Laurel Mellin has given us a wonderful gift with her Cycle Tool for use in Brain State 4. Wired for Joy shows us a way to leapfrog over Brain States 3 and 2 directly into 1. We can catapult our emotional state from feeling stressed, needy and upset to feeling joyful, serene and compassionate. By realizing the stress circuit is open when we're in Brain State 4, we can uncover the unreasonable expectation which sponsors our troublesome, emotional reactions. Through a process of grinding in a reasonable expectation, considering the pain of it and its rewards, a profound mood-shift occurs. A feeling of joy dawns on our minds which have found no prior escape from overwhelming anxieties.
Another tool for leapfrogging into joy was given to us by Connirae and Tamara Andreas in their 1994 book: Core Transformation. I'm personally aware of this tool working for people in Brain State 5. It works with very dark urges without judgment or control. The process explores desires that arise after the previous one gets imagined to be fulfilled. Fortunately, the initial, cold blooded, vengeful desires evolve into a state of the Core States of Being, Inner Peace, Love, OKness and Oneness. Like the Cycle Tool, Core Transformation can be used independently.
Once we're in Brain State 1, Wired for Joy advises us to use the Sanctuary Tool. We connect with a safe place within and then feel compassion for others and our own bodies, selves and surroundings. We can expect a surge of joy from this process.
There are several other approaches to this Brain State that I've used for years with delightful results. Here's four that I would include in an expanded "Sanctuary Tool":
Counting our blessings: When we adopt an attitude of gratitude, our mood shifts. We realize how abundant we are right now, fully equipped for the present challenge. We notice how we've been answered, supplied and supported. We see how much of our lives are working in our favor, functioning adequately and getting things done that we need to be accomplished.
Facing the mystery: When we disrupt our chronic need to be right, in the know and on top of the situation, we can open to what we don't already know. We can wonder about different ways to get something done, the best timing for it, how much to do, what to keep in balance, what combinations might work better and what it might mean for us personally. When we take this approach, life seems much more mysterious. We become like children filled with curiosity, questions and fascination. We can enjoy our inability to predict the future, know the answer or be in control of what happens.
Expanding our awareness: When we take our attention off the task at hand, there's much more to let in. We can extend our eyesight as far as we can see. We can listen to sounds in the distance. We can smell our surroundings and heighten our sense of what is touching our skin. This approach can give us an oceanic feeling of oneness with everything. We enjoy an inclusive embrace of "all in all" without judgment, restrictions or fears.
Losing track of time: When we disrupt our thinking about our past and future, we can fall into the present moment with pleasure. We can immerse ourselves in the immediate experience of being here and now. We can "stop the world" and start what has no history to remember and no future to consider. No thinking is required whenever we're consumed by the present moment.