Did you know that when Buddhist monks meditate their brains actually flex like Popeye eating spinach? Their gamma waves are connecting super-far-reaching circuits ... or gathering consciousness. Interesting, isn't it. Thus it seems we can work on expanding the functions of our gray matter. We can look for this thing called "consciousness" and bring it into being. It isn't just "out there," beyond our reach. It isn't something we can't access. It's something we can call upon -- if we want to.
It is said that we use only 4 to 10 percent of our brains. Remember the astronomical number of neuron-synapse pathways? What if the ones that are never tried are the ones that could change the way we live and function? What if the ones that are constantly traveled are the ones that have made our lives and personalities the way they are? We are creatures of habit -- comfortable in our limitations mainly because they do not offer surprises. The unknown, our low/reptilian brain tells us, could be full of unpleasant surprises. I wouldn't know how to help you. I contain your reflexes and instincts and emotions. I've kept you alive until now, haven't I? Am I not doing my job? Please don't give me any surprises! I might not be able to do my job!!
And that's about as simple as it gets by way of explanation. Every time we have a thought, it is accompanied by a neuropeptide (a chemical). The brain makes chemicals to go with emotions and thoughts. Emotions triggered in the low brain reach into the high brain for thought/reasoning associations, and thus we get the link between emotions and our thoughts. As neuropeptides are created over and over by the same emotions and thought patterns, our very cells become habituated to these chemicals. Our thoughts, emotions, life view and even our intentions thus become limited by habit, by familiarity, which is encouraged by the reptilian brain itself. (I don't want any new feelings! I'm not used to them! Don't be happy. I'm used to complaining and being depressed.)
How Do We Change Things?
It is said that in order for others to change, we have to change ourselves (or the way we interact with and respond to them). Similarly, in order for what is around us to change, we have to change ourselves. People who have "woken up" to the dire issues going on around them are more than merely "concerned." Some are deeply depressed, or outraged, or uncontrollably anxious about the future. And some alternative talk-show hosts only fan the flames of despair: What are we going to DO?
If the brain-chemicals-accompanying-thoughts science is correct, then changing what is at the beginning of the chain -- our thoughts -- should do the trick, shouldn't it? Perhaps at the very starting gate itself is this thing we call attention. Where can your attention be at any given time? In how many places? If you are located in TODAY, right now, this moment, but your attention is on the past or the future, the thoughts you create at that moment have to do with your memory (the past) or your fantasy (the future). Your thoughts are not about right now. In the present, we can be exemplary -- unusually responsible, that is -- as our instincts combine with our rationality to deal with what's happening. Think about how often you are not there, not present -- but somewhere in the past or the future ... worrying or wondering about what doesn't exist any longer (the past) ... or yet (the future).
Our ATTENTION sets our INTENTION. Where we focus is how we start to think, and thinking creates the doing, and then the being. We have three "compositions" going at once -- our thinking, our doing, and our being. Distress about the past or about the future (which hasn't happened) actually flavors or colors our time spent in the present. Think about it! And the way we are in the present sets up our path into our future. (All this is beautifully explained on the DVD "Evolve Your Brain" by Dr. Joe Dispenza -- if what is being written here resonates with you, please watch this DVD.)
So the way to change "things" out there is to re-set ourselves -- starting with our attention, which is the basis for our expressed intention. Many people don't realize how much their emotions function as tools that carve out or attract the events in their lives. Sometimes we are hit with a direct demonstration that cannot be ignored or denied -- you're thinking of something awful and boom! something around you happens that causes physical pain or another kind of physical problem. Is it a coincidence? As Joe Dispenza says, one event is an "incident." Two events that occur together are called a "coincidence." Three? Four? We're getting into actual patterns as the numbers get higher.