The Power of the Mind – How Our Mindset Programs Our Cells
Happy, confident people create their happiness and confidence. They use the power of their mind to create the outcomes they desire. They believe in their true self, which includes the power to achieve what they set their mind to. Irrespective of their current circumstances, they believe in themselves. They have identified what they want in life, they feed their mind with positive, correct information, and they keep company with others that are likewise focused. It is this way of viewing that allows for the doors of opportunity to open.
Miserable people imprison themselves, creating walls and dead ends. Their perspective is shadowed with incorrect information. Their thoughts and attitudes have them play out the broken record of being acted upon. Their lives are filled with scarcity as they recall all the reasons why they haven’t led a happier life. They just can’t seem to get beyond their negative feelings and it is this verity that doesn’t allow for change, because they can’t think beyond their emotions. They are imprisoned by the memorized self.
The memorized self is formed through repetition of the associations we are making between our thoughts, their meanings, the emotions we experience and the behaviors growing out of our emotional states. The ongoing repetitive internal conversation becomes stored as IMPLICIT MEMORY or IMPLICIT BELIEF. This type of memory is stored largely in two areas, the first being neural pathways in the brain and secondly in DNA. What wires to together plays heavily upon self-perception and what gets encoded onto DNA likewise heavily influences our view of self.
IMPLICIT MEMORY is comprised of unconscious cognitive and emotional patterns of relating to ourselves and others. It’s the kind of memory you access without any high degree of awareness, because it has been learned so well. It’s what makes you feel characteristically you. IMPLICIT MEMORY guides your ongoing experience, cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally; all on automatic drive, without thought or effort. You can think of IMPLICIT MEMORY as a set of instructions or procedures encoded in the brain and on your DNA. However, a procedure can’t easily be described in words or contained in images; it forms as a general template where we continue to get our bearings. This template is below the threshold of awareness and so we are not fully conscious of the thoughts, meanings, and negative core beliefs that are driving that template. IMPLICIT MEMORY begins its formation early on in life. From in-utero up to about age 7 or 8, the IMPLICIT MEMORY system is online establishing the basis of our character. These are the years where theta brain wave patterns are dominant and it is when we are in theta dominance that we easily receive suggestions from our environment in how we should see ourselves.
When we begin by looking at the child’s developing neural system, it should become evident quickly that these processes are not just coming together due to some genetic blueprint alone, no, it should be clear that the environment we are providing is acting on the development, sequencing, and strong associations being formed.
Because of the sequential development of the brain and its tremendous malleability early in life, early life experiences play a remarkable role in shaping how the brain functions; how IMPLICIT MEMORY functions. Early experiences create a cascade, or sequential set of cognitive, emotional, social, and physiological templates that we carry around with us, and use as we go through life. If you have traumatic experiences early on when the neural systems that are responsible for the fear response are developing, this will create pervasive hypersensitivity to threats, to challenges, to all kinds of things. We certainly know that high risk children, who come from chronic chaotic environment’s literally change their baseline responsivity to every single cue. These patternistic responses form into IMPLICIT MEMORY that results in reactivity to any cue. These are state memories not cognitive memories.
The developing neural associations that are occurring in our young children are a product of “signaling” that each of us is so sensitive to. Signaling is that process either genetically or environmentally that continues to impose itself on us throughout life and in doing so strengthens our self-concept or weakens it, depending upon how well we are observing the signals. Children lack the capacity to view things from a mature adult’s perspective; hence the reason personal belief about one’s identity is so largely attached to the formative years. Children make too many incorrect observations of their experiences. Parents know this because many times as their children turn into adults and begin to share their perspective of their growing, developing years, parents are surprised by how their children perceived so many events differently than the parent did.
After an infant learns to identify their mother’s face, voice, touch and smell, they learn how to communicate their needs to this “person”, all based on trial and error. Successes and failures are recorded, with particular attention given to memories of interactions with caregivers, and gradually a patterned and predictable way of responding to the world evolves. If there appears to be a lot of unsuccessful emotional communication in these early, formative years an unhealthy template or IMPLICIT MEMORY begins to become the companion of that child, which likely hangs on, even carrying well into adulthood.
This kind of memory is necessarily implicit because the newborn has no cognitive, conceptual or verbal ability like that of an adult and must depend on its inborn capacity to learn what it needs quickly and non-consciously, in an environment where survival itself depends on emotional connection. IMPLICIT MEMORY is procedural. This means IMPLICIT MEMORY, if it is going to be changed requires a strategic approach. That strategic approach is found in Quantum Theory. You just can’t tell yourself, “Don’t be stubborn” and hope this will change you permanently. This is like the left brain telling the right brain what to do. It is not going to happen this way. This is not how our brain works. It may take hundreds of hours of deliberate practice and constant repetition to turn a desired behavior; including the behavior of changing our self-talk into a habit.
Procedural memory, this memorized self is the basis for our character. The procedural memory system stores the instructions for our habitual responses. In other words it patterns how we do things. More profoundly, it is about who we are. Procedural memory is the basis of our character, those aspects of our self that make us unique.
When we learn a behavior or an emotional response it becomes part of our procedural memory. Once it’s been “programmed” into the procedural memory system we don’t need to decide how to respond to a specific situation because it has now become automatic–after all, that’s the whole point. You see these “over-learned” patterns are the “behind the scenes” kind of memory that frees up our attention for more important tasks. For instance, I can drive my car and carry on a conversation at the same time. The ‘driving’ behavior is encoded in procedural memory. Since I’ve over-learned the skills needed for driving I don’t need to be conscious of every detail in order to keep my car on the road. We can form a procedural memory of how we view ourselves, because we have practiced, for many years, a negative internal conversation. That negative internal conversation is what encoded an unhealthy view of our self into procedural memory.
When procedural memory kicks in, it’s like being “on autopilot”. Procedural memory is important in counseling because many of our emotions and behaviors that accompany them occur ‘automatically’. These automatic responses are what allow insight for the counselor in helping his or her client in becoming a better observer of their memorized self. In order to change self-defeating patterns we need to bring those into conscious awareness and ‘out of procedure’. Forming a new “procedure” or IMPLICIT MEMORY takes a while to learn but once we can clearly see the distortions of the memorized self that are driving the patternistic struggles and then learn how to develop a healthy IMPLICIT MEMORY; it makes life a lot easier. If our IMPLICIT MEMORY is formed with a truthful and healthy view of self, of course it is going to make life incredibly easier.
An important feature of procedural or IMPLICIT MEMORY is that it tends to persist; it’s resistant to change. This is a good thing because you don’t want to have to keep re-learning behaviors or have to give high focus to everything you do. But this also means that you can’t change a procedure, unless and until you pay attention to how and when it operates. And procedural patterns take a while to unlearn. I found this to bit a bit true when playing golf. I was a self-taught golfer. My swing, the way I held the club, my stance, and so on was developed to compensate for a slice. I had played golf like this for years. I finally decided to go and take some golf lessons and now I was up against it because I had learned my old swing so well, the change did not come automatically; it took concerted effort to learn the better way. The old neural pathways interfered with the new ones I was trying to create. It’s hard to interrupt a well-established procedure. In fact, those original neural pathways, though weakened, may continue to show-up at times, until the new neural pathway becomes so well learned that the old learning dissipates. In other words, the new, regulated pathways will eventually override the old ones.
Once you unconsciously trigger very well established neural pathways, it’s difficult to stop yourself from completing it. That is, it’s difficult to interrupt the procedure. This explains why people repeat the same pattern in relationships even though these strategies clearly don’t work. Once you understand how procedural memory, i.e. IMPLICIT MEMORY works you’ll have a better handle on why people repeat ineffective, even self-defeating, behaviors. Once a procedure is initiated it acquires a forward momentum that is uncomfortable to stop. This is the source of the desire to continue the procedure. Procedural memory dances with our cortex which can always come up with a “rational” explanation or justification for our automatic patternistic struggles.
It takes many repetitions of a new internal conversation before it’s ingrained, and once that procedure is established it, like the old memorized self, would be difficult to change. In fact, it will have fundamentally changed the memorized self. I actually think that once a very correct view of our self is formed we will never go back to our old, distorted memorized self. For the same reason, we can’t change our way of relating (i.e. implicit memory) simply by telling ourselves to feel differently. It requires special conditions for the change to occur.
Quantum Theory is the basis of change. Fundamentally, observing matter influences how matter organizes, how it shapes and behaves. Our IMPLICIT BELIEF is organized as matter. By observing the components of the internal conversation that led to the organization of our unhealthy IMPLICIT BELIEF, we can get our matter to organize in a way that has us see our self accurately. Let’s review what we do know about physiological functioning and how physiology acts as hardware which drives so much of our experience.
The mind is a part of us that allows us to observe. Observation will produce thoughts and every thought we have is so powerful that the electrical impulses resulting from thoughts will release a host of neuro-chemicals and it is these neuro-chemicals that influence heavily our perception. Our body and brain respond to each thought in myriads of ways. Some things to consider:
1) What, where, how and the length of time we give attention to something in life, along with our repetitive thoughts forms our neurological wiring. Concentrating on pain that exists within your body, sends electrical currents to your mind that continues producing the pain. We now know that thoughts create epigenetic differences upon the human genome.
2) Repetitive thoughts create connections in the brain that quickly become iron clad. These thoughts move from conscious to unconscious ways of thinking and being. That is how we act on auto-pilot.
3) The process of change requires forgetting what we know to discover new ways of being. Better observing practices accelerates the achievement of this goal and produce visible positive results.
4) Learning something new requires considerable energy and our undivided attention. Consider when you first learned to drive a car, the level of attention you possessed compared to that of an experienced driver who is primarily operating on auto-pilot.
5) We have the ability to alter who we are with every new piece of information that we learn. By combining this new information with practical application, a new experience is brought to life. We invoke greater levels of change, the more we repeat this process.
6) Our life-long repetitive negative thoughts are significant contributors to stress and disease within the body. Stress causes us to live in 'survival' state which negatively changes our internal state and exhausts our body, in turn, generating adverse responses including: anger, depression, misery or confusion. When we are in this state, it can be likened to behaving like a bird trapped in a cage or a prisoner held captive, we fail to see the possibilities for our life. This is how people become 'stuck' for their consistent emotional state is highly addictive as a result of the production of neurochemicals generated by the thought that become the compositional medium in which our cells bathe.
As mentioned in Item 1 above, our formed neural pathways are not the only thing driving IMPLICIT MEMORY. Our genes impact our ongoing view of our self, which likewise influences ongoing patternistic behavior or struggles. Both parental inheritances, as well as environmental, epigenetic signals can and do shape self-perception. If that self-perception is faulty, it will be through highly observing and filtering epigenetic signals that will allow us to alter unhealthy views of self to healthy, truthful beliefs. Research demonstrates that we can produce positive changes. The project of “Mapping the Human Genome,” with all of its related, advanced technology is what allowed a clear understanding that ongoing environmental signals really do affect DNA functioning.
Since epigenetic signals catalyze DNA function and expression, anyone that has achieved success in changing their IMPLICIT MEMORY, both in relation to neurological connections and DNA alterations did so by observing correctly what epigenetic signals they would allow their cells to absorb. Through correct observing, people develop new thoughts and create new ways of being, literally modifying genetic performance.
Visualization or Observation is a powerful tool used to stimulate the brain to generate strong mind-body connections. The brain is not the mind. The brain wires in correspondence to the mind. How the mind observes things is the very force of how the brain wires. Therefore, neural pathways may form which may contain incorrect information. Likewise, neural connectivity can also be filled with correct information. The difference is what the mind observes.
Our state of being, or memorized self consists of our repetitive cycle of our constant thoughts combined with the production of chemicals within our body which generates our emotions. This repetitive cycle has a direct impact on our behavior.
To change our reality and heal any ongoing negative pattern, both physically and emotionally is found in the secret ingredient in making up our mind to do so. We have the ability to fully recover and change our internal and external circumstances exactly like those patients who are told they would never walk again yet do so, sport stars who suffer from irreversible injuries yet fully recover, or those who have suffered a life-threatening cancer and a few months later it is no where to be found, or those that no longer struggle with anxiety, depression or mood dysregulation. They understand the secret is having a powerful intention, believing they have the power to change their circumstances, loads of determination and the will to create what they want in life.
There is a partnership between acquiring knowledge and our life experiences. Our mind is supplied with the knowledge of eternity as we each existed for eons of time; and while there is a veil drawn over our mind of that past existence, yet eternal experience is written therein and can be regained to a considerable degree while here in mortality. We are deathless souls in a physical realm, each having a physical body, a physical-energy body to gain experiences here on earth. The body is the vessel used by the spirit (Job 32:8) that allows our eternal learning to continue, as there were many, many things we never could learn by remaining in the spirit form or as spirits only. Secular research is saying the exact same thing. The mind is the emergent and relational energy that influences internal and external processes. It is not simply an emergent property of neural activity. In fact it is the exact opposite. The energy of the mind is not limited to the physical structure of our body. It has the ability to send out energy into the surrounding energy field and effect changes as a result. It has the capacity to embody all truth and knowledge of the universe.
The most important memory to be regained while in our mortal sojourn is an understanding of who we really are. That memory cannot be accessed through knowledge alone; it also requires practicing the truth of that identity. 'Knowledge without experience is philosophy, and experience without any knowledge is ignorance. The interplay between the two produces wisdom'. Wisdom is sealed in us as a gift from the Godhead.
Wisdom stems from one's intelligence to comprehend light and truth and live in it. Correct thoughts bring emotions of happiness, peace of mind, assurance, hope love and joy. Such emotions encourage behaviors of cooperation with each other as we are part of one large family.
Anyone that experiences ongoing emotions of depression, fear, doubt, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, cynicism, anger, and the like, or people who deal with ongoing relationship conflict, addiction, and can’t find direction in their life is evidence that they don’t know who they really are. To change your current identity or reality, you need to shift your state of mind by aligning your thoughts to the truth of who you are. The correct emotions that emerge from the new and correct thoughts merge in a way that increase confidence, hope, direction, better relationships and the rest.
Many of you readers are experiencing all sorts of patternistic struggles, which may be a direct result of parental inheritance, but irrespective of your genes, it is possible to create a brand new you. Believe that you can and most importantly make up your mind with absolute conviction that what you want, though a process, will come to fruition.