The brain is a time traveler. The brain and the mind are traveling companions. They are partners in a life-long search for meaningful action. For example, I sit down to plan for the week ahead. My brain picks up sensory information from the smell of fresh cut grass in the air. Automatically, my mind flips to the past and recalls childhood memories triggered by the smell. Like dominos falling, these memories flood my mind with pleasure. My brain reacts instantly, causing my breath to deepen and my muscles to relax. I find myself smiling and a sense of comfort arises in my chest. In the blink of an eye, my brain feels the pen in my hand and sees the paper in front of me. My brain switches gears and I return from the past to the present so I can plan the week ahead. Then, suddenly I am transported to the future as I anticipate what is to be done and when. My brain reacts accordingly. My breath shifts and my muscles energize for action to establish my weekly plan.
In this case, the brain switches gears fluidly between past, present and future. The brain’s locator function to keep orientation and find self while traveling in time is in working order. But, what if the Locator Brain becomes disorientated. What if it gets caught in a vortex between past memories and future events and is unable to find the present? What if it gets lost in time? All too often this happens when
I become anxious about a future event or dread seeing a person,
I get fixated on a problem,
I become stuck on the merry-go-round of worst case scenarios, or
I flash-back to a stressful or traumatic memory.
Oh my! Just writing this list makes my stomach turn and my eyes bleary. Other indicators that the Locator Brain is lost in time include
Feelings of being overwhelmed or stuck
Emotions of chronic depression (past) or anxiety (future)
States of confusion or indecisiveness
Experiences of conflict or arguments
So, now what? Let’s get to the practicalities of lubricating the gears of the Locator Brain! The ABC Tool #9: Time Travel is designed to orient the brain. Whether you are caught in a vortex of time between past memories and future events or find yourself in a state of confusion or indecisiveness use the tool to harness the power of your Locator Brain.
The Locator Brain acts to orient you in space and time.
ABC Tool #9: Time Traveler!
A – Alert – Be Aware!
Ask yourself, “Where am I located? Am I in the past, present or future?”
Ask yourself, “Is this image, internal dialogue or physical sensation generated from the past, present or future?”
B – Blink – Be Present!
Practice blinking. Blinking signals you that your brain is processing information. Since the average person blink’s 15-20 times per minute, let several blinks bring you into the present.
Be aware of your blinks.
Pay attention to your breath.
Blink your eyes closed. What happens to your breath?
Blink your eyes open. What happens to your breath?
Blink your eyes open and closed three more times.
Deepen your breath each time you close your eyes
Focus on a favorite color or shape each time you open your eyes.
C – Change – Be Here Now!
The brain and the mind are intimate dancing partners. Where one leads the other follows. Both have the capacity to lead or follow. When you are consumed by a past memory,
Ask yourself, “What do I need right now … in this present moment?” Perhaps it is clarity, peace, energy … ___________________________________________.
When you identify your need, recall experiences where this was present. Let the sensation of this memory arise in you. Embrace the feeling in your body. Come into the present by saying the word you select each time you exhale. Repeat at least three to seven times. Focus your mind on the word so your brain relaxes your body and locates you in the present.
If the past memory continues to haunt you,
Practice Blinking as described above or
Take a Blink Break. Check out my blog entitled Blink. Use the 3-9 o’clock eye pattern described in C-Change.
The brain and the mind are life-long partners. Where one gives the other receives. Both have the capacity to give or receive. When you anticipate a future experience or event,
Ask yourself, “What is most important to me … right here and right now? Perhaps it is clarity, peace, energy … ___________________________________________.
When you identify what is important to you, think about experiences where this was present. Let these sensations arise in you. Embrace the feeling in your body.
Time Travel: Hold onto your internal, physical state. Jump ahead to sometime in the future. Turn around and ask yourself, “How did I do that? How did I maintain what is important to me over the past few months?”
Harness the Power of Your Brain!
May Life flow as you travel through time!