Instincts are created by emotions, how to break free?

Focus is the door to our senses, quality movement takes us through
Thinking circles back to our beliefs. Sensing can keep us free from reactive behaviour. Focus is the door, quality movement takes me through it.

Emotions are the programming language for our instincts.

They give texture to the stories we see and hear, tricking our bodies into storing them as though they are real experiences.

The reasons we make up to justify our behaviour are downstream products from our deep-seated assumptions.

Those beliefs decide how we react and how well we focus on the things we want.

Instincts save us, they also act like viruses that take over our operating systems. They can come from rich experiences such as in learning a skill. Or formed from our perceptions of something that happened. Perceptions are stories, and the emotional part tricks our nervous system into storing them as skills.

Emotions are electro-chemical events that change our biology, they  increase our nutritional and sleep requirements as well our need for attention.

My expectations and the way I perceive what happens are shaped by my beliefs. When  my perception does not match my expectation, I have inner turmoil. That conflict is the emotional charge being replayed.  The tension and energy build up created is unbearable and leads to hasty and often addictive behavior.

There are positive emotions as well. Good feelings de-contract the stored tensions that cause us to act defensively.

Gratitude is powerful medicine that we make ourselves.

Gratitude is the deep accpetance of present circumstances.  The idea that we owe something to someone outside of ourselves is often just a guilt trip. What is valuable is the energy saved, of course we should be mindful of those who enrich our lives.

To focus on our purpose, we have to debug our instincts. Beliefs are very difficult to remove once they exist at the automatic level. They are then part of our flight and fight responses and take precedence over rational actions.

To gracefully steer our nervous-system and blood chemistry is difficult. It pays to re-set our base-line tension using daily focused breathing and movement practices.

Focus is the Doorway

Both the Automatic and Conscious parts of our biology control our breathing. By slowing or pausing our breath we override the bodies fear and pain responses. We change our relationship to them when we allow these sensations to be.

With practice this becomes powerful, as Wim Hoff shows by near naked mountain climbing and ice submersion.

The main reason for regaining or retaining control is so we can spend more of our lives doing what we choose and saying what we mean the way we intended.

No point working 40+ hours a week for 40+ years to waste most of that money on things we did not need  to buy

Focus is our birth right, stories that use emotion to trick us into forming instincts that create automatic inappropriate defensive reactions – don’t just rob us of our lives and turn us into reactive addicts – they keep us isolated and threatened.

Focus is the way out – breathing and conscious movement takes us through the doorway. But you can’t think through it, you have to step, its an action.

Hope this resonates? it is difficult to put into words – I will persist in  breathing and moving and sharing what I find.

To your freedom!

3 – Adaptation – lets get together

adaption

So the key take-away here is: Belief’s act like instincts, changing our actions and the way we communicate, we are free to the degree that we can choose. Belief robs us of choice, and keeps us in damage control within our relationships.

Where we have been and where we are going

In “aliveness” I discussed why feeling fully alive enables greater wellness and enjoyment of life. In “attunement” I covered how we learn to relate to each other and where it goes wrong. In this post I will touch on why our biology evolved in a way that made stories so powerful.

Biological Advantage

According to Historian, Yuval Noah Harari, from about 70,000 years ago, Sapiens began to gain an advantage over other species (including other species of humans) by working in larger groups. This was made possible by our ability for more nuanced communications. Yuval, suspects that the ability to gossip about each other’s behavior increased the levels of trust and predictability. In this way, “stories” enabled us to work together in groups larger than our own direct experience of each member could enable.

Stories also gave us the ability to share and remember more detailed information, beyond what was available in the present moment. We began to pass information about past events that were likely to repeat and create harvesting and survival strategies for the future. As soon as we can accurately predict what is likely to happen we can use energy more effectively, by being prepared.

Non verbal cues speak loudly

The words we choose form only a small portion of our overall communication. We only use a small portion of our brains to process words. Voice tone, pitch, and timing can change the context of words. Non verbal cues including body language, eye contact, blink rate and of course facial expressions make up a great part of the messages we send and receive.
We are also very sensitive to detecting the tension in other peoples bodies, stiffening, was always a precursor to potential danger. When all the signals a person is sending line up congruently, it is more likely they will act predictably.

Learned Behavior

The high tide will leave shells, seeds and organic matter in a nice concentrated line that attracts crabs, birds and other creatures. When we know that we can harvest very effectively by just showing up at the right time. We can save energy. It is normal for species to develop both biological systems and behaviors adapted to new possibilities in their environments.

What was unique for Homo sapiens was our ability to hold a concept in our minds that was free of any external signals, (evidence). We could create ideas or pictures in our minds that did not have to conform with the reality of that moment. We could remember what had been and guess what was going to happen. This helped us to further develop specialized skills and talents that increased our value as individual members within our tribes.

Skill or Instinct

Our survival and chance to reproduce was enhanced by the value of our specialized roles within these tribes. The concepts we held in our minds gave us a biological advantage while the repetition of skilled actions formed new procedural memories, (those actions that we can do automatically).

Procedural memories are not the only things we can do automatically, when we receive signals of a potential threat, our bodies automatically tense, produce adrenaline, divert blood flow to our skeletal muscles and prepare us for a life threatening situation. This happens in the old part of our nervous system which is hard wired to produce fast responses, it happens before we have a chance to override or cancel the reaction.

Language enabled us to pass detailed stories, which when adopted as beliefs, also cause us to react automatically. Depending on how much emotion was assigned to them, stories allowed us to update our natural instincts.

Humans became adapt at both developing refined motor skills and at formulating powerfuly motivating stories.  How those stories affect our automatic nervous system will be the topic of the next post – Information Biology.

Research notes: Much of this is my own conjecture, and as such, will change along with my experiences. The amazing work of Yuval Noah Harari, gave me the insights and the confidence to present it this way.