Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself ~ Part 1 of a series

Habits and our brains

I am just back from another training with Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of You are the Placebo and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. I became inspired by his work a few years back when I read his Placebo book.

Dr. Joe often says that science is the contemporary language of mysticism and he is committed to using science to measure the effectiveness of meditation to change our brains and overall physiology in ways that enhance our health – physically, emotionally and spiritually. He takes an interdisciplinary approach and draws from the fields of neuroscience, psycho-neuro-immunology, quantum physics, Taoist subtle-energy wisdom, chiropractic and others. He is deeply inspired by our human potential and is having a lot of fun pushing the envelope of possibility in his exploratory work.

I want to offer a few highlights from his teachings that have been meaningful to me in hopes they will be of benefit to you.

We are creatures of habit. If we repeat a behavior a couple of times, it is very likely we will demonstrate that behavior again and again as we form a habit. This is especially true if we perceive the behavior as having “survival value.” Most of our habits of thought, belief, and behavior are stored in our subconscious mind and operate without our conscious choice. They make up the program, along with our early childhood cultural/familial conditioning, running in the background of our life. When we are not consciously choosing how to think, feel and act in any particular moment, then this subconscious program plays us, essentially.

Dr. Joe has developed a methodology for entering this “operating program” in the subconscious mind to extract elements that are not of benefit to our lives, and install elements we do want running in the background of our lives.

When we engage new behaviors and beliefs, we actually change the neuro-wiring in our brains to make these new pathways more accessible and more available. Our past conditioning has deeply “grooved” our brains but our brains are changeable and we can, over time, make joy, happiness, gratitude the main highways in our brains.

In fact, we are sculpting our brains all the time by where we place our attention. Our brains give preference to what we prioritize with our attention. What we focus upon will be prominent in our experience as our brains select out of a vast amount of sensory inputs what we have trained it to value and therefore notice.

Awareness is key because we must be able to recognize where our attention is at any given moment.

The mantra that I have taken on from this work that I use as a constant reminder is this: where I place my attention, is where I place my energy. What I am giving my energy to is what I am actually bringing alive in my life, be it a thought, belief, or action. And this is how I am consciously (or not) creating my future. When I am aware, I can actually choose where I place my attention. This is where our power is, our awareness of where our focus is and our ability to choose what we emphasize and focus upon.

Moment to moment, there are so many options of where we place our attention. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that we don’t actually have a choice about where our attention goes, and so we live at the whim and mercy of our thoughts and events of our lives. The first step is to see that we do have a choice. The next step is to be actively engaged in making wise choices moment to moment. Am I noticing what is going well? Am I noticing things/qualities that I appreciate in and around me? Am I noticing the open space? Am I noticing my heart and my desire for all beings to be happy? Am I noticing the beauty of the dew drops on the rose petals in the early morning light? So many options!

Perhaps you could explore this a bit today, and notice where your attention goes when you aren’t necessarily directing it. And then when you do notice, actively direct your attention to something beneficial to you, something that will nourish or sooth you, to something that you want to see increase in your life.

I will be on Jennifer Hill’s Belfast Community Radio program (at 100.9 FM) called “Finding Common Ground” this Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 12:00 noon to speak about Dr. Joe Dispenza’s teachings and my powerful experiences using his material.