There are a few key points to undress in this article to help you joyfully swing through your jungle. The world is a training ground to help you grow your heart. What you believe, and perceive, you receive. An event is simply an event, until you place your judgement upon it. Your judgments dictate your emotional response.
Nobel prize nominee, psycho-neuro immunologist Candace Pert wrote a book entitled, Molecules of Emotion that clearly illustrates these ideas. Your cells have receptors that are listening to the cascade of chemicals you release with different thoughts and emotion. If you are telling yourself for example you are ugly, disabled and going to die, your cells will help you achieve this goal. Alternatively, telling yourself you are a beautiful divine spark with unlimited healing potential, yields a different result. Joy is an experience you won’t find in the jungle until you create a place to receive it. No one, no situation, no event can make you feel happy, sad, mad or glad without your consent. Training your brain is an inside job.
Attending a funeral ceremony recently, I heard the minister talk about death as the enemy and how this situation of losing a child was dreadful and that the parents would never get over this loss. Likely it is my Newfoundland upbringing that finds this a little too dark even for a funeral. Funerals and wakes in my hometown were a celebration of the life. Sure the families were sad but you shared stories of their beloved's life, songs in the person's memory and you eventually found the silver lining even if it was over a drink of screech that loosened inhibitions. Good that the minister spoke first, so that I had an opportunity to consider a different view. The perspective that death could also be a liberation from pain, it could be a friend instead of an enemy and that the parents by seeing the transformation of energy, could heal if they choose. In this wonderful world of free will, we create our reality with our thoughts. We are given a menu within a divine buffet. We choose to be a victim of circumstance of a valour of our existence. You are not broken, mentally diseased or dysfunctional but a beautiful harvest of the seeds you have sewn.
“We should feel sorrow, but not sink under its oppression.”~ Confucius
"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit."~ Napoleon Hill
In the field of psychology, ACE’s Adverse Childhood Experiences, gives you a high or low score which apparently determines the quality and quantity of your life. This is a good example of defining people by what has happened to them instead of honouring the power within each individual to find a balance to any given situation. Granted, some have horrible sexual or physical abuse, abandonment issues, mind controlled or body tortures and have a bit more digging to find the silver lining but Og Mandino suggests the brightest stars in the heavens are those tested in the furnace of tribulation and that without adversity we would not know happiness. Those that suffer and overcome severe consequence become powerful teachers in the world. Viktoe Frankl, concentration camp survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning writes that when a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure. So if we can accept this as a truth, we know then that suffering and pain may be the key to bring you to that central core of purpose. As humans we have discovered all sorts of pleasures to distract us from purposeful living- addictions to prescription and non-prescription drugs, alcohol, sugar, social media, sex, caffeine, fame, fortune. Many, like rats in a skinner box, keep pushing the bar for a hit of the pleasure hormone dopamine to take away the pain of not knowing why they are here and not living into their greatest potential. Dr. Daniel Amen, world renowned brain doctor with 300 million followers (including clients such as Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber) suggests you must drip dopamine, don’t dump it into your system. Brain scans with thousands of his patients show those with frontal cortex injuries or low frontal lobe activity are more violent and destructive. Those with healthy brains, live a more balanced joyful existence. If you overwhelm the brain centre with pleasure chemicals then as levels drop you will be depressed and the swing creates a manic-depressive state. When you are giving a service in a balanced grateful expression and living an inspired life, you spend more time in the frontal cortex and less time in the emotional, reactive, primitive amygdala.
He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How- Nietzsche
Suffering is a great teacher and may be true training ground of transcendence ~ Buddha
It is not easy to be a farmer. The plants require water, light and weeding. Fences must be built to keep the livestock in and the wild animals out. Chickens have to be fed and the cows milked. Your investment equals your reward. Your mind is no different. This jungle has elephants, tigers, zebras and giraffes, somedays you are floating down a lazy river and other days you are being chased by a tiger with sharp pointy teeth laced with mRNA and Hydrogel. It takes a lot of effort to witness the ANTs- Automatic Negative Thoughts- as Daniel Amen calls them and harness that monkey mind into purposeful action. Remember to ask yourself a few questions of your monkey mind- what and why am I thinking this thought? How am I feeling in this moment and how can I turn it around to see it differently? Where could I focus my mind to yield the greatest result? When you investigate your thoughts you become an observer. Listening to your inner voice without getting trapped in the drama is what spiritual advisors refer to as a witness consciousness.
Let’s keep these jungle brain training recommendations a secret so as not to tip off the zoo keepers of medicated mental health. If you tell them you are talking to yourself and hearing your inner voice, you may be tagged with a delusional schizophrenia disorder, if you are sad you may be labelled depressed and if you are focused on the brain training you maybe called compulsive obsessive, if your not focused on this you may be labelled Attention Deficit and then if you start to laugh at the craziness and ridiculousness of all these labels you maybe Bipolar. Frig, you can’t win! In 2022 the American Psychiatric Association published a text version of the DSM-5TR (their mental health bible) that has a verse and dress for every man, woman and child with a medication to match, a support group to help myelinate their story as a tragedy into neurology and a badge for being a victim.
Release the prison of your own perception and give yourself permission to be spectacular and to live all of the undiluted uniqueness of you. Your brain is an amazing organ and when it is balanced, it opens a greater channel into the joy, love and wisdom of the heart. Regardless of what happens around you in the jungle, you have the ability to rise beyond 2 dimensional thinking into a beautiful pasture. The frame makes the picture.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
6 Steps to Healthy Brain :
1. Discipline Thoughts. Witness your thoughts, take them out, write them down and turn them around. If you don’t control your mind, someone else will do it for you. Feed your mind an inspiring diet of music, literature, culture and ideas to plant the seeds that you love. The 5 o’clock news and the commercials of your TV programming already have an agenda for you to buy into whatever they are selling. It could be a medication, a burger or an idea of a scary virus. Your thoughts dictate your body and brain result. Dr. Daniel Amen suggests the ANTs- Automatic Negative Thoughts- may take over your garden if you don’t correct the problem. As you learn to question your own thoughts and see how you are being manipulated, you take back your life back and become your own inspired authority.
The psychotic drowns in the same waters as the mystic swims with delight ~ Joseph Campbell
"To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me one." ~ Albert Einstein.
2. Honour emotions- energy in motion is a sure sign you are alive. So many different practises are trying to medicate or dissolve emotions without seeing the significance of them. Your emotions are like a GPS to your soul, a blueprint to dig into the repressed, one-sided perceptions. They are a means of self study. Just like we have no spare body parts, so it is we have no spare emotions. Blood pressure, insulin, heart rate, or temperature goes up and down depending upon activity to keep you alive and well. Your emotions, like all the other processes in our divine structure have a purpose in helping us find a homeostatic balance. Sad, mad, glad, fear, anger, adoration, amusement, awe, confusion, contempt, desire and disappointment are signs of a healthy colourful existence. Being grateful for the emotion and understanding why is it there is a way to higher dimensional living, better brain health and increased joy. Many of our mental health diagnoses are based on locking you into a label without honouring the thinking or situation that is creating it. Depression for example could be caused by a concussion, parasites, candidiasis, lyme disease, mold or your thoughts. Simply slapping on an antidepressant medication is like putting a bandaid over a cancerous lesion so you don’t have to see it but it often makes the problem worse. Honouring you and your emotions is the first step to healing. You are not broken, there is no escape, you are just needing guidance. All you require is already there.
“No matter where you go – there you are.” ~ Confucius
3. Natural solutions reap natural rewards. Medications permanently alters brain chemistry. So in fact the medical profession in many cases can be creating iatrogenic illness- the sad person on antidepressants now becomes suicidal, the anxious person must increase the dose daily for the same effect, the bipolar medications may create psychotic breaks. The chemistry of your brain is a delicate balance of your thoughts and your physical environment, if you change the chemistry without changing the cause you are in a never-ending loop without a solution. It is like disconnecting the engine warning light in your car, hoping the problem disappears. Psychology Today reports, antidepressants are the fastest growing group of psychotic drugs in 5-11 year olds. ADHD and antipsychotic medications is the fastest growing among preschoolers. Why is there a sudden rise in medicated children? It is the same reason there are so many medicated adults……because they are selling this to you as the solution instead of taking time to listen, figure out the cause and inspire greater service outside of an artificial matrix of internet and TV or the illusions you have created for yourself. Medications may be a short term treatment in an emergency situation but it is not a long term solution. Natural supplements like essential fatty acids, L-theanine, B-complex, GABA, magnesium and Ashwagandha maybe helpful when the diet is deficient. Water fasting for 23-48 hours is a quick way to balance body and brain chemistry. EMDR is another effective psychological treatment for naturally unwinding trauma that has been locked into our nervous system.
“You can’t medicate yourself out of a problem you have behaved your way into”~ Dane Donahue.
4. Breath. This seems like such a simple recommendation to breathe but I believe this one action can have the most profound immediate effect. Dr. Daniel Amen and many other holistic neuropsychologist and psychiatrists even provide an emergency breathing technique for those having a panic attack. Structured breathing techniques instantly change your body chemistry. Sympathetic nervous system is honoured with the inhale and Parasympathetic with the exhale. Inhale for 6 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts and exhale for 10 counts, hold the exhale for 4 counts and repeat. More advanced Yoga alternate nostril breathing, Nadi Shodhana, is shown to even balance left and right hemisphere of the brain. The right nostril functions as a chamber for positive ions and the left for the negative ones.
In ancient Egypt the breath is believed to be the energy that holds the spirit to matter for when the breath ceases, the spirit is liberated. The Christian bible says this in a similar way.
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being ~ Genesis 2:7
5. Fear as Fuel. What you fear, you draw near. The universe hears things like "died suddenly", "final days", "the end times", "evil" …… you must reframe it into "living suddenly" , "eternal life and love", "new beginnings" and " that which requires more light" to change your trajectory. I believe this is the next most powerful step as fear is the bottle-neck that traps many. Not so much fear that you are not good enough but as Marianne Williamson says, fear of your own power. Power for good and power for bad. When you don't own your dark side you project it outwards. Seeing everyone with different degrees of your own reflection, helps you drop the judgment and become an effective creator.
Identify what you fear and then write down how it would serve you and the world if this came true. Fear is a automatic primitive reflex, but courage is a choice into a higher consciousness. It takes conscious effort to lean into the fear and move forward. Many of your average blokes hide out in their own shadow. Find the wisdom in fear to fuel purposeful actions. Viktoe Frankl’s thought process kept him alive and his painful experiences helped him connect to his world service. Regardless of your own circumstances you have this choice too. What is it that you wish to do with your life? How can you do what you love and create a product, service or gift for others? When you find this your secret sauce in the essence of you, all health, joy and abundance is yours.
"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." ~Henry Ford
“The wound is the place where the light enters”~ Rumi.
6. Drip Dopamine. Ask yourself what it is that you love that naturally brings you joy and then fill your day with it. I love waking up to white cotton sheets and freshness in the air under my warm feather duvet. Every morning and evening I rehearse all the things i am grateful for in that day to insure I am feeding my brain good nutrition. I love the smell of my morning coconut cafe latte with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I love the 30 minutes of social interaction on Facebook each morning and evening to share love, humour, information and inspiration. I love doing hot power yoga, breath work and meditation. I love the smell of lemons, lilies, coffee and dancing the Cha Cha around the kitchen to Micheal Buble’s, “Save the Last Dance for Me.” I love reading thought provoking books like "Return of the Divine Sophia", writing articles, doing live videos, watching the sunrise and listening to the ocean waves……Thank you God for all these joyful gifts! I haven’t owned a TV in about 10 years but I love learning new things. I choose to watch movies or documentaries that leave me feeling inspired and if I don't like the music on the radio I turn it off. You get the point. Simple pleasures drip dopamine versus a hit of cocaine or another addiction which pushes you over the top and then you crash when it leaves. The further up you go, the further down you fall. Of course the opposite is true, some actually get brain stimulation in focusing on the negative and the psychological drama of the world as a distraction away from taking responsibility for their own life purpose. Finding a delicate balance of happy, sad, mad, glad comes when you live a purposeful life. When you are doing an activity you love, you live your raw naked truth and embrace all the colours of humanity.
It takes a conscious effort to focus upon what you love especially in stressful situations. Know that when you have days of depression, anxiety, and questioning your existence, you are living a fully conscious life! If there are days you fall, keep this guide handy to help you find your way or seek the advice of a mental health professional. Training your own brain creates ripples out into our greater consciousness and this changes our world from a grassroots level to unlimited potential. Energetically, we are all connected so when one of the team players refuses to get up and get on the field, we all suffer the consequences. Leave no one behind. Share love. Receive love. Find Joy in the jungle.
“Learn to live joyfully within the sorrows of the world”~ Joseph Campbell
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