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Change your life by changing your brain

By Morty Lefkoe

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Most of the time we are only interested in attaining results and we don’t really care about detailed explanations for how we got those results. But sometimes knowing precisely how we achieved specific results enables us to have more control over producing those results consistently.

I think I’ve just figured out how one of my processes works as well as it does.

I’ve told you on several occasions how most of us don’t make a distinction between reality and the meaning we give it, and then deal with the meaning (that exists only in our mind) instead of what is actually happening in the world.

A simple example is someone you know walking in a room and not saying hello to you.

That is all that actually happened. But most of us would give it a meaning like, he is angry with me or she doesn’t like me any more. And here’s the real problem: we think that the meaning actually occurred, as if we can see it, when, in fact, it’s only in our mind.

I’ve explained to you that the Lefkoe Occurring Process (LOP) enables us to make a clear distinction between the reality and the meaning, and then quickly and easily to dissolve the meaning, so we can clearly see and deal with the events/reality.

The new field of neuroplasticity

I’ve never known how the LOP worked; I only knew that it did.

After learning about a intriguing new area of science called brain plasticity I think I now understand how the LOP works so well.

Until the past 20 years or so, most scientists were convinced that the brain developed for the first few years of life, growing new connections and then stopped and could no longer be changed.

In a fascinating book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, M.D., points out: “The common wisdom was that after childhood the brain changed only when it began the long process of decline; that when brain cells failed to develop property, or were injured, or died, they could not be replaced.

He tells of meeting scientists who in the past few decades had made “a series of unexpected discoveries. They showed that the brain changed its very structure with each different activity it performed, perfecting its circuit so it was better suited to the task at hand. … They began to call this fundamental brain property “neuroplasticity.”

At this point Doidge’s book gets really exciting because it enabled me to create a theory as to why the LOP works so well.

Doidge discusses the work of Donald O. Hebb, a Canadian behavioral psychologist, who in 1949 proposed “that when two neurons fire at the same time repeatedly (or when one fires, causing another to fire), chemical changes occur in both, so that the two tend to connect more strongly.

Hebb’s concept—actually proposed by Freud sixty years before—was neatly summarized by neuroscientist Carla Shatz: ‘Neurons that fire together wire together.’ Hebb’s theory thus argued that neuronal structure can be altered by experience.” (Emphasis added.)

How the LOP actually changes how the brain works

In other words, I suspect that there are parts of the brain that add meaning to events and that our perceptions of the world normally pass though those parts of the brain. By repeatedly dissolving the meaning we have given events, we are able to create a new neural circuit in the brain that bypasses those parts of the brain so that we are able to view our perception of events without meaning.

Many of the people in my Lefkoe Occurring Courses (including me) are able by the end of the course to stop giving meaning to most events and are able to dissolve any meaning we do give in a matter of moments. How did we achieve that result? We practiced dissolving the meaning we had automatically given to events hundreds of times.

Somehow that repetition created a new circuit that bypassed the meaning-giving part of the brain.

I am excited about finding some neuroscientists who I can partner with to check the brains of a bunch of people before taking my Occurring Course and then again after, so we can see exactly what changes in the brain and where. (I’d also love to see what changes in the brain at the moment a belief is permanently eliminated!)

Dissolving meaning enables unconditional love

Parenthetically, when I tell people that with practice they can stop giving meaning to most events, I am often asked: But what about positive emotions, like love? If you don’t give meaning to what people do, won’t you stop loving them?

Actually, just the opposite is true.

Many of us want to give our family unconditional love, but even when we intend to do that, the meaning we give our spouse’s, our parents’, and our children’s behavior often leads to annoyance, frustration and even anger.

At that moment we are not experiencing or expressing unconditional love, even if we intend to express unconditional love.

When we are angry at someone our love is experienced as conditioned on them not doing the type of things they are doing at that moment, which we are annoyed or angry with.

But when you have laid down new neural pathways that bypass meaning, you are actually able to love unconditionally.

My wife Shelly has remarked that in the past year or so (since just after I started offering the Lefkoe Occurring Course, which I took as a participant in the beginning) she has experienced a whole new level of love from me.

I don’t think I love her any more, but I no longer get annoyed at little things she does and says, so I am able to express and she is able to experience my unconditional love.

The same is true with my two daughters.

What do you think about neuroplasticity?

What do you think about my claim that by not giving meaning to the behavior of your loved ones you are able to express unconditional love? I’d love to read your comments and questions.

[These weekly blog posts also exist as podcasts. Sign up for the RSS feed or at iTunes to get the podcasts sent to you weekly.]

{Visit his blog: mortylefkoe.com}

If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to www.recreateyourlife.com/free where you can eliminate one negative belief free.

For information about eliminating 23 of the most common limiting beliefs and conditionings, which cause eight of the most common problems in our lives, and get a separate video of the WAIR? Process, please check out: recreateyourlife.com/naturalconfidence. [See video testimonial by Jack Canfield.]

Copyright © 2011 Morty Lefkoe. Published here by permission.

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Added images

Top: from Lumosity – brain training based on principle of neuroplasticity.

Bottom: from article Slower Nerve Traffic, More Creativity.

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More articles by Morty Lefkoe.

Go to ReCreate Your Life where you can eliminate one limiting belief free, using The Lefkoe Method.

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