Napoleon Hill, mentored by Carnagie, said you can alter your life by altering your mind. Einstein echoes this. Einstein advocated for the communication of a ‘cosmic religious feeling’ between people. His description of what that was? When the individual feels, “…the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought.”
The mysterious science behind masterminds
Before a definition of mind, let’s speak to the elephant in the room. Have you ever walked into a room, locked eyes with someone in a magnetic way? Something more than just a look crossed the room. You felt it. Something… non-physical… just happened. Part of us is energetic. Non-physical. This is physics and it’s mysterious all at the same time. Belong to a master-mind? “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” ~Napoleon Hill
5 valuable little-known facts about your mind
- As I pointed out, mind is relational.
- Your mind is not the same as your brain.
- Your mind is embodied. It’s in your body and encompasses your brain.
- Your mind can change how your brain works. This is neuroplasticity.
- Feeling is required for reasoning. Thinking without feeling is logic, not reason.
- Feeling good elevates your thinking. Feeling bad lowers your thinking.
Definition of mind
Dr. Dan Siegel, author of ‘Mindsight – The Science of Personal Transformation’, defines mind: “The human mind is a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information.”
Embodied — your mind resides in your body
Ever had a gut feeling, a heartfelt response, or an impulse to move toward or away from something? How about a sense of right-place-right-time, intuition, synchronicity? These are all are non-logical felt responses. These impulses only come from your body. Feeling happens in your body. Then it’s integrated by the middle prefrontal cortex of your brain.
How you feel doesn’t affect your mind, it’s part of your mind
How you feel (feeling happens in your body) is energetic. It affects your mind. Your energetic state, your frequency, affects your access to a state of flow. To inspired or elevated thinking. Stay with me, I’ll show you how.
You can also generate feelings in your body by your thoughts. You can think good-feeling thoughts and avoid bad-feeling thoughts. The crux is…some of your thoughts are so habitual that your objective sense of them can be difficult. They can become your normal. When you have no map of where, say, anxiety comes from, you feel lost. The body/mind feels anxiety and the brain picks up that message and sends it back to the body/mind. They are a feedback loop that reinforce each other.
When you have awareness of your thoughts, you are in a better position to control your feelings. And vice versa.
Imagine your mind as a filmy 3 dimensional gossamer net studded with the seeds of your ideas and desires. Those seeds want to grow. They depend on the substrate of your mind — nurture them with your attention.
Your attention is energetic. It influences the energy profile of your body and mind
MRI’s and PET scans display energy profiles. They display frequencies (rate of vibration) of different kinds of tissue. The energy profile shows where the body is ‘off’ vibrationally. Your body also responds to frequency. That’s what hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling are. Vibrational frequencies.
Your mind responds to frequencies
How you feel is an energetic state — there’s a chart coming up to help your mind accept this. Beauty affects our energetic state, our frequency. Beauty is defined as ‘the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind.’
Einstein used violin music to elevate his mind. He adjusted the frequency of his mind. He’s known for thinking in images which he then put into formulas. Other great thinkers have agreed that inspired thought is often received as impressions. Not necessarily as words. If, as Neitzsche said, beauty speaks, what was Einstein receiving? Let me try to explain…
You have receptors that sense and translate vibrations of light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Those are frequencies. You also have sensors of innerness.Yes, it’s a word: Innerness 2. Less apparent; deeper: the inner meaning of a poem. 3. Of or relating to the mind or spirit. For subtle qualities of how you feel. Your mind can read your innerness if you’re dialed in. It’s the guidance of your soul. When you come into resonance with beauty/truth/ happiness, you move to a new feeling in yourself. A new frequency.
You’re like poetry. You have an ‘innerness’ that resonates with something higher. Your psyche, your inner being. Your soul. Spirit. The part of you connected to something bigger. Using the scientifically accepted word psyche helps us to get the woo out of the room.
Another word for the place where your thoughts come from is your psyche. Not your actual brain, but whatever it is that generates all your thoughts and emotions. Psyche comes from the Greek psykhe, which means “the soul, mind, spirit, or invisible animating entity which occupies the physical body.” You have receptors that sense and translate vibrations of light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. You also have innerness sensors. For how you feel. Your mind reads your innerness. It is the guidance of your soul.
Thoughts are things worth curating
Science tells us that thoughts have an energetic substance. You can feel for yourself the difference between a heavy thought and a light one. They are measurable. They are like pulses of vibration. They influence us in ways we are only beginning to understand.
Your body is not separate from your mind
Our thinking about the body is outdated. Biology uses 300 year old Newtonian thinking. Newton said matter and energy are separate. Let’s dive into our body. Tissues are made of cells are made of molecules are made of atoms are made of sub-atomic particles. A tiny camera snapping pictures of sub-atomic particles would produce pictures of ….er, nothing. Energy.
Thought is an impactful energy
Here’s an image from a study that will help you see how your mind affects your physicality. Test subjects were shown images and words. Let’s call that a story — they were told a simple story. The images show how the stories made the subjects feel. The subjects came into resonance with story in universally similar ways. Their vibration changed (color is a way to show vibration.)
The subject’s response to a story affected their vibration. The story (stimulus) + their perception (translation) generated an emotion/felt (response).
People drew maps of body locations where they feel basic emotions (top row) and more complex ones (bottom row). Hot colors show regions that people say are stimulated during the emotion. Cool colors indicate deactivated areas. Image courtesy of Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen.
Your perception — the way you translate an event — is a vibrational response in your body. You are moved. The Grand Canyon, an ocean view, a beautiful cathedral — these all cause something in you to move. Kinda like Star Trek. You step into the transponder, your energy scrambles and you go somewhere else. You can shape-shift your energy to a new state where inspired thought finds you. How you feel is an indicator of your vibration. Why does this matter?
1) How you feel is your navigation system. You are your own guide and navigator.
“Follow your bliss. If you do…you put yourself on a kind of track…”Joseph Campbell
Follow what makes you feel yellow. Beauty causes a ripple, a felt shift in yourself. It is your guidance, your inner GPS. What is beautiful to you — what lights you up?
Your body is a biofeedback device of what your mind is up to
You have receptors in your body to translate taste, touch, sight and sound. You have an inner sense of what you are resonating with. You can feel the response of your psyche, your soul. Noticing body sensations is one way to help you adjust and reset the loop of your mind-body-brain. You can be unconscious (unaware) of your thoughts. Or you can be conscious (aware) of them.
Level up your mind
Derek Sivers hints at this in his post about Olympians.
2) The mind is a PROCESS….
Consciousness? Smart people have spent careers trying to understand and explain consciousness. I’m going out on a limb — Jesus did a darn good job with his yeast stories. Fr. Richard Rohr among others, makes a good case that Jesus was a teacher of consciousness. A woman takes yeast (leaven) and mixes it into dough. Yeast changes it’s host. It expands to give structure and substance to dough.
What do you give structure and substance to with your yeast, er, mind? What do you enlarge and expand through your (conscious) attention to?
Pope Francis said heaven is a state in which our deepest aspirations are filled superabundantly.
(Isn’t this like the concept that your mind is like a substrate that nurtures the desires of your life?)
3) A refined mind is the gateway to the art of your soul
Stephen King moved his desk from a center place in his room to a corner with the advice, “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.” This is his primary tip in Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Put soul first, I think he’s saying.
Your mind is the key to your psyche, your soul. Your soul is asking to come alive. It wants YOU to know your mind, to follow the felt promptings of your soul. It’s whispering to you, this is first. Don’t be a sheep. This is life giving for you, it nourishes your soul. This is the reason for the admonishments: Dare. Be brave. Because your soul is not anyone else’s. Most of us prefer to fit in than stand out. After all, the ultimate form of punishment used to be ostracism.
An untrained mind is like a nice comfortable sheep
Going with the status quo is comfortable. But soul destroying. You’ve learned to use your 5 senses in a discriminating way. You avoid tastes or smells or sounds or touches that cause you to feel bad. But what about your other sense, your sense of soul?
Wait you say — Life is often not beautiful. It can be soul-sucking. Let’s hear some advice from the ultimate sufferer:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl
Reflect back to the color chart. The story (stimulus) + perception (your translation) = emotion/feeling (response). Your mind wants training. This is what Cesar Milan knows. A loved and honored dog enjoys greater freedom than an untrained one. Dog and master are happier. The dog wants the master to be the master.
Alter your mind by understanding what it is. Know what to feed it. Train it well. Level up the loop of your thinking. Which impacts your feeling. Which loops back to impact your thinking. Train your mind to notice the gaps, the spaces where fear, negativity or resistance occur. The gap is an invitation to level up your mind. What’s true to you in a moment of irritation has a new ‘truth’ after a pause, a moment of faith. Level up your mind. It is the journey of your soul. Tend to your body as the most dense substrate of your mind. Your body is matter and matter is vibration perceived.
Get into a comfortable position. Close your outside eyes and open your inner gaze. Feel with all your senses toward your innerness. Soften your jaw. Relax your forehead. Soften your shoulders. Sigh on purpose, out loud. Turn your closed eyes gently upward. Imagine you have a pencil between your teeth, it helps you feel an inner smile, a brightening. Breath nice and deep. Sigh again. Feel the weight of your body and give in to gravity. Stop trying so hard. Just be. Be.
Did you notice a sigh well up in response to your pause? That’s something inside you appreciating you back.
Mary Oliver says it best with these lines from her poem Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.