“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
– Albert Einstein
The back to school season is a perfect time to think about how we want to grow professionally and personally. My back to school project this year? To understand the complexities of the mind at work and what holds people back from making desired changes. To get started, I signed up for a neuroscience and transformation coaching program.
I set out to learn about the brain. It’s a big project, and I’m only just beginning to scratch the surface on what neuroscience can teach us about improving how we think and feel, so that we can act with clarity and focus, even during highly stressful periods of time.
This course of study has confirmed what I’ve known from experience as a long-time yoga practitioner: to think and function more effectively, we need to focus on the rich source of information the body provides.
Instead of trying to think our way through a problem, we can pay closer attention to “intuition”: to get out of our heads and listen to the cues of the body. This powerful body-brain connection can alter how we think, feel and choose to act. We can prompt this type of embodied thinking by engaging in creative activities like painting, running, dancing, meditating.
I know firsthand what it’s like to get stuck in my head, thinking over and over about how to solve a familiar problem, only to find the answer reveal itself while I’m out for a Sunday morning walk in the park. Learning about the brain has changed the way I think about thinking. And it has opened my heart and mind to new ways of solving everyday problems.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
by Daniel Siegel, M.D.
I highly recommend this book as an excellent introduction to interpersonal neurobiology and the healing power of “mindsight”: “the potent skill that is the basis for both emotional and social intelligence. Mindsight allows you to make positive changes in your brain and in your life.”