Ep. 26 - Podcast Thumbnail

#26 – Neuroplasticity

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Ep. 40 - Podcast Thumbnail

This episode introduces the concepts of neuroplasticity and epigenetics and how we as humans have the capacity to shape our brains, our thoughts and thought processes in order to also curb our behavior and output. In short, you can shape your brain so that you can shape you.

The most connected system in our entire body is our heart and our mind. In fact, about 90% of that information is coming from your heart to your mind. This explains how you can intellectualize your feelings and turn thoughts and emotions into meaningful information.

Neuroplasticity and epigenetics are also effective methods for approaching porn addiction positively. Because you know that you can manage your addiction and behavior by reprogramming your brain, you can overcome it much easier and with more joy.

  • What is neuroplasticity and why does it matter?
  • Rationalizing your thoughts and feelings
  • Discusses reticular activating system
  • Creating a validation loop
  • Using this mental technology to create a future you desire and making it a reality
  • How the Ascend 90-Day program helps
  • How you can change and turn your thoughts and feelings into whatever you want

 

Episode Transcript:

Andrew Love: Welcome, everybody. This is Andrew Love. And we’re gonna go on a bit of a deep dive today on the topic of neuroplasticity. I’m going to be doing a solo cast. This is officially my six take of this podcast. I’ve gone so far as about 10 minutes in on a few occasions, only to realize that I was rambling incessantly too much in the weeds. I was too much deep into details that people probably don’t need to hear or care about at this point. So I’ve erased those and I’m just trying to do a more broad strokes, shorter episode, just to introduce you to the subject of neuroplasticity. My goal here is essentially to sell you on the importance of neuroplasticity, so that you can do more research subsequently. We will, in a later episode, we will interview a professional who has studied exclusively on, on this, you know, field of neuroplasticity, and we will pick their brains. Absolutely. I can’t wait for that. But for now, I just want to introduce this topic from a, kind of a more of a bird’s eye perspective. And here’s why. First of all, I’m not a scientist. I know, I know many of you just fell off your chair because you’re like, but wait a second. What’s up with the beakers in your pockets in the, in the lab coat that you’re always having, and the sinister mad scientist look in your eyes. And to that I say, you know, whatever. It’s just a face. And I’m not a scientist. I am in fact a guinea pig. I love testing scientific things out on myself, especially neuroplasticity and epigenetics. We’re not going to talk so much about epigenetics today. But neuroplasticity is… It was introduced to me eight years ago, I remember I was at a workshop. And a fellow by the name of Philip Shanker was speaking on this topic, and I just something in me, just went bananas. I was like, I need to know more. This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever heard. And so I just started reading about it. I started thinking back to my own experiences of using this in my life without even knowing it. And now that there was a field of study, a scientific field, where there’s tons of research being, being put into this and so much evidence, I could put a name to it. And I could understand the sequence of events that needs to take place in order to curate your mind and your mental landscape. So, I would like to consider this episode. First of all, just me selling you on neuroplasticity so that you can do more, more research on your own. But also, I just want to be a bridge between the science, the hard science and the, that stacks of, you know, papers and research and data and all that stuff. But I don’t expect that everybody’s going to care that much, that they’re going to read all the stuff that I’ve read. So I, I just want to reiterate it, some people for your general interest but for most of you. I hope, I hope if you don’t know a bunch already that you go out and you start watching videos, you start reading books, because this is a game changer. We are living in an era. You have to understand we’re the beneficiaries of aeons of science and spirituality and different forms, converging at this one moment in history where we can have everything, if we just spend the time, curating and creating ourselves in the image of our ideal self. And that’s how heaven is created, when a bunch of people create their own heaven, and then merge together to form a society of heavenly bodies. And if you think that we’re far off from that, then, then, that’s, you need to do your homework, because it’s like, it’s already happening. It’s already happening. So I want to get into just, again, some broad stuff. First of all, what is neuroplasticity? Well, it’s the understanding that you shape your brain, your brain doesn’t shape you. I mean, it does in a sense, but you can shape your brain in order to shape you. Because your brain will tell the rest of you what to feel, right? And you’re constantly being fed all this information, but how you interpret it, that’s all in your brain. So the world around you, the people that you see, how you think about your parents, yourself, your religion, it’s all shaped by experience and by your thinking, and it’s not static anymore. We used to think, as a human race, that it’s static. That how you are born is how you must remain for your life. If you’re a grumpy person, sorry, you got to be a grumpy teenager, a grumpy young adult, a grumpy parent and subsequently a grumpy grandparent and then you’ll be a grumpy spirit in spirit world. Pretty sucky, pretty sucky. But along comes neuroplasticity. The field is no, no older than saying like, really established, you know, no older than, say 20 years, something like that. But it’s really gained momentum in the past decade, to the point where they’ve just done so many brain scans. So much research, so much that it’s just like, it’s just fact. You know, as much as science can be fact and science always needs to evolve. Of course, we will understand it more deeply later on. But the main essence is this, that you can shape, literally shape your brain. You can customize the contours of it, the look of it, and what it does, based on your willingness to repeat the same thoughts to get the same feelings. And that’s why it truly matters is, I’m not telling you this just so that you can think a bunch of thoughts, whatever you want to think, that’s great. But what you think is what you feel and this really matters when you get into addiction, changing your habits, and changing how you think and feel about yourself and the world around you. And especially when it comes to how you navigate difficult situations like with your spouse. Okay? I want to give you a very specific example. There was a time in my marriage, you know, we were happy, we started out happy. And then I’ve said in a previous episode, that we went through some trials. And we went through difficulty for long enough, for me to have a hardened heart towards my wife. And I started to repeat the same thoughts about my wife, that created the same feelings towards my wife, that created a certain dynamic within our marriage. So what I was thinking about her caused me to feel certain things that basically decided how I spoke to her and the type of energy I was giving her. And then the type of relationship we had which affected our kids. It affected, you know, our friendships with other people. It affected every aspect of our life. And all of that started in my mind. So I, I’ve read that 90%, you know, the most connected system in all of your body is between your heart and your mind. And 90% of that information is coming from your heart to your mind. Right? And so you’re getting a lot of information from your heart, and it’s going to your mind, but then your mind is constantly working to create meaning what does this mean, right? So for instance, when somebody makes fun of you, you don’t intellectually understand. First, you feel first you feel hurt, and you don’t really fully understand what happens until later. You, you know, sort through all of your feelings, and you, and you figure out exactly why, what they were saying hurt your feelings and why they did what they did. But the first thing you do is you feel a flood of feelings going throughout your body. And that could be good or bad. Like, when you feel in love. That’s just a surge of emotions you can feel in love in your fingertips. You can feel in love everywhere. It’s a feeling. But to rationalize it and make sense of it, you have to step back for a bit. So that hard work of choosing your thoughts. You can anticipate feeling certain things by thinking them enough times. Okay, so do you remember the Pavlov’s dog study the famous quote is like, you know, scientists that, that trained a dog, that to every time it heard a bell, it automatically expected to get a treat a reward. That’s what porn is, is, every time you want comfort, you seek porn. You get comfort for a little while and then of course, the chemicals go away, you get your dopamine hit, but then it shrinks. Then you left feeling lonely in many cases lonelier than you did before. But you do that enough times and the cause starts to, you stop being able to really, even control whether you go to porn because every time you feel lonely, you feel emasculated or I don’t know how you say the feminine version of that unfeminated. You feel a little, you feel insignificant, and you want comfort? The more times that you go to porn, the more likely it is that you’re going to go to porn, because you’re conditioning yourself to find comfort there, if only for a small period of time. But I’ve, I’ve talked to enough people around the world and this is not a conscious thing. They don’t know that what they’re feeling in the moment is loneliness or isolation or whatever the feeling is, that is causing them to seek after comfort. They don’t have that awareness in the beginning. In the beginning, they just have a feeling and then they end up watching porn. Okay, feeling causes, goes straight to action without thinking. So already, I hope you’re, I hope you’re taking notes and I hope that you can think which of my thoughts are serving me and which of my thoughts aren’t. So you might have a tendency towards self doubt or self, bad, maybe you have a bad self image. You think I’m, I’m fat, or I’m ugly. And you’ve thought this thought so many times that you believe that to be reality. Okay. And this is another thing is that we have something called a reticular activating system, very important because this system in our brain seeks what we tell it to seek. So when for instance, your, you want to buy a car, let’s say you really want to buy the latest Honda Civic, okay? When you go out driving you will see so many Honda Civics and you’ll say, “Where did all these Honda Civics come from?” Well, they came from the fact that you are now prioritizing Honda Civic in your mind. And so it’s looking for them unconsciously, but you’ve made it a priority. Okay? So it’s seeking validation and seeking reinforcement. And this is what we do. So if you’re telling yourself, I’m ugly, you will look for every instance to re validate that thought, that feeling, that opinion of yourself. And you will also be very much more likely to dismiss any facts that prove otherwise, you just won’t see them. They won’t seem real to you because what you’ve invested emotion and thought into is the fact that you are ugly. Can you change that? Can you change the feeling that you’re ugly? A hundred percent you can. You can feel, if you’re a guy, beautiful, handsome, handsome. If you’re a woman, you can choose to be vivacious or beautiful or whatever adjective you want to use. You can, but you can’t just do it consciously and say, “Okay, I’m beautiful” and then that’s it. You have to first catch the thoughts that are not serving you. Okay? So if it’s, I’m ugly, then you have to decide, well, if this thought that I’m having about myself is not helping me, then which thought can I replace it with that will help me. So, I am really unique looking and handsome. Unique is good. Okay? And then you start that that’s, that that’s the thing that you’re going to replace it with. That’s the thought. So you’re choosing a thought, and what you need to do is you need to bring together that thought, together with a feeling that validates it. You need to start doing things that will make you feel handsome or beautiful as a woman that could be things like working out. What you’re doing is you creating a validation loop which is proving the thesis that you are good looking. So dressing better. cutting your hair more often, whatever the case may be, I don’t know what it is that, that you feel is ugly about you but you need to figure that out. This is really important. So like how you think then changes and then how you feel also changes. Do you think that affects how you relate with this world? Absolutely. This is giving credence to that, that old adage that you become your surrounding, you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with because they’re only validating the beliefs that the group has. So I used to hang around a bunch of comedians, that’s, that’s where I, you know, for few, a bunch of years, I spent time exclusively with comedians. And I became extremely sad during that time, and I became very self conscious about my looks. And the reason is that everybody would always just make fun of each other all the time, because everybody was very insecure. And so when I was with them, they would only validate the fact that they thought I was ugly and weird looking. Okay? And so that became, that was never the case throughout all of high school and all that. But when I started hanging out with comedians, I started to have this negative loop be validated. So then, the type of music you listen to, the type of conversations that you’re a part of, all become very important in shaping the thoughts that you’re repeating again, and again, and again, and again, that are creating, that are conjuring the feelings that are arising again and again, and again, and again. So you see, how you think, involves you choosing which thoughts you don’t like because they’re not serving you, they’re not making you stronger and more connected to God, more connected to your sense of mission and power and purpose and all these things. Then you need to choose the thoughts which will serve you. Which will make you stronger, which will validate the fact that you are a child of God and that you are powerful. And then you need to start seeking after the feelings. This is the crazy part, is that all, we have this wild imagination, where if you are let’s say, you were made fun of really harshly in front of everybody, let’s say in the playground, this honestly never happen, happened to me. This is not some unconscious thing, but let’s say hypothetically, that you were in the playground. And somebody else, we had, we had an episode of this where we had a young, we were interviewing somebody on the podcast where, as a child, this guy who’s on our podcast, his, his brothers called him into the room, and they were with a bunch of other friends, then his brothers pulled down his pants in front of everybody, everybody laughed, and then they threw him in a closet, and he cried. And that really impacted him so much. Right? When an incident like that happens, it doesn’t just happen one time, because of our imagination. We think about it again and again and again. So you’re thinking about it on a loop, and then you create recreating the same feelings again and again, and you’re reliving the same scenario again and again and again. So you reliving the past. That’s a negative thing, what is amazing and what they’re discovering and this is again, a combination of both epigenetics and neuroplasticity. Now, I’m going to get into a little bit of a crossover, is the same mental technology, the same processes to remember, a negative thought like that and feel the same feelings, we can actually use that, to think about the future that we want and to feel that future now, until it just becomes our reality. Right? So, let’s go back to looks because this is a big thing now in the era of Instagram, and constant, endless comparison. We are forced to look at everybody’s best version of themselves, and that’s creating havoc on people’s self esteem. It is, it really is. So a lot of people think I’m not as good as this person. I’m not as good looking as this person. I’m not as rich as this person. And every time we think that we’re reinforcing the separation between us and our potential. We’re just creating this massive divide. Okay? So instead of that, let’s use the positive now and say, I am such a warm, loving person that people, my friends, my family members, my coworkers love being around me. They feel so much love when they’re around me. They feel so much joy and they feel smarter when they’re around me. They feel better when they’re around me. And you repeat this in your mind. You repeat it so many times and you start closing your eyes and you start picturing it. And you repeat it until you start really feeling it. Then you use your reticular activating system to start seeking validation of that fact. And if you ever, you know, do something that, that is to the opposite of that. You don’t use that to reinforce that you’re wrong. You use that as information to make you better at proving your thesis, which is you are a warm, amazing, powerful person. Okay? This sounds like life coaching. This is neuroplasticity. And it’s incredibly important. So, if you are addicted to pornography, and you feel powerless against pornography, it’s because you’ve given porn, your power. And you’ve trained porn to have power over you. And guess what? That’s a choice. For most people, it’s an unconscious choice that was kind of thrown at them because they got into a relationship with porn before they ever should have. They were little kids, many people 11, 12 they have no business having to make difficult decisions like how to think about their self esteem when they’re, when they’re 12. They should be guided together with parents, not deal with all that by themselves but that’s just the reality that we’re contending with. Now, sorry there’s some hammering going on behind me. Now, we’re in an era when we can choose ourselves. Choose the narrative that we want. So if you are in fact addicted to porn, then you have to start unraveling the why. Why am I? When did this start? And this is what we help people do in the Ascend 90 day program, unraveling the past and unraveling the relationship between you and porn and, and why you go to porn for comfort, instead of, to God or to your parents or to your friends or to your family or to whomever. And then it’s about choosing what would you like to do instead, right? Where do I want to go and start feeling that, start creating the feeling of in, within, just by envisioning it and then start validating it by trying it out and testing it out. And what you’re doing is you’re re-wiring your brain. And you can do this for any area of your life. That’s why I’m so excited about this topic is because I’ve been doing this and have been seeing so many results, so many results. And I can also see some limitations because sometimes we backslide right? Sometimes we get so used to our old habits, we unconsciously go back to them. But that’s why with neuroplasticity, if we’re always conscious about what we’re thinking, and what we’re feeling and the results in our life, then we can always choose whether it’s serving us or not. And if it’s not, then we can re-frame the entire situation so that it does serve us. Okay? This is Mind-Body unity. And this is what your parents taught, you can see endless quotes from True Father talking about Mind-Body unity, but in many ways it was very mysterious and science hadn’t caught up to where he was at when he was talking about this stuff. And now it has, now we can express it in very simple language. So that’s all I want to say, I think I’ve already gone over all, you know, like, I’ve spoken way too much, essentially. But you can tell I’m very excited about this topic, because I’ve seen nothing but results. And I, and I really, really hope that you can do more research. If you start looking up neuroplasticity. You can look up, you can look up what technically is happening when you fire and wire, new thoughts and feelings. But I just tried to really explain it in layman’s terms. So that you can feel like this is an approachable thing for you and that you can invest more of your time and energy, figuring out how to use this to your advantage. And I challenge you to do so. And I want to close with some really simple example is that, if you think that you hate somebody, think about whether you want to hate that person. That’s on you. There’s that old saying, I don’t know who said it. But, you know, when you hold on to resentment, it’s like, you know, drinking poison out of spite, to hurt somebody else. It’s like, you just, you’re only hurting yourself. So if you want to let go of any resentment, just know that you absolutely can. Because the thing is, you’ve thought so negatively about that person so many times, that all you can think about them is that they are, whatever, a jerk, they’re, they’re selfish or whatever. And that’s all you can see. You cannot see what God sees about them. You cannot see what the people who like them see about them. And you can change you can turn your thoughts and feelings about somebody into whatever you want. Just know that you have the power. Okay? So that means you can save your marriage, that means that you can save your, you can salvage any relationship that you’re in, but it takes effort, and it’s worth the effort. And most of all, you can salvage the relationship between you and yourself. And you can live a life of your dreams. I’m telling you and it takes work. It takes work, you don’t get abs for free, you got to do something for them. But it, did the abs of your character and your spirit are picking and choosing how you want to think and how you feel and and live those out, play those out again and again until they become your default settings. Okay? So thank you so much for listening. And I’m just going to cut it off here. If you have any questions, just reach out to me. You can see my website on highnoon.org. I’m very available to talk about these things. It’s my passion. I’ve invested so much into this and I hope that you do too, because then you will become the leader to many, many, many people, just because you will be a relentless growing machine who can love and accept anybody and do anything you, you put your mind to. There’s literally no limitations. Whatsoever except for what we put in our minds, because that puts a limitation on our hearts, which subsequently puts a limitation on our life. And you can remove all that and live in absolute freedom. If you’re willing to put in the work, and I’m not there, trust me. I’m a million miles away from where I started eight years ago. But I’m still many, many moons away from being where I could be. And that’s the joy of life is every day we can perfect this at a higher and higher level. The more that God trusts us, because we can prove ourselves so… It’s been a slice, thank you so much. Please go to our website. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. And it’s always our pleasure to be in your life and to be serving you and I’ll talk to you later. Bye.

 

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