How do we become more ourselves and alive?

 

 

Have we ever had a dream where someone or something is chasing us and we are unable to see what or who it is?

We want to run in those dreams but the same dream can give us a feeling we are unable to move.

What is chasing us and what is holding us from moving forward?

There is something we may not be able to see…it is the same problem the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow had….and it can create nightmares for the child within us.

I am sure we have all rewarded ourselves when we accomplished something others admire. We feel more alive because we have been conditioned to give ourselves a chemical reward for the accomplishment.

How can we find what we like if we only receive chemical rewards for the things we have been conditioned to do?

If there is no reward for us opening our heart to find what would feel wonderful for us, how can we have the courage, brains or heart to create wonderful dreams asleep or awake?

Can we reward ourselves for things that would make us proud, even if they are not something we have rewarded ourselves for in the past?

We can create chemical rewards and rewrite our conditioning so we get the same “feeling of aliveness and pride” we got from doing what someone else wanted us to do. We can reward ourselves for our creativity in the same way we would for finishing a project, getting a good grade, hearing a “job well done”, hearing applause, having someone admire us that is an “authority” figure or from getting a diploma, a medal or a watch…

In the Wizard of Oz the Scarecrow has stopped thinking, the Lion has lost courage, the Tin-man has lost heart and all because they do not know how to reward the child within.

There is a child within all of us. We are that child’s parent now. What is our excuse for not rewarding ourselves for being who we are?

How we reward ourselves is automatic.

Let us examine what we are feeling chemical rewards from…

We may have learned to respect authority figures more than our own judgement. If we feel more alive when a stranger admires us than when we look in the mirror, we may have become admiration based and not love based.

Looking for admiration may be the only time we give chemical rewards and this is hard for us…particularly when there are few of these rewards as we create our own business or are in management, there is more criticism and less praise as we excel.

We can condition ourselves to give automatic chemical rewards because of love.

Want you to try something? This is a “love based chemical reward” exercise.

It gives one the experience of loving their inner child. To begin, I want you to be proud of your inner child for directing you to something that made you happy. This is just a practice exercise.

Do you remember the last time you indulged in play? Have you played with bubbles, had a food fight, gone to get a massage, brought flowers home, went to a funny movie or just walked along the beach in the rain lately? If you remember something that made you happy, created art or heard music ….anything at all…. lets go to the next step.

Completely relax. Breathe deeply and as you slowly exhale let go in your face, now your head, now your neck, let your shoulders completely drop…. breathe deeply, exhale and relax all over.

Now remember the best feeling of reward or aliveness you have ever experienced in your body. The feeling of aliveness and excitement can be from anything, let go of the thought about what created the feeling and just feel the experience of the feeling all over. Take some deep breaths and allow the feeling to wash over your body and through every part of you. When you feel wonderful….

…….give it to the child within you. Walk slowly towards a mirror and with each step feel the wonderful feeling as it grows stronger, breathe deeply and ……as you open your eyes see the child within and feel good.

The child within deserves the reward of this chemistry because we love them/yourself for being happy in this life….its not so easy all the time…but it is important to feel alive and happy.

It is amazing how much more we are ourselves when the rewards we give ourselves automatically make us feel wonderful about ourselves.

The nucleus accumbens, the brains reward system, as well as the frontal lobe are much less active when we only reward ourselves for being admired. If we reward ourselves instead of just waiting to get it from others, we have much more activity going on in the reward system of our brain.

There are times we all have sadness or failure.

The same things the Wizard of Oz gave, self confidence, courage and the capacity to love are something we can give ourselves.

If we want to become who we were meant to be, we must have the ability to reward ourselves, not look for the Wizard of Oz to do it.

 


Category: Brain Science

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