The Body is the Puppet Strings to the Mind
If you can find a way to put your body through a parallel experience of what you want your mind to do, you can teach yourself anything...you can retrain the brain...at least, that’s what I believe from my experience and from the new research I’ve read over the past few years. The physical is easier to control than the mental, but if you can do it physically, you can do it mentally.
Building a fire wasn’t the only thing I took away from the wilderness boot camp program. We did a ropes course one of the days we were there. One of the obstacles involved jumping over this big drop from one little ledge to another. In order to do so, we had to lean over the edge as far as we could by holding the hand of our partner, then jump over the gap to the little ledge on the other side. It was impossible to do without help, and impossible to do without the risk of falling. I remember it vividly - standing on one side not knowing how to make it across...thinking my legs weren’t long enough. I remember the fear I had of jumping and possibly missing. I remember finally getting up the courage to go for it. And then, finally, pushing off the little ledge and flying through my fear, I landed it.
I think about that moment every time something challenging happens and I need to take a risk. That leap taught my body what it feels like to let go of safety in order to get somewhere new. That leap also taught me what it felt like to not just let go, but how amazing it felt to make it to the other side...and what it feels like to make the impossible possible.
Climbing mountains, running, yoga, poker, traveling, writing, art, skateboarding, surfing, making fire, whatever your voice is screaming at you to do...let your body and physical world teach you and show you the way and what your mind is capable of. Your mind is capable of anything you teach it as long as you know which strings to pull. If you rewire the brain physically, then the mental will have a pathway to follow.