We Are Our ChoicesEverything in your life is a reflection of the thoughts you think, the choices you make, your actions and your words. Those seemingly insignificant, small, in-the-moment, decisions that you make every day, all day about how you spend your time, the company you keep, what you put into your mouth, and what comes out of your mouth all add up to make your reality.

In his book, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness Gary Zukav says, “All choices make perfect consequences.”  He posits that energy can only leave the body in one of two ways: as fear and doubt or love and trust.  As suggested by many popular philosophies, when a person exudes fear and doubt it produces one experience and, when a person puts out energy in the form of love and trust, it creates a different experience.

Thoughts and Emotions Are Energy

According to Zukav, when energy leaves the center as fear and doubt, the result is always painful and the experience produces emotions such as anger, jealousy, grief, and vengefulness.  When energy leaves a center in love and trust, the result is experiences that produce gratitude, contentment, and joy.  Having painful emotions is always a signal to a person that they are releasing energy as fear and doubt.  Energy is released by thinking, speaking, and acting.

According to Zukav, a person becomes an authentically empowered individual when they have learned to release energy as love and trust.  I would add that this is a person who has learned to control their mind and to choose their words and actions consciously in order to do so.  He writes:

When energy leaves this center in love and trust, you see the wisdom and compassion of the Universe wherever you look.  When it leaves in fear and doubt, what you see appears cold and frightening.  In the first case, a path through the woods appears sunlit and welcoming.  In the second case, the same path appears dark and foreboding.  When you see the path one way, it invites you forward. And when you see it the second way, it frightens you.  When this center processes energy in love and trust, you become clear.  You see the purpose of everything in your life, including your emotions.

Why Your Brain Is Naturally Fearful

Feelings of fear and dread are actually the amygdala, a primitive part of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response, kicking in and doing its job which is actually a good thing for self-preservation and survival of the species. However, in this day and age, when we are highly unlikely to encounter a life or death situation, it does not need to be so vigilant.  Mother Nature was kind enough to program the amygdala to ensure our survival, and we pack on many more fears which we learn from the world around us, the people in our lives and our experiences. When we feel fear, we need to explore the feeling and ask ourselves if it is warranted or if it is just the amygdala instinctually reacting to the unfamiliar and unknown.  From your brain’s perspective, to get over a fear, you have to expose yourself to it.  Moving through fear is the only way out of it.

I know this to be true from my own experience. My amygdala has been on high alert most of my life.  I have calmed it down with mindfulness practices and by consciously doing things on a regular basis which scare the heck out of me. The people around me have heard me say over and over that “I refuse to live a fear-based existence.”  These days, I have a policy that if I fear something, I will take it on because I know there will be a sense of freedom and growth on the other side.  As my amygdala has settled down, so has my life.  As I have learned to make conscious choices, acting and speaking from a place of love and trust instead of fear, the world has become a much nicer, friendlier, gentler place.

You Can Calm It Down

You can learn to calm your brain and amygdala. I have gone from fearing the future in a very unhappy existence which I wanted to exit so much so that I made a serious attempt to kill myself to a bold curiosity about the future and a sense of trust in myself and the universe knowing that everything will be OK — good even.  Not because life will be full of sparkles and rainbows and unicorns, but because, whatever happens, I will intentionally choose my perspective and guide my mind to have the perspective of gratitude and optimism.

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  1. An absorbing energy paradigm nicely explained. Well done. I like your book recommendations, because my normal science reading is a lot of dry stuff about radiation, physics and drug trial studies. Reading this I recalled the related axiom “Not to decide, is still to decide.”

  2. Debbie Hampton Reply

    Not to decide most definitely can be a conscious choice and a decision – a smart one in most cases, in my experience, exercising patience.

    I do like all of my books that I read for information for blogs and the book which I finished writing BTW (yipee!), but I have taken the summer and read purely fluffy, for-fun stuff. I read the “I am Jenny” book you reviewed.

    At someone’s recommendation I picked up the “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which is a highly popular, romantic series. I can’t say that I like it, but I am finding it very interesting. Blog to follow on how I cannot believe that women make this shit a best seller series and how I used to be one who believed this kind of crap.

  3. Debbie,

    A really well done explanation of Zukav’s theory in a way that makes sense to me. Thank you! I love the idea that the more we can rest in love, the more we can overcome or dissolve fear. I’ve had a high alert amygdala too and my experience has been a little different. I’ve always heard in trauma therapy that safety is first and that re-triggering trauma can often embed the pattern more deeply. I’ve found that going in baby-steps has been the way to move forward, but I hope someday to have the courage to jump into fearful situations like you do!

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      I, too, take baby steps in working through my fear. After the brain injury, just going out in public and being in normal social situations was challenging for me. So, while my approach may seem “full steam ahead”, I started at a more elementary level than most. I gradually, over time, and I mean years, exposed myself to more and more challenging situations. First, it was just going to the grocery store or getting gas. Next, it was ordering in restaurants or actually going through a drive through. Then, it was actually chatting with people when walking the dog or standing in line. I even went to a social gathering by myself which may not be any big deal to some, but, for me, it was HUGE!

  4. Loved this one Debbie. My amygdala also had been on high alert most of my life too. 🙂 It was probably responsible for me getting involved in personal and spiritual growth. I have definitely learned some skills to keep my reptile brain in check.

    I recently have been listening to brainwave entrainment mp3’s to calm and train my brain. Its been 4 months now and the results have been positive.

    take care.

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Thanks, Justin. My over vigilant amygdala has allowed me to accomplish some pretty good things along the way which I probably would not have otherwise. It does have itsplace, but learning to calm it has had tremendous benefits. Having had a brain injury, I do not want to mess with my brain waves through entrainment, but I am glad you find it helpful.

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