“For me, there is no real power without spiritual power.”—Oprah Winfrey
We can often find ourselves in overdrive in the midst of a hectic work day, where our thoughts are racing and our brain waves are in high frequency mode. Known as “Hi-Beta,” this state of mind indicates exceedingly complex activity, very useful in solving difficult problems. However, constant extreme stress can cause a swell of these Hi-Beta waves, turning them into an ocean of anxiety.
This is what happened to me many years ago, during a critical turning point in my career. I was experiencing severe stress during a massive corporate downsizing, and sought relief in the form of relaxation therapy, which included neurofeedback, a type of biofeedback that measures brain wave activity.
Here’s how it works: You get hooked up to tiny electrodes that read what’s going on inside your body—particularly your head. A therapist monitors your brain waves and teaches you how to manipulate them at will with mental exercises, the object being to take you from an anxious to a relaxed state. By controlling your mind, you control things such as blood pressure, muscle tension and heart rate. You actually train your brain to move from Hi-Beta and high activity to more calming, meditative states of alpha and theta waves.
In my case, the exercise involved training my brain to control a monitor displaying a beautiful picture of a beach, with waves lapping up on the shore, while the sun slowly sinks on the horizon.
In Hi-Beta, the picture displays highly pixelated and unclear. In a more relaxed state, the picture becomes sharp and clear. Unfortunately, my stressed mind made the picture almost non-existent.
My therapist began with guided imagery. I closed my eyes and imagined myself on that beach sipping a pina colada and soaking up the sun. It was a great image in my mind, however, it had little effect on the monitor. We tried a number of different techniques, but then I began to get frustrated when none of them did the trick. The picture remained pixelated, and my Hi-Beta was increasing.
As my therapist suggested we stop for the day, I closed my eyes one last time. Within a few minutes, she quietly said, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it—the picture is clear and beautiful.”
I was silently saying the The Lord’s Prayer, which I learned as a child. I remember being a little frightened at first—had I summoned the Almighty into this tiny room? And, then I felt incredible peace, which was reflected on the monitor. Yes–I believe I had.
Confidence, after all, is faith. And when your faith in yourself is tested, it may be time to take it to a higher level.
It is then that summoning your spiritual power becomes the most practical thing you can do.
Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan