This year I have decided to dedicate myself to developing my mind. Thus, I have dubbed 2018 “The Year of the Mind.” I’ve never done a New Year’s resolution and don’t necessarily consider this to be that. Developing my mind beyond anything I ever thought possible will be my focus this year and will continue long after this year. I have spent time developing my mind in the past, but not to the level I’m planning on this year. I welcome those who wish to join me with all or some of the things I’m doing below.
Being an osteopathic physician, I’ve experienced how powerful tactile memory can be. I admittedly have had patients in the past who had a year or more between their first and second visit. I remember when they would walk in the door on the second visit like I was staring at a complete stranger for the first time. I did not recall even their face. I knew from their chart I had seen them and for what.
But when I put my hands on their body and started reexamining them, suddenly memories would come flooding in. Each person’s body is like a fingerprint. Suddenly I could recall the conversations while I was at different parts of their body. Then, I would ask them questions related to that. They would comment on how good my memory was. I wouldn’t tell them that moments before, I could have sworn I was seeing them for the first time. Experiences like that led me to realize there was more to be accomplished.
This is an area that I know I can improve upon dramatically. I’ve always felt like learning how to learn was massively important. Yet this isn’t taught in school. I’m going to approach developing my memory in different ways. I’ve had the intention of learning and practicing memory skills for years now and want to dedicate myself to it. My motivation is that with two very young children, I don’t have a lot of time. The more efficient I can be, the more productive I can be. On top of that, it can help me with my patients being more efficient with my memory.
A few years ago, I purchased a memory program from one of the world’s leading experts, Jim Kwik. He put together an online course. Unfortunately, I only got into the first lesson. I’ve always wanted to pick it back up and this year, I have. I’m committing myself to completing the courses and working toward mastery. This course is a great course that goes over many of the best memory techniques for remembering different topics.
Interestingly in the first lesson that I did a few years back, he teaches a method of memorizing 20 words. Afterwards, not only is it possible to remember them all, but recall them in order. I’m looking forward to learn to use all my senses for memory.
The second place I’m wanting to develop my memory, is with training called “Dual N Back.” Dual N Back training has been shown to increase IQ by improving what is called working memory. Working memory is like your mind’s scratch pad. It is the amount of information one can hold simultaneously in their mind. The more information, the easier it is to make abstract relationships between bits of information. Dual N Back training has even been shown to help people who have had traumatic brain injuries.
Dual N Back is an app that one can obtain for their computer and/or phone. It is designed as a game that requires one to hold two bits of information simultaneously at a time and then requires them to be recalled previously. For example with n-3, one must recall the two bits of information presented 3 steps before.
When I started, I admittedly had a difficult time with even the n-1. All I had to do was recall the information presented one step before. With persistence, now I’m getting to n-5 and I know I can improve on that as well.
A few months ago, I came across a powerful neurofeedback system called NeurOptimal. I was drawn to it because it resonated with me. Reading it made it sound like an extension of osteopathic philosophy that guides the osteopathic treatments I provide. Learning about it made it feel like an extension of osteopathy. By itself, it’s a very powerful tool, but I think coupled with osteopathic treatments, they can have a synergistic effect on each other.
NeurOptimal works by providing information about the brain to itself through mathematically timed sounds. It doesn’t do anything to the brain other than provide information. The brain then utilizes that information in the most appropriate way possible and results in a more efficient brain. Since then, I have run many sessions on myself and my family, including my dog. I plan on running many more sessions this year. Now we offer NeurOptimal sessions at Osteopathic Integrative Medicine in Lakewood, Colorado.
Another way of optimizing my memory is through nutrition. I’m making sure that I’m getting quality brain nutrition. This includes hydration, quality fats, vitamins, and minerals aimed at helping the brain perform better. The diet that I have found the most helpful for brain performance and life in general, has been the Bulletproof diet.
As for brain specific supplements, I’m taking a powerful multivitamin, liposomal glutathione, citicoline, magnesium threonate, and a memory support supplement from Natural Grocers. On top of those, I’m also focusing on healing my gut because of the gut-brain connection with probiotics and prebiotics.
For me, this is one of the most powerful pieces of the mind training I am doing this year. For over 10 years now, I have been practicing something called A Course In Miracles. It is not a religion but a self study course on undoing the ego and awakening to what we really are through a form of advanced forgiveness. I have gone through off and on periods of practicing it on a regular basis although I have always kept up with the practice of forgiveness. At the end of 2017, I really committed to getting back into it. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, this is the most powerful mind training in my opinion.
This is not a passive course and does require practice to be the most effective. Part of the course includes a workbook of daily lessons aimed at undoing the ego. I’ve done this before but this time, I feel more advanced and like my progress is really accelerating. I ended up downloading an app on my phone that has the lessons of the workbook. There is an option to set reminders and to have a narrator speak out the lesson of the day. I listen to it over and over as I drive to work getting more and more out of it. I let the lessons sink in as much as possible.
At the deepest level, all the other things I’m doing above are to help me make the most progress with my practice of A Course In Miracles. This may not be for everyone but it is a powerful method of bringing peace to one’s mind regardless of what appears to happen in the world around you.
To learn more about A Course In Miracles, I recommend starting with Gary Renard’s book, “The Disappearance of the Universe.” It is a fun, yet profound book that will make A Course In Miracles more accessible to most readers.
This was not really intended to be on this list and even a month before writing this article, I would have thought you were nuts. I added it at the last minute. About 10 years ago, I rescued a schnauzer mix named Buddy. Although he is incredibly sweet, he has always been an anxious nervous dog and aggressive with strangers. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to train him, which has helped, but has not yielded the results I would like.
Many years ago, I had had a person recommend a pet Intuitive. To be honest, I thought the idea was kind of dumb, dismissed it, and forgot about it for several years. Recently, his anxiety and nervousness have become a problem again.every morning, our house is chaotic. Between my wife and I getting ready for work, getting our oldest ready for school, my parents coming over to take her to school, and my wife handing our youngest daughter to our au pair, it is too much for him to handle and he barks endlessly.
A friend of ours suggested we try a pet Intuitive. She said it helped with her dogs and she gave us a person. So we decided to try it. My wife and I, being a little skeptical, put together a series of questions that were things we wanted to know but were vague as well. The experience during the session left us astounded. Not only was the pet intuitive spot on, she told us things about his past that we didn’t ask about that was consistent with everything we knew about him. We did not tell her a single thing about his past, but it was part of his nervousness and anxiety.
Since the session, he was different and improved. He was by no means perfect, but we had made progress. I decided two things then. One was that I would try to do this on a regular basis so that we could hopefully make more progress. Two, I was fascinated by this and decided that if it was possible to learn how to do this, I wanted to learn to do it. So I found an online course and decided to try it.
I felt the worst case scenario is nothing would happen. There’s no harm in being open, trying it, and practicing it. If it is possible to do, it’s something that will open up the powers of my mind. So far as I’ve been learning about it, it seems to be a wonderful extension of many of the practices above. It requires first tapping into and using your imagination. For those who want to try this, here’s the link for the online course.
We have so much untapped potential with developing our minds. I’m dedicating this year to really accelerating the process and then continuing with my advances for the rest of my life. I hope you’re willing to join me for one, some, or all of these things. It’s a lot and I may not be able to do it all at once, but I’m excited to take my mind to the next level.