In my very first Brain Integration class, my teacher made mention of energy work and I looked around me and thought "what do you mean energy work, I don't do energy work!" But everyone else seemed to be nodding their heads in a agreement with her. My next thought was "wait a minute...Brain Integration is energy work??" Which is hysterical because I had watched Wes work on Ella (my daughter, see bio story for more there) AND I had been through the protocol myself, because I had to, because she required that you go through Brain Integration before coming to her classes. And after 30 hours of observing and participating in this modality, I still did not put together that it was energy work until that very moment.
Now, 6 years later and over 1500 hours of training, that whole scene makes me giggle even still. And it is a great example of how our belief systems can really skew our reality. To me, I knew what Wes was doing was alternative and based in Chinese medicine, but neither of those things really connected for me as "energy medicine" either. My experience with "energy workers", and my subsequent judgement of them, was all an image of crystals, the smell of patchouli and tapestries everywhere (I still have strong aversion to tapestries...well if I am honest with myself, patchouli too).
The truth is, this is more feedback about me. This is a moment for me to stop and challenge my own judgements. Where did they come from? My family, my social culture, my college drug experiments? What evidence have I gathered over the years to support that judgement so that I can celebrate my confirmation bias? We are full of these judgements. And it truly is our nature to judge. This can actually keep us safe from harm, being able to judge a situation quickly and act. But as I get older and further into my practice, I find the word "discernment" surfaces for me a lot.
As we know, our beliefs and even our senses can literally alter our perceptions and reality. From a brain anatomy perspective, judgement is a brainstem to limbic function. It is a "basement brain" reaction. Discernment then is the ability to take our judgement, which happened subconsciously and stupid fast, and then analyze it with our super human power of cognition and the Frontal Lobe (which is 40% of our brain, and governs our now time consciousness, the voice or voices you hear talking to you, executive function, working memory and personality).
If we are to evolve as humans out of fear, anxiety and reactionary thinking, we must PRACTICE the art of discernment. Becoming aware of our judgements is a critical first step as they are often blind spots for us. Dr. Amen uses a process called ANT (Automatic Negative Thought) Therapy for this. This is the process of becoming super aware of our thinking patterns, naming the different types of negative thoughts and then repatterning the brain with breath and affirmations to help break the cycle. Because I think that this is a critical time in our history to be aware of our thoughts and judgements and to invite discernment into our awareness, I am attaching a copy of the ANT worksheet for you. I believe this is necessary work for all of us. And I believe in sharing our tools!