Is it a challenge for you to turn a negative thought into a positive one? Do you notice that your thoughts are so scattered that you can’t think clearly? Or, that all this talk about stilling the mind works for others but not for you?
Breathe, connect to your breath and bring your awareness to your brain. Imagine your brain divided into 4 sections; the first three fit neatly into each other like nesting dolls and the fourth sits at the top of your head and extends down into your forehead. The first section is the inner core at the top of your spine and includes the brain stem and cerebellum. The second section is in the middle and wraps around the inner core that includes the hypothalamus, hypocampus and amygdala. The third section is made up of the outer shell called the neocortex that wraps around the whole. The fourth section, part of the neo cortex, also known as the frontal lobes, starts at the crown of your head, and reaches down into your forehead. Each of these areas, when stimulated energetically, engages you in what I refer to as jungle killer, herd, achiever or enlightened types of behavior.
Jungle killer behavior
We activate the inner, most primitive part of the brain, when our primary concern is survival. The law of the jungle prevails here where only the strongest survive. We feel territorial and competitive. We fight to get our piece of the action. This is the comfort zone of the “Tiger Mother” as in “The Battle Hymn of”. Here we are worried about winning so we won’t lose, succeeding so we won’t fail. We may need to activate this type of behavior on occasion but, when we are trapped in this inner core of the brain we are not leading a conscious and loving life. Here our actions are mainly instinctual.
As we move away from the inner core, we activate the central part of our brain where our concern shifts to building social relationships. This is where we are concerned about following the “code” of what is acceptable and not acceptable. We are motivated by a desire to be part of the herd regardless of what personal values are compromised. We delight in power plays and enjoy games of manipulation. Our thoughts become less instinctual as more options open up to us. This part of the brain starts to make us more conscious but there is no need to get trapped here.
Moving outwards, we finally arrive at the outer shell, called the neo cortex. When we stimulate the back part of the neo cortex we access our ability to reason, to use logic and to problem solve. This is the brain that understands science, mathematics, law, medicine and philosophy. In this part of the brain, sits our ego. Our ego helps us push beyond our limits and grow. Our ego helps us, but only up to a point. After that, our ego prevents us from enjoying the moment and keeps us trapped in fear and stress. This part of our brain makes us more conscious than we were but not as conscious as we can be.
Once we move forward to the front of the neo cortex, between the crown of the head and just below the eyebrows, we are in our frontal lobes. Here, we reach the crowning glory of our human potential. This is where we start to see an infinite number of possibilities before us, where we become visionaries and where we make the final leap in consciousness. It is our frontal lobes that lead us back to unity and help us remember our wholeness.
So breathe, notice where you are now, where you were yesterday. Notice that each section of the brain has helped you learn important lessons. Thank each part of your brain that engaged you in jungle killer, in herd, in achiever and in enlightened types of behavior. Be grateful for the crucial role accessing each of the 4 sections of your brain plays in your evolution and in your journey back to remembering your wholeness.
How to get unstuck
We often get stuck in a certain part of our brain that keeps us repeating the same types of so-called “mistakes” over and over again. To change these unhealthy patterns, we need to get unstuck. To do this we move into our frontal lobes by bringing our awareness to the space between our eyebrows.
Start off slowly
We start this process off slowly. When we leave the frontal lobes, we do so for a good reason and then we come back to the front to recharge and connect. Slowly, we bring in more joy, peace and inspiration and we discover what many have already discovered. Lighting up the front of our brain helps us create the loving thoughts we need to create a life we love. Perhaps, this is what enlightenment is all about. Perhaps, it has less to do with walking on water and more to do with tapping into the love that is always around us. Building brain awareness is an excellent tool and a great place to start so Light it up! Wire it up! and Get unstuck!
Next Light it up! followed by Wire it up!
P.S: My 4 sections of the brain are inspired by Paul Maclean’s Triune brain model of evolution. I invite you to learn more about this model.
“Getting Unstuck” part 3 of the trilogy of blogs I wrote in 2011 on Brain awareness has been republished here and can also be found at the end of Chapter 6 in my book.