Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

How to Lose Your Mind and Create A New One

Three Brains Thinking to Doing To Being

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself – Three Brains Thinking to Doing To Being – It’s often useful to compare one’s brain to a computer, and it’s true that yours already has all the hardware you’ll need to change your “self” and your life. But do you know how best to use that hardware to install new software? 

Picture two computers with identical hardware and software—one in the hands of a tech novice, and the other being used by an experienced computer operator. The beginner knows little about what kinds of things a computer can do, let alone how to do them.

The intention behind Part II, simply put, is to provide pertinent information about the brain so that when you, as its operator, begin to use the meditative process to change your life, you will know what needs to happen in your brain and in your meditations, and why.

Change Entails New Ways of Thinking, Doing, and Being

If you know how to drive a car, then you’ve already experienced probably the most elementary example of thinking, doing, and being. At first, you had to think about every action you took, and about all those rules of the road.

Later, you became fairly proficient at driving, as long as you paid conscious attention to what you were doing. Eventually, you were being a driver; your conscious mind slid over and became a passenger, and ever since, your subconscious mind has probably occupied the driver’s seat most of the time; driving has become automatic and second nature to you.

Much of what you learn is via this progression from thinking to doing to being, and three areas of the brain facilitate this mode of learning.

But did you know that you can also go directly from thinking to being—and it’s likely that you’ve already experienced this in your life? Through the meditation that is at the heart of this book (this chapter will give you a prelude), you can go from thinking about the ideal self you want to become, straight to being that new self. That is the key to quantum creating.

Change all begins with thinking: we can immediately form new neurological connections and circuits that reflect our new thoughts. And nothing gets the brain more excited than when it’s learning —assimilating knowledge and experiences.

These are aphrodisiacs for the brain; it “fondles” every signal it receives from our five senses. Every second, it processes billions of bits of data; it analyzes, examines, identifies, extrapolates, classifies, and files information, which it can retrieve for us on an “as needed” basis. Truly, the human brain is this planet’s ultimate supercomputer.

As you’ll recall, the basis for understanding how you can actually change your mind is the concept of hardwiring—how neurons engage in long-term, habitual relationships. I’ve talked about Hebbian learning, which states: “Nerve cells that fire together, wire together.”

(Neuroscientists used to think that after childhood, brain structure was relatively immutable. But new findings reveal that many aspects of the brain and nervous system can change structurally and functionally—including learning, memory, and recovery from brain damage—throughout adulthood.)

But the opposite is also true: “Nerve cells that no longer fire together, no longer wire together.” If you don’t use it, you lose it. You can even focus conscious thought to disconnect or unwire unwanted connections.

Thus, it is possible to let go of some of the “stuff” you’ve been holding on to that colors the way you think, act, and feel. The rewired brain will no longer fire according to the circuitry of the past.

The gift of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to rewire and create new circuits at any age as a result of input from the environment and our conscious intentions) is that we can create a new level of mind.

There’s a sort of neurological “out with the old, in with the new,” a process that neuroscientists call pruning and sprouting. It’s what I call unlearning and learning, and it creates the opportunity for us to rise above our current limitations and to be greater than our conditioning or circumstances.

In creating a new habit of being ourselves, we are essentially taking conscious control over what has become an unconscious process of being. Instead of the mind working toward one goal (I’m not going to be an angry person) and the body working toward another (Let’s stay angry and keep bathing in those familiar chemicals), we want to unify the mind’s intent with the body’s responses. To do this, we must create a new way of thinking, doing, and being.

Given that to change our lives, we first have to change our thoughts and feelings, then do something (change our actions or behaviors) to have a new experience, which in turn produces a new feeling, and then we must memorize that feeling until we move into a state of being (when mind and body are one), at least we’ve got a few things going for us. Along with the brain being neuroplastic, we could say that we have more than one brain to work with. In effect, we have three of them.

(For our purposes, this chapter will limit its focus to those functions of the “three brains” that relate specifically to breaking the habit of being ourselves.

On a personal note, I find that studying what the brain and the other components of the nervous system do for us is an endlessly fascinating exploration.

My first book, Evolve Your Brain, covered this topic in more detail than would serve our purposes here; there are additional resources for study on my website,;
and of course, many other excellent publications and websites are available for those who want to learn more about the brain, the mind, and the body.)

Figure 6A. The “first brain,” the neocortex or thinking brain (in white). The “second brain” is the limbic or emotional brain, responsible for creating, maintaining, and organizing chemicals in the body (in gray). The “third brain,” the cerebellum, is the seat of the subconscious mind (in charcoal).

From Thinking to Doing: The Neocortex Processes Knowledge, Then Prompts Us to Live What We Learned

Our “thinking brain” is the neocortex, the brain’s walnut-like outer covering. Humanity’s newest, most advanced neurological hardware, the neocortex is the seat of the conscious mind, our identity, and other higher brain functions. (The frontal lobe, discussed in earlier chapters, is one of four parts of the neocortex.)

Essentially, the neocortex is the brain’s architect or designer. It allows you to learn, remember, reason, analyze, plan, create, speculate on possibilities, invent, and communicate. Since this area is where you log sensory data such as what you see and hear, the neocortex plugs you into external reality.

In general, the neocortex processes knowledge and experience. First, you gather knowledge in the form of facts or semantic information (philosophical or theoretical concepts or ideas that you learn intellectually), prompting the neocortex to add new synaptic connections and circuits.

Second, once you decide to personalize or apply knowledge you have acquired—to demonstrate what you learned—you will invariably create a new experience. This causes patterns of neurons called neural networks to form in the neocortex. These networks reinforce the circuitry of what you learned intellectually.

If the neocortex had a motto, it might be: Knowledge is for the mind.

Simply put, knowledge is the precursor to experience: Your neocortex is responsible for processing ideas that you have not yet experienced, which exist as a potential for you to embrace at some future time.

As you entertain new thoughts, you begin to think about modifying your behavior so that you can do something differently when the opportunity presents itself, in order to have a new outcome.

As you then alter your routine actions and typical behaviors, something different from the norm should happen, which will produce a new event for you to experience.


Regards, Coyalita

Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Specialist & Addiction Counselor

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