The Power of Conversation eBook
Sometimes we see our brains as solid – bulging blobs of tofu crammed with neurons. Then we remember they’re not solid at all: they are crammed – with spaces (100 trillion spaces, plus or minus). So when you think of your brain, picture it as a spacious universe – not a dense chunk of tofu.
Each space is a synapse – a thought possibility – that shapes your moment-to-moment reality. Without these spaces, you’d be unable to sip that coffee, answer that text or hatch that innovation. It’s no stretch to say, “No space = no thought.”
No space = no thought
Space matters. Capacity is vital.
Spacious brains outperform dense brains. (Overcrowding and multitasking impairs brain function.)
Even a millisecond of space can make the difference – and save you from being impulsive.
Here’s an example. There’s a region of your brain called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that straddles your rational and emotional centers. A strengthened ACC acts like a clutching mechanism – intelligently integrating your feelings with your thoughts.
Imagine life pokes you with an unsavory stimulus, such as an email slur to your character. Your emotion (anger) flares. Your reaction is instant: a blistering missive. That’s the sign of a weakened ACC: stimulus/response with no space between.
An ACC in fine form creates space between the stimulus and the response – a micro-window of possibility that provides you with alternatives. You read the email – anger still flares but the ACC creates space, emotion is modulated by a bit of thought, you sense a window of opportunity and discover a smarter option.
There is one activity that strengthens your ACC better than any other: meditation. And, if you’re like me and have repeatedly tried meditation and failed (“just keep returning to the breath” didn’t work for you), then you owe it to yourself to check out Ziva Meditation, the easiest and simplest form of meditation I’ve ever seen. I love it.
Ziva’s creator Emily Fletcher blends 3 Ms (mindfulness, meditation and manifesting).
Here’s my simple take on her practice:
Strengthening your ACC to create more options is an example of how space invites possibility and possibility shapes reality at the micro level. In the next blog in this series we’ll switch from the micro/interior of the brain to the macro/exterior of society to see how the space-possibility-reality trifecta can reshape a fractured culture and country.
Read more in the Create Space, Invite Possibility, Shape Reality series:
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