Body, Soul and The Mind- 2

Few Mondays ago I posted a poem with the same title. I wanted to elaborate on why I wrote it and how are the body, soul and the mind intertwined.

Self-awareness is to be able to observe one’s behaviour whether in real-time which takes a lot of practice, or through hindsight. In addition, dissecting the emotions away from the thoughts and behaviours. So that we can look down from above. An objective view.

Metacognition is the ability to change one’s emotional state through thoughts. Our minds and limbic system doesn’t know the difference between emotions that are felt through real life experiences or the ones we feel by daydreaming or visualizing an event and emotions before the event happens. Feelings influence thoughts, similarly thoughts influence feelings. When feeling the emotions that we don’t want to feel, the research in psychology suggests, we should replace those feelings with positive feelings. Visualisation is powerful technique that can help us anchor our being in a state of calmness and joy amidst discomfort and adversity.

Chronic stress is a stress response that is built in the body over a long period of time. A chronic stress response when triggered is difficult to control as the chemicals released when in any situation that triggers chronic stress, are the natural state of the body. The body goes into the fight, flight or freeze response, cortisol and adrenaline kicks in, heart beat pumps up and the person loses control over their thought process/rational thinking and emotions. As a result, the individual is likely to make poor decisions and underperform. It’s a self-sabotaging mechanism. For many individuals, if they do not address instant stress then there is a greater likelihood of chronic stress getting triggered.

I have a lot of unfinished articles laying about in the drafts. Despite knowing theory and believing that I am emotionally intelligent, emotional self-awareness in real time can be quite challenging to actualise, especially in high performance situations/sports. But such challenges also give us an opportunity to grow.

So, having explained those terms that I think link the mind body and soul, I will refer back to this diagram I drew when I wrote about the ego.

Ego, heart and mind connection

Heart and brain coherence can be observed scientifically through exposing people to different situations that will trigger a response and the ability of those people via meditation/breathing techniques to remain calm. Exposure and deliberate practise is one of the ways to develop heart and mind coherence.

How the heart beats when under stress and when there is a shift to appreciation

Conscious breathing is a great tool and anchor to shift to appreciation when feeling stress. Wim Hof has proven scientifically how he can control his body temperature under cold stress through breathing technique. It unlocks the potential of mind, it taps into the ancestral genes that lie dormant within us. Joseph Campbell in the ‘Heroes with a Thousand Faces’ describes the many journeys of the hero. The archetypal journey of hero is full of challenges, stress and obstacles. That is the nature’s way of nurturing the potential of the hero.

It is possible to reach the highest state of consciousness and keeping in mind the struggles of ego as presented above, the rhythm of the heart and breathing technique to consciously shift to a state of appreciation. Practising this over and over can help release all the trauma, stress and dispel negativity. Below are the emotions and how they rank on the spectrum. The elevated emotions on the upper end and the limiting emotions on the other end. The elevated emotions are selfless and also the creative emotions. The limiting emotions are survival emotions which keep the mind, body and soul pinned in a scarce surrounding. There is no room for growth in feeling these emotions. Growth starts when one replaces the limiting emotions with elevated emotions. Deliberate practise through focus, meditation and breathing technique can help reach a higher state of consciousness. One of abundance, one of gratitude, one of appreciation.

Where are you on the wavelength?

Which frequency are you tapping into? Is your mind constantly bombarded with beta waves? Do you rest and sleep to energise yourself? In our sleep, our mind goes into the slower theta waves. With deliberate daily practise of breathing and meditation, it is possible to access to slow down the brains waves to gamma frequency and access higher consciousness. Traditional meditational practises of different religions have proven this. Although, it is not an easy thing to achieve, it is not impossible.

Instead of describing the different frequencies of brain waves, here’s a link to a short video of a crash course on brain waves. How they help us achieve higher consciousness! how it can help us open the path to new possibilities!

This is an explanation via what I have learnt from studying psychology, a little bit of neuroscience and reading and practising meditation. If you are not a science person, refer to my previous article Affairs of the heart. In there you will find other techniques and meditations, if practised with deliberate focus, those techniques can help you get near the path of higher consciousness.

Sleep/Dream Learning

It’s happened twice, or probably many times but two instances where I have a clear memory of what I learnt in the dream.

Have you ever fallen asleep while listening to an audiobook? Or listening to a podcast? Something similar along the lines of lucid dreaming, which I experience often when I fall asleep listening to stuff. In those dreams however, I know that I fell asleep listening to whatever I am at that time and be able to use that to shape my own dreams. Or influence the dream via whatever I happen to be listening to.

However, in these instances, it was just a dream, a dream where I am dreaming and, the podcast sets the stage for the dream and shapes it.

The first time it happened I was just an observer, the host and the guest on the stage. I am the only person in the audience and watching the show live. I had the dream probably, because I recognise the voices so well, that I was able to picture them in my dream. Or the voices and content that I can relate to perhaps took shape in my dream. I didn’t dream the complete podcast both times, just the bits perhaps that I could relate to most or probably something my subconscious wanted to hear most. Hmm, writing it down made me realise this, I never thought much of it before, never particularly thought why I would hear just part of the podcasts and not the rest. This seems to make more sense now. Trying to find links for the podcast so I can tell the whole story ha-ha.

The podcast’s called Work Life with Adam Grant and the first episode I saw in my dream was How to Love Criticism. The bit that I saw in my dream is where Adam Grant is having a conversation with Ray Dalio, I am standing as the only person in audience and listening to their conversation, the stage is dimly lit, with curtains folded to both sides, there’s two chairs in the centre of the stage about 4 metres apart, there is a drum set behind the chairs, aligned perfectly in the middle. No one is playing the drums, but the music is on, now and then. The discussion is obviously about Ray’s idea of meritocracy and how to respond to criticism in a positive way. Using the criticism to improve your decisions, ideas and thinking.

The second podcast which I dreamt about earlier is once more Work Life with Adam Grant but a different episode. Bonus: Relationships at Work with Esther Perel. In this dream, I fell asleep listening to the latest episode, but when this episode came on, my dream begun. Esther was the mother, Adam Grant looked like a college graduate and I was a small kid around 9-10 years old but with the same intellect and wisdom I hold as an adult. Not trying to praise myself here ha-ha, but for some reason I seemed to be thinking of responses to their discussions in my head and listening intently. Esther was having a discussion with her children and for some reason I only remember Adam Grant’s college version, her other two kids were sitting in the circle somewhere in the background. I was sitting at the place where the discussion was happening. The surroundings were well known to me from my childhood. Adam was racing around talking and Esther was calmly listening to him. Mind you, I mostly, listen to the podcasts at 1.30x speed, maybe that was the reason Adam was racing around. I even had a sense that we belonged to different communities and that we were sitting having an intellectual and helpful discussion- Esther being Adam’s mom in the dream. I have never heard or listened to her before, but thinking about it now, I see why she appeared as a young Mom in the dream probably in her late 30s or early 40s. I think the ages in the dream denotes the level of wisdom for each person according to the discussion that is ongoing. Hence why, I was a kid with the least wisdom when compared to Adam and Esther. Haha so I wasn’t really praising myself, rather acknowledging my level of wisdom and intellect. 35 mins into the podcast, I woke up and realised I was listening to the podcast and I had fallen asleep. So, I looked to see which episode it was on and who the speakers were. Listening to the rest of it till the end, wide awake, I could make sense of why the dream appeared in such a form. It was like a therapy session from wise mother giving advice about relationships, trust and admitting the wrongs and all the good stuff. I even remembered my responses that I was thinking of in my head in the dream. Hahaha

I think because I have read a lot of their work and listened to their books, that’s the reason, I can learn from them even when I am sleeping. Have you ever had a similar learning experience? It’ll be cool to hear of your dream learning experience.

Until next time,

Sweet dreams