Of course I am not a linear thinker…I wrote about rule number 9 last week and totally missed rule #8 which is “Your Brain Has a Mind of Its Own”.
With all the recent research in neuroplasticity, we know for sure that our brains are resilient and powerful, if we use them in a conscious manner. When we repeat the same pattern over and over again it becomes a habit…good or bad. For example, if I criticize my partner continuously, I probably don’t even notice that I am criticizing because my brain had developed a strong neural pathway that is my default reaction to my partner. If I express appreciation for my partner every day, I develop a new neural pathway that enhances my relationship. Which pathways are you developing and supporting?
I need to become conscious of the behaviour and thought patterns, create new patterns and practice the new behaviour. Yes, it takes focus and work, but what are you looking for a great relationship or keeping yourself in an old pattern that does not serve you or your partner.
How Our Brain Works
I think it is very important to learn more about how our brain works. When working in education at a community college, we made the book, The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, required reading for several of our programs. It was amazing, how once students understood how their brain worked, they were more willing to engage in good study skills. Prior to understanding their brain/mind, they did not understand how learning took place as no one had explained it to them. Students not only did better in their course work, they began to read more! They became aware of how their brain works.
In terms of our brain having a mind of its own…this is the realm of Dr. Joe Dispenza, whom I have mentioned before. His work is key to becoming conscious and not letting old patterns control our behaviour and expectations about life and for us our relationship.
This week I got myself into a major upset about what was supposed to be served for lunch with our grandkids. I had my knickers in a knot…however, because this is not my normal pattern, I was able to recognize the futility of my upset, shift my focus and let it go in order to continue to enjoy our grandkids, together. In a previous lifetime, I would have carried the upset for days!!! And lost some precious memories and moments along the way.
Take some time to notice your automatic responses to your partner…do they serve you, do they enhance your partner…if not, begin replacing the old patterns with new ways of thinking, behaving and viewing the world. Meditation is a great way to start shifting your brain’s mind.
Til next time, take care of your brain and be aware of its mind!
Had to laugh a little about the mix up with Truth #8 and #9. Those of you with children and grandchildren know you don’t have as much time with your partner as you do when it is just the two of you. Discussing these two truths was much more fragmentary than usual with the above results. But, in the bigger picture, what difference does it make.
Harville makes the point that joy is our essential nature. Children tend to have this basic stance towards life and we can learn so much from them. One of the reasons why it is so great to have two of our grandchildren with us last week and again this week, is that their approach to life is one of joy. They laugh a lot!!
I have talked before about the “space between” as being important in a conscious relationship – keeping that space sacred. The question I need to ask every day is what do I do to bring joy into the relationship – into the “space between”?
Remember John Kennedy’s famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” That is the attitude a want to bring to our relationship. What can I do to keep the “space between” safe and fun?
Doing the appreciations with Crystal every night has been helpful in this regard because I get a better sense of what I do specifically that she most appreciates. It helps me to know what feels caring to her.
I remember years ago when we were first back together again we had a sign in our bedroom ASSUME NOTHING. If you break up ass/u/me you see the results. I can’t read her mind nor can she read mine. We need to communicate to each other what works for us. Doing these blogs together has been a great exercise for both of us.
Harville ends this chapter with the saying: “A laugh a day keeps the divorce lawyer away”. I would agree and I go back to the notion of safety and keeping the “space between” sacred. You can only be joy-filled and laugh when it is safe.
Concluding with Truth #10: Your Marriage is the Best Life Insurance Plan