Most people are waiting for something good in their live's circumstance to occur so they can have a reason to be happy. The secret to true happiness is however, to be this happiness independently from any outer circumstances. For many people that is a difficult concept to grasp. We work really hard to get our ducks in a row and create a feeling of safety, comfort and happiness. Once we have become the ultimate reason for our own happiness, the Universe will reflect this bliss back and emit more beauty to us. The good news is that this happiness is a skill and can be acquired. We can learn to be the source of our own well-being by teaching our brain how to master a new routine, which will then give birth to a new pattern.
Our brain is more flexible than we can imagine. It changes constantly because it is rewriting itself by transferring cognitive abilities from one lobe to the other. After a stroke, for instance, our brain can reorganize itself by moving functions and abilities to the undamaged areas of our brains. This demonstrates the enormous capacity and adaptability our brains have. Unfortunately, due to the lifestyles many of us lead, we neglect to make adequate use of our brains and live a life set by habits that don't feel fulfilling to us.
Understanding how the brain really works can not only help us to understand why we failed so many times, but also lead us to experience more successes in changing our lives for the better.
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to form new neural connections throughout life. The term Neuroplasticity comes from the root words Neuron and Plastic. A neuron refers to the nerve cells in our brain. Each individual neural cell is linked to one other neural cell by a small space called the synapses. The word plastic means to mold, sculpt, or modify. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains potential of creating new neural pathways to adapt and change as needed or instructed to do so.
This is important for us to understand because it demonstrates how easy it actually is to change an unwanted pattern into something we want.
In the nervous system, a synapse is a connection between neurons through which "information" flows from one neuron to another. Hence, neurons process all of the "information" that flows within, to, or out of the central nervous system. This also includes all of the motor (physical) information through which we are able to move, all of the sensory information through which we are able to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, and to touch, and of course all of the cognitive information through which we are able to reason, to think, to dream, to plan, to remember, and to do everything else that we do with our minds.
Let me explain this in a simpler way. Think of it in three steps.
Step 1 is the existence of an old connection between two neurons. This connection can stand for a pattern of joy, caring and happiness. It can also exist because of long fear and trauma and be a pattern of depression, anxiety or stress. Whatever the connection between these two neurons manifests as, is the life we are currently living. Step 2 is the experience of an Aha-Moment or the wish for change arising. Through this, our brain creates a brand new synapse from one neuron to another neuron. A new pattern is born as we focus on what the new desire looks and feels like.
Step 3 relates to nourishing the newly born pattern. As the new neurons make a fresh connection in our brain, they learn to "fire and wire" together. However, it is through repetition of the firing and wiring neurons that the connection will be a lasting relationship that will result in a new habit for us.
Nobody can say for sure how long it takes to create a lasting synapse in our brains. For some it can be instantaneously because of the Aha effect. Most neurons will grow stronger together as they get repetitively fired and wired, until the new pattern has become "familiar". The most difficult step in this process is to take the time for ourselves and actually make the changes we want to make. If we can take ten minutes every day to generate the feelings of confidence, prosperity, joy, laughter, being at ease, growing our business and so on, our lives will be forever changed.
Let's do a practice round right now because there is no time more important than the present moment.
Step 1: Think of a pattern you have and you wish to let go of.
Step 2: What would you like to see instead? Take your time to think of your new replacement habit. If you have difficulties to focus on it try writing it down. Your journaling will make it easier for you to concentrate and will come in handy during step 3. Did you notice how quickly and effortlessly your mind was able to focus on the old pattern in step 1. In comparison, it takes much longer to focus on a new pattern in step 2.
Step 3: See yourself living with the new pattern or under the new circumstances. Imagine how the neurons in your brain create the new synapse and pass on the new information. Observe your body, mind and spirit responding to the new information exchange in your brain. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for several days until you notice that the new habit has been formed. Be patient and trust the process.
The subject of how our brain works can be a little bit overwhelming for the spiritually inclined reader. My hope is that you recognize the power that this knowledge instills in everybody. Once we understand that our brain can be taught more that just history or numbers but also used as a tool, we also understand how to create new patterns and behaviors in our life.
We are never victims of our circumstances and can always rise like a phoenix from the ashes. You are no exception. If it works for me, it will work for you too.