Our brain is the most complex piece of technology in existence.
Researchers speak of 100 billion neurons in each of our brains interconnected via trillions of synapses. No computer comes close to the complexity of these communicating bits of organic matter.
Our brain gives us the power to think, to remember, to imagine, to understand. It gives us power to create lives of beauty, or to destroy.
And we carry all that in our head. No wonder then that we can get stuck there. We can get bombarded with thoughts. Thoughts which stir up feelings, feelings of excitement and joy, of frustration and resentment. Worries and regrets.
Sometimes, we can replay the same thought again, and again. Things that people have said to us, or done to us, yesterday or decades ago; worries about our health, about events around us and in places far away, regrets for mistakes we’ve made in the past, mistakes we might make in the future.
And then there are those of us with heads full of ‘shoulds’ and 'should nots'. I should do this, that, or the other.
It can be exhausting for us and for our head.
The head on its own cannot get itself out of the tangle. To give our heads a break, it needs the help of two other wonderful parts of us – the body and the heart.
It takes practice and perseverance, but this is a little exercise that might help. Some would compare it to meditation, others to mindfulness, personally I like to think of it as ‘coming home’.
• Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable.
• Decide to be here. That might sound strange but when we are in our thoughts, we can be anywhere but here.
• Decide to be here now, in this moment, not somewhere in the past or the future.
• Relax your body. Become aware of your breathing and the sensations in your body – tiny movements you are not usually aware of.
• Thoughts might come to ask what you are up to – let them go and experience being in your body.
• Once you feel at home in your body, move to your heart.
• Focus on your heart, from inside. Again, if you haven’t done this sort of thing previously, your head might tell you it’s weird. Let that thought go.
• Your heart is a shy heart. It may not be used to you listening to it.
• Let your heart speak quietly to you.
• Words of kindness
• Words of compassion
• Once you are listening to your heart, become aware once more of your head.
• Your head might feel more relaxed now
• More spacious
• Less cluttered
• It's no longer trying to do everything itself
After this exercise, especially if you practise it regularly, you might feel more whole, more present, able to see more clearly. Where previously your head seemed trapped in a tangle, little by little, ways out of the tangle show themselves.
I wish this for you.