By Dr. Murray Grossan.
I have had the pleasure of reading Inspire Me Today for some weeks now. Really good stuff here.
There are truly some outstanding ideas, like breathe in beauty. I have been telling my patients this every day with amazing results.
And jot down emotional experiences to have for today. That is an outstanding idea.
But I come from the world of brain wave recordings, MRI, and measuring electrical muscle output. I write in my own book that no one has ever been cured of stress by reading a book. You must have actions, movements, stretch and reaching, and writing and sketching. There must be physical actions: the more senses you employ the better.
When we train a surgeon, it makes little difference how many books she has read on surgery of the body – she is not a surgeon until her hands and brain have performed the actions.
When you read Inspire Me Today, if this particular inspiration resonates with you, plan a daily action to go with it.
For example, breathe in beauty. Why not plan at noon to spend several minutes doing this action? Breathe in the beautiful flower, the sun on a picture, a strikingly beautiful photograph. Write these down. No doubt after two weeks this circuit will be implanted in your brain – we can actually show that a new part of your brain is functioning.
Write a to do list for emotional experience. Do this daily on arising. But write it down. The sight of a sunset, the warmth of being with a close friend, writing that letter to a loved one. The ACTION of writing down your to do for an emotional experience will make this part of your being. For example the feeling of satisfaction when you walk up that long flight of stairs, or finish the gym class.
Don’t get held back by can’t and don’t. Enlarge your senses. Learn to identify objects by feel. You already do this when you fish for your keys in your purse. But if you enlarge this sense of touch, you enlarge your brain circuits. Identify objects in your closet by feel. Feel the clothes on sale, than look at the label to see if you guessed wool, cotton, or synthetic correctly.
Smell can be expanded too. At the perfume counter, identify the odor first, then look to see if it is jasmine or rose.
These actions expand your brain, your creativity and are much more meaningful than simply thinking about it. The idea of practicing the bow and arrow in your mind and then hitting the target is wrong; just as wrong as the idea of learning tennis by reading a book and seeing a movie. You must do the actions.
There is a reason why there are fifty actions programs to follow in my book. I get my patients to lower their blood pressure, not by thinking pleasant thoughts, but by daily repetition of actions like breathing in count of four and out count of six; or using the mirror to SEE the face, jaw and shoulders relax.
Yes, you can be inspired by reading the Inspire Me Today works, but in order to get meaningful use out of them, imagine you are learning a tennis serve: daily actions, some sort of coach (could be a mirror or a partner), some sort of feedback – every day you did it “better.” The number of good tennis serves gets higher; the number of “positive actions” gets higher.
Yes, and don’t forget the reward of an ice cream cone for a week of daily actions!