Now I can get as spiritual as the next person, but what I like to do when I am approaching my mental-emotional practices is to integrate a neuroscientific understanding of how our brain works.
The state most of us are craving right now is liberation.
We are seeking it in our current structures – the ones that embed racism, sexism, heterosexism and overconsumption.
And we are seeking it in ourselves.
What we know from science is that energy goes where attention flows.
Right now your energy is seamlessly flowing down the well-trodden neural pathways you have already built. If you want to feel something new you must train something new.
If you want to feel liberation, than you must set time aside to practice building a neural pathway associated with liberation.
You have four levers to play with*
How would I breathe if I were free?
Where would I seat my attention if I were free?
How would I hold my body if I were free?
How would I feel if I were free?
If you’re lucky, like me, you can find a practice – running – that uses all of them.
Here is how you build a new neural pathway associated with the feeling of liberation.
- Give yourself a couple of days to experiment with different practices. Experiment with the levers above. Play around with different practices to see what works best for you.
- Pick one practice and repeat every day, without fail, for 45 days.
- If you miss a day, start over.
- Expect stuff to come out. Your non-liberation pathways are bathed in the need to control, to expect, to crave, to divide. They’ll freak out a little bit. It will be ok. Just expect it to happen.
Change always comes with discomfort. AND
If you want to become something, you MUST practice it.
*NOTE: Thought is another lever but it’s the most resistant one to work with. Don’t start there.