Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fake Brain

The insights that come from my 4 year are quite astounding even though she's full of that lovable preschooler goofiness. It warms my heart that I hear her understanding the knowledge that I try to pass on to her...makes me feel proud that I do have some impact on what she learns.

Probably since the time she turned 4, she's had nightmares on some nights. She would wake up in the night and have a hard time falling back asleep. I did my best to soothe her and reassure her, however, I could sense that she needed more. So one day I did a guided relaxation with her. Focusing on her breathing, I told her to watch the thoughts flying by like clouds. I told her to try to only think of her breathing. Part by part I told her to relax her body. And before I knew it she was breathing deeply {almost snoring}, deep in sleep.

Another thing that really helped her was to explain to her that her brain tells her stories. That all the scary dreams and thougths she has are not real, they are just things her brain is making up. And in a moment of inspiration I said to her, "You are the boss of your brain. So if it's bothering you, tell it to relax and go to sleep."

Worked like a charm.

Sometimes she'll still call me at night, but when I come in she says she just wanted to tell me that she was doing her breathing and telling her brain to stop telling her stories.

I just love this. Especially from my Life Coach perspective, I love seeing how at such a young age she is understanding the existence of that space of awareness where thoughts happen. I am the boss of my brain. So perfectly put.

And her insight not only stops here. One day during the flu {awful} week, we all had a nap. Well, except Ken who despite being exhausted couldn't fall asleep. I asked him what had been the issue and he said he just couldn't relax. Maddie overheard and said, "Daddy was listening to his fake brain. He doesn't know he's the boss of his brain."

Wow. Daddy sure learned an important lesson that day.

The idea of a fake brain is such a simple yet encompassing way to describe that little voice in our heads that's constantly chattering, making us doubt ourselves, telling us what we can't and can do, what we need to do, all the things that can happen, reminding us of all our hurts and fears...the list is endless. And if left unchecked this fake brain can basically take over our lives and we are left living in the past and the future, missing out on the now, on reality.

So I ask you, are you the boss of your brain? What things is your fake brain doing that you want to change?

{My Sunshines}


  1. So cute!! That fake brain certainly does need to be put in check from time to time! Sherisse recomended Taming Your Gremlin for me to read, and I loved it! Very helpful indeed! Thanks for the reminder! :)

  2. What a smart girl! If we could all only be so smart!

  3. Oh, I wish you'd been my Mama! (Okay, I do love my Mama, but maybe you could have taught her what you know and she could have taught me! :D ) I've struggled all my life with an out-of-control imagination and a "fake" brain, and I feel like learning how to control my emotions and such has been such a long hard road. If only I could have started earlier! But at least now I know where to find more tips! :)


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