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Who’s in Charge of Your Life?

If you want to get what you want in life and make life changes, your brain is the one in charge. To take charge of your life you need to know how your brain works. If you want to change jobs, find a partner, make more money, deepen your spiritual practice or heal from an illness learn to use the resources of your brain. Once you learn to instruct your brain what you want, it will follow your instructions. Continuing brain research sheds light on how the brain works and is giving us the tools to use our brain functions more effectively.

Amazing New Research

For example, research being done by neuroscientist Dr. Adrian Owen at the University of Cambridge in England opens up fascinating insights of how to use our brain. Dr. Owen’s research is with people who are comatose and appear to be brain dead. This means they are still breathing but do not respond to any outward stimulus. The question Dr Owen had was whether patients that do not respond to outward stimulus still have inward mental awareness.

To answer this question Dr. Owen studied a woman patient who had been in a vegetative state for five months due to a traffic accident. When Dr Owen examined her and shined light in her eyes there was no response and when he talked to her there no response. Outwardly, all he could perceive was that she was just breathing. Given no outward reaction he wanted to know if her brain was conscious and aware and was she still registering internal listening?

Dr. Owen decided to find out what was going on inside her brain. His plan was to use a new brain stethoscope to register brain response in the pre motor cortex area of the brain. Before his patient was put into the brain machine he first spoke to her and described to her verbally what he was going to do and what he wanted her to do. Of course there was no response from her. When she was placed in the machine he whispered in her ear, “Imagine you are at Wimbledon at the tennis courts and you are at the back line to serve the ball.” He then asked her to imagine playing tennis for a short time and then stop and relax.

As Dr. Owen observed on the monitor the woman’s brain functions he was amazed at what he saw in the activity of her brain. The brain lit up with activity in the pre motor cortex that controls physical activity. The pre motor cortex lit up and then stopped as she imagined playing tennis and as she imagined being relaxed just as Dr. Owen had instructed her. The brain thought she was really playing tennis. Dr Owen said, “The brain activity was just like a healthy patient who was very conscious and aware.”

We see the same brain patterns in conscious, awake people who imagine similar scenes as the patient. The conclusion of this research is that even though there is no outward patient sensual responses the brain is still active and the patient is still internally conscious. We now know from this research and others that there is a place in the brain that is stimulated when you imagine and the brain functions as though you are actually doing it physically.

What Does Dr. Owen’s Research Have to Do with You Getting What You Want?

The philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all, one might just as well be dead.” To be “alive to it all” happens when you surrender your body to your environment and become aware to the outer world through your sensations? Often when we let go to all our sensations there is a feeling of revitalization, a relaxation and a perception of being in the moment. Remember: the brain doesn’t know any difference between what you physically experience and what you imagine.

So, take a moment now as you read this, to imagine yourself being in a beautiful countryside with all the colors and sensations of nature. Imagine the openness of the blue sky, textures of the green trees, the plants, and the smell of fresh air. For a moment close your eyes and just soak it in. As you imagined the scene your brain became very active giving you that experience as though you were actually physically in that scene. Notice if you were revitalized and energized by that quick imagining. If not, do it again, relax your body and focus deeply on the visual sensations.

The brain doesn’t know the difference between the sensations from the outside world or your inner imagination. Both the inner and outer sensations of visual, auditory, smell, touch and taste are run by the alpha brain waves. (Remember Alpha waves are one of the four primary brain waves) Dr. Owen’s patient’s brain responded to the instructions to play tennis and her sensory brain waves enabled her to play tennis as though she was actually on the court.

Dr. Owen’s and other research demonstrates that you can imagine in your life what you want to create by using the imagined sensations of your Alpha waves to activate your brain and then manifest in the real world as you imagine it. But you must use all of your sensations to lite up your brain. In my own life recently I imagined that I wanted more meditation clients. I sat and imagined that I heard a car coming down the road to my meditation cottage. I saw a person through the window and then knocking on the door. I felt the knob on my hand as I opened the door. I smelled the fresh air as I opened the door and saw the person coming through the door and sitting down. In a matter of months I had a wonderful group of clients by using my alpha brain waves and telling my brain what I wanted.

So, How Do You Do It?

First of all remember that the brain wants consistency and repetition to produce change. Set up a daily schedule where you practice imagining with the Alpha waves once a day either in the morning or evening. Then do the following:

  1. Relax your body to activate the Alpha Brain Waves. You can use the Relaxation track of my CD Heal Your Mind Rewire Your Brain. The track has subliminal, binaural beats that help you go quickly into the Alpha state.
  2. Then imagine what you want by using all the sensations in your imaginary scene as I did for myself in the example above. Use sensations of visual, auditory, smell, touch and taste.
  3. Do this relaxation and imagining every day until you begin to have the results you want. Don’t force the change, or be attached mentally to the out come. Let your imagining do it.
  4. As you complete each session, offer gratitude for what you have received to keep the process going.

As you begin to see the results for what you want in your life unfold don’t hesitate to use your Alpha Brain Waves to open up more intentions in your life. Enjoy.

Unlock the Mystery of Aging

In my lifetime I have had relatives, parents and friends that, as they aged and grew old, they died.  I am sure, like me, you hold the assumption that aging is one of the main causes of death.  Yet, we also know that a person can die at any age with the same physiological conditions as an aging person.

To complicate matters modern medicine has treated aging as a disease so we are taught to believe the myth that death is caused by getting old. But we all know that every day at any age people die from similar things that old people die from.

How do we dispel this fallacy that has been handed down to us that aging causes our death? It is time to wake up from this ancient folk tale and change the story in order to bring back to us health, joy and vitality to our aging lives. As a society we need a new perception, a new belief system to unlock the mystery of aging.

Our first step to change our perception about aging is to understand death. Death comes when one body system breaks down and the rest of the systems in the body follow causing the organism to stop functioning. Major body systems like a heart attack, or kidney failure, or an intestinal blockage affect all the other systems and this interaction of multiple breakdowns cause death.

The real truth is, medically speaking we don’t die from old age. We die from system breakdown. One way to shift this old pattern of thinking that aging causes death is to:

  1. Understand the process of aging
  2. Become aware of the new brain research on aging.
  3. Integrate the new anti-aging research into our daily life.

The process of aging

Aging is a mystery because it is very slow and difficult to observe. From research we know that it begins approximately at the age of 30. From our interior experience it occurs gradually, almost imperceptibility, but before we know it we look in the mirror and we have wrinkles and gray hair. We begin asking our self, “When did that happen?” Aging appears to be invisible and then suddenly just happens.

The research on aging supports this view. The studies on aging show that because of the slowness of the subtle cellular changes in the body it is impossible to detect the immediate impact of aging on the body.  However, the good news is that research on aging also demonstrates that making changes in one’s diet, exercise and relaxation patterns people will get healthier and stronger as they age. Physical and mental deterioration not only will slow down, but stop altogether for some individuals.

New brain research on aging

Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white). (Photo: NASA)

It is important to note that aging is a unique process within each individual.  The reason is that the aging process occurs in our individual DNA.  The importance of DNA is that it is a carrier of our genetic coded information.  It is this coded information that indicates the beginning and ending of our life. This DNA together with protein is found in our individual cells. DNA is housed in a structure called a chromosome. Chromosomes are long strands that look like shoelaces. Remember that at the end of shoelaces if a piece of plastic so that the shoelace will not become frayed. It has been discovered that if the end of the chromosome becomes shortened or frayed then aging occurs. The shortening occurs when many cell divisions occur so the DNA cannot be duplicated. They lose the necessary information to maintain health and vitality in all our bodily systems, which results in the aging process.

The good news is that at the University of California at Davis researchers found how the chromosomes can be protected from shortening and becoming frayed. Just like the plastic that protects the end of shoelaces these scientists discovered that at the end of the chromosomes are repetitive sequences called telomeres. Telomeres block cell division at each end of a chromosome. The next good news is that an enzyme called telomerase has been discovered which replaces short bits of DNA.  Telomerase acts like the protective plastic at the end of the shoelace so that it doesn’t fray. When you stop the fraying of the chromosomes you stop the aging process because the DNA can continue to duplicate and maintain health in the body. This research is so revolutionary that it received the Nobel Prize in 2009.

 

How do we apply this in our life?

We now know that telomere length is an indicator of our longevity, health and aging.  Scientists have also asked the question how do we increase this natural enzyme telomerase in our cells to reduce ageing? Further research has shed light on the mystery of how we stay young, healthy and have a long life. It has been found that living a particular lifestyle promotes the activation of telomerase.  One study demonstrated that meditation will activate the enzyme. Consistent, daily meditation is a way to relax the mind, body and give the brain the “message” to rewire the cell pathways that help us to be more able to release our stress, increase the telomerase enzyme and in general reduce the aging process.

Meditation has a physiological effect of wellbeing that that is like a feedback loop that spreads into the mind then on to the brain and finally affects the cells of the body.  What we know from the past ten years of intensive mind/brain research is that the mind is what the brain does. The mind focuses our thoughts, feelings and emotions on something and the brain carries these intentions out and makes them happen.  So each thought, or feeling you have the brain will act on it. If you think you are old and can’t function the brain will make it happen that you will age and you will not be able to function.  It will not add the
“plastic” of the telomerase to our “frayed” chromosomes so that our DNA can continue to duplicate and keep us healthy.

One of the added benefits of meditation is that it will increase wellbeing bring vitality to our immune system, support positive mental function and reduce stress. Studies also demonstrate that diet is also critical to support a healthy body system by providing a diet with plenty of fiber, protein, vegetables and no sugar.  Let me repeat, NO SUGAR. Sugar intake is one of the biggest contributors to cell brake down. Research on aging also points to the importance of a daily exercise program. Dr. Andrew Weil advocates walking as one of the best exercises for the health of the body. Your personal health and experiencing of aging is governed by how you use your mind and brain and how you maintain what you put into your body and exercise it. The aging research tells us that if we maintain body-mind-brain health what we will die from will not be our age. We are the only ones to take responsible for our aging process.