Tag Archives: present

Keeping An Open Mind

Have you seen the Web series, Soul Pancake? It can be found on YouTube. The series consists of inspirational videos that are thought provoking and uplifting. The one I am sharing with you today is called, Share a Cup of Success.

What the videos have in common is an element of surprise. SurpriseThere is usually a theme and people who are not affiliated with the videos are asked to participate in a type of experiment. These random people begin each session unaware and perhaps even wary of what is about to happen. At the same time, they seem to have a bit of hope, that whatever will happen will be a good experience. I look forward to seeing when the participants realize that what is happening is thought provoking and a positive experience.

Along with being a Psychotherapist and an Adoption Consultant, I am a Neurofeedback Practitioner. The type of neurofeedback system that I use is NeurOptimal®.

HappyWhen people try NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback for the first time, they have similar reactions. They don’t quite know what to expect, they are weary and unsure but they are also hopeful that what is about to happen will be a positive experience. Many times my clients notice that after the first few sessions, they are less anxious or are sleeping better. Immediately after their first session, they may feel more grounded and secure.

So often our mind wanders and that contributes to fear of the future and regrets of the past. With neurofeedback, the brain is trained to return to the present moment. After several training sessions, the brain remembers that it feels its optimum when it is not jumping forward or looking back. People who have meditated for years are familiar with how good it feels to be here now (present). Unlike meditation, neurofeedback sessions do not take years in order to achieve the same results.

And like a Soul Pancake experience, when people begin neurofeedback, they are pleasantly surprised by the positive results.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how neurofeedback works, feel free to contact me here

How To Quell Negative Thoughts

On February 12, 2013, Dr. James Doty hosted Eckhart Tolle at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Dr. Doty is a neurosurgeon. On his academic profile he writes, “More recently, my interests revolve around understanding the neural, social and mental bases of compassion and altruism using a multi-disciplinary approach.” Tolle is described on his website as, “… a spiritual teacher and author who was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of 29, a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.”

 

 

I was drawn to this talk because of my interest in the brain, specifically, the central nervous system and the integration of Western medicine (which is changing) and the spiritual self.  Although the talk is entitled, Conversations on Compassion, its focus is on compassion towards oneself.

meditation-2Tolle suggests that if we step back and observe our thoughts, we may be able to recognize that they can be quite negative. One way to change this pattern is by meditating. I would like to add that since having a neurofeedback training session can have the same outcomes that meditation can have (decrease obsessive thoughts, feelings of anxiety and depression and generally create a feeling of contentedness) it is helpful to include meditation and neurofeedback into a regular practice. The difference is that it is beneficial to meditate on a daily basis but not necessary to train more than once a week and eventually most do not need to train at all.  Also, a meditation practice is most effective when performed daily, while neurofeedback training has an ending but the results remain.

Tolle’s transformation occurred when he observed a particular thought: “I cannot live with myself anymore.” He then asked himself, “Who am I and what is the self that I cannot live with?” He became aware of the separation between himself and his thoughts.

Just asking himself the question, “Who am I and what is the self that I cannot live turning negative into positivewith?” allowed him to separate from his thoughts and his negative inner voice. Then, the next morning, he said that he woke and he sensed that his depression completely lifted. He didn’t understand it but says that since then there was a shift in his life and a feeling of peace. Some days it was greater than others but the underlying peace remains to this day.

negative voicesThe self-talk is conditioned by our past and culture. To move beyond this, one must acknowledge that there is a negative voice in our heads. Tolle says that our sense of self is derived from the thoughts we have of ourselves.

Dr. Doty added that, in looking at the neuroscience of this we can see that if we believe our negative thoughts, we will never able to get break out of the cycle of negative thinking. It can be addictive to stay in those patterns. We’re used to the stream of negative thoughts and we need to break away from them by being mindful.

Negative thinking (self-talk) is worrying about images-3what is going to happen or thinking about what might have been. There is only ever the present moment. The past and the future come from thinking. The present moment is all that we have.

 

If you would like to learn more about neurofeedback and how I can help you with your negative self-talk, contact me.