We can move forward freely, creatively, peacefully, and productively when we practice clearing the energy our thoughts and emotions.
In the Disney animated film, Frozen, the main character Elsa sings out, “Let it go,” in the now famous song by that title. That phrase captures the essence of the third step of my Brain Education method: Brain Refreshing.
After becoming more sensitive to our bodies, our thoughts and emotions, and especially our energy in the first step (Brain Sensitizing), and then making our bodies and minds more flexible in the second (Brain Versatilizing), we found ourselves in need of relieving ourselves of the burdens and limitations of the past, especially those caused by our own mental and emotional reactions to the events of our lives. No matter how much we may want it, we can’t be peaceful or productive if old traumas or limiting beliefs are holding us back. We inevitably get stuck in the old and cannot fully embrace the new.
Yet, except in moments of perfect peace and clarity, thoughts and emotions are natural parts of our lives. They enrich them and inform how we operate in the world. So to keep our brains fresh, we have to launder our thoughts and emotions continuously. That involves releasing the energy of thoughts and emotions as least as often as we brush our teeth and wash our faces.
Why Refresh Our Brains
Our old thoughts and emotions are contained in our brain in our neural pathways. The older the neural pathway, the stronger it is, and the longer it takes to change it. Brain Refreshing exercises don’t always alter our neural pathways right away. Rather, they change the energy of our thoughts and emotions, leaving us feeling lighter, more relaxed, and more positive. By clearing the energy of our thoughts and emotions every day, we become free of their burdens and free to make new thinking and feeling habits. As our habits change, new neural pathways are forming and old ones are weakening, since neural pathways have a “use them or lose them” nature.
The mind-body-energy exercises used to clear energy in Brain Education also serve to keep the energy inside us moving. The more smoothly and freely our energy flows, the less we get struck in any particular thought or feeling. This leaves us with less that we need to let go.
The techniques also help us separate our mind from our emotions. They allow us to foster an inner observer that can watch thoughts and emotions from a distance. This effect gives us the space and time to choose a response to a particular situation we face that’s aligned with our values and goals. This ability is called emotional intelligence: the ability to assess emotions as they occur, to understand why they are occurring, and to manage their effects in real time. Over time, practicing Brain Refreshing can help us see that emotions only have as much power over us as we give them.
Another benefit of such purification of information, which can sometimes happen all at once, is experiencing complete unification of space and time, with past, present, and future becoming one. We attain a state of complete emptiness yet full awareness. Our consciousness expands while growing deeper. Free of preconceptions and past experiences, we understand much more than we ever have, and can experience a state of genuine peace.
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How to Refresh Our Brains
It’s best to at least do Brain Refreshing exercises when we first wake up in the morning and then right before bed.
As soon as we open our eyes, before we even get out of bed, we can tap our toes and/or shake our hands for at least a minute. Then we can do various exercises for at least five minutes before we go to sleep.
Unless we purify our stress and negative information before we sleep, it will remain in our unconscious minds and might even appear in our dreams. Then bad memories from one day will continue into into the next, and today’s problems will continue into tomorrow. Instead, we can deal with bad memories immediately and only take good memories with us. Then, when we open our eyes, we can have new hope, goals, and passion, and be able to start our day with vigor.
A good environment helps when we do meditation and mind-body exercises. For example, we can feel a difference between meditation done with meditative music or without it, and between meditation done at home or on a quiet mountainside or in nature. When we are in good energy, our bodies and minds naturally accept that energy. So if it’s possible, we can create a space, even a small area, where we feel good vibes and want to go to practice.
To refresh our brains, we have to focus our minds within ourselves. Focusing inside becomes easier if we can feel the energy of our bodies, as we learn in Step One of Brain Education–Brain Sensitizing. As we do Brain Education exercises, we focus on our energy, which enables the energy clearing and purification process. It also helps our awareness go deeper inside our brains, deeper into a meditative state. Different energy phenomena may appear, in which it truly seems as though your body is completely vanishing.
Brain Refreshing Exercises
Get Bright Breathing
- You can do this exercise sitting, standing, or lying down. Start by rubbing your belly and bringing your awareness into your body.
- Find your Joongwan acupressure point by putting your thumb where your sternum meets your abdomen and putting your pinky on your navel. Bend your middle finger until it touches the imaginary line running vertically down the center of your body, cutting it in half. Where your middle finger rests is the Joongwan point.
- Then place the middle fingers of both hands on your Joongwan point. Gently and repeatedly press in and out, finding a comfortable rhythm. Exhale through your mouth as you press to let out the stuck energy inside. It’s important to relax your neck, shoulders, and abdomen. Press for about one to two minutes. You can also use the tool I developed for Belly Button Healing to do this.
- Then use either your two middle fingers or your thumb to press deeply into your abdomen at the Joongwan point until you can feel your pulse inside. (You can also use a tool.) Be careful not to press too hard. It shouldn’t be very painful. If you press with your thumb, put your other hand over the pressing hand to help you have the strength to press deeply enough. Exhale as you press and hold for a count of five.
- Release the point and inhale as deeply as you can. Hold your breath for a count of five.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 for five or ten minutes.
- Finish with another minute of breathing without pressing your Joongwan.
Brain Breathing Exercise
- Sit in a comfortable position and place your hands on your knees, with your eyes closed. Relax your body and mind by taking several deep breaths. Feel the stream of energy move from the top of your head down to your chest, and then to your lower abdomen.
- Concentrate on the top of your head. As you breathe in through your nose, imagine a stream of energy entering through the top of your head, circling around inside your head, and cleansing your brain of stagnant or negative energy.
- Breathe out through your mouth with a soft “whooh” sound as you imagine stagnant, negative energy being expelled from your body.
- Slowly breathe in and out three times as you imagine fresh energy entering and stagnant energy leaving.
- Open your eyes and rub your hands together until they are warm. Gently massage your head and face.
- Lying with your back on the floor, scan your body and consciously and gradually release the tension from it.
- Stretch out your legs, with your heels touching and your ankles lightly flexed. It’s alright if there’s a little bit of space between the lower back and the floor. Rest your arms comfortably at your sides, palms facing up.
- Using your heels as the pivot points, repeatedly bring both feet to the center until your big toes touch.
- Then move your toes apart. Touch your little toes to the floor if you are flexible enough. Move your entire legs, not only your feet.
- As you repeat this back-and-forth motion for several minutes, keep your upper body relaxed. If you feel sharp or significant pain in your hip joints or legs, rest for a minute or two and then start again.
Transform Energy into Learning with Energy Breathing
- Bring up an emotionally traumatic or difficult memory. Reenact the scene in your mind, observing every detail. Let the emotion of the experience flow through you once again.
- When you feel yourself immersed in the emotion, breathe in deeply, and then smile as you breathe out.
- Have your palms facing each other at about the level of your solar plexus (upper abdominal area).
- Spread your hands apart as you breathe in, and bring them closer together as your breathe out. Try to synchronize your breath, smile, and hand motions.
- Begin with a slight, barely observable smile. Then, make it bigger each time you breathe out. At first, your smile may feel artificial, heavy, and reluctant. Your face may twitch, your lips tremble, and your eyes water. The smile might fade and struggle in the face of past negativity. But nurture the smile until it finally prevails!
- Eventually, you’ll feel the tension leave your face, as if a taut rubber band has relaxed. Your whole face will smile and become a bright flower. You might feel an internal barrier shatter, letting in a stream of light. Feel your head clear as negative energy escapes through your temples and crown.
- At this moment, you are relieved of the negative emotions associated with the past experience. All that’s left is the objective reality of the experience itself, without the painful emotions. You are finally liberated from the emotion and are ready to see the experience as part of a learning process, offering valuable lessons to further your life journey.
Learn more about Brain Education and its five steps in my books: The Power Brain: Five Steps to Upgrading Your Brain Operating System and Principles of Brain Management: A Practical Approach to Making the Most of Your Brain.
- Immunity Boosting Toolkit: Toe Tapping
- Immunity Boosting Toolkit: Get Bright Breathing
- How to Clear Up Emotional Messes Every Day
- 3 Exercises for Resetting Your Emotions
- How Can You Manage Your Thoughts and Emotions?