I was a mess.
I felt as if I’d failed. And when you’re the son of an Englishman, whose relatively good school grades were “never good enough,” failure had never been an option.
I’d never felt quite this low before, but it did take me back to my teenage year (17) in hospital (actually only about four months), away from my friends, with little to amuse me but my guitar and tapes of the Bee Gees. Thank goodness for the Bee Gees! That was 1967.
But the one thing it taught me early on is that when you get really low mentally, there’s nowhere to go but up. I’d done it before … and I knew that I could do it again.
Your brain is the most powerful organ in your body. But it can get ill just like any other organ.
This past winter, I attended the annual convention of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, of which I’m a member. In one of the sessions, entitled, “The Energy Within You,” we did an exercise with a partner – I’d seen a similar exercise done before, but many years ago. I’ll simplify it here.
One of the couple (“partner 1”) stands erect with one arm extended parallel to the floor (at a right angle to the body). Partner 1 is told to resist their partner’s effort (“partner 2”) to fold that arm back down to their side. Partner 2 applies pressure down on the arm and you’ll find that they will be unable to push it down. That’s the first part of the exercise. Then partner 1 is told to close their eyes and concentrate on a goal that they want to achieve in their future – a dream they’ve had perhaps professionally – something they are bent on realizing. Now, with that thought firmly in their mind, partner 1 extends the arm again and partner 2 applies pressure. One of two things can happen, of course. In the first instance, if partner 1 is unsure of his or her ability to achieve that goal, the arm will drop when pressure is applied. However, if they’re firm in their belief that they’ll be successful, partner will not be able to collapse partner 1’s arm.
I’ve seen this done years ago, but under slightly different circumstances. After the first part of the exercise was complete, partner 2 would then criticize partner 1, saying out loud how incompetent they were in a specific instance. Then partner 2 would attempt to collapse the arm and, of course, it would fold down easily every single time, no matter who was brought up on stage to attempt the exercise. Negative thoughts and language makes us physically weak. And there you see an example of the power of the brain to control how we feel and act.
It’s a mind game. Simple as that. My mind was sick and I had to feed it the right material.
I did some research to find that the best way to re-program your mind is when you’re in the alpha state. That’s the state between sleep and being fully conscious. You’re in the alpha state, in fact, as you first wake up in the morning.
Here’s a paragraph from the website, “Subconscious Secrets.”
If you read any self improvement book, you will learn that the best time to do your affirmation or visualization (techniques used to reprogram your subconscious mind) is before your sleep and after you wake up. By now, you should know that that’s because these are times when you are in alpha.
I decided to test it out. I had two books on hand that were highly positive. I recommend both of them to anyone. They’re both very well known.
I placed them both right by my bedside and as soon as I woke up, I’d read at least a couple of paragraphs, sometimes as much as a chapter. After a month or so, I was starting to feel a lot more capable.