Your Badass Brain
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
The science of manifestation, and how your mental state dictates everything around you.
We all want to be our best. Whether we realize it and are acting upon it, or not. Every single one of us carries the innate and inherent desire to be the best version of ourselves. Ironically, the essence of this craving can often lead to feelings of guilt and self-doubt. By comparing ourselves in the present and imagining what could be, without actively making strides to realize this goal, it can sometimes appear to be a one-way ticket to depression and anxiety.
Our lives are full and ever-changing. Some eras of our small existences are more vibrant, some a bit more... dull. Perhaps you're stuck in a job that you don't love. Maybe your personal life is a huge f*king mess. Or you're just at a low point. Waiting for things to change, waiting for things to get better. The expression 'time heals all wounds' is certainly apt, but what is often ignored is our incredible ability to accelerate the healing process.
As discussed in our article, The Power of Pain and Habit, the recognition of pain is the foundation of wellness. Only can the acknowledgement of changes that need to be made lead to a more fulfilled and exciting life. By recognizing and embracing the hurt, the chaos, and the difficulties, you are taking your first step on the path to light.
Your Magical Brain
How often do we push ourselves to the limits? When push comes to shove and we have to make life's tough decisions, how much do we trust ourselves? The answer depends on one thing: you.
Envision the person that you strive to be. Envision the person that would make you the most proud. Envision your most exciting and passionate existence. What do all of these things bring to mind? Is it a feeling, or a place, or a color? Write it down. What other things in your life have made you feel this way? Are these things still part of your life and, if so, how often do you experience them? Have they evolved into new interests and passions as you've grown, or have they dimmed and are now unrecognizable?
Though the science is still yet emerging on manifestation, overwhelming public support indicates a growing collective shift is taking place in our minds and lives. Upon discovering the power of our own minds in determining our levels of happiness and success, more and more people are adopting habits aligned with mindfulness and living more present lives. By avoiding the hedonistic treadmill as described by our podcast guest, Shay Subramanian (stay tuned!), and existing gratefully in the present moment, we unlock new areas of our minds. Practicers of meditation have been known to refer to this phenomenon as an awakening (learn more about the science of meditation from John Yates, Ph.D in his article in Scientific American).
"Spiritual leaders and scientists agree, our thoughts shape our reality. If we believe that our happiness/peace/fulfillment depends on achieving certain benchmarks of success (which often advance as soon as we've reached them) then it will."
Lilian Cheung, D.Sc., R.D.
Envision your best self. Now, close your eyes, take a breath, and BE that person. Right now. This very moment. Maybe you've been wanting to get into jiu-jitsu, or you want to be less stressed out, or you want to get into shape. No matter your goal, there is always a path. And every path requires a first step. Start by choosing one new action or gratitude each day (there are many ways to keep yourself accountable for this, including gratitude journals, sticky notes, notes in a jar, and beyond!). Only by actively making small, incremental changes towards this ultimate goal can it truly manifest.
The alternative is not only miserable, it is unacceptable. When our brains determine that we are unable to do something and doubt creeps into our minds, it inevitably leaks out into reality. The ironic beauty of this paradigm is that it exists only in your mind. Anyone and anything outside of your mind can only view what is shown to it outwardly - a.k.a., your demeanor, habits, language, mood, etc. Positive self-work habits reinforce feelings of genuine and sustained confidence, the powerful energy of which are displayed to others in the form of emotional light and love. Thus, think happy, be happy.
"Studies of Buddhist monks in meditation by psychologist and researcher Richard Davidson indicate that happiness is "a physical state of the brain -- one that you can induce deliberately."
Michael D. Lemonick
Who was the last person to tell you that you weren't good enough? If this is a person that you know, it is important to reconsider the role that s/he plays in your life, and the inclusion of him or her in it. Likely, however, the last person to say this to yourself was you. It is not the case that we will never encounter naysayers and 'haters'. It is that when we encounter them, our strength extends beyond just our outer shell and deep into our unshakeable core. We become unbreakable.
First, take a look at the people that you surround yourself with: they play a critical role in dictating your feelings of self-worth, your social satisfaction, and your health. There are numerous ways that people in our lives can either lift us up or hold us down. Identifying these individuals and either embracing their existence, or ridding it from your life, is paramount. Do they life you up and encourage you? Do they embody qualities of yourself that you are the most proud of? Do they inspire you? Can you count on them?
As Jen Taylor says in her article, "5 Reasons to Surround Yourself with Happy People", We become like those we keep closest: There's an old saying that we become like those we choose to hold closest. Look around at your inner circle of friends and confidantes. Are they who you would like to become? Do you admire and respect them? If not, perhaps you should consider why you don’t and open your circle to new inspiration. It’s worth the time it may take to consciously surround yourself with people who can create goodness for themselves, and those around them. Take a look around you and see – do you seem to be drawn to happy people? Why or why not?"
Next, assess your environment. Is your living space secure? Is it clean? Is it comfortable and relaxing? In 2016, The New Yorker Magazine wrote an article called, "The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy". Though the concept can sometimes be met with skepticism and a swift pat to your wallet, hygge seems to be onto something.
"Pronounced “hoo-guh,” the word is said to have no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” related to the English word “hug.”"
The New Yorker Magazine
In essence, hygge is a practice of comfort. Since our infancy we have sought comfort. Through the best and hardest of times, we seek comfort. Sources of comfort vary vastly among humans; from athletics, to books, to music, to food and beyond. One thing that we all share is our need for a home (click here to learn more about the dire homelessness situation in Denver and donate to support our fellow humans). Aptly, our environments are a reflection of our current emotional state.
Lastly, get physical! As pointed out in Psychology Today, "Increasingly robust evidence suggests that exercise is not only necessary for the maintenance of good mental health, but it can be used to treat even chronic mental illness." Whether you get outside for a walk, do a grueling HIIT workout, or do some gentle stretching, both your body AND your mind are paid in dividends.
Long story short, believe in yourself and everyone else will follow. You don't have to be a zen Buddhist to tap into your inner bad ass and achieve personal enlightenment. You can reinvent yourself, explore yourself, and express yourself at ANY TIME. By accepting and loving ourselves, and LIVING as we aspire to be, we will reach unparalleled lengths.