I really want to share this process that supports your desire to change and grow into the best person you can be. Whatever changes you seek in your future, there are always going to be a million pathways to choose and many more details to adjust and modify, come to terms with, forgive, and let go. During the process of emptying, rewiring, and resetting, you are left wide open to the infinite possibilities of growth and expansion.
Sometimes not knowing your specific direction, or route, is going to be exactly where you need to go. I know this initially sounds absurd, so stay with me. At this moment, the changes that need to occur may not be clear, but this process will help open you up to finding your answers. Releasing your expectations, fear of failure, and past trauma that has guided you into this cycle of patterns that serve you with pain and suffering will be the juicy reward of utilizing this practice.
Sometimes spontaneous change can occur and it will last a lifetime, yet we don’t really know what it was that happened to create that ability to change. Here, I want to guide you into creating the perfect environment within, that will nurture your ability to adapt and grow, much like spontaneous lasting change, retreats and workshops sometimes provide.
So let's nurture your inner soil, water the seeds, and discover what takes root and pushes through.
Do the conscious work that becomes the unconscious.
New Year’s Traditions
This is the perfect time to talk about change. At the end of the year, it’s a tradition to review the previous year, for all of it’s accomplishments and set goals that will supersede any reminiscent failures. This is an amazing time to reflect on what we did and recognize the patterns that may exist in our life that are holding us back from being the best we can be.
There are infinite pathway possibilities to grow and develop into your best self. I’m not here to say there is only one way; I’m here to support you in attaining your goals in an efficient, and purposeful manner.
The New Year brings energy and motivation to make these changes in your life that will usher you towards more happiness and health. This is a beautiful practice, however, these changes seem to drop off midway through the year as old habits sneak back up on you. So what is it about change that is so difficult to sustain?
After the New Year’s glow, barriers get in the way. Time seems to escape us and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Sleep begins to suffer, nutrition goes out the window. Slowly, you begin to recognize you’re getting sick more often and need to make some changes again to get back to being healthy. You refocus on the things you can control. You pick up a new diet recipe book, you buy a month package to a yoga studio, you make a choice out of desperation, fear, and guilt, starting the cycle all over again.
Get ready for the change of a lifetime!
What if I told you that you have the power to navigate beyond these patterns that don’t serve you? That you didn’t have to struggle or settle for being unhappy? Or that you could have a healthy lifestyle that frees up time and energy to do the things you truly enjoy? What if I told you that you could create lasting change by doing a few practices each day that don’t involve changing your diet, picking up a new exercise tool, or committing to a gym membership. What if I told you all that you needed was the desire to change and the will to try something different. Even if you don’t know exactly what your goal is, this is a moment that you will create space to support yourself in discovering that dream; it will be the catalyst to focalizing your goals and desires.
Make choices that create inner change that establish lasting changes outside of yourself.
It’s time to toss the cycle of beating yourself up when you neglect to do something you previously committed to. No more shaming yourself daily and piling on the guilt. These emotions and constant thoughts running through your mind, eventually begin to express through your body; solidifying their power in your life. In this type of work, the inner work reflects on the outside; so we must begin the process within. Now is the time to commit to doing something that will fully support your growth into a new realm of existence. Trust that you know your previous path was not what you desire and step toward the deep and wild place of the unknown, being fully supported by those who have traveled the path.
Everyone that I’ve coached knew what needed to be done to make the changes they desired; exercise and eat a healthy diet. What they were missing was something pivitol to their success. They needed to change their Body and Mind awareness and reactions, to adapt to the change they desired. They didn’t know that specific work needed to be done within Body and Mind to make those external changes last and become a part of their being rather than something that has to be willed into existence with constant struggle and disdain. It’s time to release yourself from excuses, negative thoughts, and patterns by emptying, rewiring, and resetting your Body and Mind to support you fully in this transition.
This is a well known concept of change that occurs under the radar in most cases of lasting change. Here, I want to highlight the core of change and allow you the opportunity to consciously choose this route; consciously decide to make accepting change a part of your life as you grow and develop into the person of your dreams.
This is a path of a lifetime. Where you are right now didn’t occur overnight, so be gentle and kind to yourself as you begin to learn, develop, and integrate these practices into your life.
Empty, Rewire, & Reset
The mind, when put to good use can become your most powerful tool to streamline the changes you desire. The goal is to be more adaptable to change to support your growth and development into a person with dreams and the passion to pursue them. After you empty, rewire, and reset, you’ll have room to declare your choice and make it so.
Do the following to prepare yourself to create space for sustainable changes in your life to better serve you, your needs, and goals.
Prime the Nervous System for Change
The nervous system is made up of neurons that transmit electrochemical signals, distributing communication impulses throughout the Mind and the Body. In order for us to obtain new healthy habits, we have to mediate the neuronal patterns in our body to adapt to the changes we desire. When we engage in thoughts, behaviors and actions that are habitual, the pathway of that signal is strong. The work we do will encourage plasticity within the neurons, that will allow pathways to form that will serve our best interests.
1. Empty. Emptying the brain is a mental practice of expression, letting go, and discipline. Still sleepy eyed reaching for my pen and paper that I set up the night before, I scribble down thoughts before any new events can happen in the day to grab my attention and train of thoughts. Frustration, anger, and fear easily take me away from the moment and rob me of the benefits of this process, so hibernating until it is done is what I like to do. If thoughts from the night before are still lingering this is a good time to express and process those emotions and ideas that take up precious space in the brain. When I’m done writing, I fold the paper and put it in a place that sees no light. When the circling thoughts are expelled from the brain, there is more room for creative and imaginative thoughts to take root. Needless worry and ruminating are put to rest. Explore how this process works for you as you commit to do it everyday.
Make time in the morning or before bed to handwrite on blank sheets of paper everything that is in your head. Every thought that trails across your consciousness, expel it onto the blank page in front of you. It can be a list of things to do, to remember, poetry, your budget, a dream, whatever comes to mind, write it out. The goal is to not think too much about what you’re writing, let it flow.
The Artist's Way Book by Julia Cameron called this, Pages. https://www.amazon.com/Artists-Way-Spiritual-Higher-Creativity/dp/1585421464
She details the process:
I purposefully blurred out the top photo to keep my writing hidden from you and I, but I just wanted to show you an example of the process. As you can see, I wrote as much as I could without stressing too much about filling up the 3rd page. The second photo shows you how I fold it up when I'm done.
2. Rewire. When I first began my journey into the Body, Mind, & Soul, I learned how to feel internal changes of my body through body scans. I remember laying in yoga, Pilates, and ballet classes with my eyes closed, while my instructors guided my awareness from my toes all the way up to my head. There was always a sense of curiosity and wonder in my mind as each time was different. It was an exploration of my body, emotions, thoughts and the way that I sense their presence internally and externally. Body scans physiologically activate somatosensory receptors as you focus your attention on one body part a time to sense any discomfort, stress, tightness, pain, tingles, temperature and where it is in space.
Catherine E Kerr Et al. 2013 said beautifully, that this process teaches you how to witness your “body sensations change and fluctuate from moment to moment...how to observe the arising and passing of challenging body sensations...and have the ability to modify emotional perception and regulation”. There is a parallel here between physiological and neurological adaptations that occur during a body scan and active decision making moments. This process supports you in obtaining the changes you desire by rewiring your nervous system to sense change, adapt to the sensations, and to relax more deeply.
How do you do a body scan?
Begin with the intention to finish the exercise within 10-15 minutes. If you get distracted during the process, take a deep breath, let go of your distracting thoughts and refocus on what body part you’re on and your breathe, again noticing the sensations you feel.
Where do I start?
Next, find a comfortable position laying down flat. Place a pillow under your knees to protect your low back if you like. Take a few deep breaths and begin to notice your whole body as you lie still. Notice how your breath travels into your lungs, causing your ribs to expand and your belly to rise. Notice what happens as you cannot breathe in anymore air. You pause and exhale. Now, gently close your eyes and bring your awareness down to your feet, becoming fully aware of the sensations you feel while remaining still and relaxed.
What order do I go in?
Remember that song, “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”? Well, we’re going to reverse it. “Toes, knees, shoulders, and head”. I like to begin at the base of our bodies since with are rooted from the feet up.
Make sure to circle around the entire body part before moving up the body. From the toes, move up the feet to the ankles to the lower legs (calves), knees, thighs, hips, belly/low back, chest/mid back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, head and finishing off with noticing the whole body together. Take a few deep breaths and slowly begin to wiggle your toes and move your fingertips to bring you back into your outer body.
Now that you’ve made room in your brain by clearing out thoughts through writing, and have begun the rewiring process of your somatosensory receptors to fully become aware of your internal and external processes, it’s now time to begin resetting your brain to adapt to new information. It’s time to “turn your brain on” as said by Dr. Martin Hart from the HANSA Center. The task is to stimulate the brain and get it running in the morning (even after lunch is a good idea). This practice integrates the previous work and modifies the brain's neurons to receive and accept new information to learn.
How do we turn the brain on?
Stand with your back near a wall for support if you feel unstable, otherwise, any clear floor space will do. You’ll be marching in place, while simultaneously counting and humming.
So let’s maximize your brain’s potential!
As you finish, take a few more deep breathes to soak in the moment. Notice any changes in your physcial body and in your mind as you continue your day with your brain turned on. For me, scenary seems brighter, more crisp and in focus. Choices seem easier, and I'm able to recognize when I'm getting in my own way quicker and able to adjust. I see life in this euphoric lens. This is the life I'm living and this is how I choose to live it. I want to support myself in living with more ease, how about you?
Not sure how to do this last exercise? I made a video for you!
Now that you've embraced change to grow to new heights by emptying, rewiring, & resetting, what will you choose to support your growth into the best possible you?
Please share with me your journey exploring these practices and what you choose to help you grow!
The Artist's Way Book by Julia Cameron https://www.amazon.com/Artists-Way-Spiritual-Higher-Creativity/dp/1585421464
Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation. Catherine Et al. 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570934/
Click here to see Dr. Martin Heart from HANSA Center explain in full detail how to he instructs self directed Neuroplasticity.
Aimee, 30 years old views life as a gift and an opportunity to live your dreams. Stick around to hear how she does it and supports you in doing it, too.