Many people live their lives without being conscious of their emotional landscape or physical happenings until they become so loud they turn into pain. Their senses are also dulled to their external environment, making them miss opportunities, potentially causing accidents and at least preventing them from enjoying life to the fullest.
The pain that results, however, often acts as a wake up call to pay more attention to the details of what is going on inside them, making them more aware of the preconceptions, stored emotions, and physical tension and stress that affects their ability to live happily, healthfully and successfully. It also brings their minds to the moment and heightens the senses, making them more aware of situations in their environment that may be negatively affecting them.
With greater awareness comes the ability to change.
You don't have to wait until you are in pain, however, to enhance your awareness. You can sensitize your brain to the inner workings of your mind and body through movement, focus, and breathing. In the process, you sensitize your brain to the energy that connects mind and body
. Through energy, often called ki, qi, chi or prana in Asian cultures, including the electricity that runs through your nerve cells, your brain communicates with your body and your body communicates with your brain. When you become aware of the energy flow in your body, when you can actually feel it, and then learn how to manipulate it, you can master both body and mind.
Energy does not only flow within us, but between us and other people, places and things as well. Everything is connected through energy. With the ability to sense energy, you gain a new layer of information about the world and your interaction with it. Empowered with that information, you are able to make better choices for your life.
Awakening your five senses and the sixth sense of feeling energy is the first step of Brain Education
: Brain Sensitizing
Brain Sensitizing consists of three key practices. The first involves stretching exercises of the kind often found in yoga
, Pilates, qigong
, or martial arts
. As each muscle of your body is activated in deep stretching poses, corresponding areas of your brain awaken, improving coordination and balance. By feeling your body as you do these practices, you increase the connections between body and brain and your brain develops the habit of maintaining body awareness. You also gain greater control over your body.
The second practice involves breathing methods combined with dynamic body positioning
, again often part of meditative practices and yoga. Breathing is a vital life function over which you have partial control. It allows you to influence your other life functions such as your heart rate, giving you the ability to modulate your stress response. Chronic stress blocks your awareness and the energy flow in your body. It also diminishes your brain function, especially memory and mental acuity. Breathing comfortably in different postures not only increases the amount of oxygen available to your brain cells, it accumulates and circulates energy in your body, creating healthy Water Up, Fire Down
energy flow. The better your energy flows, the better you are able to sense your body, mind, and energy.
Finally, there is basic energy meditation, or Jigam
, in which your hands move with the flow of energy to the rhythm of your breathing. As you perform this meditation, your mind and heart clear, open, and expand.
Making your brain more aware of itself via the elements within its domain—your senses, thoughts, emotions, and internal physical sensations—is the first step toward maximizing its potential.