by Dr Angel Adams and Dr Patricia Papciak
“Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
– Dalai Lama
Tuscon Sunrise © T. Beth Kinsey
You have probably heard the idiom “He/she got up on the wrong side of the bed.” This expression originates from the ancient superstition that it was bad luck to put one’s left foot down first when getting out of bed. Today it simply means a person who woke up in a lousy or grumpy mood, started their day on the “wrong foot”, and in turn, it negatively affected what happened that day. The start-of-the day mood actually has a profound influence on the essence of your day. How do you spend the beginning of your day? If you are a working person, do you get up in the morning with a sigh, wishing that you didn’t have to go to work? Do you dread having to deal with the problems your child is having at school, or the conflicts you might have with a spouse or a family member? Do you wake up either thinking immediately about problems, push the snooze alarm and go back to sleep; then end up rushing around frantically trying to do all the things that need to be done because you overslept?. Do you wake up living the “Groundhog Day” where you feel the tediousness of the same predictable events that evoke a state of weariness and malaise? Or, do you wake up believing that your thoughts can affect your reality and that you can consciously create your day the way you truly want to live it?
What if you began the day by asking yourself questions that stimulate new brain connections such as “What good things can I make happen today?”, “How can I show more patience with my child today?” “How can I have fun and bring laughter in my life today?” “What type of random acts of kindness will I do today?” “How can I reflect a state of gratitude in my life today?” “How can I be more at peace today? “How can I help bring out the best in my child today?” “How can I contribute in some way to sustain the planet earth?” and “In what ways can I teach my children these concepts?
We know there are countless problems that are troubling the world: global warming, fuel consumption, men at war, starving children, deforestation, families without drinking water. We mostly feel hopeless and powerless to change these events. But we could feel proactive by spending some time visualising how we could impact our day in a constructive way? According to brain studies, mental rehearsing can actually kick start the neurons in your brain to quickly launch a process where you are making your thoughts real! You can visualise yourself taking small steps wherever you can to help improve these conditions. See yourself consuming less energy by taking the time to turn off lights, turn down heat, or driving less when possible, and many other ways!
This idea of consciously creating your day was inspired by neuroscientist Dr Joe Dispenza who talked about this in the film What the Bleep Do We Know? You can simply read what he says below or watch a video clip of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVFDXFumDks
“I wake up in the morning and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen. Now sometimes, because my mind is examining all the things that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit of time to settle down and get to the point of where I’m actually intentionally creating my day. But here’s the thing: When I create my day and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net in my brain that I accept that that’s possible. (This) gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day. “
This is truly a thought-provoking concept, and we began to see that it is like programming the thoughts in our mind in a similar way to recording a TV show to be viewed at a later time. What you programme is what you will see during the day. That means that even when there are obstacles or a crisis during the day, you will look at it differently, and even consider problems to be an opportunity to learn and become more resilient. So what is it that we want to programme with a methodical approach?
Dr Joe Dispenza states in his video, Evolve Your Brain, that every morning he asks himself the same question… “What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?” He mentally rehearses his behaviour, thoughts and speech as his intent is to reach his ideals such as: “How can I see everybody as equal?”, “How can I deliver a message as honestly and objectively as possible?”, “How can I inspire people to change and to hope?” He gets up very early so that he doesn’t have to worry about time. He rehearses his actions for the day like athletes or musicians who rehearse their skill in their mind’s eye. This does not involve any physical action from the body.
In his book, Dr Dispenza mentions a research project that studied the brains of people who mentally practiced playing the scales on the piano keyboard and compared it to the brain scans of people who physically used the keyboard to produce sounds. The results were that those who practiced physically and those who practiced mentally developed the same amount of proficiency! That’s because those who mentally rehearsed had changes in the physical composition of their brains just by activating the frontal lobe of the brain, which caused the rehearsal to become so real that the brain activity perceived it as a 3-dimensional reality. It was also found that the Olympic athletes, who used their senses only to rehearse their running experienced their heart rates increasing as if they were actually running a race.
When creating your day, you will need to be disciplined to rehearse it in a similar way in which the piano players and athletes practice. This requires a great act of will, and then it has to be followed by your actions during the day. It is hard work, but according to Dr Dispenza, the pay off is huge. He proclaims that he is totally motivated and dedicated to fulfill this process of working towards his ideals because when he does not do it, he finds himself struggling all day long. [We might add that Dr Dispenza learned to be a master at visualisation, as he used this method to help heal several broken vertebrae in his back after a serious bike accident].
At the end of his day, he asks himself the same question… “How I did I do today?” He thinks about what happened in the day where he may have “fallen from grace”. He might have remembered something in which it would have been better to have inhibited his speech or his actions, and to be more reflective and observant, as a thought does not mean that it is a reality! Another issue is to remain focused and mindful to avoid spending a whole morning or afternoon running on some unconscious mood in which you can’t even remember what happened at the end of the day. Thus, as he goes about remembering his day and how he could have done things better, this actually leads to rehearsal again. The repetition and rehearsal develops the brain circuitry. He states that all people can do this and they can make themselves “a work in progress.”
His point is that we have to teach the body chemically what the mind has learned so the mind and the body are working together. He states that we have to go from thinking, to doing, to being. It takes consistent repetitive practice. If you have a vision, a goal or a dream, you need to believe it, and see it as if it is already happening or that you have achieved it right now. “Believing is seeing” is the quantum law, not “seeing is believing”. In the video clip above, Dr Dispenza goes on to say,
“If we’re consciously designing our destiny, and if we’re consciously, from a spiritual standpoint, throwing in with the idea that our thoughts can affect our reality or affect our life — because reality equals life — then I have this little pact that I have when I create my day. I say, ‘I’m taking this time to create my day and I’m infecting the quantum field. Now if (it) is in fact the observer’s watching me the whole time that I’m doing this and there is a spiritual aspect to myself, then show me a sign today that you paid attention to any one of these things that I created, and bring them in a way that I won’t expect, so I’m as surprised at my ability to be able to experience these things. And make it so that I have no doubt that it’s come from you,’ and so I live my life, in a sense, all day long thinking about being a genius or thinking about being the glory and the power of God or thinking about being unconditional love.”
Are you willing to wake up early to concentrate on creating your day? If so, how will you co-create your destiny with your higher consciousness, with the observer, God, the universal mind or whatever name you give it? Will you extend your mind to encompass not only your own individual and your family’s potential, but even take a perspective that embraces a larger possibility of global human potential?
Photo designed by Paul Batton, 2009
You can simply look out the window and see the potential for your day, whether it is foggy or sunny out, raining, dark, or snowing: see the beauty and mystery and realise that your mind is an extension of the universe. When you do this, you are more likely to connect deeper with your children and change your day from the predictable to the resourceful. Think of times that you may have done this. One example from a real life situation is remembered by Dr Papciak:
“I have a daughter who is 29 now, but when she was young she was always sad when summer vacation came to an end. We lived in southern California quite close to the beach, and one year when she was about 9 and was feeling unhappy about summer ending, I said to her, “Okay, how about if we pretend like summer vacation is another month and every day in September we’ll go to the beach when you get home from school?” I was a schoolteacher so we both had the afternoons off and the sun and the water were still warm. She told all her friends it was still summer at her house, and often they came with her. Often we could only stay at the beach for an hour because of other commitments, but sometimes we took a picnic dinner and stayed until the sun set. The next year we did it again, not quite so regularly but often. That completely changed her attitude about going back to school, and we still talk about how fun that was that year, as we have never forgotten those memories.”
We like to end our articles with celebrating the wisdom of animals and birds. In thinking of the early morning rising, what came to our mind immediately was songbirds with their magnificent ‘dawn chorus’. Birds probably do not consciously create their day, but they never seem to wake up in a bad mood or prohibit their inspiring symphony simply because it’s raining out. In the morning, they rise with the sun when the air is usually calmer and when sound transmission is better. In fact, we learned that a dawn song is thought to be 20 times more effective than singing at midday and that female birds generally lay eggs in the morning.
The songs of European wrens have songs that contain over 700 different notes per minute and can be heard 500m away. This is definitely an amazing work in progress! We hope this inspires you to wake up with the exuberance of a wren or of a song sparrow. Everyone has to find their own road to inner happiness, nonetheless, rising early each morning like the birds and taking time to create your “songs” for the day may change your life, and it might change the lives of others too.
Song Sparrow © T. Beth Kinsey