BY DR. ATHENA STAIK
The discovery of neuroplasticity refers to the miraculous capacity of your brain to continually heal and restore itself to wholeness.
A gift like no other, this means you have the power, providing you know how to operate its executive control panel, to access possibilities to create yourself and life anew—at any moment in time, in any area.
Healing is a real possibility. Thanks to neuroplasticity, you are wired, by nature, with an inner capacity to transform past experiences of abuse—a task that requires, and at the same time grows, your stores of strength and courage.
The "protective programs" that limit us
Instinctively, human beings pull away from uncomfortable emotions, and painful ones rooted in fear in particular. Paradoxically, however, the act of avoiding fears automatically intensifies them and simultaneously, causes your subconscious mind to exaggerate the "threat" they pose to your survival.
This matters because the subconscious mind is not only in charge of operating all systems of the body, but also the forming of habits and memory storage. These misguided conclusions cause the subconscious mind to interfere and block your growth, potential, and efforts to change.
It is a well-hidden fact, in day-to-day life, that painful emotions are critical guides, sources of strength and courage, energizers of creativity, and fuelers of momentum to start and sustain actions to follow through. They also give us the needed clarity to act with conviction and more.
The pre-programmed, survival-fear memory pockets that the subconscious forms in early childhood, however, can endure a lifetime. These "protective" programs take control and have a limiting effect on the direction of your life.
The amazing gift of neuroplasticity
In the words of one major psychological theorist, Carl Jung, the "avoidanceof legitimate suffering is the root of all mental illness."
Jung also adds, “Only boldness can deliver from fear. And if the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is somehow violated..."
What does this mean?
First, it means that the universe gives humans amazing gifts, like neuroplasticity.
And second, it means that, by design, you need to hold the reins of your own healing and happiness; that is, to prepare yourself to consciously learn, know, and understand how to operate the equipment you have. It's an inside job.
Naturally, you don't have to accept the gift.
It will, however, remain ever-present to access. The universe will nudge you, from time to time, to take the reins. It wants you to take the reins. It knows this is the fastest, most lasting and optimal path of healing. It whispers, dear human, do take the driver's seat.
(By the way, whether you accept the gift, or not, the universe never judges; no grudges either. Ever. Expect only unconditional acceptance.)
Okay, your life wants you to want to take the helm. With you as captain, imagine your life as a ship or plane. As you know, power comes with responsibility.
How to access the power of neuroplasticity
There are at least three keys to accessing the healing powers of your brain's neuroplasticity.
1. The first and foremost key is to cultivate a practice of conscious awareness and presence.
To be fully engaged in your own healing processes—emotional, mental, and physical—means to develop conscious awareness and moment-by-moment presence with yourself, both mind and body, as well as your feelings, emotions, desires, needs, and yearnings of your heart. This is an intent to get to intimately know the powerful capacities you have inside, such as possibility thinking, imagination, and choice-making. You also learn how conscious attention grows your awareness of the endless possibilities for conscious healing and creating yourself and life anew—at any moment, in any area.
2. Learn how to operate the control panel of your brain and body.
This means you need to get to know yourself intimately—specifically the distinctions between your conscious and subconscious mind—and to develop partnerships with them. If gifted an airplane, what would you need to know and what actions would you take? To start, you'd want to know what capabilities it has, and how to operate its equipment, right? And how to access the keys to its power? it is here you come to see the power your words have, and why you must precisely learn to precisely say what you mean, and mean what you say, to your subconscious mind; and in turn, to listen and interpret the sensory data it sends back, via your body, to communicate with you.
3. Choose to own your role as the executive operator of your body's control panel.
Making a conscious choice to do the work involved to become fully human and consciously aware. For this, you Of course, every step of this learning involves your taking the seat at the control panel to put in regular "flight hours," in which you and consciously operate the control panel of your life. It is a beautiful responsibility, guaranteed to grow your knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; not to mention your devotion to health, healing, and life. It's a gift in return to those you love and all you cherish in life.
Growing and living authentically
Harnessing neuroplasticity means that, at any time, you may choose to experience higher levels of empowering emotions, such as compassion and joy, curiosity and gratitude, in the same way you may take up playing tennis or the violin.
To your brain, body, and subconscious mind, the question of healing is less about the events and people that hurt you, and more about what meaning or interpretation your subconscious mind imprinted in cellular memory pockets that were internalized subconsciously by your body. Left unhealed, these misguided memory pockets remain the cause of unnecessary suffering.
Healing is about being free to grow and live authentically, creating a life that you love, and having a sense of yourself as the agent of your life. You feel good about yourself and life because more and more, there is congruency in what you say, think, feel, and do.
The most important keys to healing are conscious awareness, knowing how to operate the brain's executive control panel, and choosing to do so.