Can you change your Monkey Mind?
I’m starting an experiment and inviting you to join me. The brain and the concept of change has always fascinated me intellectually, amazed me in working with clients and frustrated me personally as I watched hard earned gains in certain areas of my life vanish after a bout of intense stress or depression. Don’t you just hate that?
From studying the brain, I know that change is possible. We can “re-wire” our brains so that our default preferences are reset. Sometimes, it can happen instantly and other times it takes a bit of consistent repetition—a kind of reprogramming. Regardless, I find it all goes better when other people are involved. Even the Buddhist monks, now famous for the changes in their brains from years and years of meditating, did a lot of that together as a group.
It’s time to join forces and start a group for personal change. This group will be focused on how to change our brains and our relationship with food, exercise and our bodies. It doesn’t matter if you are thin or fat; what matters is what is happening inside of your head. I know that if you have “issues” with food of one sort or another (over/under eating, binging, yo-yo dieting, etc.) you have plenty of discipline and will power for change. (oh yeah, you say, then why am I still….).
Well, if we all got to be in a place like those on the Biggest Loser with a nutritionist, personal trainer, support group and the like we would probably experience success. Yet, you might notice from watching a show like that, that if the contestant doesn’t really make changes inside their head, real transformation, healing of emotions, then they will gain all that weight back.
We’re no different.
If our environment is ideal we experience some success, but it doesn’t last if we don’t change our “default” mode of response in our brains, because when stress hits it all goes out the window.
Say you have done lots of emotional growth work. You would think that after working through all your dysfunctional issues and mastering your psychology that you are ready for success! And, I’m sure, that to a degree (possibly a great one) you have experienced victory.
So here you are an emotionally mature and relatively healthy human being. You’ve done your time to get there and should be proud of all that effort. But, how come you still have issues with food? How come you lose it and eat all the brownies after your run? Why does a period of intense stress at work send you straight to the carb coma?
Because of your brain!
Our brains change with EXPERIENCE. When we repeat actions over and over, our brains respond by growing more neural connections. To change our brains we have to not “feed” those entrenched connections and build up others. It’s not good enough to just NOT do something. We must create NEW ways for our brains to work.
Switching metaphors, if we don’t lay down new “track” (I’m thinking of a very flexible railroad) then when we chug by that area of our brain, what choice do we have but to use the old? It’s all that is there! What’s a poor brain to do? It’s gotta keep moving its energy around.
Knowing all this, imagine my delight when I found a book—by one of my favorite authors—dealing with this very issue! As I began reading, I realized that the techniques she was espousing should work. The book is called, The Four Day Win: end your diet war and achieve thinner peace by Martha Beck, Ph.D. It’s a great book to read. She is always hilarious, honest and witty. There is just one catch:
ACTION. You actually have to do what the book says.
Ah, why can’t I just read it and POOF?
That’s the rub.
So, I got the brilliant idea of asking YOU to join me in this experiment. I’m a life coach so we can structure our time the same way I lead my Life Upgrade groups for women. (Btw, you don’t have to be female to join the experiment!). We’ll use technology to connect with people from all over who would like to retrain their brains in this experiential process.
Of course, this is all at no cost to you other than the price of the book which you will beg, borrow or buy.
Why am I volunteering to facilitate a life changing coaching group for free? Well, out of the goodness of my heart, of course. And aside from that act of altruism…I need you! There I said it. I can’t seem to do this alone. I’m too easily distracted by chocolate or reading a book or lying around daydreaming, especially contemplating my navel (I am from Encinitas, in southern California, after all!), to actually CONSISTENTLY, FOR THE LONG HAUL, DO THE DANG EXERCISES so that I can actually change my brain. Sigh.
Can you relate at all? Have you ever gotten half-way or even three-quarters of the way to your goal only to get side tracked by illness, stress, unexpected life events? Yeah, me neither.
Oh? You DO know what I’m talking about?
Then come along and join me on this Life Upgrade Experiment. See you on the flip side!