To Every Thing, There Is a Season

To Every Thing, There Is a Season

This winter, I realized that many of the neurohacking techniques I was using were reaching a point of diminishing returns. Although my food and chemical sensitivities were becoming less pronounced, and I had lost 100#, I was not happy or at peace with myself. I was simply not enjoying the freedom and health that I had fought so hard to reclaim. I eventually figured out that there was residual trauma holding me back, and that I needed to approach this problem in a different way. Many neurohacking techniques are aggressive. They involve interrupting a thought, pattern or activity and replacing it with a preferred thought, pattern or activity. I consider them aggressive because you are actively trying to replace one neural pathway with another one -- which means that you are rejecting of part of yourself. These sorts of aggressive techniques can work very well for some problems, like chemical sensitivities or emotional eating. However, aggressive neurohacking techniques are not very effective at reducing trauma, discovering joy, and cultivating mindfulness. These are not the sorts of things that benefit from an aggressive rejection of part of yourself. While aggressive neurohacking involves replacing one neural pathway with another, peaceful neurohacking involves finding ways to improve yourself through compassion and understanding. Examples of peaceful neurohacking include meditaiton, cultivating compassion for your own mistakes, biofeedback, and becoming comfortable with your own thoughts (without any distractions). In May, I took a long road trip and tried to come to terms with my trauma. I needed time to be alone with myself and my thoughts. I succeeded in finding the peace and joy I was looking for, but I found this peace to be fleeting and difficult to maintain. Over the past five months, I've been trying to find ways to reclaim this sense of peace and joy. Feeling profound joy and peace was a powerful experience. I believed that the joy I was experiencing was my natural state of being, and I set aside just about every other priority in an attempt to make this sense of joy the dominant force in my life. This has meant I've turned away from using aggressive neurohacking techniques, such as amygdala retraining and EFT (emotional freedom techniques). I've also shied away from doing things which scramble my neural pathways pretty powerfully, such as parkour training. While I was just operating on intuition here, I felt like it wasn't possible to be 'aggressive' and 'peaceful' at the same time (much like you can't simultaneously 'cut' and 'bulk' while weightlifting). I believe this was the right decision, as my stress levels have been decreasing markedly and my feeling of joy and happiness has been increasing. Now that I'm starting biofeedback training, my sense of joy and peace is increasing markedly. I feel like it will be time to pull out those more aggressive neurohacking techniques soon, apply them towards losing those last 30-40#, and start jumping around like a 13-year-old again! There's an ebb and a flow to neurohacking, a seasonality to the techniques that are appropriate to apply in any given situation. This is something I'm starting to learn :)


Written on 2013/10/26

Written by Erik Schimek

Erik is an entrepreneur and self-improvement expert. You can learn more about Meliora Meditation at Infinite Chorus.

Back to blog

Leave a comment