A whole brain approach to find … wholeness, by Lisa Wimberger (a summary by Pat Evert)
Death Doesn’t Get the Last Word
Imagine a normal and uneventful morning where in the midst of washing your face, your life disappeared without warning, along with everyone you loved. I’ve flirted with and dated death since I was fifteen years old, when I had my first near-death experience in the bathroom at my parents’ house. Of course, I didn’t know then that I had a seizure condition that caused me to flatline. I only had an inexplicable, mystical, and painful episode that left me confused and blown open. I had fainted before, but this time was different. I remember standing at the sink, looking at myself in the mirror, and wondering why my face suddenly appeared to be melting. The room quickly closed in on me while I desperately tried to hold on to the counter top. I heard a distant voice say, “oh no” as if it came from someone else. And suddenly I was in another space where I was fully conscious yet completely unaware that my body was on the floor. In that other consciousness I had a vivid encounter with Zahara, a mystical female force I’d never forget—one who visited me often in later episodes and who would help shape the rest of my life. I came to know her as The Mother.
As the founder and creator of what I term the Neurosculpting modality, I have marveled at the gifts these life experiences have afforded me. My episodes of seizures and flatlining disappeared. I am committed to helping individuals find a way to move out of fear, rewrite their limiting stories, and savor more of life. Neurosculpting is a mental training process that quiets our fight-or-flight center and activates our mind’s seat of compassion and empathy. Such meditations are designed to allow dialogue between the compartmentalized and silenced parts of ourselves. This lifestyle practice helps individuals identify and create a ripe environment for the brain to drop its old stories and prime it to believe a new and better story about oneself. You will find opportunities to reflect upon the mind’s ability to rewrite old patterns and create new ones. I intend for this work to help your head and heart speak the same language.
A Quest for Free Will
With this one belief comes autonomy, empowerment, and a proactive approach to life and freedom. This is how we begin to change our daily scripts and drink more of life’s juice. In fact, this die-hard belief in free will is a foundational model for Neurosculpting. What does it mean to you to know that each and every thought we have is exercising and embedding a neural pathway? Through Neurosculpting, we can create a pause button and give ourselves easy access to this ability, so that we aren’t victim to our patterns of reaction. We can begin rehearsing a different dynamic in which the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) is more frequently exercised and accessed in certain situations in order to create those pause moments. This allows us more conscious choice, a path to empowerment and choice.
When it came to these seizures I clearly seemed a victim to this condition and appeared to have no free will. How could I possibly gain power over an automatic seizure condition? Going from no blood flow back to a pumping heart far exceeded the pain of pins and needles in a foot that’s asleep. I lost pride and gained humility during the many recovery moments in which I failed to control my bowels or keep myself from vomiting. I was humbled, repeatedly, by my inability to walk upright for hours, rallying just to crawl. Imagine having just experienced unity and the promise of my own freedom by a strange creature in a fantastic vision—feeling the expanse of what I contribute to the universal consciousness—and suddenly, I’m moaning and writhing on the floor, an animal in a cage. My worlds were at odds.
The truth is that we may never consciously know the stories that guide our behavior. But that is not a hindrance to healing because neuroplasticity does not rely on discovering the why. It relies on entrainment. For me, my spirit made the initial decision and my mind executed it. Memories build upon each other. As we choose to remember and revisit, we strengthen those moments, and as we neglect them, they can fade away. I learned that my reserves of strength required a deep trust and belief in my innate abilities. Imagine how much we miss when we assume each of our thoughts and beliefs is the absolute truth. Maybe our spirit wants us to be free, to feel our freedom, to access our free will.
• What am I inputting that keeps my fear response strong, and my PFC subordinate?
• Would I input different thoughts if I had a line of communication with my highest self?
Note some of the thoughts you believe you repeat enough to exercise your threat response more than your ability to pause and reconsider. Examples might be:
• I’m no good at making friends.
• I’m not as smart as . . .
• They’re out to get me.
Next, rewrite each of those thoughts in a way that helps reverse that limbic response:
• I’m overcoming my fear of making friends.
• I am learning a lot . . .
• I have no enemies, all are for my good
If we believe we have both free will and the most powerful mechanism in the universe inside our heads, then we can access more hope, empowerment, and joy in life.
The Nature of Resilience
The Mother told me, “This is the moment of your forgetting. In order to heal you must go further still.” I was ready to play my queen card.
Resilience is that part of us that kicks in when we are at our weakest and convinces us to continue on. I seemed to have always been in search of my power—my queen card. Regardless of your situation, we all share the commonality that our strength came from a deeper source that chose not to fall victim to the circumstances threatening us. I began to cultivate a sense of empowerment while realizing I was only as victimized as I allowed myself to be. It’s precisely in these times, against all rational thinking, that our resilience has an opportunity to kick in and change the story from self-pity to problem-solving. This is the path of empowerment. You can use these mantras each time you are stuck in victimhood.
• I am grateful for the lessons of unrealized dreams, and I take that learning to artfully pursue my life’s calling.
But our neurological adaptability, our neuroplasticity, means that you can edit, sculpt, and rewrite those old stories and fears that cripple you precisely at the time in which you are supposed to expand into the fullness of your life. What would it be like to be able to identify a limiting script and simply edit it?
• I recognize that what I feel right now is in response to an old story that’s no longer relevant.
Hope is the very opposite of rigidity. It’s the promise that our creations born out of the past can change to meet the future in a way that works better to support who we want to be. The very act of hoping means that, on some level, we believe that change is possible. Practicing and embodying a focus on positive potential is the difference between living in the I can’t and the I can. I can’t keeps us in our rigid and fixed limitation. It sets a precedent of helplessness and holds tight to that as though that is and always will be true. It is the memorial to an outdated idea of our own capability. It keeps you stuck in past proclamations and future worries.
I can, on the other hand, is an embodiment of neuroplasticity. And it’s a testament to deep self-trust—trust in our own adaptability and ingenuity. It sets us up to embrace changes and expand our existing skill set. I can means that we trust we will learn, grow, and bend in whatever way possible in order to get the job done. It professes our commitment to welcoming rather than resisting the unknown. It’s a reclamation of our power. It’s far easier to stick with our rigidity and what we know, even if it’s painful, than to open to the unknown and lose our ability to predict all outcomes. While the latter is one that puts trust and faith in our inherent gifts of neuroplasticity, which promises that we can grow from new experiences. The dichotomy is that we know what rigidity brings us, and we know that hope lives in the potential of change. And you know from your own experience that the only constant is that everything changes each day of your life. In this way I believe hope is the face of I can. We use our neuroplasticity to transcend the current moment and look to the future. We open ourselves up to potential, possibility, and change.
Our everyday language is a great place to start exercising this practice. Where in your life do you notice the language of rigidity? And where do you find the language of hope?
• Just as other situations have come and gone, so will this one.
• This situation simply defines my current circumstances, but does not define me or my potential.
In your journal take each of your thoughts from the RIGIDITY chart and write this phrase next to them: “What would it take for this situation to be different?” Once you begin exploring this question you are already in the process of shifting from the hopeless victim to a potential problem solver. In cultivating resilience you can also make a hope collage in which you choose pictures of what could be.
Balance in the Body-World
My root burst open, and a rushing scented river poured out of me and down into the center of the earth. I was tethered in the most liberating way. And suddenly, the scent revealed itself to be mother’s milk. I was nourished and safe from the inside out through an inexhaustible source. My body suddenly released pockets of black contractions as they melted out of my body, carried away by this current. Muscles twitched and spasmed as dangerous faces, threatening gestures, and image after image of self-deprecation erupted with volcanic force.
If we are to pursue a holistic way to heal trauma and find wholeness, it’s critical we pay attention to what the body experiences from both the mind’s commands and the external environment’s influence. The body and mind are not separate, but more like two halves of an organism needing desperately to speak the same language. Our bodies manifest the stress and fear from our thoughts and feelings. The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis – is the main stress-response system in the body and is an integral part of the limbic fight-or-flight mechanism. I recall from my own life a period of years in my early adulthood in which I felt disempowered, angry, and frustrated. I internalized a lot of my frustrations, choosing silence over direct communication. I needed to make a “body-world” change. What more could you discover about your own life if you noticed how your thoughts and body interacted and informed each other? Each time you are stressed this week, note what your body feels like during those stressed moments. Areas you can focus on include between the eyebrows, the jaw, the throat, the back of the head, the neck, the shoulders, the chest, your breath, the gut, the bowels, the joints, and the lower back. The union of body, mind, and spirit demands we begin to decipher the language of each.
Emotional pain is as real to the mind and body as physical pain. If you were to describe that experience, what are some of the words that come to mind? Maybe crushed, torn apart, heartbroken, beaten down, destroyed, shattered, or numb? And as my vision showed me, it’s the release of those dark stories that causes my spiritual expansion. For some of us, we might even agree that emotional pain is more tangible, lasting, and memorable than physical pain. It’s imperative to create dialogue between the body and mind in order for each of us to navigate our world with clarity, health, and intention. With daily exercise, individuals with phantom-limb syndrome were able to heal by imagining a new story based on an illusion. These stories exerted control over neurological maps that were stuck in their own illusions.
• What thoughts are you thinking that communicate danger and disease to your own body?
• In what ways are you physically numbing to mitigate emotional pain?
• What illusions are you buying?
I’ve learned that the dark stories I released in my vision can have a strong hold on my mind and body, cultivating a disease state that holds me captive. It takes courage and faith to let go of the thoughts that define us.
And so The Mother asked me to trust her. She asked if I wanted to meet the part of me who had been absent for so long, the one who escaped at night in my dreams and traveled to what she called the Readyverse … She began to stand tall. Her shoulders pulled back and her skin brightened. Her hair grew lush and long and her eyes sparkled. Her smile enraptured me.
It’s easy for self-care to take a back seat to the many concerns of our lives. What process do you have in place to find compassion and care for yourself when you’re in the grip of worrisome reactions to the world around you? Through excessive stress, we actually damage the body’s “off” switch for the stress process. If you don’t actively practice positive thoughts the gray matter dedicated to those thoughts shrinks. As we engage consciously in neurosculpting we take charge of that part of the brain we exercise. Note in your journal all the times throughout the day in which you assumed negative intent when someone approached you or asked you a question. You can begin to notice if you are reaching out to others with an open and compassionate hand or if you’re meeting all approaches with a closed-fist mentality. Our inner negativity not only affects our moods and behaviors, it also affects each of us at a cellular level. We can’t hope to change anything about our world until we work on our inner stories first.
We’ve begun to realize that meditation isn’t only for clearing the mind and creating calm, but also has the power to alter our genetic blueprint—our DNA. Environmental factors, how well we’ve been nurtured, and individual disposition all play a huge role in our genetic expression. It turns out that the conductor is actually you, and more particularly you in relationship to your inner and outer worlds. How do our environments—inner and outer—turn our genes on or off for stress and anxiety? I think sometimes we give up our power and our seat as master of our own destiny when we default to a view that our physical destiny is only as healthy and whole as those who came before us. Epigenetics shows us that what we put in and on our bodies, who and what we choose to surround ourselves with, our hobbies, and even our mood, all contribute to the expression of the vast numbers of genes of our DNA code. Various lifestyle modifications (such as the increased intake of fruits and vegetables, exercise, meditation, yoga, cessation of smoking, and reduction in alcohol intake) can improve the health of the sperm genome and result in normal embryonic development and the birth of healthy offspring. Do we view the world “out there” as hostile? Our DNA will be less likely to transcribe, activate, silence, and translocate genetic code correctly in a hostile environment. And this is precisely how disease can be created or perpetuated. So what we think and how well we learn how to bring ourselves back to restoration and relaxation has an influence on how genes in our DNA activate. We know meditation increases our immunity, reduces our adrenal and cortisol levels, helps regulate blood sugar and metabolism. Therefore, we know we have a direct impact on our genetic destiny right here, right now, in each and every moment.
Sleep – Having a healthy method of memory consolidation and a safe place like dreams in which to rehearse complex emotional states seems critical in our ability to exercise our memory centers and continually adapt and update them with new integrated information. Dreams can be viewed as a neurosculpting sandbox in which we modify our old stories to keep ourselves present. During sleep times we’re experiencing hormonal regulation, body temperature regulation, tissue repair, mental reprocessing, and restoration. The journey through healing trauma, rewriting our beliefs, and finding wholeness requires our sleep foundation be solid, consistent, and deep.
• Darken the bedroom at night with heavier shades
• Stay off computers or mind-active stimulation for longer periods of time before bed to help the mind slow down.
• As much as possible, sleep at night and be awake during the day.
If you compromise your ability to regulate mood, then it’s easy to slip into a fear-based or fight-or-flight disposition. So if we could supply the right balance of building blocks for all of our body’s needs, we could create a rich mind-body platform that enables us to feel more in control of our moods and genetic destiny.
Diet – Everything on a plate. Move away from a grain-based diet. The best forms of carbohydrates to consume are vegetables and fruits. Our own medical science journals now show evidence that a diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates and sugar actually reduces a person’s body fat, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure, and increases their HDL cholesterol. We are eating our way into a stressful lifestyle that primes us, not so gracefully, to exhibit many of our most insidious neurodegenerative diseases, some of which include depression and suicide. Antioxidants, their important job is to help quench the excessive number of free radicals that flood our bodies from our own cells.
• Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries
• Artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, and garlic
Having a negative or unconscious relationship to the fuel we put in our bodies can directly affect how we use that fuel. Here’s an interesting ritual I began doing before each meal to establish a relationship with my food. I looked at each item on my plate and imagined that plant or animal’s full life cycle, including the food and resources it needed to live as well. I then imagined all of the people it took to take that one piece of food from its life to my plate, including processing and transportation. This simple ritual focuses our awareness and activates the PFC by forcing us to consider others. Do all of this and you will age more consciously. Imagine being healthy enough in both mind and body well into your nineties to recognize when it was your time to go, and then doing so on your own terms. Imagine being independent and productive all the minutes of your life until the last. Imagine unsubscribing to the mental and physical health image many of us buy into.
• Four brisk walks in your favorite neighborhood for twenty minutes each time.
The Search for Enough
It pulsed all on its own, a blinding rainbow orb, and I knew this was its highest natural state . . . This light spread to all the other mitochondria in the cell, vibrating each into unison. Like bees in a hive, tiny components and proteins in my cell hurried about this strand with excitement . . . chattering messages of vibrance and healing. I felt complete and full, like the sun radiating with infinite potential. What worlds could I create from here?
I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. What insidious beliefs make it painful to look upon ourselves with acceptance? What levels of shame, comparison, or self-deprecation cause us to avoid our own natural reflections? What do you need to feel like you are enough? We need begin caring for ourselves like our own prized possession. The more I nurture myself the easier it is for me to place a higher value on myself. As I began caring for myself by taking the time to meditate, eat right, and check in with how I was feeling before committing to any course of action, the easier it was to be a genuinely giving person. This becomes your platform of inquiry from which to build your sense of being enough. As we change our relationship to ourselves, we begin sculpting our brain in a very different way. We no longer engage in our old stories of not good enough and those begin to lose their stronghold on our mental state. This is a move away from the self-deprecating victim and toward the person who simply “is enough” just as is. As we nurture ourselves we build our self-esteem, and as that grows we may find we have an abundance of self-love ready to be lavished upon our own lives, and then more freely on others. Being in a constant state of comparison is not the best thing to help us cultivate our sense of inherent self-worth. We’ve set up a constant quest for attaining something we’re not and a persistent sense of “I’m not good enough.”
I found a way to rebuild the foundation, and little by little, doing this every day has given me an innate gratitude for every inch of my imperfect and aging self. Praise and gratitude is the great place from which to start building. If expressed gratitude can bond us intimately together socially, what could it do for us when we express gratitude for ourselves? What could be different about your sense of self-worth if you cultivated this intimate relationship with your own being? Cultivate this reverence for one’s own body. What does a body feel each time we contract and look away when it’s naked? What would that same body feel if it stood tall and soaked up our own loving gaze when it was naked? I began to focus on positive thoughts about my body during those times of meticulous care and attention. Surely I could have a profound effect on my body by looking at it and touching it while cultivating a mentality of care and nurture. What if you were to approach your daily shower or bath in a new way? Slow down just a bit, lather up just a little longer, and for each body part you wash, say or think one gratitude you associate with that part.
• I’m thankful for my hands that create so much, and for my fingers that enable me to communicate words on a keyboard.
• I am thankful for my belly and gut that digest and absorb nutrients to keep me healthy.
If we simultaneously practice realistic thoughts of gratitude for each motion, then over time won’t we be linking these maps? Let’s begin a practice of self-selecting for the positive, it’s a way to make that bettering process more loving, graceful, and perhaps even richer.
The ripple effect of change, hope, and transformation only works if there’s a point of origination. A wave must originate somewhere at some source. YOU are that point of origin for waves of self-love and wholeness to ripple out to others. We can’t hope to change others until we first make those shifts in ourselves. Cultivating happiness on the inside can potentially affect others neurologically, perhaps even shifting their internal experience. You leave your house with a genuine smile on your face, a skip in your step, and a posture that radiates ease. Others in your close proximity register the emotions on your face and may begin to have a similar experience. In this way, we become embodied examples of a nurturing and nurtured environment, and our thoughts can begin to move from criticism to acceptance, and eventually end up in gratitude, joy, and love.
Memory, An Attempt to Make Me Believe
The Mother told me it was possible to create a healthier way to relate to men, one in which I stepped outside of need and into camaraderie, so that some day I could walk side-by-side with a deep and resonant partner. Then she asked, “What would it take for you to mark that line of the agreement ‘completed’ so you never have to repeat that lesson again?” What if I just chose to remember it all differently and recreate my history? I realized the context of all memories can change . . . none of them are the truth of who we are.
Our identities are so wrapped up in our memories that we sometimes don’t realize if we could just loosen that grip a bit we could be a bigger or better version of ourselves. Stepping into our greatness involves recognizing the past, and then contextualizing it in a way that allows us to grow into our present-time self fully. But until The Mother showed me I could place that memory on a shelf marked “done,” I was unable to be in the present moment, unable to take in more of life because I filtered my experiences through outdated beliefs. I am suggesting that we honor the past by saying thank you and allowing it to retire into an area of our minds that does not cloud our present vision. Our histories are made up of more fiction or narrative than actual fact. When we think we remember exactly what happened, we’re really creating a neurological rebuild or version of the event. All memory, no matter how confident we are in it being real, is actually a reconsolidation of parts and pieces. What if this basic information could become the context in which we look at all the past memories that are holding us back, and we look to free ourselves from the false hold they have on us? Your own constructed biography can be renegotiated at any time. I am now selectively choosing at multiple times throughout my day to focus on better and healthier stories, reinforcing positivity while doing something novel and non-threatening.
• I’m so grateful I’m healthy enough to work today.
• I’m grateful I have a stable home with food in the refrigerator.
• I’m grateful to be able-minded and able-bodied enough that such a small annoyance is the focus of my attention.
• I’m grateful I have the resources at my disposal to hone my skills in . . .
One of the things I found most helpful in freeing myself from the fear-hold my memories had over me was to be gentle with myself and start working with the manageable memories. As much as I wanted to jump in and clean up all of my stories, I needed first to create a strong foundation of forgiveness and acceptance for myself.
Love versus Fear
You must let blame and anger go if you want to find love. Would I stay in fear, or could I move into forgiveness and know love?
I can intentionally sculpt new stories that override the fear and open myself to new depths of love’s experience. What limiting and fear-based stories are keeping you from fully giving and having love? What if a healthy relationship with love could help you modulate everything from your autonomic nervous system responses to your sense of belonging in the world? Wouldn’t it be worth it to spend more time cultivating it? Healthy love can down-regulate our limbic stress and fear response. The Mother showed me in my vision on the beach that in order to have all of these benefits of healthy love and find my way to wholeness I needed to learn how to forgive and detach. In order to forgive I had to actually stop judging! The negative events in my life played out in my head, over and over again, each time crystallizing with more clarity. I could repeat a story so much that sometimes I’d work myself into more highly charged emotional states than the actual event elicited. Make a list of the things you think might be different about your own life and body state if you took your invested energy back from this event.
• I’d spend less time rehashing the details and have more time for . . .
• I might sleep better.
• I would stop getting angry each time I heard that person’s name.
I have found that what I eat, how much I sleep, and the rigorous way in which I actively pay attention to sculpting a new story all greatly enhance my brain’s ability to let go and detach. We need to listen to both mind and body to have the determination and resilience necessary to execute the higher-level skills of detachment and forgiveness. Love equates to feelings of safety, and belonging I feel when being acknowledged. So we know that our sense of being loved, and even giving love, has something to do with our ability to feel safe and as though we are a part of a community. The health of my brain affects my ability to express and feel love. Some people perceive the heart as the central point of love. These two miraculous organs have the ability to open doors of love and connection and transform our lives when they work together. What does the dialogue look like between your heart and head? “What would it take for this particular debate to be resolved gracefully? The first step in creating a dialogue between head and heart is in identifying their voices. My underlying storyline gets in my way and causes me to be closed and suspicious, judgmental and defensive. Replace the narrative bit by bit from the other’s perspective. As the PFC gets highly activated in this focused rescripting, it strengthens itself and helps to prune back the neural maps dedicated to unwarranted fear responses. Write down the details of that story as though you were telling it to someone who didn’t know you. Label this as Version 1. Now, rewrite the story again labeling it as Version 2. This time, create new details that weren’t there before. You are not looking to erase the story, but rather to add new perspectives into the old recall. To experience love we need to be able to recognize it, give it, receive it, and feel it. To feel it we need the impulses and messages to be clear in both the body and mind. If we can tap into our most primal center and relax it, then we can embody love more easily. Openness, forgiveness, and love can actually start with a genuine smile.
The Nature of Consciousness: What a Plant Told Me
Neurosculpting has armed me with a set of tools to recognize and step beyond the veils of my stories and into a space of infinite possibility. Neurosculpting away my limiting stories has enabled me to view more than what I saw before.
The Iresine plant jumped into my mind’s eye and interrupted my reading. It literally brought the other images to a halt. I perceived it told me it had urgent information to give Luiz, and it proceeded to tell me a message I was to communicate to him. Imagine how much more you could perceive when you quiet your fear-based mind as you’ve learned throughout the book. You could be open to the vast expanse of your PFC’s ability to entertain new situations with an inquisitive nature rather than a threat defense. What if you were to stop hiding behind all you think you know? What more could you notice about the wonders of life? What if you realized the more you know, the more there is to know and experience? This is how we challenge ourselves to step out of judgment. What if I could gracefully accept today’s knowledge and balance that with the knowing that it might change tomorrow? On consciousness, you can begin by paying attention to the plants around your house, maybe even choosing half of them to talk to each day in a calm and happy voice to notice if they seem to be more vibrant over time, or different from the ones you don’t pay attention to. In this way, we expand our own perceptions and approach life in a prefrontal disposition of curiosity and enhanced learning.
The pain was great, a lifetime of trying to please, an eternity of tiptoeing around disapproving glances. There was fear: … And suddenly I was outside of my fear, anger, and sadness. I was bigger, spreading myself like a vibrantly colored light. I looked upon him to see his essence do the same until we radiated brightly next to each other and blinded the spectators with our size. I saw that he was not that form that caused me so much pain—and that I was not that form that was steeped in fear. We were so much more than that, here in this Arena. How could I have been blind to this before? How could my own stories have made us both so dim? From this vibrant expansion I bowed to his brightness, and he to mine…. But I knew that everything was changed, healed, and we’d joke about it again when our bodies were just memories.
Each one of us must decide for his or herself where we draw the line to determine whether our judgmental nature is serving us or limiting us. Judgment is the cornerstone of a divide, and it causes individuals to create alliances and adversaries. “Us and them” is a fundamental survival mechanism that might come in handy for self-preservation in crisis, but it does little to foster expansion, communication, empathy, compassion, or creative solutions for the betterment of all. The moment I stepped into my own power, I no longer needed to judge. I didn’t have to tiptoe anymore, seeking to please those who’d never approve of my actions. I no longer needed to be argumentative if someone disagreed with my stance. I could choose to keep my mouth shut when I heard others I disagreed with fighting to prove their cases. We can let go of the need to be heard and simply know that we hear ourselves. We can drop the urgency around getting the other person to understand us, because the truth is that they might never get there. As long as we keep our own sense of satisfaction or self-worth tied to the other person’s acceptance or approval of our ideas, we will always be limited and never free. None of us is immune from having wielded our judgment against someone or something, and each of us has the ability to temper that en route to healing and living from a place of wholeness. My vision showed me that the stance and judgment I felt for the man in the Arena only kept me small, and once I dropped it I expanded into a bigger version of myself. See if you can answer honestly: “Even though I knew the other person would never accept my point of view, I engaged in the argument anyway because . . . ” Being on the receiving end of judgment can also cause us to no longer feel kinship with the person judging. Suddenly, there is a divide, and this can feel like you are no longer “one of us.”
She was teaching us how to die and be reborn, the biggest lesson we’d ever know. … She softened our hard edges and drew us out of petty concerns. She was teaching us how to BE. She, the most beautiful caterpillar of all, had gone into her cocoon. The Mother told me that her body could no longer keep up with how vast she really was.
Neurosculpting is about molding our lives such that we can expand and make more out of life than experiencing it as an unconscious rehearsal. It is about creating resilience and presence around the natural phenomenon of change. On the path to healing and wholeness, neurosculpting becomes our greatest tool. All things change and all things die. Yet, these are the two things that trigger us most into our kicking-and-screaming limbic self, causing us to run blindly in the opposite direction. My grief, while debilitating at times, was some of the most pure emotion I’d experienced in a long while. In this direct flow I began to recognize the absolute gift of this human condition, which seems to be to get out of our own way, drop our stories, so that we may feel every single moment of this very short lifetime. I noticed that certain periods of resistance caused me self-pity as I participated in a victim story. My practice allowed me to stop being selfish in order to support what my mother needed to do. Create a feel-good mantra that reminds you to step out of the victim or self-pity mode. I began to place a higher value on each and every magical moment cleverly disguised as mundane. I saw depths of softness and vulnerability I’d missed. If I stayed in my limbic response of helplessness and victimization I’d never see the magic unfolding before me. I had to pay extra attention to my diet, avoiding carbohydrates and increasing my intake of healthy fats, fish, and walnuts. I knew the sugar would not help me process any of what I needed to. I was determined to do my best to navigate this grief and stress from a healthier space. I needed to take control of that which I had influence over . . . my own mind and perspectives. I released feelings of helplessness and rage so that the roller coaster of emotions wouldn’t lead me away from my presence. I was able to recognize that she was my highest teacher, even in her death, as she taught me about the importance of finding grace. Choosing growth doesn’t mean we don’t feel its discomfort. In fact, I believe we feel it even more when we let it come out freely in each moment it bubbles up. Choosing growth allows us to create a different relationship with grief, and it’s in that relationship that we begin to rescript, rewrite, and heal. What would it look like to bring grace into strained relationships?
Putting It All Together
There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle. DEEPAK CHOPRA
This journey was intended for you to discover more about your relationship to your own mind, body, and spirit, to explore the possibilities around their infinite capacities and your own ability to create a dialogue among all three. If we put our intentions into our gift of learning we can prune back those that no longer serve to keep us healthy. We don’t have to be stuck in an unconscious repetition of life’s old patterns. We have the power to negotiate old fears as we cultivate compassion, empathy, forgiveness and the notion that we are all a part of something much greater, together. As we become more fluid in our adaptability, we can identify and sculpt new stories our bodies hold on to, releasing physical patterns and even disease. We honor the vessel each of us has chosen to be our spirit’s interface with this three-dimensional plane. Learning to love our beautiful and imperfect selves is another way to gain dominion over subversive and destructive thoughts that eat away at our disposition and health. With practice and dedication we can shed the stories of self-deprecation and judgement and radiate more vibrantly from our own unique expression in the world. Begin with a simple shower ritual of gratitude, thoughts or smiling throughout the day. The more we pay attention in a focused way to the present unfolding moment, the more that current experience can become a lasting memory. So if we’re tired of what the old memories are doing to us, then we can create new ones with the gift of our neuroplasticity. The beautiful thing is that we can bring in novelty all throughout our day with simple and easy tasks, as we loosen the grip of fear and false memories. We can set ourselves up to be in a space of appreciation so that when that inevitable and final moment comes, we meet it with reverence and grace.