Strategies to Optimize Your Mind
1) We must decide concretely how our 'highest mind' or OFC organizes thoughts so that the unconscious mind can learn and apply it on a moment to moment basis without having to ask the slower conscious mind circuits. For example, when we know what the rules to soccer are we can follow the strategies used on the field much more quickly. In life, if we have provided ourselves a relative 'short hand' for our belief system, we can apply it to our daily lives more easily, e.g. 'Love others as you love yourself.' While a more 'cerebral' theology, with a less distinct and organic message actually detracts from the unconscious mind's ability to keep the conscious mind in proper alignment.
2) We must realize who is leading this show and allow the unconscious mind as much 'air time' as possible so that it can experience, absorb, learn, become more accomplished, and generally optimize your mind. For example, if in baseball we are worried about what the next pitch will be, we are much less likely to hit the ball. Worse, if we do this a lot, the unconscious mind is not available to learn to hit the ball any differently the next time. Worse than that, with this kind of practice, we are practicing how to make it even more difficult the next time! In life, if we live without a practiced, relatively simple intention we are practicing living our lives at a pretty low level. We are practicing to make it harder to live at a higher level even if we wanted to at a later time.
3) Our mind and body are set up to optimize each moment of our lives. For example, our heart beat varies its rate between each beat dependent on the needs of the body. Our brain is much the same. It is made to optimize each moment so that it can perform efficiently to any perceived needs. This does not mean that it doesn't take the past and the future into account. It remembers everything and tries to anticipate the decisions that allow for future advantage. This however is only when we are aligned. This is when we are well practiced at 'living in the moment'. This is when we have allowed our highest mind to inform the unconscious mind of a simplified theology, and yet remain available for questions. This is when we have practiced allowing the unconscious mind to lead while the conscious mind gently watches over this activity. What happens otherwise...our monkey mind! The past is used to remember any fact or detail no matter how useless or hurtful it may be. The future is used to daydream about winning the lottery and sleeping the rest of our life away! We fall into could have, should have, and I hope this doesn't happen, or you know this is always what happens kind of thinking. We practice it over and over until we act on it.
4) Finally, our mind is set up to think based on labels and in relationship to something or someone else. For example, am I a man if there are no women? Am I tall, young, old, successful, good, or bad as compared to another? Am I a 'real' American, husband, father, son, psychiatrist, compassionate person, and human being as compared to another? Our mind thinks in relationship and is organized in relationship. Our mind is most organized, balanced, potent, and healthy when we organize our lives around our relationships. For example, when someone promises themselves that they are going to 'catch up' on all of their work over the weekend, they will end up doing nothing, and they will sleep the weekend away. If we plan the same weekend, and divide each day into morning, afternoon and evening with specific things planned for each of our major relationships, including work, we would likely get quite a bit more done, and it will be done better.
The Most Important Relationships to Optimize Your Mind
A) Relationship with our Higher Power- Some would consider this 'self'. It works much better to consider who we are or the reason we were put on this earth or some label I would willingly accept. In the rest of the relationships, 'Our Relationship' refers to our relationship with our Higher Power's relationship too.
B) Our relationship with our vessel (Our body)- This serves as our major grounding force. Our Higher Power asks that we show compassion and the vehicle through which we express our compassion to everything else.
C) Our relationship with our intimate partner- This relationship is often the most complex, involved, and intense relationship except for our relationship with our Higher Power. It calls for our best efforts. We chose our partner for their strengths and them ours. Our mirror neurons decide if our wiring is similar enough for 'it' to be present. We promise to share all things and meet all of each other’s needs for a lifetime. Many of these are the same things we promise in our relationship with our Higher Power. If we give to it our promise we find the relationships dynamics, challenging and sweet. If we fail to understand and keep our promise, if we fail to understand the need to be dynamic and accepting of the challenge, then we will struggle to find the promise of 'the third choice' in discussions and we will suffer.
- Other important relationships include:
- Our relationship with our family
- Our relationship with our friends
- Our relationship with our career
- Our relationship with our hobbies/special interests
So we plan for these efforts in our daily mindfulness rituals and the development of goals for each of our major relationships. Mindfulness rituals help us focus on the moment. Goals mindfully observed connect our Higher Power, to each of our relationships, and to each moment of our lives. This is how you can optimize your mind.