is not a new idea. You really already know about this if you listen to your “gut” or your intuition, or the sense you have when you walk into a room. It is so much a part of us that we don’t even really notice it, but we use it all the time.

A vibration is your “vibe,” it’s the vibe you put out to others about who and how you are. And it’s the vibe you pick up from others about who and how they are.

It is so close to you it’s almost like an instinct. It can come as a surprise, though, that we may be better at picking up someone else’s vibe more than we are aware of what is our own vibe and what makes it what it is.

The longer you are around another person’s vibe, that you have learned to be so used to their vibe that you can read them in an instant. We sometimes call it reading their “mood,” but this is much more than mood. Mood is an outcome of one’s VibeCore.

Wanting is not an easy thing because we are given so many messages about wanting, and especially about desiring.

We have also been trained, oftentimes, that our wants and wanting are selfish, that we want too much, even that we are greedy.

We are often times told to be satisfied with what we have, that we are never content, always wanting more. Feeling guilt for wanting and desiring is an easy experience for many people.

Wanting what we want is a matter of an issue called “attachment.” Your first job, after you were born, was attachment to the world. We are almost obsessed by “letting go” philosophies and ideas, and for sure there are things we must let go of having, being, and doing.

But the great secret of letting go is to define what it is that you really want to attach to. A focus on letting go takes the energy away from defining the next attachment, the next area of growth, the momentum of forward-moving progress.

Do you have to let go first? No. But you will subtly let go when you even start to think about what you want next, about what is next, about where you are going.

Wanting and desire and attachment are more important than letting go.

You do not have to know in a day, on the spot, what you want. You only have to be guided by your own intention to getting there.

You do not have to have “certitude” that you will get it, but you do have to be aimed at using your real strengths more and more.

Playing to your strengths builds your VibeCore, and should increasingly become your mantra.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

 

 

Your VibeCore: What Do You Want?

 

Want

 

Your VibeCore is YOU bringing YOU What You Want.

You have a “vibe” that you transmit as surely as a frequency or signal and it’s rooted in what has brought you what you have in your life.

It is not your positive thinking or your negative thinking that so much attracts what you want or don’t want; it is your “positivity being” or your “negativity being.”

It is the structure of your reasoning and your “meaning-making” system that attracts into your world, what you’re getting and not getting.

That reasoning emerges from “positivity being,” “negativity being,” or a sloppy, transitional mix of the two.

While they help start the movement toward transition, this is much more profound than positive thinking and affirmations.

Your “vibe” sets up your consciousness of the world and exists as the way you see yourself in the mirror and then becomes the world you bring to life.

Your VibeCore is what you want, how much you believe you’re going to get it, and how open you are to however it may come.

If you’re very tight about how what you want has to come, then your reasoning will squeeze what you get until it takes forever, or worse, never comes at all.

Your VibeCore emerges from what’s meaningful for you, that isn’t usually conscious until you get very clear about what you want, which will change or radically sharpen, the clearer you get.

Getting really clear about what you want starts to alter and change your structure of reasoning, how you see your world.

Until you do, your VibeCore brings all kinds of things into your life. It is the structure of your being and it is a “vibe” sending out the signal that is bringing to you what you get.

“POSITIVITY BEING,” not just positive thinking, is what it means to begin to alter the nature of your mind and to be able to live in an UpSpiral of growing consciousness, that brings back the “oneness” you begin to see in the mirror.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

The “Vibration” Of Flourishing

Vibes

 

The brain is at its highest and most potent level of performance is what I call brain synchrony. When we experience brain synchrony, our vibration is really at its best, our vibration is at its healthiest.

When I use the word vibration, I’m really talking about aliveness and I’m talking about it in the same way as Thomas Troward who was an English judge in India, and also a philosopher.

He talks about the human experience that is different than any other experience because of the degree of aliveness that defines humanness. It is his contention that it is our degree of aliveness that makes us human. If we want to take this idea of aliveness apart, and ask what its nature is, we are fundamentally defining our vibration. The amount and the way we are alive to life, our aliveness, pretty well describes our “vibration” or our “vibe.”

Whatever our vibration is, brain synchrony is a signal of it being at its best, with the most efficient “burning” of psychic energy which is its fuel. That fuel certainly is glucose, but it is more than that, ultimately.

When we are experiencing brain synchrony, as opposed to brain conflict, we are effectively using our limited supply of psychic energy, in a day’s time or over a period of time.

When the brain “feels good” it’s most efficient, and the brain is most efficient when you feel good. When you feel good, the brain is at its highest degree of synchrony, doing its best work, being its most efficient, using your psychic energy best.

That doesn’t mean that the brain does not like problems; it does. The brain likes problem solving and flourishes with use. What the brain does not like is working against itself. And the brain works most against itself or at odds with itself, interestingly, when you are doing the same.

The brain can work in a high degree of synchrony even in the midst of pain, danger, and extended use. States like worry, agitated indecision, rage, resentment, jealousy, revenge are states in which the brain works in efficient synchrony, to wear itself out and wear itself down.

In a high degree of brain synchrony we find a high degree of consciousness. With that high degree of synchrony and consciousness we also find a positive, guided, direction-pointed, and for want of a better word “appreciative” vibration.

Appreciating, in this sense, means open, apprehending, discerning, considered, and receptive in a positive sense. Our beliefs and our feelings, our apprehensions create vibrations that most affect the binding activity of  ligands to cells, affecting the very basic activity of cells.

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson told us in her landmark research that one of the effects of positive emotion was thriving at a cellular level.

Our “vibe” is all about thriving at a cellular level.

The phrase that I would use beyond thriving is “flourishing at the level of the communities of cells.”

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Life As A “Flow” Experience

Flow Brained

 

Anything in life can be a flow experience.

Just go back and remind yourself of the steps for creating flow and you know that anything can be a flow activity, if you can get to “oneness” with it- forget yourself and get to that point where you are one with the music of whatever you’re doing.

What is amazing is that “flow” is like a drug or a medication.

We are concerned about the affects of drugs and medications, particularly psychotropic or psychological drugs.

What we don’t realize is that social interaction, the way we think, what we talk about and the social context around us affects us, particularly the brain, as much, if not more than drugs, in the long-term.

Your thoughts affect the development of neuropathways in the brain.

Negative and anxious conversations about “bad” things and people affect the amygdala of the brain which is a center of fear, negativity and anxiety.

The more you focus on the negative, the more extensive and tightly bound are the neuropathways that are connected to the negative memories that are held by the left hemisphere.

The words we use, the conversations we have, and the images and programs we take in have the power to create a DownSpiral of negativity that releases cortisol, a major stress hormone, adrenaline, thyroxin (long-term adrenalin), and ACTH, the body’s basic stress response.

Don’t like to take medication?

Don’t want to use drugs?

Then make “flow” the medication you use.

As it shifts you from your left hemisphere dominance to the larger picture of the right hemisphere, that sense of being one with the music, that subtle shift turns the “feel good” chemicals and gives you distance, perspective and it adds to the neuropositive reservoir.

The more you are in flow and the more you experience being “one with the music”, the more you build it into your life, you are building your reservoir of psychological capital and you are also building a “buffer zone” of positivity.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Need The Balance Of Negativity?

 

 

Illustration of positive and negative. Plus and minus.Does “happy” sound trite to you?

Need the “balance” of the negative?

You would neither be afraid of facing what is negative or need to deny that the negative is everywhere if you were grounded in what an increased capacity for positive emotion means for your brain and for you.

It is not a matter of just changing your thinking and it is not a matter of just being happy.

You do not live where you think, you live where you feel, and in the “incubator” of your experiences that produces the state of mind or feeling state that you’re in.

The life of positive emotion in us, freely accessible and lived, is like good nutrition as opposed to eating frozen dinners.

We find our lives of creativity and meaning in our capacity for positive emotion and in learning to live from it.

For most folks, the enlarged capacity for positive emotion is a foreign idea they assume they understand.

Your enlarged and engaged life of contentment and satisfaction is grounded in your capacity for positive emotion.

It is not grounded in resolving your past mistakes or conflicts. Your negativity is grounded there.

That negativity waits, hopes, and breathes in anticipation that you will try to “work through” your defensive, negative armour and be engaged for years in resolution of your issues.

While at the same time, in another part of your brain, the capacity for positive emotion, growth, increased options, thriving, and flow waits patiently in your life.

The increased experience of enlarging the capacity for positive emotion engages the brain in a process that creates transition and moving into a whole new structure of consciousness that stops using what doesn’t work.

It unearths, one day a time, the defensive behavior that doesn’t fit the nature of positive emotion and its perception of what the new options and new strengths can do.

People change when they feel safe, they do not change when they experience threat, at least not over the long term.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

 

 

 

Our Strengths As Our Values?

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Our signature strengths, the top five big ones that we can test to identify, are expressed as values, our “core values.”

What a concept.

Let’s think about values.

They are standards or guides to how we are most who we are.

When we live most consistently aligned to our values, a way of life that is most expressive of our true nature is formed.

Our valuing takes the form of these strengths as one of the strongest indicators and answer to the question, “Who am I?”

I have never heard a person who has found out what their strengths are ever ask, “Who am I?”

They know.

Take any problem you think you have and talk to your strengths.

Yes, have a dialogue with one or more of your strengths.

Ask of it, “with this or that in my life, how do I apply this strength? What does this strength have to tell me, teach me?”

How have I created my world from this strength that is also a value? And where in my world am I furthest from its expression or truth?

Where you are closest, you will be happiest, most content and grounded in easy joy.

Where you are far enough a way from this strength, you will find how you devalue yourself and your life and live in a disembodied and compromised life.

It will usually be experienced as anxiety, flat lining, or even depression.

The fundamental expression of a strength as a life value is as a lens to filter out what doesn’t fit and the delusion that allows it to remain.

Our strengths seek the restoration of the truth of who we are and provides the joy that results. It restores our presence to ourselves and to others.

As you dialog with your strengths, can you hear this message…?

“I fill my shoes and they are solid to the ground, my gait is centered with my posture and it is sure. I am firm footed. I sit in my seat, I fit and I am there, present. I am a part of the beauty and excellence I see accurately around me.”

I am learning to embody my strengths, to go beyond an intellectualized understanding of what they are, and to live in them, with clarity and connectedness I can feel.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute