Powering UP Your Brain. Over the years, I have looked at different products created to help our brain work better. Some are online puzzles or games; others use light, sound, hypnotic messages; others just encourage actively using your brain more. What parts of the brain are these efforts trying to impact? Why do we end up paying big money for some of these systems? What can individuals on limited income do to support keeping their brains healthy and strong?
All of these tools and systems have at their base the concept of the neuroplasticity of the brain. In the past 20-30 years, the fact of neuroplasticity has been established based on research into the glia cells in the brain and the brain’s capability to adapt, modify and shift how and what it uses brain cells for. The simple fact is that the brain is the most malleable and modifiable organ in the human body.
In the 1900s, our view of the brain was that it was unchanging. The brain had been mapped and areas of the brains used for different functions were thought to be reserved only for one function. If you had any limitation of the brain from birth, disease, injury or stroke, there was nothing to be done. The brain could not be changed. Remember the old phrase, ‘we use only 10% of our brain’? Well, luckily, there were individuals who sensed that there was more to that 90% then just support. In the last 20-30 years, the research of that other 90% of the brain opened our understanding of how that 90% is the part of the brain that creates thought, creativity, imagination and creates solutions unique to us. The cells of the brain that are the 90% of the brain are a type of glia cells called astrocytes.
Suggestions for keeping your astrocytes active and healthy are simple activities like knitting, cross word puzzles, learning something new and keeping physically active. Any of us can do these. The brain also thrives when we give it time to relax and rest, so those meditative moments, those walks in nature, just listening to music and a good night’s sleep away from our tv’s, computers and other devices, all give the brain the quiet time it needs to put today’s experience into long-term memory; to create solutions that are unique for us; to clean up cellular debris in the brain. If you have brain damage from an injury or stroke, there are resources available to help your brain find other areas of the brain to take over those functions that were impacted. There is still so much research needed to figure out the role that astrocytes play in Dementia, in Alzheimer’s, in Parkinson’s and in ALS or better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, all of which have common areas of deterioration of the brain tissue and thus our mental capacities and physical movements.
There is so much more than just keeping your brain as healthy and active as it has been. Unless you have deliberately sought learning new things or comprehending different perspectives, your brain pretty much gives you thoughts that others put into your brain from childhood. Most of what you think are not your thoughts. Most of what you believe about your future does not have to be your future. You don’t need to live your life according to what society has scripted for you in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond.
I would like to introduce you to another tool that you can use to not just keep your brain healthy but to also increase your creativity, your imagination, your problem-solving capabilities and help you have the life that you have craved. These tools are the Creation Exercises developed by Tantra Maat in the early 2000s and first presented in her book, ‘The Language of Creation’. The Creation Exercises were built on the process that Creation uses to create new life on earth – the golden mean. They support us in creating new astrocytic networks in our brains that can come to dominate our perceptions of the world and thus make it possible for us to live the life that we have craved. This is the huge difference between these exercises and those suggested in the previous paragraphs. Anyone who writes the Creation Exercises regularly gets a healthier brain, new perspectives on life and new capabilities of living the life that they have craved. Regularly runs the gamut from daily writing to several times a week. The impact of the creation exercises in our lives is linked directly to how often we write them.
Within the Language of Creation, there are 7 Craving Templates and 2 Observing templates. For every Craving creation exercise we write, there must be an observing exercise written simply because, like the Taoist symbol, there is always two sides to life – where we want to go and where we are right now. Our brain and our God/Creation can’t help us on this journey from here to there if we don’t acknowledge and get out of the grip of ‘where we are’. The Observing exercises do that for us. The craving exercises help us discover the deeper reasons behind our surface cravings. It’s not based on rational thought but a seeking of the resonant networks and threads inside our brain and our body that are connected to that conscious craving. Under that conscious craving are the drivers of our existence, the wisdom of our deeper self that, when surfaced, gives us a much wider field within which the initial craving can be viewed and manifested. By the end of one craving exercise, we have created 10 new astrocytic networks in our brain, that are all connected to one conscious craving. Can you imagine how different the networks in our brains would be if you wrote a new creation exercise daily? Those old familiar networks that we experience as automatic reactions in thought, language or deed would no longer be so powerful. Options would exist for doing and being that which is more resonant with our deepest selves, our deepest longing for how we want to live in the world.
As I said previously, the Creation Exercises were developed according to the golden mean. The Language of Creation templates hold the golden mean of the process of creation so that you actually are in the process of creating something new when you write a creation exercise, just as a seed holds the essence of a flower and when given the right water and sun, opens to create a flower. Your essence is awaiting to open to whom you came here to be, to how you want to live your life, to how you want to gift your gifts to the world. The unique and powerful gift of the templates is that they are the structure within which you create your life. They don’t have pre-scripted solutions or steps for you to take. You are a unique and essential Being in this world and these templates are a way for you to make that more dominant as an experience in your life. Some of you have been doing the Creation Exercises for years. Some of you have never written one. My invitation to all of you is to start writing your creation exercises regularly, so that you can BE whom you came here to BE. This earthly life is precious and so much wonder awaits us as we open to all we can be, do and have.
Resources to learn more about the Language of Creation and the creation exercises.
Books: ‘The Language of Creation’ by Tantra Maat; ‘The Brain that Changes Itself ‘by Norman Doidge, MD; ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing’ by Norman Doidge, MD; ‘The Root of Thought’ by Andrew Koob.
Packages to support learning the Creation Exercises: https://iuwcinstitute.com/product-category/instructional-videos/