Teaching Our Brains To Better Serve Us
At some point in your life...
you have likely come across this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which tells us that the thoughts and words we use each day, eventually shape our destinies.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our words become self defining narratives.
Indeed, the thoughts we think and words we share become self-defining narratives. These phrases or very ‘simple stories’ we repeat to ourselves, become unconscious mantra. Without knowing it, we are using mantra all day long, silently to ourselves or out loud to others. As we repeat these, often negative phrases and stories, we are reinforcing their strength and building up their power in our minds and beings.
Modern neuroscience studies have reinforced the idea, that we can and do shape our own brains, by how we use them. From the words we speak to the thoughts we believe, the process of repetition in our experiences leaves it's mark on our minds. In fact these recent learnings have lead to the creation of a new wave of apps, for our many devices, designed to improve some attribute of our brain’s abilities to be sharper, smarter, quicker, etc. through practice and repetition. In the same way that we don’t have to relearn the ABC’s each morning before we can speak and write, our minds hold on to that which we practice repeatedly.
Simple ‘phrases such as "I can’t do that," "I’m so behind”, or "I'm not good enough”, “I'm unlucky", "I don’t have the energy”, these phrases, they take on a life of their own. As we go along in life, we don't even notice how our words become a part of our reality. But just as Emerson said, over time we act on these words and live them in our realities. If you’re constantly telling yourself you are stressed out, you will be stressed out. If your mantra is, "I’ll never have the money for that," –you never will. Our words and simple phrases are so very impactful on our lives.
We are the selves who see our brains.
This is all very interesting and powerful information and if we except the idea that we are not our brains, but are instead the selves who see our brains, we are on our way toward leading and guiding our minds to support us in the most essential ways. In this way we can train ourselves to not only become smarter and quicker, but also to be healthier, better balanced and happier, or whatever it is we desire.
In here lies the power of mantra, the simple practice of choosing and shaping the words we tell ourselves, our brains and our beings. Through repetition of these choice words we set in motion their power to become our thoughts, feelings, actions and outcomes.
Working with Mantra.
There is much to be learned about the history & power of mantra. In brief, we know that mantras are chosen and created to be potent uplifting vibrations condensed into a few choice words. As these choice words are recited, we stimulate certain parts of our brain that actually shift and change the chemical balance of the brain. This changed chemical composition allows a more relaxed and expanded state of consciousness to overtake our minds. Mantra is most often used in meditation and in most cases a 28 – 60 day practice is advised to create lasting change.
For the last few years I have been working with clients to incorporate mantra which is uniquely crafted to support them in their current experience and shape that experience as they wish. The results have been consistently powerful, even remarkable. We take a modern approach to the practice of mantra and create simple processes designed for success with minimal effort.
If you're curious about the potential of mantra and coaching, join me in November, before the busyness of the season sets in, for a 'one time' mantra finding session. Together we will bring to light the most powerful personal mantra for where you are right now and put into place a strategy for incorporating a practice of mantra into your life.