A requisite for change in one’s attitude or behavior is a mapping from the original pattern of synapses to new ones (this is not consciously done, ofcourse). This mapping would specify how each old behavior and thought pattern must be changed to arrive at the new one. However, this mapping is not linear or direct. Saying that element A goes to element B or a frown goes to a smile, if you like, simply does not work. Then again, this is not surprising, given the high degree of interconnectedness in our brain. Unlike a machine, almost every action of ours influences many others in obvious or imperceptible ways. To change the pattern of activity would involve some change at a deeper level – at the level of inspiration.The intermediary for change is switch of focus from familiar definitive actions to a relatively abstract drive (eg a new idea, emotion, ambition…) to reach a new place, a different place.

Step 1) Bring the rules of the old attitudes to the memory.

Step 2) Replace the old rules with the new motivation. Motivation could take the form of vivid sights, sounds, feelings, and the taste of the change. This will be incompatible with the original rules. However, the new rules are not explicitly dictated – only the new motivation is experienced. Sustained motivation and enthusiasm ensures that the rules naturally follow from here.

[Analogy: Let us think of the old attitude as ‘darkness’, and dub the newer, stronger attitude as ‘light’.  In the physical world, we must switch on the lamp to illuminate the surroundings. However, in the territory owned by our brain, the light itself arises to switch on the lamp. That is to say, the essence of changing a deep-seated behavioral habit is not the articulation of new rules, rather in creating the right mental condition which would then turn the switch on, i.e. usher the new way of thinking.]

Step 3) Because the neuronal interconnections evolve over time in a dynamic way, it is important to allow oneself to feel like an empty chalice, not yet containing directions on how to act.  During the process of change there is a certain excitement about starting afresh, special joy in not knowing the details, only the inspiration guiding oneself. However, choosing not to delve into the specific does not ensure their absence; in fact, the opposite is true. Underlying the conscious abstinence from commitment to details of changes, is a pathway to ideas, thoughts, plans, and actions leading to the wonderful, new self one visualized. Under the veil of mystery and excitement the neurons are firing away earnestly, forging connections to the new regions that may be employed, and sparking previously dormant synapses with fervent activity. Real estate of many lonely cortical towns is brought to life and their potential is tapped into to fuel change. The familiar symbols and images bring new perceptions; take on different meanings and messages.

If the new perception is sustained over time it becomes the way one sees. Then one would know that thye are a changed person.

– Surabhi 


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