Childhood conditioning is most prevalent between 0-7 years old.
During that time, our brain waves are slower than adults. We absorb information that sets the baseline for the beliefs of our subconscious mind.
Everything decision, belief, habit, and behavior is sourced from your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is that part of the brain we have to reprogram if we want to change.
Our lives are a reflection of our beliefs about ourselves. If we can’t ‘see’ ourselves as something (a business owner, a homeowner, a good friend), it’s unlikely we will become it. The subconscious mind is the ceiling for what you know to be true about yourself and the world.
If you want to ‘be’ someone else — and have a new experience of reality — you have to reprogram the subconscious beliefs running the show.
When we’re young, our brains are forming complicated neural pathways that shape the perception of our experiences.
If we were not given a firm foundation of self-permission, we may find ourselves struggling in later life to create the experiences we truly want.
The way we see ourselves matters. It’s the basis for the habits we form, the actions we take, the behaviors we attach to, and the beliefs we strengthen and adhere to.
What you believe matters. It’s the basis for everything in your current experience.
Why Self-Permission Feels Uncomfortable and Unsafe
The average child hears the word “no” about 40,000 times by the age of five.
How about the word “yes”? Around 5,000.
Everyone reading this heard “no” eight times more than they heard “yes” before starting first grade.Whoa.
Is it any wonder we have a problem trusting ourselves? We have been trained since birth to follow and listen to someone outside of us.
From a young age, we understand and learn who and what authority figures are and what we are and aren’t allowed to do. This information is burned into our subconscious mind and stays there until we reprogram it.
Authority figures come in all shapes and sizes: familial, cultural, societal, generational, and personal.
Some of those ‘no’s’ were for our own good. A child can’t distinguish between a “no” said for their protection and a “no” because of a parent’s limitations or personal conditioning.
Most children will eventually have to exist in a society with other people. Learning what is appropriate and what isn’t starts almost immediately, killing our gut instinct and setting the stage for making ourselves small and quiet so we can blend in and be good citizens.
This doesn’t mean all conditioning is bad — it means it may not be resonant with who we want to be now.
Most of us won’t remember hearing “no” 40,000 times, but our brain does.
Our brain is built to learn, evolve, and grow through our experiences, which is called experience-dependent neuroplasticity.
What do you think happens to a child’s developing brain when they hear “no” that many times?
It changes and forms connections based on fear, lack, and stress.
Have you ever noticed how quickly children absorb and learn information? That’s because of their slower brain waves as I mentioned in the beginning.
As adults, those 40,000 “no’s” can start to compound into feelings of unworthiness, shame, mistrust of others, and a feeling of isolation. We’ve learned to hate the word “no” because of its impact on our development, imagination, and sense of self.
No wonder it’s challenging for us to use “no” when it can serve us. We have a complicated relationship with it.
Many times, “no” kept us from self-expression, self-trust, and self-exploration. Understandably, we feel a bit yucky about it.
How can we help ourselves going forward? How can we form a better relationship with “no” and begin afresh? How can we become our own authority figures and create the lives we desperately want?
We can work on self-permission.
Telling yourself, “yes,” is viscerally effective. Why?
Because many of us were not taught self-trust — we were taught to trust someone or something outside ourselves.
Self-permission is like kryptonite to the brain. It arouses the frontal lobe to ask new questions and seek new information, It helps to form new neural networks. The more those networks are repeated, they develop into complicated neural pathways, thus changing your subconscious mind and helping you take new actions, form new behaviors, and think new thoughts.
When we give ourselves permission to buy a new car, look for a new job, or start dating again, we change who we are on a cellular level. We think new thoughts, create new chemical signatures, and express new emotions.
I don’t know about you, but all those “no’s” had a specific impact on me: they created a belief that I needed permission from some authority figure before doing, creating, or being anything.
Maybe you feel the same.
Who is an authority figure? It can be anyone we give our power away to. Inside, we are still those innocent children. We are still seeking approval, affection, and love. And we are terrified that someone will say, “No, you are not worthy of that.”
We have to feel worthy within ourselves.
For me, an authority figure was anyone I deemed to know more than I did (even if they didn’t). It could be an editor, a teacher, a friend’s parent, a guy I liked, or even a random stranger! I was always seeking outside permission and approval, even with people I didn’t like or respect much.
Those “no’s” taught me that I wasn’t my own keeper. They taught me I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) trust my inner wisdom and gut. They taught me to shrivel, shrink and shut my mouth.
Maybe you feel the same.
Self-permission has to be one of the most powerful forces there is. To allow yourself all you desire and not apologize for it? That’s someone I want to be, emulate, and grow into.
10 Effective Affirmations for Self-Permission
Try these affirmations if you’re feeling shame, guilt, or fear around self-permission.
Remember, you must include an emotional charge with affirmations. Allow the words to emotionally affect your body so you memorize this new feeling into your cells. When you say each phrase, take a moment and let the new belief sink in. Relish in the new version of you.
It is safe to trust my intuition.
Self-permission makes me feel confident.
I’m allowed to do, be, and have anything I desire.
My soul knows the way in all situations.
My intuition shows me the path of least resistance to what I want.
I am a powerful creator when I give myself permission.
I authentically choose what makes me feel good.
When I give myself permission, I become a powerful attractor.
By age 35, 95% of our reactions and responses to outside stimuli are memoried emotional signatures. The subconscious mind has established our identity through the repetition of specific thoughts which create specific emotions. The more we repeat these thoughts and emotions, the more our cells ‘memorize’ them and in time, form an addition.
Many of us think we are in charge of our decisions. We aren’t. Our habits are in charge and unless we change them, we are imprisoned by old beliefs that create the same reality over and over again.
Many people go through life in what Tara Brach calls, ‘the trance.’ They may appear conscious, but their subconscious mind is running the show — 95% of it to be specific.
Years ago, I read an account about mind chatter from a spiritual advisor. As she took her morning walk, she realized her mind chatter was louder than the cicadas singing in the trees. She’d been solely consumed with stressful thoughts (which, in turn, created stress in her body), that she couldn’t ‘hear’ anything else.
This is how most of the population exists — unconsciously consumed with habitual thoughtpatterns that drown out everything else. Yikes.
Your Frontal Lobe
Your frontal lobe is the ‘CEO’ of your brain.
It handles functions like movement, problem-solving, and social interaction.
When we have an experience, the frontal lobe communicates with all areas of the brain to give us context and meaning.
When we give the frontal lobe a new question (or direction) to focus on — therefore interrupting its memorized patterns — something magical happens.
Here’s an Instagram post from Dr. Joe Dispenza (one of my favorite brain experts) explaining what happens when we arouse the frontal lobe with a new question:
Thinking new thoughts creates new neural connections. Thinking those thoughts over and over creates a stronger bond between neurons.
Let’s take a moment and focus on a thought you don’t like.
What thought is it and how many years have you been repeating it?
What happens in your body when you notice you’re in that pattern again?
What is a better thought?
These are all effective questions to get your frontal lobe thinking differently and expanding its horizons.
The longer we’ve been thinking a thought, the more ‘hold’ it has on us neurologically speaking. The more we sway toward going down that path.
Think of trying to loosen a tight knot — that’s what we’re up against when we want to change our behavior and in turn, our life.
Changing our neural patterns might take effort, but the alternative is being stuck in a spin cycle with thoughts we don’t like and neural connections that don’t serve the life we want to create.
Our Thoughts Make Chemicals
Here’s how powerful thoughts are: every time you have one, you make a chemical.
That chemical is sent to all the cells in your body. Receptors on your cell ‘express’ that chemical. The result is an emotion.
Many of us believe we lack willpower when it comes to changing our thinking. This is not entirely true. Our thoughts have bathed our cells in negative chemicals for years. As a result, the cells have formed an addiction. Our cells want us to think certain thoughts so we keep creating the chemicals they like.
This addiction can be likened to heroin, sugar, caffeine, or nicotine. It’s strong and it’s real.
When we think a new thought — or ask a new question — we make a different chemical.
Making a different chemical creates a new emotion, perspective, and perception. Now, your memorized programming has been interrupted and novelty takes over the brain’s focus.
All of a sudden, problems disappear or a solution quickly presents itself, usually in a way you wouldn’t have conceived of in your programmed thinking.
Now, you’re on a new path of thoughts, all making a better-feeling emotion. This builds, just like when you experience a negative cycle of thoughts. As you keep up with the new thought pattern, it builds. Now, your reality starts to change. You notice ways of being you didn’t before.
This is the power of asking pointed questions and allowing our frontal lobe to run with them.
When we interrupt our memorized responses, our brain takes notice and forms new neural connections. The more we stay with these new thoughts, the stronger that connection becomes.
I should add this, too: as we practice new ways of thinking our old ones start to die. The neural networks associated with those thoughts start to break down and eventually, they atrophy from lack of use.
Changing our brains is a lot easier with questions on our side.
Here are some questions to get your frontal lobe activated and creating
Why do I do (x) like this? Do I like doing it that way?
Am I choosing how I spend my time or am I on auto-pilot a lot?
How am I truly feeling about (x)?
What is something I really want to do?
How do I want to feel when I’m 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100?
Is (x) important to me or is this something I feel obligated to do, be, have, or want?
What is the purpose of (x) in my life?
How would I feel if I had the life of my dreams?
What can I do to be happier every day?
Who am I underneath all this conditioning, social programming, and obligation?
Am I satisfied with my life and if not, how could I create more of that?
I notice I do (x) as a habit. What is a better habit?
Do my choices get me where I want to go?
How many of my beliefs have I chosen?
Who do I admire and why?
How can I make more time for myself?
What do I love about my daily experience?
How can I attract more abundance into my life?
How can I love my body better?
What new things do I want to experience?
If I could have anything in the world, what would it be?
How can I take better care of my health?
Start with these and notice the new thoughts you can create just by pointing your brain in a specific direction.
It makes up to 35,000 decisions a day, most in the subconscious mind.
Your brain is not ‘mature’, or fully formed until age 25! Yikes!
60% of your brain is made up of fat.
When you sleep, your brain ‘washes’ away any debris — that is, unnecessary information — to make room for more the next day.
The electrical impulse from a neuron in your brain travels at 268 miles per hour.
Your brain can generate 23 watts of power — enough to power a lightbulb.
Your brain is considered the world’s best and most amazing supercomputer.
There’s no doubt the brain is magnificent. The more I read about it, the more I understand my impulses, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.
Everything we experience is happening in a three-pound glob of fatty tissue. When you consider it, it’s mind-bending.
Your entire reality is stored between your eyes. Everything you know, feel, think, believe, and experience is a combination of chemical responses being ‘expressed’ by your cells. Whoa.
As Dr. Joe Dispenza says, “Your brain is a relic of the past.” It’s a treasure trove of everything that’s happened to you. Trippy, right?
Understanding what the heck our brain is doing will help us feel better, develop more self-compassion, and give us the confidence to make resonant choices.
Let’s look at five fascinating facts about the brain to help us understand our behaviors, motivations, and everyday habits.
1. Your brain has a built-in ‘negativity bias.’
Our brain learned to keep us alive and safe by going after what was pleasurable (food, sex, warmth) and moving away from what was harmful (predators, bad weather, and ‘the other’).
The brain learned to err on the side of caution with most things because, back in the day, people were dealing with the elements, animals, and other factors that would most certainly lead to death. The brain learned to view most things as dangerous and threatening.
Your brain has evolved to keep you alive.
When you feel fearful, scared, or like you’re being negative, it’s helpful to know this is a built-in part of your brain’s circuitry. It’s not going anywhere. It’s there to protect you.
You may have heard this famous quote from Dr. Rick Hanson, “Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” That’s because the brain wants to remember what could be harmful, threatening, or bad news.
Next time you are apprehensive about something new, remind yourself of the brain’s warning system. It’s always asking, “Could this possibly kill me?”
This leads us beautifully to the next fun fact.
2. Your brain has three main parts designed to filter every piece of information and social interaction in your experience.
Every new social interaction and piece of information you process goes through the following journey in your brain:
First, it passes through the crocodile brain (or ‘croc brain’) which is the gatekeeper of your higher brain functions. It is also the oldest part of the brain.
The croc brain is a total diva and doesn’t want to do a ton of work. It needs cold, hard facts with any new stimulus. Remember English composition class? The croc brain is the who, what, where, and when filtering system.
The croc brain is scanning for two main things: danger and intrigue (or novelty).
It’s deciding whether to move toward or away from something in a manner of nanoseconds. It’s discerning if something is relevant or urgent to you.
The croc brain’s main functions are to physically keep us alive, which means it manages the fight/flight/freeze/fawn (or a stress cycle) response and runs all our body’s systems. Your croc brain is breathing and pumping your heart right now!
If the croc brain approves of the message and there is no immediate threat, it sends it up to the midbrain, which is the second place the info gets processed.
The midbrain determines the meanings of things and social situations. It gives them context. This is the “social relationships” and “relate to” part of the brain.
The midbrain allows us to feel connected to people and circumstances.
After the info passes through the midbrain, it is sent to the neocortex—the third and final destination.
The neocortex handles problem-solving and being able to think about complex issues and produce answers using reason. This part of the brain took five million years to develop.
So, here is the journey of all new info and social interactions:
Knowing this is powerful because now you understand how the brain processes every piece of new info or new interactions you have. Take this with you on a first or blind date, in a pitch, in a tense business situation, or when you deal with family.
3. Your attention span runs dry after 20 minutes.
You know those hour-long board meetings or lectures you attend?
After 20 minutes, you start to peter out, attention-span speaking. The brain is taking in an incredible amount of new stimuli every second. And all that stimuli have to pass through the croc brain first.
The croc brain is running every single function in the body and keeping you socially alive (fight/flight/freeze/fawn).
It’s got a lot of work running all your body systems and determining what ‘stuff’ to send to the midbrain and neocortex. This takes lots of physiological energy.
So, when you sit down to ingest new info, the croc brain puts a limit on it. In fact, after 20 minutes, you will start to forget the new info you learned!
A lot of us have beaten ourselves up or imposed self-criticism when we can’t pay attention. Now, you know why.
It’s not you—it’s your brain’s way of preserving energy.
Now that you know this, you can schedule breaks into your workday. Give your full attention for 20 minutes and then, take a five-minute break.
Allow your croc brain a reprieve from new stimuli: close your eyes and do some conscious breathing.
We need these two chemicals surging through our croc brain to pay attention.
To trigger dopamine (or desire), we need the promise of a reward.
To trigger norepinephrine (or tension), we need the threat of something being taken away.
These two states—the promise of a reward and the fear of possibly losing something—create attention.
Another way to think about the tension part of the equation is, “What are the stakes? How important to me is the thing I may lose?”
Let’s use a real-world example.
Let’s say you just had a fight with your spouse and someone threatened divorce. After cooling down, you agree to talk it through.
Your attention in the conversation would be based on two things.
>> Desire (the promise of a reward): the relationship will be better, healthier, and a more pleasant experience. Plus, you’ll be happier after this is solved.
>> Tension (the threat of something being taken away): you may lose your partner to a divorce, which would mean sadness, loneliness, or banishment. You could lose your family and your happiness.
These two factors would trigger dopamine and norepinephrine to surge through your croc brain, creating attention.
5. This is why growth and change can feel challenging.
From the brain’s perspective, everything falls into two categories: safety and energy conservation.
When we want to make a change, the brain perceives this as stress. Why?
Because any change (losing weight, changing jobs, leaving a relationship) is a possible threat to your survival, and the brain doesn’t like that.
This is why we can set goals and never achieve the desired results. The brain is constantly pulling us back to what is safe and familiar so it can keep us alive.
This is compounded by the emotional signatures we’ve learned over time. Our cells have become used to certain states of being. Trying to change these emotional signatures can be likened to curbing an addiction to sugar or heroin.
To create new neural networks to will help you move toward new things, the croc brain has to use more energy, and if you remember from above, the croc brain is a total diva. It wants to conserve as much energy as possible to keep our bodies functioning and keep its job as the gatekeeper of all new info that enters our awareness.
The croc brain wants to fall back on familiar patterns (habits) so you don’t go off and do something that could get you killed. Thanks, brain!
From a survival standpoint, growth and change are threats. They put us in harm’s way. They upset the delicate internal ecosystem the brain and body have gotten used to.
Think about a thermostat set at 70 degrees. The job of the thermostat is to keep the temperature at 70 degrees no matter what. If a hot gust of wind disrupts the temperature, the thermostat kicks on and lowers the temp back to 70.
This is exactly how our croc brain views change—a trigger to get the thermostat back to where it’s supposed to be.
It’s late December, and you’re writing your New Year’s resolution list. You’re pumped (dopamine is signaling a possible reward), and you decide this is your year. You’re gonna lose that weight, get that amazing job, and fall in love! Yes!
The croc brain hears this and is not happy.
Lose weight? But what if there’s a famine? No. Get an amazing job? But the one we have now is fine and pays the bills. No. Fall in love? And possibly get heartbroken or dumped? That’s a big hell no.
We feel this in the form of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and weariness. We realize we should just stay where we are. No sense in getting hurt or being broke. Everything is fine just as it is.
The thermostat just reset itself at 70 degrees. You shrug and reach for the remote, making the croc brain extremely happy.
No change = no death.
Plus, it can now preserve the energy you wanted to use for self-improvement to keep you alive. Bonus!
The Power of Asking Questions for Self-Healing
Phew! That was a lot, but I know it sheds light on the more significant issues we face. Now that you know a little more about what the brain is doing, you can give yourself some slack and regroup when something is feeling challenging.
Conditioning runs deep. The best way to change anything you don’t like is to become curious about it.
Start asking questions when yucky feelings arise:
Whose energy is this? Do I like how it feels?
What internal changes happen when I feel _________?
Where are these thoughts coming from? What thought feels better?
What am I truly afraid of? What am I terrified of losing or gaining?
Questions are effective for self-healing because they point the prefrontal lobe in a different direction. When we ask a specific question, our brain will fire to help us find the answer.
Remember to ground and root while doing this exercise. Make sure you’re connected to your body and pelvic bowl. Allow answers to come to you rather than hunting them down.
Keep asking questions until you find the one that gives you a visceral response — then explore it with meditation.
Below are five insightful books on the brain so you can continue to learn about this intriguing organ:
1. Innercise by John Assaraf (if you buy the book, you get access to audios and videos on John’s website to help you with ‘brain training’). 2. Hardwiring Happiness by Dr. Rick Hanson 3. Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff 4. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson 5. Breath by James Nestor
Let’s dig right in and talk about some awesome self-empowerment books.
Consider yourself blessed if you’ve already read or are familiar with these gems. They’ve been the most effective for understanding and truly changing my habits, beliefs, and thoughts.
My mental health, self-confidence, and self-trust are more robust.
I have more hands-on tools to talk and walk myself through hard moments. I learned many of them from these books.
I’m excited. Let’s get started.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
If you didn’t think you could laugh out loud while learning about the art of breathing, then you haven’t read James Nestor’s Breath.
It almost reads like a novel at times because Nestor is an amazing storyteller. This book focuses on his 10-year journey to breathe better, including his massive pile of research on breath, some of which will make your mouth fall open — literally.
I love this book. I’ve read it twice.
Get a highlighter or some of those post-it tabs because you’ll want to remember this information. Plus, in the back of the book, you’ll find a plethora of breathing exercises. It’s a wonderful reference for all sorts of breath techniques, practices, and healing powers.
You’ll learn all kinds of cool things about the evolution of the structure of the face, the role of carbon dioxide (it’s good for us!), and neat facts about anatomy.
This is a fun, fascinating, and page-turning read!
Keep Sharp by Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Dr. Gupta examines the factors contributing to Alzheimer’s Disease and overall brain health/function.
He discusses the connection between diet, lifestyle, mindset, and sleep to developing Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.
This book teaches brain healing techniques and exercises and opened my eyes to how much power we have to keep our brain healthy, functioning, and of course, sharp!
We are not destined to develop dementia by family history alone. We can take our brain health into our hands and we can start today.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza
I love this book so much, I’ve written several blogs about its concepts.
I can honestly say this book changed my life. Everything came together for me when I read it. It helped me define some of the more ‘out there’ concepts with mindblowing science and fascinating research.
I’m on my second read and it’s even better because I’m practicing the concepts and doing the daily meditation.
If you don’t think it’s as simple as ‘thoughts create your life,’ think again. (See what I did there?).
Dr. Joe (that’s what I like to call him!) teaches about the other silent component in our struggle to change: our emotions.
Your mind (and thoughts) will be blown.
If you want to learn more before you buy the book, you can check out these posts:
How To Do The Work by Dr. Nicole LePera
Do you follow Dr. LePera on social media?
If not, I highly recommend it. You can find her by searching for “The Holistic Psychologist.”
She posts very helpful relationship and self-healing tips.
Her book is also wonderful.
Dr. LePera’s mission is to remind people they have the power to heal themselves if they’re ready to do ‘the work.’
‘The work’ in this case is self-healing.
This book offers valuable insights into emotional patterns, how to recognize and ease trauma, how to healthily self-soothe, and most importantly, how to re-parent ourselves if we didn’t get the love and care we needed as kids.
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Guess what? I am celebrating the one-year anniversary of doing my Slight Edge daily actions.
What are those exactly?
You’ll have to dive into this book to find out!
This book turned my head upside down and inside out in the best way! It sucks you in from the beginning and doesn’t let go until you’re thoroughly inspired!
The book addresses the power of habits and small actions and the impact every single choice has on our lives, moods, outlooks, and forward momentum.
Jeff talks about the magic of compounding and demonstrates how consistent small actions add up to create quantum shifts in our lives.
I’ve also read this one twice and I’m sure a third read is right around the corner!
You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero
Who doesn’t want some hands-on, practical, and effective money advice?!
And who doesn’t want to laugh their ass off while they learn it?!
Seriously, I love Jen Sincero. She’s real. She’s raw. She’s honest. And she’s funny as hell!
This book dissects money habits, and beliefs, and includes writing exercises to help you discover what you want to change.
Jen truthfully shares her money struggles and triumphs, which made me feel connected to her and excited to try her tips.
Innercise by John Assaraf
I’m gonna admit something to everyone.
I bought this book after clicking on a cheesy-ish ad for it. I’m so glad I did.
This book is a straightforward and research-backed encyclopedia on brain training, mental rehearsal, and understanding how to change your brain to get what you want.
You also get a handful of free audios and videos on John’s website. Use them daily for your meditation and brain training techniques.
This book is dense with info but easy to take in. John lays everything out so the brain doesn’t become overwhelmed.
This is an excellent reference book. I always have a copy with me.
Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo has been helping people build businesses, uplevel their potential, and create the lives they want for many years.
I came across her about 12 years ago and have been following her career ever since.
Marie is no-nonsense and wants everyone to create the life of their dreams.
She is a coach, business mentor, and marketing expert. Her book is a goldmine for breaking down the experiences you want and creating them step by step.
Marie focuses on mindset work, taking aligned action, and believing in yourself.
There are tons of cool studies, research, and science to support her message: everything is figureoutable.
Hardwiring Happiness by Dr. Rick Hanson
This book was my introduction to just how amazing the brain is.
Dr. Hanson talks about neural networks, the structures of the brain, how the brain evolved, and how we can change our brains to feel better.
The biggest concept I took away from this book is our brain’s built-in ‘negativity bias.’ Understanding how the brain keeps us alive is the gateway to not attaching to negative thoughts and the feelings they create.
Our brain is awesome and this book will have you falling in love with it.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
I highly recommend buying the updated version of this one so you can read Stephen’s son’s insights about his father’s legacy and work. It’s very touching.
This is a book you know you should read because it’s famous and once you do, you understand why it’s famous. 🙂
This book covers personal habits and choices, collective beliefs about business, insights on effective communication and relationship-building, and a detailed guide on how to use your time to get the results you want.
There’s a lot in this book to digest, so don’t get discouraged if you can only take in 10 or so pages at a time.
The section on creating a win-win attitude is powerful!
The Benefits of Reading
When we read, we are changing our brains.
New information sparks activity in our frontal lobe, which leads to the creation of new neural networks.
When we read daily, we stimulate our frontal lobe to look for new experiences, new life, new ideas, and new beliefs.
The brain loves novelty and we rarely give it enough. Many of us fall back into patterns of thoughts and beliefs that leave us feeling empty, discontent, and sluggish.
When we make it a habit to read every day (even 5 pages), we keep stimulating the frontal lobe to look for newness. We increase our creativity, focus, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and become more self-reflective.
Reading helps us self-connect and question our current beliefs. It stirs up new perspectives, perceptions, and points of view. In essence, reading makes us smarter, more compassionate, and more aware of where we are placing our attention.
It also helps us ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by preventing cognitive decline. The more we stimulate the brain, the more it works for us.
Reading is also a natural sleep inducer. You’re using energy to digest and understand new information, which makes us sleepy! Instead of relying on your laptop before bed, grab a book and use up that last bit of brain power so you can nod off faster.
If I could collectively tell the world an effective way to improve general mental health, it would be to eliminate excess noise and practice silence.
As I’ve gotten older, I am stunned by the amount of high-level noise every place I go. Even though I am stunned, I am not surprised.
Our culture has become addicted to outside stimuli, so it makes sense the world has become increasingly loud.
After sharing a story on Facebook last winter about my experience with blasting music on a plane (what?!), a deeply conscious friend of mine posted this comment:
“People can’t deal with any level of quiet.”
Sadly, I have to agree.
As I observe the world, I notice more and more noise popping up, some of it in the most inappropriate places.
People talk more loudly, too. They talk loudly because they don’t feel heard.
As I write this blog, music is blasting from a speaker above my head. There isn’t one place I can go in my hotel where there isn’t music playing. Not one quiet spot.
I know the mindset behind this decision: people need distractions constantly. God forbid we sit quietly and reflect on something for a minute or two, without music. If you ask the average person to sit for five minutes without a phone, a person to talk to, or something to entertain them, most people can’t do it. They’re addicted to constant stimuli.
Another reason for constant music is this: studies have shown music relaxes people so they will spend more money. This is why endless music played in malls, stores, banks, restaurants, airports, hotels, motels, hallways, entryways, elevators, planes, cars, buses, trains, train stations, bus stations, grocery stores, lobbies, and gas stations.
The only places I don’t hear music constantly are libraries and courtrooms, although I’m hoping there are more.
Music is everywhere, but that doesn’t make it relaxing.
Constant noise is destroying our nervous system, concentration, sanity, and mindset.
Let’s dive deeper into each type of noise and how it’s affecting us.
Music in Public: Is it Soothing or Stressful?
Here’s a confession: I’m starting to dislike music.
Yes, it’s true.
I’m starting to dislike it because I can’t escape it. There isn’t one public place devoid of songs or a radio program blasting from every speaker. It’s crazy-making.
The brain is a stimuli-consuming organ. It must decide what stimulus gets stored and what doesn’t. It sorts through an incredible amount of information from the outside world and decides what is relevant to you and what isn’t. When you sleep, the brain deletes information it doesn’t need to make room for the onslaught of new information the next day.
The addition of music in places we don’t expect (and don’t need) is causing low-level stress, anxiety, and confusion. Our focus is diminished when we notice music blaring from a speaker above our heads. We can become irritated, annoyed, and overwhelmed.
Have you ever been peacefully walking through the grocery store and bam! a song starts up out of nowhere? That initial shock was felt by the body as stress. Within a nanosecond, your brain has to determine if that noise is dangerous or life-threatening. This takes precious energy.
Everything the brain does requires physiological energy. Every decision we make, every beat of our heart, and every coordination of our legs are all being overseen by the motherboard: our brain.
The more outside stimulation the brain needs to sort through, the more energy it uses. This is why you can feel exhausted after attending a raucous party or a day at the county fair. Your brain took in and processed loads of new information and it’s depleted.
This is why we fall back into habits easily, it’s a way to preserve energy. The brain loves habits because they run on auto-pilot.
Let’s not forget every thought we think makes a chemical and is felt by the body. If we are trying to concentrate over loud music, we’re likely creating thoughts based on our frustration, which creates chemicals of frustration, too. Eeek! That’s not what we want.
Another perspective on this: everyone’s taste in music is different. Being at the mercy of music you don’t resonate with, especially in a place you need to be, can cause anger and anxiety.
A quick Google search on this topic reveals many people are sick of loud music in public. They’re sick of shouting conversations over lunch because of the blasting pop rock, they’re sick of grocery shopping while an 80s ballad screeches in their ear, and they’re sick of having to request the volume be turned down to a reasonable level.
I’m sick of it, too. Because I know the silentharm it’s inflicting.
Loud music in a restaurant is designed to annoy you so you’ll leave quickly after paying. It’s a ploy to get a new set of butts in the seats and keep that cash coming. Your experience while dining is irrelevant. This is about money.
And while that’s sad, it’s the truth: relationships have become transactional.
How can we go forward, especially if we are sensitive to noise? We can start to change the culture by creating something new.
The next time you’re in a public place with blasting music, ask them to turn it down and share how much it ruins your experience. Be specific. Ask them to take your comments to the manager or corporate contact. Make a fuss! This is affecting our mental health and we have the right to change the narrative.
Cell Phone, Speakerphone, and Headphone Etiquette
Have you noticed the number of people who talk on speakerphone in public?
Not only talk, but play music, watch videos, play video games, and listen to voicemails?
Pretty wild, right?
This is baffling for several reasons:
1. Lack of privacy.
I’ve overhead intensely personal conversations at Walmart, Target, the grocery store, car repair waiting rooms, hospitals, hair salons, pharmacies, you name it!
People seem to have no shame about airing their private business in front of strangers. And it’s uncomfortable!
Not only that, it’s inconsiderate, disruptive, and rude.
From my point of view, I think the vast majority of humans are so overwhelmed by their day-to-day life, they are literally unaware of other people unless they bump straight into one.
2. A Sense of Entitlement.
When people aren’t self-actualized or hold true self-empowerment, they focus outward to feel powerful, worthy, or whole.
We’ve all done this to varying degrees and it comes from deep pain, disenfranchisement, or low self-worth.
The next time you hear someone talking on speakerphone, notice their energy.
Do they hold a sense of entitlement?
3. It’s hard to understand people on speakerphone, isn’t it?
“What did you say? I can’t hear you!!”
No matter the reason for a public phone call, I’m amazed folks can understand what the person on the other end of the line is saying!
And because they can’t distinguish the words, they turn the volume up higher, believing it will help. We all know the outcome of that!
Why am I going on and on about speakerphone?
Because it’s another example of unnecessary noise in our lives.
The first speakerphone was introduced in 2005 with Verizon’s LG VX-9800. This means we’ve been hearing and ingesting noise from people’s conversations for around 17 years.
In 2005, I was in my mid-20s. No speakerphone noise existed in my life before then.
More noise means more stimuli for the brain to sort through, using more of your physiological energy.
Being the ‘victim’ of a stranger’s cell phone call can incite a stress response, which depletes the immune system and drains the vagus nerve, eventually causing poor vagal tone.
Repeated or prolonged stress responses can cause heart problems, mental stress or dis-ease, digestion problems, mood swings, poor sleep, and depression.
Noise, noise, and more noise. Our nervous systems cannot sustain this and it’s getting louder every day.
A quick word about wearing headphones
Another component of cell phone etiquette dying a slow death is wearing headphones.
More and more, I notice people ditching earbuds for open conversations on speakerphone. Why?
Can they not be bothered to put them in, or does this go deeper?
I think it’s our misguided self-centered culture that says it’s okay to do whatever you want without responsibility or consideration for others.
It’s believed if we consider other people, we will have something of ours taken away. We will lose or go without.
The next time you experience someone sans headphones, take note of their attitude and energy.
Loud Voices, Shouting, and the Constant Cry for Attention
People don’t need a cell phone to talk loudly, they can do it on their own! 😉
Here’s a scenario you may be familiar with:
You and a friend are talking and it’s getting heated. You don’t feel heard, so you compensate by cranking up your volume and repeating yourself. Your friend does, too. Now, you’re both miles away from what you’re saying because you’re focused on being heard and getting louder.
As we feel less and less heard in our lives, guess what? We get louder.
I’m not only referring to family and friends, either.
I’m talking about not being heard by society, the popular group, the cliche, or the collective.
We are dying to be seen, loved, appreciated, and noticed and it’s coming out in our volume.
Groups or cultures that have felt marginalized, abused, silenced, unrepresented, or discriminated against tend to be louder once they have a voice. Why? Because for so long, their voices were taken away.
This can manifest not only as volume but as energy.
The more we feel stifled, the louder we tend to get. We’ve all experienced this in personal and collective ways, especially if we’ve had trauma.
We see this in public constantly: people yelling at their kids, yelling for their spouse, yelling at the poor cashier, yelling into their speakerphones! My God, it’s anarchy at times!
Some of us have no awareness of just how loud we are or can become when upset. The more intense we get, the more stress is cursing through our body, causing inflammation, mood swings, and negative thoughts.
All this yelling, shouting, screaming, and ‘spotlight insecurity’ (fear you’re not the center of attention) is slowly killing people. It creates stress cycles that never complete, holding all that energy in the body until it escapes in another form — through illness, mental distress, hatred, anger, and violence.
People don’t feel heard because they aren’t listening to themselves. We’ve created a culture of outside validation, ignoring the wisdom of our inner truth.
How does a kid get attention? They cry, scream, beg, yell, and throw a tantrum. All forms of noise.
We learn from infancy to get our needs met, we need to get louder!
But getting louder as adults accomplishes very little, especially when we aren’t aware of the damage it’s doing.
Have you ever noticed the push to be an extrovert? In the past few years, endless articles have been written about ‘coming out of your shell’ and ‘how to be more extroverted.’
The messaging is clear: be louder, get louder, become louder, more, more, more noise!!
Very few articles are written about the value of being an introvert because self-connection is not valued in society — relationships with others are.
The Power of Silence
I wonder what the world would feel like if more people knew the power of silence.
In many spiritual texts, silence is the gateway to hearing God, our intuition, and our wisdom.
In silence, we have a reprieve from outside influence, conditioning, and the weight of others’ opinions, beliefs, and mindsets.
Silence sets us free.
In silence, our truth finally comes out. We can hear guidance about what is important to us (not what we’ve been told is important). For many, getting quiet is the first time they come in contact with their authentic feelings.
Can you appreciate the value of silence now? Can you understand the damage of noise, especially on the physical body?
How does noise affect you?
Does too much noise create stress, anxiety, or overwhelm for you?
Have you experienced the power of silence or cutting out excess noise?
I’d love to know in the comments!
P.S. If noise is crippling you, wear earplugs in public. I’ve been doing this for the past year and it makes a huge difference when I go out. Using them in the airport and on planes has been a game-changer for me!
A good copywriter knows to focus on the customer’s transformation, whether it’s through a product or service.
A good copywriter knows to address objections and create peace of mind around buying.
A good copywriter knows to do research, solve the customer’s problem(s), and answer questions before they’re asked.
A good copywriter uses storytelling to strengthen the connection with a potential buyer.
These are all prerequisites. I would like to share some other qualities to look out for when you’re ready to hire a copywriter.
Here are five unique qualities to look for when hiring a copywriter
1. Don’t be afraid of a copywriter who disagrees with you.
A good copywriter won’t be afraid to disagree with your ideas about your business.
When we are inside an experience, we sometimes don’t see it clearly. We get caught up in our way and our opinions. We don’t have a clear point of view.
A copywriter has fresh eyes on what you’ve been doing or what you’re starting to create. You want someone who asks questions about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it so they can help your business be more effective.
A copywriter who agrees with everything you say doesn’t care enough about helping you. You want someone with the confidence to give you new ideas and perspectives.
A copywriter who isn’t afraid to disagree with you is focusing on the business and how it could be better.
2. Make sure they ask lots of questions.
Copywriters are researchers.
Take note of how many questions your prospective copywriter asks about your business and what they focus on.
Getting to know what’s been working and what hasn’t, what ideas you’ve implemented that may need tweaking, and understanding where you want to take your business are all imperative for a copywriter to know.
During a discovery call, the majority of the talking should be done by you so the copywriter can assess how they can help, what copy will work where, and what changes or improvements are necessary to grow your business.
And a little fun tidbit here: did you know asking lots of questions is a sign of intelligence? It’s true! Asking questions is the only way for us to form a deeper understanding when we’re first getting to know something or someone.
If you’re being asked a lot of questions in a discovery call, this is a good sign your copywriter is research-ready.
3. Does their energy match your business or needs?
Starting a business relationship has to feel good energetically, otherwise, it won’t work.
Everyone has a different style of working.
Make sure you like how your copywriter feels energetically for your business and future communication.
Do you (or will you) feel comfortable giving them feedback?
Do you like how they communicate? Send emails? Update you?
Do they feel trustworthy?
Do you feel they ‘get’ you and your business/service?
Aside from their work, do you like them as a person? (Keep in mind, you will be in an intimate co-creation with this person, so it’s good to like who they are, right?).
Asking these questions can save both of you lots of awkward emails going forward 🙂
Do a gut check before signing a contract and notice what you feel. Trust it.
4. Do they think differently and take risks?
I learned this when I was taking my copywriting class and I thought it was so cool!
Did you know when Febreze first came out, the marketing campaign was kind of a flop?
Well, it was.
At first, Febreze was selling the odor-neutralizing benefit of their spray on clothes, carpets, furniture, and fabrics after they were spritzed with the stuff. They figured it was obvious what the product does, so we’ll sell that. Easy.
No one cared. No one bought it.
After doing market research and asking why people didn’t want the product, they learned something: most people didn’t realize they have home odors because they’ve grown accustomed to them. They can’t smell the cats, the garbage, or the musky basement because they smell them all the time. They didn’t know they needed a spray to neutralize it. The need was not obvious.
Febreze re-grouped and asked: so, what’s the transformation for people when they use our product? Apparently, it wasn’t to neutralize odors.
If it wasn’t that, what was it?
It turns out, the transformation was the feeling of completing a task and having a reward.
Febreze took this idea and reformulated their spray to include a ‘fresh scent’ essence to create the feeling of a reward after clearing the house. The promise of a reward releases dopamine in the brain. They found their hook and the stuff flew off the shelves. People loved the feeling of completing a task, in this case, a clean-smelling house.
Hire a copywriter who isn’t afraid to think differently and take risks. Being bold and looking at strategies with fresh eyes can yield wonderful results. If something isn’t working, hire a copywriter who isn’t skittish about tackling it from another angle.
5. Does the copywriter have a network of support, are they involved in continuing education, or do they have a mentor?
Here’s something to ask your potential copywriter: what support do you have for your craft?
The world of copywriting (and writing in general) is a never-ending journey of learning.
No copywriter will know everything because we all come from a unique set of experiences. Some of us have more technical skills and some have more storytelling gusto. How we put it all together will be dependent on our writing style.
Having support is crucial.
Hire a copywriter who has a network. This will benefit you in several ways:
1. The work will be more specific because a copywriter with a network can ask for feedback and edits from trusted people in the field.
2. A copywriter who is involved in continuing education will know the latest trends, insights, and tips to make their writing stronger and more target-specific.
3. A copywriter with a mentor has a direct line to someone with more experience, which instills confidence, competence, and creativity into their work.
4. A copywriter with support is a copywriter who is practicing their craft all the time.
I’m so lucky to have an incredible network of support and a mentor. Just knowing they’re there helps my work because I can reach out to them whenever I want. If I have a question or have no clue how to approach something, I have thousands of minds who can help me. It’s awesome.
Many people find it hard to stay positive because they don’t know how to feel good, which is a prerequisite for focusing on what you want.
Let’s not forget the word ‘positive’ is subjective. What’s positive to you might feel negative to me. It’s all relative.
How about all the mixed messages about positive thinking and toxic positivity? People are fighting for their limitations all over the place. We don’t need that.
In our culture, stress, struggle, and strife are rewarded, redeemed, and admired. We love a good struggle story, “I came from nothing and now I own the world.” Thinking positively is not woven into the fabric of our lives. Achievement, accomplishment, and status are.
I bet you have trouble staying ‘positive’ and there’s a reason for that.
Why positive thinking is challenging.
If you’ve practiced ‘negative’ thinking for many years, your cells are ‘negative’ too.
There’s a whole lotta science behind this, but essentially, each thought we think makes a chemical and those chemicals are sent to our cells. As our cells bathe in these chemicals over years and years of negative thinking, they become addicted to the negative chemicals. This is no different from a sugar or heroin addiction.
When people have been unconsciously practicing negative chemicals for decades and then try to ‘think positive’ after reading one book, it doesn’t work. The body and the mind are not aligned. No change can happen and the old pattern starts again, like a junkie who needs a fix. But in this case, the junkie is your cells and the fix is more negative thoughts so they can feel those negative chemicals.
See why ‘thinking positive’ can feel like an uphill battle while wearing sandbags?
Try Replacing Positive Thinking With Satisfaction
Think about the last time you went to your favorite restaurant and ordered your favorite meal.
Think about the last time you crossed a big item off your to-do list.
Think about the last time you got a raise, received unexpected money, or won something out of the blue.
Think about what it will feel like when you get to kiss your dog after work tonight or have dinner with your best friend this weekend.
All these scenarios bring up a feeling of satisfaction.
Satisfaction is a whole lot easier to conjure up than positivity. Why? Because as I said above, most people don’t know (and haven’t practiced) feeling good, which is a catalyst for positive thinking.
We also have a built-in ‘negativity bias’ in the brain which scans for threats constantly. In essence, our brain is built to look out for bad stuff. This keeps us alive.
The brain isn’t built to keep you happy, it’s built to keep you safe.
People who have been practicing anxiety, fear, frustration, and victimhood for years can’t pivot to thinking positively with lasting results. Their cells won’t let them.
Until you get inside the brain and change the emotional signature you’re creating, nothing in your outside circumstances will change. I speak from experience.
Many people become frustrated because they can’t stay on the positive train. They get off at the first station because it’s too bumpy of a ride. Of course it is. There hasn’t been any groundwork laid for the positive thinking to take effect. The mind and body are not in sync. The mind wants one thing and the body wants another.
Satisfaction is more accessible because there isn’t a lot of conditioning around it. We rarely hear, “You’re trying to feel satisfied? Good luck with that!”
Satisfaction is simple because it can be felt for a small blessing or a huge one. It’s transferable. It’s not weighed down by people’s expectations or limiting beliefs. It doesn’t get a bad rap like positive thinking does.
And satisfaction can grow. It can get bigger without our beliefs getting in the way.
I doubt you have negative associations with satisfaction, but I bet you have some with positive thinking. Our beliefs about life create flow or resistance. Most people who try to remain positive (while feeling negative in their bodies) are creating more resistance than they realize.
50 Simple Ways to Create Satisfaction
If feeling ‘good’ brings up too much resistance, conditioning, or negative associations (“I’m not allowed to feel good if others are suffering.”), try creating satisfaction instead.
We all know the feeling of satisfaction. It can feel like wholeness, completion, and balance.
Being satisfied with something will create good feelings without the resistance so many struggle with.
Below, I share 50 simple ways you can create satisfaction and keep it going. This will change your state of being and allow more satisfying experiences to find you. That’s how the Law of Attraction works: that which is like unto to itself is drawn.
Need some inspiration to create satisfaction? Try these ideas!
1. Bake something.
2. Cook a yummy meal.
3. Watch your favorite movie or TV show.
4. Write or journal.
5. Make art.
6. Dance to your favorite song.
7. Take a walk for 30 minutes.
8. Cross something off your to-do list.
9. Read 10 pages of a book you’ve been eyeing.
10. Make someone laugh.
11. Clean or tidy up! (This is SO satisfying!).
12. Dress up in your favorite outfit for work or a date.
13. Catch up on emails, texts, or social media messages.
14. Run errands that have been bothering you.
15. Finish a project you started.
16. Clutter clear!
17. Take a long, hot bath or shower.
18. Go to your favorite restaurant and order your favorite meal.
19. Buy yourself that thing you’ve been wanting. Yes, that thing!
20. Have delicious sex — either with someone or solo 🙂
21. Clear your desktop.
22. Plant a tree.
23. Garden or weed.
24. Get your car washed.
25. Start a side business doing something you love.
26. Tell a deep truth — to yourself or someone you love.
27. Pick a location that brings up sadness, go there, and find a way to bring up laughter.
28. Manifest something you’ve been dreaming about.
29. Change a belief that doesn’t feel good.
30. Take a nap.
31. Do a 10-minute body scan meditation and clear any energy you don’t resonate with.
32. Pray for or intend a solution to a problem you’re facing.
33. Give someone a genuine compliment.
34. Donate your time at an animal shelter.
35. Floss your teeth.
36. Make your bed in the morning.
37. Do the dishes before you get tired.
38. Get a flower pot and plant some seeds. Anticipate the sprouting!
39. Check all the smoke detectors in your house to make sure they’re working properly.
40. Listen to a podcast on your favorite subject.
41. Sign up for a class you couldn’t (or weren’t allowed) to take in high school or college!
42. Teach a child a mantra or affirmation.
43. Tell a friend what you admire about them.
44. Stretch for 20 minutes and hit all your tight spots.
45. Ask for a raise if you work for someone else or give yourself a raise if you work for yourself.
46. Set up your coffee or tea the night before.
47. Write down 10 things you feel satisfied with each night.
48. Tell your partner something specific you appreciate about them, “I appreciate you bringing me coffee in bed every morning. It makes me feel considered and important to you.”
49. Use your favorite mug, bowl, cup, or utensil.
50. Get in your car, pick a route, and sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs!
Phew! I feel satisfied just thinking about doing some of these! And that’s good because we want to create a new state of being to create a new perception of reality.
How do you feel now? Satisfied? Just kidding. But not really.
Having satisfaction as a tool is liberating because we don’t have to ‘go around’ a deeply ingrained belief system to use it. We can simply cut to the chase.
Remember, most people haven’t done the subconscious reprogramming necessary to have ‘positive thinking’ work for them. There is too much debris that still lives in the cells. Until you retrain your cells to want happiness, joy, and bliss, nothing will change.
However, using satisfaction as a tool can help you start that retraining because satisfaction isn’t scary, intimidating, or mired in other people’s belief systems.
‘Feeling good’ can bring up stress because many people don’t believe they deserve it and so, it works against them.
Will you start focusing on satisfaction going forward?
When we want something to change in our lives, we know practicing some patience is required. After all, we have to give the energy time to move and allow the Universe to do some rearranging. That’s normal.
Patience is seen as virtuous, righteous, and humble, but many times, it feels terrible, stifling, and limited.
I have to tell you, I’ve had my fill of patience. I want to practice a different vibration for manifesting.
Every morning, I listen to a meditation and some mantras. I also watch an Abraham-Hicks video to prime my mind for what I want to focus on. I like a refresher on the manifestation techniques.
In a video a few mornings ago. the subject of patience came up.
A woman was telling Esther how she was practicing patience but was getting frustrated with the waiting. She wanted her life to change yesterday and patience wasn’t helping her mood.
Esther stopped her mid-sentence and asked, “Why are you practicing patience?”
The woman looked shocked. Wasn’t that what she was supposed to be doing?
Whoa. So we don’t have to be patient?! What a relief!
But if we don’t practice patience, what vibration should we practice instead?
That’s easy: we want to practice acknowledgment.
This makes sense.
When we plant a seed in the soil, we know something is happening even if we can’t see it yet. We have proof from many other seeds sprouting that this one will sprout too. We know some linear time must pass before we will see evidence of this underground process.
We wait in acknowledgment because we have no doubt something will grow. (Barring an ‘act of God’, obviously).
So why do we get bent out of shape when we try to manifest something? It’s the same process, isn’t it?
We ask (plant the seed) and it is given (the seed is accepted by the soil and starts its magical transformation).
Then, we have to get in the receptive mode — meaning, we need to relax and wait with anticipation, knowing something is right around the corner.
That’s the vibration we want to practice — the acknowledgment that something is coming.
Patience feels like we’re trying to be good little boys and girls, even though we are dying to run downstairs to see what Santa brought us. Patience feels like the opposite of knowingness. It feels like we are trying not to laugh in church.
Three Steps to Practicing Anticipation, Acknowledgment & Knowingness
I don’t know about you, but practicing acknowledgment and knowingness feels a lot better than trying to be patient.
I think patience creates a lot more frustration than most people admit. Because it’s not nice to want what you want when you want it. We have to get over that.
With acknowledgment and knowingness, there is a sense of forward momentum and excitement we can create in our bodies and minds.
When we truly trust in a great outcome we don’t have to manipulate, we relax and let go.
We stand in the essence of receiving what we desire because we claim it before we see it.
How do we do this?
By understanding the power of our imagination and falling in love with the feeling of what we want.
When we think about the awesome new house or the increase in income we want to manifest, we create new thoughts, which create new chemicals our cells express.
When we create thoughts around eagerness, anticipation, and a knowingness of our desires coming to fruition sooner than we expect, we create a vibration that allows us to “see” them manifest faster.
Here are three steps to practicing anticipation, acknowledgment, and knowingness.
Use meditation to create a detailed picture of what the future event looks like.
Envision the entire picture of what is happening. Who is there? What are you wearing? Are you eating something? What are the sounds, smells, or tastes? What season is it?
Get very specific.
The frontal lobe of the brain awakens with new thoughts. It will pull from all other parts of the brain (memories, stored information, etc) to create a picture of the experience you want before it happens. This creates new neural networks that get reinforced each time you do the meditation.
Studies show we do not have to go through a real experience for our brain to be changed and new neural networks to be formed. We can think our brain into future experiences so our body creates a new state of being. Pretty cool, huh?
Remember to release the outcome itself to something bigger than yourself. I like to think of releasing it to the quantum field or my higher mind. Allow it to manifest in a way you don’t expect.
As you think about this future experience, allow your body to get involved.
Every time we think a thought, we make a chemical.
I learned this from Dr. Joe Dispenza and it’s been invaluable for me in understanding how manifestation works.
Essentially, the chemical we make is then sent to our cells and the cells comply by ‘expressing it’, meaning, we feel an emotion.
That emotion, when repeated by the churning of thoughts (either good-feeling or bad-feeling) creates a state of being — or the vibration we express to the quantum field, which mirrors us and sends information back.
A quick example is, if you have a stressful thought, you create a stress chemical. The more you stay in that cycle of thought, the more you send out that vibration or essence. As a result, the Universe sends in more things for you to feel stressed about. It denies you nothing, it loves you that much. With stress, the body responds quickly, and you can feel yourself getting more and more upset.
Knowing this, you can create a cycle of anticipation, acknowledgment, and knowingness in your body as you walk through your meditation. Feel how it would feel to be in the experience fully, without worrying or manipulating how it will happen.
During the day, notice negative or doubtful patterns of thought. Interrupt them with thoughts of anticipation, acknowledgment, and knowingness.
It’s normal to fall back into negative patterns of thoughts because our cells have memorized certain emotions — like stress, fear, and worry.
Don’t waste time scolding yourself, just interrupt it.
Think back to the images of the future event or thing you desire. Notice how quickly your body responds because of the new chemical you created. Get involved in the experience. Make it richer, brighter, and more real for yourself.
We waste a lot of time falling into unconscious thinking because no one gave us tools to change it or be aware of it.
Now, we have tools.
Repeat this every day and notice how the reality shifts for you.
I hope this is helpful when it comes to your manifesting.
I know being relieved of the pressure to practice patience felt great for me. I hope practicing anticipation, acknowledgment, and knowingness is helpful and feels freer.
Remember to keep getting the body involved. We must put ourselves in the experience we want and feel like the person we want to be. This is more powerful than most people realize.
Does patience feel stifling or challenging for you?
I came across them when I was an actress and ended up studying them for a few years.
The Viewpoints (or, simply, Viewpoints) are a powerful tool.
They originated from dance and were first developed by Mary Overlie, who started with six Viewpoints. At its core, Viewpoints is a practice for improvisation, but it is used for many different types of performing.
Dancers, actors, physical performers, and ensembles use it to build trust, connection, and synchronicity. I’ve done this myself, so I know how helpful it is.
The Viewpoints are a language to describe and think about space and movement. It will make more sense as you read further.
Later, directors Anne Bogart and Tina Landau developed the work further to add three more physical Viewpoints. They also created five vocal Viewpoints.
The Viewpoints use our outer world to inform and change our inner world.
Let’s talk details so you can see how this work can help your anxiety, mindset, physical connection, self-awareness, self-trust, and self-assessment.
There are nine physical Viewpoints:
1. Spatial Relationship: how far or close you are to someone or something.
2. Kinesthetic Response: the reaction after an interaction with someone or something.
3. Shape: how someone or something looks/exists/takes on a form.
4. Gesture: how someone or something expresses itself.
5. Repetition: how many times the same motion or movement is expressed.
6. Architecture: objects in space and how they affect us (this can be an entire building or a small piece of glass).
7. Tempo: how fast or how slow someone is doing something.
8. Duration: how long someone chooses to do something.
9. Topography: the path someone will take to get where they are going.
PS: Remember, there are also Vocal Viewpoints.
Viewpoints are a hands-on tool because each one can get us back to the present moment through the physical environment.
We can use them to help us calm anxiety, stress, tension, and overwhelm—as well as find more laughter, joy, support, and love.
How we interact with the physical world says a lot about our conditioning, our habits, and our point of attraction. And most of the time, we respond unconsciously and with little awareness of how it affects us internally.
Viewpoints are an eye-opening observation method. When we start to hone in on each one individually, it can lead to incredible discoveries about ourselves and our own life.
There is so much we do out of habit or unconscious conditioning. This is a way to become more aware of your behavior and responses without judgment, condemnation or even needing to change anything.
Since Viewpoints is a physical technique, we can apply it in that way as well.
Frustrated? Find a gesture or shape that expresses this and repeat it until that energy has moved through you. Bored with the route you take to work? Change up the topography and see what you discover. Feeling sad? Find a piece of architecture that helps you reconnect and ground.
Do an experiment for me right now (pretty please—it will be enlightening).
Hold your arm out in front of you, extended fully. Make a fist. Now, pretend you are about to punch something in front of you (really hard) and repeat the gesture 20 times with your full body getting involved,
After the 20 punches, stop and take note of how you feel.
You may have noticed:
1. Your heart rate increased.
2. Your breathing increased.
3. Anger, frustration, or an old negative memory surfaced.
4. Your face started to get involved without you realizing it.
5. Your face became a bit flushed.
6. You became weary or tired.
7. You became irritated.
8. Your arm/back/shoulder started burning.
9. You started having stressful thoughts.
You just used repetition, gesture, shape, tempo, duration, and a touch of kinesthetic response to change your inner world. You informed your inner experience using something outside of you.
This is the power of Viewpoints.
Now, change the gesture to something softer. Repeat it 20 times. Maybe you repeat taking a loved one in your arms and hugging them or petting your dog. Notice how your body responds.
Start using Viewpoints during the day. Notice your behavior.
>> What is the tempo of my speech? Does it change around different people?
>> What shape is my body taking on that is causing my hips to hurt?
>> What is my kinesthetic response to this person? Do I like how it feels?
>> What gesture makes me feel powerless? Why?
>> What thoughts do I repeat over and over?
>> What piece of architecture brings up a positive memory for me?
The reason I love Viewpoints is its specificity. You now have a language to talk about your body, the world, and space in a new way. This can help you get clear about what feels good and what doesn’t.
Imagine being able to say to someone, “When you take this shape, it terrifies me because I’m so much smaller than you.”
Or, “When the tempo of your speech changes, I can tell you’re anxious.”
You can describe your experience with more ease and detail, which can help communication, self-trust, and self-acceptance.
Play the Facts & Intuits Game!
Let me tell you about the Facts & Intuits game—a wonderful tool you can use anytime to get grounded, centered, or more present.
This is one of many games or exercises in the Viewpoints repertoire.
1. Walk around your space. This helps us get in the body and out of the head. It allows us to loosen so we can receive more resonant information. Do this anywhere you feel comfortable. Do it in a park if you want! Take note of your tempo, topography, and your shape as you walk.
2. After you feel more in your body, start to name facts about yourself and the environment surrounding you. Do this for two full minutes.
Some examples are:
My walls are painted blue.
I have a working oven (versus a ‘big’ oven, which is subjective—we’ll get to that).
I’m wearing shorts.
My shoes are a size 7.
I have red hair.
The cat is sitting on my bed.
There are leftovers in my fridge.
Naming facts gets us present. It forces us to observe the physical environment and primes us for the next part.
3. After you’ve named facts for two minutes, walk around and release that energy. Take a few deep breaths. Place your attention on your lower belly and gut.
4. Now, start naming intuits about yourself and the environment. Intuits are feelings and opinions about things. Keep walking the space and notice your tempo, topography, and shape as you walk.
Some examples are:
I hate these blue walls.
I have the best oven in the world.
These shorts are too big for me, and I need new ones.
My shoes make me feel sexy.
I love my red hair.
I would do anything for my cat.
Leftovers are so delicious!
Name intuits for three minutes or more and here’s why: as you start with more surface intuits (“I love my blond hair”), you’ll eventually find yourself getting more honest, raw, and real with yourself.
You may suddenly blurt out these kinds of deep truths:
I don’t feel appreciated at my job, and I want to quit.
I’m terrified my partner is going to leave me.
I want to start my own business, but I’m afraid of what others will think of me.
I’m not happy, and I want to be happy.
I want a divorce/I want a relationship/I want to get married.
My responsibilities make me feel imprisoned.
I want more affection from my parents.
The thought of switching careers makes me feel excited.
I want to take a dance class but I’m afraid I’m too old.
Allow yourself to keep digging deeper.
We all have aninner wisdom that is screaming to be heard. This exercise helps to dig it up.
5. After you are done with your intuits, pause walking and take a few deep breaths. Take note of what has changed—on the outside and the inside.
The results were incredible when we did this game in my theatre company. People had breakthroughs about something that had been nagging them or became aware of emotions they had been stuffing way down.
Using our bodies (walking and movement) to unleash our inner truths is visceral. The mind, body, soul, and ego (yes, the ego, too) all work together.
The “Facts & Intuits” game can be used anytime and is free!
As you use it more, you’ll become more comfortable saying your feelings and experiences out loud. You get to own them and give them breath.
I hope this has given you a new tool for stress relief, overwhelm, mindset mishaps, and overall anxiety.
And remember, you can use Viewpoints to squash a bad mood and turn your emotions around! It’s always available and accessible.
Have you used Viewpoints before?
What came up for you in the Facts & Intuits game?
Is there someone you know who could benefit from this work?
Let me know in the comments!
ps. I always appreciate social shares of this blog so it can reach and help as many people as possible. Thank you for any shares, likes, or comments!
What if I told you your body is living in the past? You’d probably be a little confused, right?
What if I told you the past is so alive in your cells that they have become addicted to it? You’d probably continue being confused, and maybe a bit anxious.
What if I told you everything you know to be real is simply a combination of chemicals repeated repeatedly?
You’d probably want to know more so you can change anything you don’t like or exclusively choose. At least, I hope so.
A few weeks ago, I was ignorant of everything I typed above. I had an elementary understanding of how thoughts genuinely affect us, causing me to become frustrated each time I tried to change my circumstances.
I didn’t realize I was up against a huge tsunami of chemical reactions, all spawning from a single thought. I didn’t grasp how strong these chemical associations are and how my efforts to permanently change my experience were about as effective as throwing water on a grease fire.
Thoughts make chemicals.
Whenever we have a thought, we make a chemical.
If we have a stressful thought, we make a stress chemical.
If we have a loving thought, we make a love chemical.
Dr. Joe Dispenza explains this journey of chemicals in his book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself:
Every time you have a thought, there is a biochemical reaction in the brain —you make a chemical. And as you’ll learn, the brain then releases specific chemical signals to the body, where they act as messengers of the thought. When the body gets these chemical messages from the brain, it complies instantly by initiating a matching set of reactions directly in alignment with what the brain is thinking. Then the body immediately sends a confirming message back up to the brain that it’s now feeling exactly the way the brain is thinking.
Dr. Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everything is connected.” In this case, it’s true.
You cannot have a thought without something happening in the body. They are intricately linked and each ‘spies’ on the other to stay in sync.
My spiritual teacher is constantly reminding us to ‘be in the body’ and ‘connect with the body’ when seeking guidance. There is a good reason for this — the body doesn’t lie.
The body is the best indicator of where you are placing attention (and then creating a thought) based on how you feel.
The body’s feedback creates our state of being or the signal we emit.
When that signal is received by the quantum field of energy, it sends back a matching signal that we experience as our personal reality. The quantum field loves you so much, it denies you nothing. If you send out a negative signal, you will experience more things to feel negative about until you change the signal.
In essence, we are always asking for evidence of how we feel by the signal we emit. The quantum field will always comply with our requests — it loves us that much!
Most of us send out negative or stress-filled signals unconsciously and then question why we are experiencing a conscious reality filled with energy that doesn’t feel good. What most of us don’t realize is we created it ourselves. We participated in our suffering.
Now that we know our thoughts make chemicals, we can make the chemicals we want by thinking thoughts that feel better.
Let’s go back to the title of this blog: The Chemical You: You Are What You Think About.
What do I mean by that?
The relationship between thoughts and emotions is so close, we could say it is a bit co-dependent.
When you have a thought and make a chemical, you have decided (either unconsciously or consciously) how you will feel. This is because that thought’s chemical creation is now communicating with your cells and asking them to hang out for a while.
Your cells like this chemical because it’s hung out with it before. They are becoming very fast friends. They hang out so much, they are becoming addicted to one another.
The longer they hang out, the stronger of a signal they send back up to the brain letting it know they want to continue to hang out. They tell the brain that’s what they plan to do. And the brain wants synchronicity, so it complies and keeps sending that chemical to the cell.
Now, your thoughts and emotions have become so intricately linked, it’s hard to stop the cycle or even see the individual pieces. They are on a rollercoaster, zipping up and down between your brain and body, bathing the cells in chemicals and causing you to feel more fearful, angry, frustrated, mad, and out of control.
Now, you are fearful, angry, frustrated, mad, and out of control. Those are now your state of being. Instead of simply experiencing them, you have become them. There is no separation between your emotions and you. You are them and they are you.
You are what you think about.
Our repeated thoughts keep us stuck in the past.
Do you know the three main components of our outward focus?
Our sense of time
Most of our internal responses are triggered by outward stimuli.
Do you know the definition of the word ‘belief’? It’s simply a thought we think over and over again. That’s it.
Most people react to their circumstances versus what they can create beyond them. This is why many of us find ourselves stuck in cycles we don’t like — we hold a belief that the outside circumstances need to change before we can feel better.
When I say most people are reacting to their circumstances, what I mean is, most people are reacting to past events that they have no control to change or fix.
Let me give an example.
It’s Saturday morning and you wake up feeling refreshed. This is the day you’re going to change your life, feel better, and take back control!
You roll out of bed and steal a peek at your phone. A friend posted a picture from last night. In it, he’s wearing a bright green shirt. Very quickly and without your conscious awareness, you react to that green shirt because of a memory.
That shirt takes you right back to a moment a few weeks ago when a man in the grocery store wearing a similar-colored shirt shamed you in the produce aisle after some apples fell off the display.
Your thoughts about this experience create an emotion — anger. Now, a chemical is sent to your cells that says, “Okay everyone! We just got orders! Turn on ANGER!”
Your cells start to bathe in those anger chemicals, sending a confirmation message up to the brain that they’ve complied with the original thought.
Suddenly, your bedroom is a million miles away. You are so consumed with the memory of this experience your body thinks it’s happening now. Because of this, it sends more confirmation messages back up to the brain that it needs more anger chemicals. The brain complies as you fall deeper and deeper into a thought-churning maniac.
Your body is now living in the past. It is responding to your thoughts about this event and strengthening the neural networks that have already formed.
While you keep looking at your phone and feeling the shame, anger, and frustration of that experience, you create more of it. Now, you’re in a spin cycle, regurgitating the same thoughts and emotions over and over again. There is no room in your awareness for anything new because you keep telling the field you want evidence of your anger. Because it loves you, it complies and sends in more things for you to feel angry about.
If you have no tools to pull yourself out of this, you will likely remain in this state of being all day. And all you will create is more of the same.
Every person has the power to be more aware of their thoughts and choose the ones that feel best.
Unfortunately, most people are lazy thinkers because no one taught them overwise. And because many humans live on auto-pilot, they won’t even know to question or change their thinking. That’s why most people on this planet seem lost — because they are.
This week, take some time to notice what thought/emotional trigger sets you off. Write it down.
Then, notice how easy it is to go into unconscious thinking. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it happens.
Gather information on yourself and take notes. This is a powerful way to do a self-inventory. No one will ever see this so be honest. This is for you and your life. Don’t cheat yourself.
Please understand: those thoughts and emotions that don’t feel good are not loving to you and are not serving you.
Most people believe they have to ‘work harder’, but that is not true.
We have to be better aligners. To align our thoughts and emotions with what we want and what feels good.
I remember a long time ago (and in another life), my acting coach said: “This is simple but that doesn’t make it easy.”
I would say the same is true with manifestation.
It’s simple, but not easy.
The work is simple: Be aware of your thoughts and always choose those that feel good.
But that doesn’t make it easy because our conditioning gets in the way.
Remember: you created all your current circumstances with your thoughts and you can change them with your thoughts.
It’s that simple.
What challenges do you face with manifesting?
What is the coolest thing or experience you’ve manifested?