How We Think The Brain Works
We have been taught that what we think is what drives learning and intelligence. The notion of our conscious self as the arbiter of intelligence started in the 17th century when Rene Descartes proposed that the mind controls the ‘machine’ body. As society entered the industrial age of automation, it fit well with the types of demands on workers to happily perform boring, repetitive tasks. Is this really how the brain works?
Try the following:
As a baseline, in sitting notice what you feel in your body. Are you slumped or sitting stiffly? How are your legs organized? Are your buttocks relaxed or tight? Where do you breathe from, belly or chest? Is your breath shallow, forced, or normal? Is it easeful to breathe or does it feel constrained? Are you comfortable or do you have twinges or little discomforts? Are your shoulders and neck tight or loose? Is your jaw slack, clenched, or tight?
Pour a glass of water. Before you pick up the glass think about what muscles you might use to lift it. Once it is clear in your mind, try picking up the glass.
Did you engage the muscles you planned to use? Did you feel more or fewer muscles working than you thought you needed?
Slowly pick up the glass again. How tightly do you hold the glass? Did you stop breathing? Do your shoulders contract? Or lift up? What do you feel in your neck, eyes, jaw, belly, hips, buttocks, and legs? Can you identify what muscles you actually used to lift the glass of water? What muscles do you need?
Touch parts of your body as you lift the glass to feel those muscles that are contracted and those that are released. Touch obvious parts first, then touch parts that don’t seem as if they should be involved.
Wrap your hand around the glass tight enough to feel your muscles. Pick it up keeping the muscles contracted. Does it feel harder and is your arm stiff at the elbow? Are your neck, shoulders, chest, belly, buttocks, or legs contracted? Do you stop breathing?
Holding the glass firmly raise it up and down a few times and notice what muscles you feel working. Are you breathing to coincide with the raising and lowering of the glass? Do you breathe at all as you raise and lower it? Does your arm feel stiff? Is your shoulder bunched up? Are the belly, buttocks, or legs contracted?
Does your mind feel more open or closed; darker or lighter; distracted or constricted? Does your body get tighter as you repeat the movement? Do you feel stronger or weaker? Are you less aware of what is around you? Pause.
Pick up the glass one more time in your normal way and notice if it feels different from the first time you picked it up.
Is your awareness and sense of being present a bit different now? Does your mind feel more or less alert? What is your feeling internally, more quiet or less so? Read on to find out why you may feel quite different.
The Latest Science
In the last decade science, in studying how the brain works, has determined it is a complex neurological organism that rewires itself as it learns and refines skills. All information enters the brain from the senses: what we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. Every sense is activated by movement. And since every sense is activated by movement: movement is the source of all learning. Neuroscientist and roboticist Daniel Wolpert Ph.D., based on evidence from other animals states that “The only reason we have a brain is because we move.”
How We Naturally Learn
If you watch a baby learning to move, you will notice each time a movement sequence is repeated it becomes more balanced, refined, complex, and effortless. And observe how the child becomes more cognitively alert as the quality of her movements improve. Many scientific studies show that the ability to think more clearly directly correlates with the quality of our movements. Science shows that as movement quality improves so does intelligence, and conversely, as movement quality regresses so does intelligence.
In 200,000 years of evolution, the humans that were most likely to procreate are those that were most adaptable and able to learn greater complexity to survive. The bottom line is how you move is what matters to enhance intelligence.
Moving Better = Thinking Better
The information age demands the ability to think critically, flexibly, and creatively to solve complex problems. You can get ahead of the curve by transitioning to a unified mind-body approach that adheres to the way your brain evolved — through the quality of how you move.
The transitional process consists of:
Connect with how it feels to move
Respond to what you feel the way your brain expects you to respond
Understand how your structure is optimally organized for movement
Integrate five essential elements into all movements
Learning to move well is natural and non-conscious for children, but adults that have become unaware must consciously reconnect with what they feel until it eventually becomes intrinsic again.
Transform your life
You can address just your physical movements to enhance skills, get out of pain, or recover from injury. You can also choose to go far beyond the physical into a much deeper exploration of the mind-body connection. Refinement of the quality of how you move leads to your body and mind converging to function in seamless synchronicity.
Through the quality of how you move you are poised to enter that special state of being where you function in timeless, effortless effort. In that state is your deepest potential to be more human than the human you are in this moment. Start your transition today with Getting Smarter – It’s not what you think.