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Tag Archives: Science
Because it seems to be all the rage these days (thank you Miley Cyrus!) we’re going to do our own version of “Twerking” it.
But we’re going to learn how to “twerk” something emotionally and physiologically to increase our chances of getting what we want in life.
It’s called Amplifying your frequency.
If you think of yourself as a dial on a speaker, you want to increase your energetic volume to align with what you want in life – because the things you desire in life are themselves resonating at a higher frequency: love, full self-expression, creativity, commitment. So in this case, volume shows up in the form of energy. And science tells us that emotion is just energy in motion. For actors, the currency through which we tell story energetically is by expressing ourselves through feeling.
So change the feeling and watch what changes in your life.
Part of amplifying that energetic part of us is to get in touch with the higher frequency feelings of which we are made up: joy, appreciation, gratitude, compassion, love, passion.
Science shows us that everything exists in a state of possibility. Simultaneity states that atoms remain in a state of being both a particle and a wave until they are observed. So the implications are that we have a lot more dexterity in crafting what we want to see in our world, if we would but pay attention to one of the elements that shapes it: our feelings.
We often observe our experiences in life from a limited perspective and then give energy to these things in a negative way. What is the commensurate amount of energy we could use to see the same circumstances in a more positive light?
It’s always a choice. We can choose to interpret our world and the events that occur within it: getting another rejection, bombing an audition, trying to find an agent, hearing a “no”, watching someone else get the role – as negatives – or simply as an opportunity to “twerk”.
Stop complaining. Try complimenting.
Instead of gossiping . . . Give people the benefit of the doubt.
Before you go to the negative . . . What if you just took a deep breath first?
Instead of taking things for granted, what if you looked at your life through the prism of what it might feel to not have these things?
Instead of being cynical, ask yourself, “How would my 8 year-old self respond to this same situation?”
Your reality behaves at the expectations you have of your own life.
Change your expectation and watch what will change.
If you expect good things to come to you they will.
If you expect to find love, you will find it.
If you expect to be happy, you’ll be happier.
If you expect to have victories in your career, the victories will come.
The energetic frequency each human being possesses is a tremendous amount of life force. We just don’t tap into using it in a way that is mindful, helpful and empowering because we’re conditioned toward the negative.
Why is that? Habit. Our personal histories. Not wanting to feel vulnerable. Being scared of uncertainty and the unknown. Not wanting to let go of control. Self preservation.
All energy magnifies. So it’s up to you if want it to magnify in a negative or positive way.
You can do it. Miley and friends show us how. Just start “twerking” your way to amplifying your frequency. Up the volume in a way that serves you through energy and feeling. When you do, you’ll see that everything just seems to get a little bit better.
Because, just like her VMA performance – in the big scheme of the history of the cosmos – was it really that bad?
Now you can train your mind to do the impossible.
That’s a catchy title I saw recently in the Huffington Post.
But was I surprised by what this mind-training tool is? Not really.
It seems neuroscientists have proven that meditation actively rewires our brains over long periods of time and creates neuroplasticity to make us more compassionate, joyful, empathetic and breaks down walls that prevent us from connection. It releases good feeling oxytocin to enable us to feel “one-ness”.
By changing the brain’s structure and functioning, we can make new neural connections, adapting positively in new ways.
Happiness is one example. Decreasing our brain’s propensity toward negativity and increasing our propensity toward positivity and hopefulness is another.
The interviewer asked the researcher, “Is meditation the only way to get to these points?” And the reporter replied the research has shown that it’s “only through meditation that we get these results.”
Stop the presses!
That’s not the only way. You don’t have to sit in a cave in the Himalayas for 10 years. You don’t have to move to Tibet and become a sheepherder. You don’t have to trade in your Zac Posen ready-to-wear for some ochre robes, smelling like patchouli. You don’t have to keep beating yourself up thinking you’ll never get there!
We can take a practice of meditation out into our very active and busy worlds on a daily basis. And when we do, not only will our lives improve but we’ll begin to have awareness of where we get stuck in life.
Our self-talk. Womp. Womp.
When we become conscious of what we say to ourselves and wake up to our destructive, conditioned thoughts and reboot them with new neural programming that not only becomes a practice of mindfulness meditation – but we’re also rewiring our brain!
So even when we don’t have everything we want; the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend, the TV show, the best agent in the world – through neural training we can still be happy.
All it takes is imprinting on our mind a new way of assessing our lives and the challenges that lie within it.
We say to ourselves, “The business sucks.” No it doesn’t. Why do we keep saying that? We say that because we’re often faced with rejections and eventually that becomes a habituated response to protect ourselves from being vulnerable. But the truth of the business is that it is, in actuality, full of opportunity to create and change people’s lives.
“I can’t get a break.” Yes you can. All it takes is one moment, one person, one agent, one director, one audition, one casting director to see your talent and respond to you and your life can change. That’s inspiring to know.
We just say these things because we have more access to negative patterns of thought because they’re on the neural groove we most often plug into.
Mindfulness meditation means imprinting our subconscious with new programming. Creating new beliefs that contradict the old beliefs we now hold. This will take some time. It has to be a practice. Like going to the gym. Or acting class. By practicing you get better.
Isn’t that exciting to know? Every audition, every job, every experience, every set-back, every victory is an opportunity to become more mindful, more aware, more compassionate, more self-loving, more equanimous.
So it seems we all have a Dalai Lama within us. All we have to do is train our mind to do the impossible: believe that we do.
I think part of the challenge of being on a spiritual journey is that sometimes we can get all “Lama-Dama-Ding-Dong” about it. We think enlightenment is serious or we express these platitudes of love and peace and Kumbaya – when in actuality, real transformative, spiritual change occurs by getting into the nitty-gritty of it all. It occurs by working with our stuff. The stuff we judge to be too dark or weird or messed up. The stuff we tell ourselves that leaves us feeling untalented or unworthy or unlovable. The stuff that makes us feel separate and alone and alienated from everyone else.
And that’s the left brain’s job: to make us feel separate because of the nature of the thoughts we incorrectly think about ourselves. We are left feeling we’re the only ones who think this way.
Yet everywhere you look in science, it’s been proven that humanity is pretty much the same. We are all made of the same shared stuff of the cosmos. From billions of years ago, we contain the stuff that birthed the stars – we actually are stardust – and contain these same atoms that have simply been reconstituted over and over again through millenniums.
Our genome composition is 99.5% the same among all human beings.
Psychologically and emotionally we are the same. Yes, we each have different individual, conscious experiences along our journey, but the universality of feeling is the same for everyone.
If you but realized that the person sitting next to you on the bus or at the movies is confronted by the same stuff you are, you’d be a lot more gentle with yourself (and humankind).
But we don’t connect to the sameness that we share with people because we listen to our thoughts that tell us we’re stupid, a bad mom, we drink too much, are lazy, or watch too much porn.
These things are not robbing you from the light that you already are. These things actually jettison you into the light when you take them out of the dark, scary places in your head and begin to work with them, share them, bravely confront them, breathe into them.
When you do, two things happen.
You reveal back to humanity what it truly means to be human.
And you become the kind of person (and artist) you’ve always wanted to be: dynamic, empowered, exciting, dangerous, funny, present, creative, compassionate, real, honest, raw, expressive, sexy and fearless.
Now what’s “Lama-Dama-Ding-Dong” about that?
You want to access your potential? You want to be a great artist? You want to tap into your creative genius? You want to book a job?
It’s simple. Get out of your head.
Again and again and again.
In the New York Times bestselling book, Imagine, a Johns Hopkins University Neuroscientist, Charles Limb, is interviewed for the research he’s been doing with jazz musicians and the activity of their brains when they improv.
In what I refer to in acting as a “let go,” or a “surrender to the moment,” Mr. Limb also found in musicians that there’s an explosion of energy in the medial prefrontal cortex – an area in the front of the brain associated with self-expression.
Limb refers to this area as the “center of autobiography” – which suggests that when a jazz musician improvs, he or she is actually playing notes that reflect his or her own personal style.
As actors, when you do what you do in the moment, you’re imprinting your style, your personality, your instinct, your self onto the form or structure through which you are creating. In acting, this would be a scene. In jazz, it would be the musical line.
Academy Award-winning actress, Tilda Swinton, says acting is, “All her,” and it’s, “All autobiography.”
Do you see a pattern here?
During the brain research, as the musicians began to riff in the moment, there was also a dramatic shift in the brain’s nearby circuit – known as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) – which is most closely related to impulse control.
It’s your inner censor that keeps you from acting out on impulses. “I can’t do that!” “That would look stupid!”
But what was amazing about the study was that before a single note was played in the improv, each pianist exhibited a deactivation of the DLPFC.
That’s right. The brain silenced that circuit. Your censor can shut up!
But it takes practice. It involves lots and lots of training to develop that muscle that can overpower the inner critic.
When people come to audit a class, they often ask me why I don’t let actors memorize.
I discovered something years ago when I first started training artists that memorization actually inhibited the accessing of their intuitive, creative impulses.
And now, again, the science proves this.
In the brain study, when jazz musicians played a memorized tune – guess what? The DLPFC remained active. In other words, the censor was alive and kicking, keeping the musicians (and actors) from being freely, wildly, dangerously expressed.
That’s not to say you won’t memorize pieces. That’s not to say musicians won’t play memorized tunes. You will, but from a new vantage point. One without a censor.
The implications of these studies shows that we can access our creative potential by working a methodology that scientifically and artistically creates a new muscle to supplant the inner critic.
Get out of your head. Get into your body. Lose your mind. Regain your senses.
So, when it comes to creating, say goodbye to your DLPFC! Let go in the moment and turn that censor off.