Archive - August 2014

Mindfulness In A New Key
Isn’t Negativity Just A Part Of Life?
Ever Been In This Position?
A NeuroPositive™ Spirituality?

Mindfulness In A New Key

SOMM 2A huge and significant part of our work is what I call State Of Mind Management.™

We’re learning to work at managing our state of mind by managing not only our thinking, which we’ve tried to do for way too long in cognitive psychology.

We’ve tried to “think our way” to a more positive State Of Mind, as if we could sidestep our feelings.

What we’re talking about here is the wise management of emotions.Feelingss Shut

Thoughts or feelings?

Which are stronger?

A good rule of thumb is that feelings have the “right of way.”  They can run thoughts off the neurohighway.  There are exceptions, of course.

Sometimes thoughts are stronger and demand the right of way, but in general everyday mindless thinking, feelings have the right of way, and they certainly have the persistence to get their way over thoughts.

Stronger, mindful thoughts that have direction and intention are different- but how many of those do you have in a day?  How many have you set in motion in the last week?  State Of Mind Management is about managing your feelings, paying much more attention to your feeling state and to your emotional life.

Cause EffectThe fundamental, crucial change is a change in cause and effect.  Here’s the scenario: you wait to feel good. You wait for something good “out there” to come along and cause you to feel joy, or peace, or love.

Most of the time, I’m going to say just about all of the time, we make positive emotion the effect of something that is going on outside of us. We’re going to switch that around so just the opposite is true.

We usually make positive emotion the reward for something else that must occur first.  Positive and good emotions are seldom the cause; they are the result, and more often than not, the reward for our workaholic efforts to convince ourselves that we deserve them.

What a shame!

State Of Mind Management™ means that you can feel the feelings you choose to feel, on call, anytime, without the need for “something out there” to cause you to feel them.Mindful NEW

It’s the “new mindfulness.”

Mindfulness is not just the management of thoughts; it is the management of feeling states . . . an increased realization that we can manage feeling states.  Focus is key here.

Focus is everything . . . focus, focus, focus.

And so I ask you, where is your focus?

How are you managing focus?  How good are you at focus?

Focus25How good are you at attentiveness?  How good are you at sustained attention?

How you answer these questions begins to shape your NeuroPositive™ State Of Mind.

We are working here with creating activity and neuropathways of positive emotional associations that predominate in the brain. We want to create neuropathways, positive neuropathways, that are the predominant neuro-associations in the brain.

We can become engineers of positive emotional pathways.  But it takes practice and focused intention.



Isn’t Negativity Just A Part Of Life?


Life HappensDon’t we need negative experiences to grow?

Isn’t negativity a part of life?

What about death?

What about times of despair?

To those who believe in the indispensible value of negativity, I simply say: negativity is a warning, not a parking place.

A life spent getting healing and removing blocks and facing your shadow side is not a good preparation for handling loss, grief, or suffering.Negative Conflict

The great problem of our time is not the suffering, the incompleteness, or some existential angst about the state of the world or ultimate reality. It is negative self-absorption that refuses to find the good in today and to celebrate and to bring joy to ourselves in such a way that we are joy to those around us.

The world has become too practiced in the negative range of emotion. We know everything from despair to anger to resentment to outrage, all very well.  We have come to know depression on an epidemic scale, at least in this country

Isn’t it time to practice the positive range of emotion?  If there is still something you haven’t learned from suffering that you think you need to learn, then you will surely go there.

For those who have decided it’s time to learn about the flip side, it’s time to learn much more about knowing and feeling the abundance of peace, gratitude, love, joy and hope.

Joy TodayWe have to learn how to “feel” and experience that joy of today-how to live and feel the goodness that is in our lives now, and today, and tomorrow.

We have to learn how to enjoy and have the happiness that is ours now and the enormous potentials and possibilities that are ours now.

That is where we will find the resilience for suffering and the life styles that buffer what is negative.

We have to take the risk of learning to feel good, feel grateful, feel joy, peace, love and hope, now.Children Teach

This is what we need to be teaching our children, not just as parents, but as members of a community that we affect most by our own example, of how to live a happy meaningful life.

Everyday, we are living a life of appreciation or joy, or we are adding to the deposit of fear, skepticism, and cynicism in the world.

Ever Been In This Position?

Golden Gate BridgeOf course you have!!!!

You may be now!! You can’t go back, but you do know you have to go forward, for sure!

Look at that bridge, do you identify with it?

Do you?

There are 4 major transitions in life, and the spaces between those transitions are often characterized by a particular kind of anxiety, dread, or depression. Or they can be characterized by adventure, excitement, discovery, and aliveness to life. Most people in a major life transition don’t even know they’re in one.  Oh, of course, it may be camouflaged by a love affair, a divorce, getting fired, losing a business, failing at school, or even a severe illness or accident.

A major life transition for me was when my one of my sons went to college.  I watched him wave to me across the tarmac of the small airport as he headed toward the plane that would take him to another bigger plane, and then to an entire coast Lost in Mindaway from me, and my heart fell down to my feet.  I was shocked and stunned that this day we had so looked forward to and planned for left me feeling depleted and empty and incredibly, terribly, lonely inside. I actually ached, and I had to cover it up because no one had ever seen me like that, not even myself.

What would follow would change my life forever.

However, it had been going on for a long time, undefined, shoved away, ignored, and except for the fact that I was waking up at 4 in the morning, it went just unnoticed as I “kept up” the life that I was so used to leading. All kinds of things trigger major life transitions.  But what we don’t know is that underneath these big life events, there is a transition in our life trying to happen, but it couldn’t because we were too busy living as we had lived forever.  Things were just the way they were, until one day you realize that things had changed, something big had changed, you had changed and you weren’t the same person that you used to be.  It seems that everyone thinks that you are, but you know that you aren’t. Last To Know

There are usually a few close people who know you well and have known that something was up for a while.

They even tell you that you were the last to know.

We have stages in life and we have major life transitions.

The biggest ones occur after 40 and 50.  Did you read that??  Yes, you, who are 35 going on 40 and those of you are 50 and 60.  The biggest transitions are in the second half of your life.  One more time, the biggest transitions are in the second half of your life. We can test you and tell what stage of life you’re in.  Better yet, we can test you and tell you are in transition.  But you now what, if you’re reading this now and you’re in a transition something is going on inside of you.  Chances are if you reach out to us that you are not in a stage, you already in a transitions.  Most everyone who comes to us and gets involved in the program of growth we offer are in a major life transitions or headed for one. Transition Labyrinth

We teach people who are in transitions how to navigate transitions with grace and glory, instead of misery and depression, angst and despair, and blaming the world around them. You can become an expert navigator of transitions.

You can become a person who can recognize and coach people through life transitions.

Instead of thinking they’re crazy and getting a DSM mental illness diagnosis, you can help people realize that what they’re going through is perfectly normal. After all,  it’s a part of navigating life and a part of the structures of the brain unfolding into new structures of reasoning. Change ThoreauThis is such exciting stuff and the journey can be thrilling and full of adventure or it can miserable and full of fear and you can make the difference.

Look at that bridge.

Can you identify with it?

A NeuroPositive™ Spirituality?

It is hard for us to believe, in practice, that the light (our inherent pull toward goodness) is stronger than the darkness of human free will. 

I am still practicing the brain coupling that tells me that goodness is at the heart of every person I meet, even though some are a little harder to connect with than others! 

In one way or another, we are going to find that our lives and those around us are constructed brilliantly to pull us toward the light, if we allow it.

This is our most essential “heliotropic” nature; we are seekers of the light.

We believe that the UpSpiral experience and the experience of the States Of Mind of The Emotional Gym are expressions of the nature of God, of the Divine (Source, Universe, Allah) whatever name you might want to use.  If our UpSpiral were set at over 100 (Feeling Good) to numbers for bliss and ecstasy, we would be talking in more spiritual language, because it is often used to describe these experiences that are called “unitive” in the language of mystics and contemplatives.

Behind the scenes of my writing and these ideas is a realization of the revelation of ultimate reality as an UpSpiral, expressed through the transcendent experience of NeuroPositive States of Mind.

The nature of “god” and the force of evolution operate most easily, readily, and forthrightly in what is good, what is positive, what is uplifting, and what allows for the freedom of the evolution of the self in an UpSpiral.

This introduction intentionally opens the door for spirituality.

Spiritual experiencing or revelation comes most solidly from an UpSpiral, rather than the conversion experiences that are more associated with DownSpiral experience. 

It may (or not) be helpful to see religious dogma and doctrine, the stories of faith from religious tradition to tradition, as ways of seeing truth that guide us in various stages of making meaning in life. 

The fact that religious traditions may not literally be true does not make them symbolically less powerful, but oils the wheels of metaphor through which only the unitive reality or “oneness” can be expressed.

What is at the heart of all of this is this issue of good and evil. In our work with strengths, we know that our weaknesses are very regressive, idiosyncratic expressions of our strengths.  

The exact opposite of our strengths has the potential for being our greatest evil.  But the positive end of the strength has the pull.  One reason is that our brains are built with an optimistic bias.

What I believe may be best expressed in a metaphor from Esther Hicks. 

Source is well-being and the river of well-being runs in one direction only.  It’s when we turn against that source of well-being and go against that tide of good, that evil emerges as an expression of free will. 

That is the “rubber band:” we can stretch goodness and its opposite very far and very taut, but the stronger end of the pull will remain constant like the flow of the river- in one direction, and that is in the direction of goodness, positivity, vibrant health, abundance, and well-being.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute