The fear response is deeply ingrained in the human brain. Under threat of any kind — hunger, thirst, pain, shame, confusion, or too much, too new or too fast — we respond in ways to keep us safe. Our minds will focus only on the information that is, at that moment, important for survival. Fear kills curiosity and inhibits exploration. — Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, “Creating an Emotionally Safe Classroom”
As long as the subconscious mind stays the same, the world stays the same. It sounds ridiculous because, of course, your subconscious mind doesn’t control the world, but it does control your perception of the world through your internal map of reality. The subconscious doesn’t make decisions. It doesn’t plan. Like the Internet, it accepts any information that is fed to it regardless of quality, and it spits it back regardless of quality.
The conscious mind is the only part of the mind that can evaluate the quality of information and make decisions. While in the passive mode, the conscious mind doesn’t get to exercise any power over the contents of the map. In the active mode, the conscious mind is in complete control. We will need to design the message we want to introduce to the subconscious mind and then deliver it.
The subconscious takes in information from the conscious mind in the form of a thought/emotion package and by using repetition. The best method is to combine these two avenues into what can be referred to as intense concentration. We’re going to use that information to remove the information from the subconscious mind that isn’t useful or in support of our goals and to replace it with information that will better support us.
PREPARE A MESSAGE FOR THE SUBCONSCIOUS
Let’s design the information we want to feed to the subconscious mind. In order to progress through this program, you will need to start from a place of safety. If that requirement isn’t met, the rest of the program will be weaker and may not produce the result you want. Because of the effect of sensual intensity on your view of the world, the first message to the subconscious should begin to counteract the expectation of danger and pain.
There are a few requirements for crafting the actual message, and one of them is not that the message is true. Remember, you are currently determining true and false based on your current internal map of reality. If the message sounds true to you, and it matches the results you’re getting in life, there’s no need to plant it in the subconscious. It’s already there. The message you need to plant will probably sound untrue and even dangerous. How does this message cause your conscious mind to react? “I am completely safe in the world,” or “The world is an entirely safe place.” Most likely there are some immediate and emphatic responses about how dangerous it would be to believe that.
The information we need to store in the subconscious mind should be formed based on how useful that information will be to our cause, not on whether or not it currently sounds true. It can be tested against people who seem to have already accomplished what we want to accomplish, or who have the approach to life we would like to have. What do they believe? Do they believe that the world is a dangerous place? Probably not.
The message should be stated in the present tense because the present is all that the subconscious mind understands. So a statement like “The world will be safe for me” is not helpful. It has to be in present tense such as “The world is safe for me,” or “I walk safely through the world.”
The message also must be in positive terms. The subconscious mind doesn’t process negatives well and will turn them into positives. So a statement like “There is no danger in the world” gets translated into “Danger in the world.” A good test is to take each word separately and see what kind of message it would send. If any word in the message you’re constructing has a negative meaning, change it.
SENDING THE MESSAGE
In order to put the conscious and subconscious mind in the best communication, we have to enter a different brain wave pattern. This conscious move to a different brain wave pattern is accomplished after much meditation practice. The methods vary but the concept is the same: Quiet the body and slow down the mind. The problem that intense people have with this is that it’s pretty boring. We have more to quiet than most and the chatter and activity in our minds is a constant companion. The conscious mind basically throws a temper tantrum whenever we try to have it sit quietly.
I have two solutions for this. The first is to cheat using a meditation aid. The one I use is based on binaural beat technology. By feeding different frequencies into each ear, the brain resolves the differences by entering into a slower frequency. This allows the meditation CD to take your brain easily from a waking state to a deep state of meditation without any effort on your part. I use Bill Harris’s Holosync system, which is available at www.centerpointe.com.
The second solution is to skip the meaningless mantra used by most meditators and jump straight to the message you want to introduce to your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind will still complain, but you’ll have something to offer it when it does.
This is a daily practice best done at the same time of day and in the same place.
- Start by selecting a quiet and comfortable place to sit. Set a timer that will gently remind you when your time is up. After a while you’ll find that you can easily go over thirty minutes. Start with only fifteen minutes and stretch it to thirty minutes after about two weeks. Some people like to go longer. It’s really a personal choice, but thirty minutes is enough.
Depending upon your schedule, going longer than an allotted time may be a problem. If it is, take steps to remove the concern from your mind. (A caution here: Any alarm is going to be louder and more startling when you are meditating. Choose one that is very gentle and quiet. There are soft chimes and other types of alarms available under the category of meditation alarms or chimes. If you are using the meditation CD from Centerpointe, the sound will change after thirty minutes, so no alarm is needed.)
- Prepare the body. This should be done while seated upright without any back support if possible. The spine being straight and the muscles being relaxed is important to allow the subconscious to function well. Use the half-lotus position if it’s comfortable for you (legs crossed).
Sit still with your eyes closed. Now relax your muscles. In the beginning you may need to go from toes to head or head to toes tensing and relaxing each muscle group. This can be done with each breath. Breathe in and tense your feet and toes. Breathe out and relax them. Repeat the same thing with the next breath with the legs, then the torso, arms, neck, then head and face, until your body feels more relaxed.
After you’ve practiced this for a while, you’ll be able to relax your muscles very quickly without going through this step by step. Now your subconscious mind is ready to communicate.
- Quiet your mind. The chatter that normally goes on in the conscious mind makes it very hard to have any communication outside the conscious mind. In order to communicate with the subconscious mind, the conscious mind has to learn to be quiet.
Start by repeating your message to the subconscious. Say it slowly in your mind. Keep repeating it in your mind. Your thoughts will wander. That’s natural even for experienced meditators. Don’t let it bother you. Just watch as if from a distance, like an impartial observer. When you realize that you’ve wandered off, go back to your message.
You can beef up the message and keep yourself more engaged by imagining situations where you feel safe. Vividly imagine the scene and feel the feeling of safety. Keep doing this until the time is up. When the time is up, come back to the world slowly. Give your conscious and subconscious a few minutes to part instead of tearing them away from each other.
This practice is only the beginning. It can be thought of as your formal introduction to your subconscious mind. After a few days or weeks of asking your conscious mind to tell your subconscious mind that the world is safe, the gatekeeper will start producing evidence to support it.
This method will allow you to absolutely transform your world by transforming the information your subconscious mind and the gatekeeper allow into your conscious mind. If this has you all tingly with excitement at the possibilities this holds, you’re on the right track.
©2012 by Martha Burge. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. www.redwheelweiser.com.
The ADD Myth: How to Cultivate the Unique Gifts of Intense Personalities
by Martha Burge.
ADHD coach Martha Burge proposes that what is commonly understood as ADHD is actually five intense personality traits: sensual, psychomotor, intellectual, creative, and emotional. Once properly understood, people with these intense personality traits can develop them into gifts. The ADD Myth raises awareness of the underlying condition of intensity, and helps people who previously thought of themselves as broken develop more fulfilling lives.
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About the Author
Martha Burge is an ADHD coach, mother to two sons diagnosed with ADHD, and a very intense person. She holds a BA in Psychology, an MA in Organizational Development, and coaches adults with ADHD, gifted adults and parents of intense and gifted children. She speaks to groups (including the Celebrate Your Life conference in Chicago in June, 2012). She is active in the Mensa community and is a trusted coach to Mensa members. Visit her website at http://www.intensitycoaching.com/