Saturday, August 20, 2016

Detox you Brain

It’s so cool to witness when people / patients find a way out of suffering. Even if not labeled with an injury, infection or inflammation...when getting into a “good stride” - the eyes get brighter, shoulders go back, chest comes forward, belly gets flatter- even the voice gets full with power and creativity. All those Chakra / Energy points of the body LIGHT UP and I can see a change in the way a person is interfacing with the world. Most of us have witnessed when someone walks into a room and makes heads turn, (not even wearing expensive things, or being handsome, pretty, tall, loud...). It’s usually that person who is magically silent but charismatic and carrying an aura of confidence . You just want to take a few steps closer and listen in or investigate “who what and where” this person is about. Like wandering closer to a crackling campfire in the midst of a cold night.
It’s kinda what happens when you find a good diet, a rewarding exercise routine, a sleep-full night, or even a certain way to correct posture just enough so that annoying muscle ache can stop for a few seconds. What I find is universal with this “good stride” is that it is usually preceded by a stuck time in life followed by a “detox”. Detoxing the gut, detoxing the liver, detoxing the blood, the detox diet, rinsing the nose, clearing the breath, scrubbing the skin...we’ve all done our versions of this and felt a little better afterward. Sometimes to the point of feeling refreshed, sometimes to the magnitude of being “on fire” with energy. Alot of people forget to do the one part of our bodies that really need it the most...Detoxing the Brain.
The brain weighs about 3 pounds, is composed of tissue that does not break down (compared to skin cells, blood cells, sperm, eggs......) and is the only organ that can continue to grow and evolve even into old age. Physically we cant’t really detox the the 100,000,000,000 neurons that make up the brain. BUT if you look at what those neurons do...they use chemical messengers to set up an electric charge and through that action, a thought is created and stored in the frontal lobe. This is what sets the human species as being on top of the evolutionary ladder compared to lower lifeforms. Unfortunately, this is also a disadvantage compared to other lifeforms in that some humans with ruminating thoughts, traumatic experiences, self defeating ideas can go through life suffering ,sorrowful, socially isolated. You have probably witnessed when someone with those qualities walks into a room. People will want to move away, look away, stop listening to or stop engaging that “bad karma” person.
This is the exact quality and thought pattern that you would want to Detox out of your Frontal Lobe. When we go on a great vacation, we push the reset button on our brains. When people go with me on hikes and we hit our summit, the eyes get brighter, shoulders go back, chest comes forward, belly gets flatter- even the voice gets full. We have effectively Detoxed our Brains. Richie Davidson out of University of Madison Wisconsin has found that certain types of mental training will improve the resilience of the brain when confronted with negative life events. Without a regular practice of mindfulness, the brain can be stuck in a rut (like that circle that appears on your screen when your computer is downloading a video stream so painfully slow). This practice can be achieved several ways, you can be like the monks Davidson studied (the Dalai Lama being the most well known), or getting out to nature (like Dr Eva Selhub wrote about in her book Your Brain on Nature), or going through a 5 days immersion at the Chopra Center (I took Seduction of Spirit and met Deepak Chopra when I started my “detox practice”), or something as easy as listening to Davidji with Guided Meditations for Awakening Your Spirit (one of the best voices for meditation I have ever heard). What ever technique you stumble across and adapt to is just that...a practice that should be done on a regular basis. The human brain has about 50,000 - 70.000 thoughts per day. Some of these thoughts can add to being stuck, some of these thoughts can propel us to being that person who walks into the room and turns heads.
The bottom line is that if you do not have a regular practice of Detoxing the Brain, at least twice a day for 5-30 minutes at a time, you are missing out on the one cheapest, simplest ways to reverse suffering for yourself and others around you. If you don’t get it on your own, try hiring coaches (psychologist, counselor, yoga teacher, energy healer...) to design a practice that’s sustainable. Be patient with the journey as it does get frustrating to turn off the thoughts that want to take you on a roller coaster ride of more thoughts and ideas and to-do lists. As my friend Davidji says while doing your mindful practice, when you notice you’re drifting away to thoughts sounds or physical sensations, ever so gently, drift back to the practice. Finding a way to “ignite” your detox practice will get you to be the biggest campfire you can be.