Do you sometimes feel stuck or numb or want to escape and deny your challenges because you are afraid?
Fear was necessary centuries ago when we hunted or were hunted. We needed this keen awareness to be alert to find food and stay alive.
Today, we shop at stores with lots of choices for our food and most of us stay pretty safe. Every day normal is not a fight to physically survive unless we are critically ill, in an abusive relationship or live in a war-torn country.
Even though we are a long way away from our ancient days, inside of your brain, the amygdala or reptilian brain, still has the same fear loop or program that your predecessors had. Although your brain has developed much more advanced circuitry for executive functions, your amygdala is still present and active.
Only instead of firing up when a saber-toothed tiger is nearby, this fear loop responds to modern alarms like public speaking, fear of flying or heights, fear of rejection, starting your new book or business or failing an important test.
The trigger may be different, but the fear response is the same.
Fortunately, with your growth of awareness now, you can be the master — not your reptilian brain.
Unfortunately, sometimes the mind abducts your awareness and your unconscious past habitual patterns take over.
So, when you notice that fear or anxiety has taken over your thoughts and emotions, apply your awareness and choose to follow these steps:
SERENE MIND PRACTICE
STEP 1 Choose to Pause by first closing your eyes; it stops the mind’s irrational thinking and emotional stream. This is the mind’s nature so just accept that this is what is happening in the moment. Pausing allows this to be observed like a witness.
STEP 2 Next, turn your awareness to your breath. This further stops the mind from high jacking your attention.
Take 3 conscious breaths as follows: Deeply inhale by pushing your abdomen out and using the full length of your lungs. Make the exhalation slow and long, about twice as long as the inhalation as you bring in your abdomen closer to your spine. Keep your awareness on the flow of air at your nostrils to be fully engaged in this breath awareness. If your mind moves, gently come back to your breath and be gentle with yourself. Stay with the breath awareness if you need to take a bit longer to become more calm.
STEP 3 Recognise the exact emotion that is arising inyou now; that fear within you at the moment. There is no need to do anything with it except to acknowledge it. This will engage the secret power of your consciousness.
STEP 4 Notice the direction of the movement of your thinking. Is it entangled in the past or in the future?
STEP 5 Now, move your attention to the centre of your eyebrows and picture a tiny gold flame. Visualise, feel or sense this flame moving inward to the middle of your brain and stay with this for a short while. Then slowly open your eyes.
This seemingly simple process activates the brain area that reacts without thought and tones it down. In physically unsafe situations, it could grow your calm courage to assist you in making a different decision.
If you are still feeling fearful, simply repeat the process until it starts to abate and slow down and you can engage in the activity that needs your attention. You can repeat this as often as you desire. The repeated practice over time will clear the mind of fear or disappointment or sadness or anxiety or any negative emotion and brings you to a state of calm and peace.
It is the first stage of an advanced consciousness technique to move you from unconscious feeling and reacting to a more conscious present moment state of awareness and being. This will assist you to become a more clear thinker and be more able to effortlessly take the next steps in your success.
We have several East Indian friends attending our weekly meditation evenings and when we shared a new brain exercise we learned in India last year, they all giggled and shared that it isn't new; in fact it is quite an ancient practice taught to all children. However, they also said that because it takes a bit of focus and physical exertion their parents used it as a punitive tool when they would misbehave. Quite clever I think to use something that is actually good for the child while setting clear boundaries. Something we should think about for our selves, eh?
In the west, this old practice has been adopted and renamed Super Brain Yoga by some. Here are some of the benefits of doing this regular exercise:
- energises and activates the brain power by synchronising alpha
brain waves (can enhance exam scores)
- decrease psychological stress (improves disruptive behaviour
- Increases intelligence and creative skills (more focused)
- promotes overall functioning of brain power (supports autism,
aspergers, and any learning disabilities)
- releases tension and calms brain (relieves depression and anxiety
levels) (helps in partial cleansing of mental stress)
- transforms low energy into higher forms of energy (increases flow
of energy in the body)
- become well-balanced and have clear thinking
- supports spiritual growth and maturity
- regulates and improves sex drive
- increases inner peace of mind
- great quad workout
Precautions: don't do on a unrested mind (angry, sad, etc)
- take off all jewellery as it distracts the energy
- practice in a quiet room
- keep good posture-stand straight and keep head down
How To Do This Ancient Mid-Brain Activation Practice
1. Facing eastward (elders face north)
2. Take left arm and grab the right earlobe, thumb facing out
3. Take right arm and grab the left earlobe, thumb facing out
4. Put your tongue up to the palette
5. Keeping focused, inhale and squat down and then lift the heels
6. Exhaling, come up and put heels down
7. Repeat for 14 times for 1 minute
8. Do this every day
Although the Indian practice is slightly different and is coupled with further breathing exercises and inner meditations, the physical aspect is the same.
You can finish off your exercise with a few minutes of conscious breathing. (See this post)
A seasoned vestibular & neuro physiotherapist with close to 40 yrs clinical experience with a special focus on concussion, head, neck and upper spine pain.