By Kris Kile
The number of practices you can engage in taming your brain are almost endless. Today, consider an amazing game changing practice you can add to your taming the brain disciplines.
First, why do we need to tame the brain? Because it is a survival machine and is biased towards threat assessments. This predisposes your emotional brain to overwhelm your thinking brain when you feel threatened—whether that threat is real or imagined. This in turn creates defensiveness, resistance, reactivity and at times hostility.
Whenever our need to be right, be in control, to look good and to be safe or comfortable is perceived to be threatened, we tend to resist and our emotional brain’s threat assessment activity kicks in. This happens automatically and often it has us instead of us having it.
The goal is to develop increased linkage between the emotional center of your brain and the thinking center so they work together in balance and harmony rather than one hijacking the other.
Some things we have covered:
- We have discussed engaging the mechanism of attending to your breathing to help clear your mind of extraneous thought and become more present in the moment.
- We have covered honing your “inner observer” to be more aware and connected to your emotional and physical state.
- We have discussed doing these things non-judgmentally and with no felt need to do anything other than notice and be with whatever you are noticing. They are awareness disciplines that help us be mindful instead of mindless.
Today, consider another game changing element you can add to your taming the brain practices. I will call it contemplation. What I mean by contemplation is to focus on one thing—while attending to your breathing.
- So, first, you focus on deep breathing, clearing the mind, becoming present in your heart and body.
- Then you add an element of focusing on one thing as you continue to focus on your breathing.
- If you are stressed, imagine in your mind’s eye breathing in peace and calm with each breath, and the focus on breathing out all the stress you notice in your body.
- If you are angry, breathe in relaxation, peace or calm and breath out/release anger.
- You can contemplate another person. See them in your mind’s eye as you breath in. Inhale gratitude for them and exhale love and kindness for them.
- If you are resenting someone, breathe in gratitude or appreciation and exhale the resentment. Resentment and gratitude cannot occupy the same space.
The list of resourceful things you can contemplate is endless. Try it out and be creative!
Use it as a mechanism to support you in releasing unresourceful attitudes and embracing resourceful attitudes. You can contemplate love, God, acceptance, peace, unity. You can release anger, self-contempt, contempt of others, judgment, indifference.
Practice this today and have some fun with it. It is a delightful and life giving practice.