4

THE REWIRE RESPONSE

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

—LEO TOLSTOY

 

THE THREE STEPS

You must unlearn what you’ve learned.

—YODA

In the previous section, we explored the four components needed to Rewire for Wealth—mind, body, spirit, and finances. Now let’s put these pieces together and put them to work. I’m eager to introduce you to The Rewire Response, a three-step process to guide you toward achieving wealth and well-being. But, I have to warn you, this process, when consistently followed, will take you way beyond that single goal. You’ll find yourself in a future far different from your past. You’ll awaken to your authentic Self and the powerful being you truly are, before you were brainwashed to believe otherwise. And you’ll know, with every fiber of your being, that you’re truly safe because, at last, you trust yourself.

The Rewire Response I’m about to share has been greatly influenced by Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz’s theory of self-directed neuroplasticity. Through extensive research, he proved that “willful mental effort generates a physical force that has the power to change the physical structure of the brain.”1 In other words, by deliberately monitoring what flows through your mind, you can virtually restructure your brain, reprogram your behavior, and resuscitate your true nature.

The Rewire Response consists of three steps that offer detailed directions for rewiring. They are:

•  Recognize

•  Reframe

•  Respond Differently

In the next three chapters, I’ll explain each step in greater depth.

Though the steps may seem simple, applying them is not. Rewiring is essentially an act of unlearning, a task that is tougher than it may sound.

“Unlearning is learning to think, behave, or perceive differently, when there are already beliefs, behaviors, or assumptions in place that get in the way,” explains Marga Biller, project director of the Harvard Learning Innovations Laboratory.2

A Course in Miracles refers to unlearning as “true learning . . . so that we can return to the full awareness of the Self that God created us to be.”3

I can tell you, without reservation, that if you’re willing to do the work, you will be amazed at what happens.

THE NEED FOR CORRECTION

Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

How do you know when it’s time to rewire? Each of us has a highly sensitive internal sonar system. Whenever you feel bad, anything from mild distress to downright misery, your Soul’s alerting you that something’s amiss. As A Course in Miracles explains: “All problems indicate an immediate correction is needed.” The Rewire Response provides the steps necessary to make those needed corrections.

 

THE FOUR PREMISES

Nothing will change unless it is understood.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Before we go any further, I want you to understand the four premises on which The Rewire Response is based:

1.  Your brain is a product of your past.

2.  What you focus your attention on gets wired in the brain.

3.  Rewiring requires considerable effort, especially at the outset.

4.  Unhealed trauma inhibits or undermines the rewiring process.

Let me briefly explain what each premise means.

1. Your Brain Is a Product of Your Past

What you expect depends on what you’ve experienced.

—JASON ZWEIG

Your brain is like a scrapbook of past memories, reflecting the life you’ve lived and what you’ve learned. From the beginning of time and from the day of your birth, your brain’s primary function was making sure you stayed out of harm’s way (be it a poisonous snake or an angry parent) and that you lived to see another day (not being devoured by a predator or not losing your parents’ love). Consequently, you developed guiding fictions, false narratives, and faulty beliefs leading you to engage in maladaptive behaviors you felt sure would keep you safe. Those fictions quickly became wired in your brain as facts, putting you on an endless hamster wheel of unhealthy habits.

2. What You Focus Your Attention on Gets Wired in the Brain

Tell me to what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.

—JOSE ORTEGA Y GASSET

“The simple act of paying attention produces real and powerful physical changes in the brain,” explains Dr. Schwartz.4 Indeed, rewiring is a matter of deciding which thoughts, emotions, or stimuli you’ll focus on while filtering out everything else. Whatever you give attention to strengthens those neuropathways. Whatever you ignore weakens them.

As the Course tells us: “Each day, each hour, every instant, I am choosing what I want to look upon, the sounds I want to hear, the witnesses to what I want to be the truth for me.”

3. Rewiring Requires Considerable Effort, Especially at the Outset

All things are difficult before they are easy.

—THOMAS FULLER

Aligning your thoughts and feeling with a desired but not yet manifest outcome can feel like you’re swimming against a raging current. As I said earlier, you’re fighting the fierce gravitational pull of a well-worn pathway. Plus, you’re experiencing actual chemical withdrawal from neuropeptides the old thoughts and emotions released in the brain. Inevitably, your Ego will gripe, “This is too hard,” insisting you return to the effortless flow of the familiar, onto the path of least resistance. You’ll need to be highly motivated and wholly committed to defy your brain’s hardwired habits and engage in healthier behaviors.

4. Unhealed Trauma Inhibits or Undermines the Rewiring Process

Trauma is personal. . . . When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive.

—DANIELLE BERNOCK

Rewiring is even harder, if not impossible, when you’ve experienced trauma. Anytime a situation evokes a painful event from your past, or a threat feels vaguely familiar, the brain secretes stress hormones, switching off the cerebral cortex, or logical brain, while activating the limbic system (the emotional fear center), firing off a string of warnings: Stop! Proceed at your own peril! Dangerous conditions ahead! It’s not the actual situation, but how you remember it, that sets off your internal alarm system.

Trauma has many different faces. It could look like an emotionally distant mother, a sexually abusive relative, or watching someone you love suffer.

“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies,” explains Bessel A. van der Kolk, founder of the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. “Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.”5

INCREASING MOTIVATION AND STRENGTHENING COMMITMENT

Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going.

—JIM ROHN

Your level of motivation determines your capacity to rewire. Because rewiring is demanding, unless you’re extremely motivated, you’ll be tempted to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Or as Dr. John Arden states in his book Rewire Your Brain, “If you’re not motivated to change, you’ll just be going through the motions.”6

But no matter how motivated you are, your drive will dissipate as you battle an old neuropathway’s indefatigable, vicelike grip unless you’re totally committed to stay the course. A commitment is a vow you make to yourself that you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, even when resistance raises its ugly head, which it surely will. Once you commit fully, you can’t possibly fail.

Actually, you’re always committed to something—staying safe or staying true to yourself. Rewiring needs you to choose the latter—gathering the courage to venture beyond your stories, beyond your self-image, beyond your fears, beyond your family messages, and beyond the cultural conditioning, all the shoulds, oughts, and musts that served as your north star. You don’t need to know all the how-tos or even believe it’s possible. It doesn’t matter. Once you make a commitment, the Universe revolves to help you reach your goal.

Rewire in Action

TAKING STOCK

Let’s do a four-part exercise to assess and hopefully increase your level of motivation and commitment.

Part 1: Intention

All you need to do is ask yourself: Is this what I want to see? Do I want this?

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Begin by rewriting your intention for reading this book, as you did in Chapter 3, page 42. Doing this again helps because repetition is required to ensure cognitive rewiring. And your intention may have morphed at bit or changed completely.

My intention is: ____________________________

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Now close your eyes, repeat your intention, then ask yourself the following questions. Take time to mull them over and really think about your responses, then jot down your answers.

Why do I want it? ____________________________

Why don’t I want it? ____________________________

What if nothing changes? ____________________________

What if everything changes? ____________________________

Next, relax, take two deep breaths, and imagine you’re sitting in beautiful surroundings. As you sit, imagine approaching four different parts of yourself—your Inner Child (you between 3 and 10 years old), your Inner Adolescent (you between 13 and 17 years old), your Ego (the voice of fear), and your Future Self (you one to five years from now).Separately, tell each one your intention and ask what each one thinks. Visualize each pondering the question and replying truthfully.

What does my Child say? ____________________________

What does my Adolescent say? ____________________________

What does my Ego say? ____________________________

What does my Future Self say? ____________________________

Finally, reflect on this inquiry with these four parts of you. Then ask yourself this final question:

Why will I let myself achieve my intention? ______________

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Part 2: Motivation

Increasing motivation for change in the learner is all the teacher need do to guarantee change.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Next, let’s rate your level of motivation on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (completely, totally).

How driven am I to achieve my intention? My motivation is at

______________ (Be honest!)

If you aren’t at 5, ask yourself:

Why don’t I want it? ____________________________

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What am I scared of? ____________________________

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Part 3: Commitment

You cannot be totally committed sometimes.

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Now rate your level of commitment to achieving your intention on a 1–5 scale. How determined am I to walk through fire to make it happen?

Anything less than a 5 means only one thing. You’re not committed. Just as you can’t be a little bit pregnant, so you can’t be a little bit committed. You either are or you aren’t. And as I mentioned before, you are, in fact, committed to something. In this case, either to repeating the past or rewiring for a new future.

Part 4: The Oath

When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.

—ANDY ANDREWS

What if you’re a 4 or less and you’d like to raise the number? I invite you to work on strengthening your resolve by taking what I call The Oath of Commitment, a series of statements (which you can see below) that are meant to be sacred promises you make to yourself. Even if they don’t ring true right now, say the following statements aloud or in your head. Then use them as affirmations, repeating some or all of them every morning, throughout the day, and again before bed. Even if you’re a solid 5, I urge you to do the same. Repeating these statements will be your first step in actively training your mind to rewire your brain.

•   I am committed to owning my power, becoming all I can be, because, honestly, that’s what wealth building forces me to do.

•   I am committed to increasing my net worth, no matter how loud that little voice in my head screams, Stop, don’t do it!

•   I am committed, even if right now, at this moment, I have no idea how I’m going to do it. It doesn’t matter. I know the Universe will guide me toward my goal.

•   I am committed to stop telling my old story, with all the shoulds, oughts, and musts that have calcified into hardwired rules I must live by.

•   I am committed to seeing my excuses for what they are: smoke screens to hide the truth—I’m scared to change.

•   I am committed to face my fears by taking baby steps because I know that the moment I commit, fear will rear its ugly head.

•   I am committed to challenge myself to think in new ways about new things, retraining my mind to physically alter my brain and thus create new habits.

•   I am committed because I understand that every time I don’t keep a commitment or I break a promise to myself, I erode my self-esteem and self-efficacy, losing confidence in myself.

•   I am committed to getting back up every time I fall off the wealth-building wagon. This is not about being perfect. It’s about being persistent.

•   I am committed to asking for and receiving support. Wealth building is not a do-it-yourself project.

Bonus Points: Commit not just to yourself but share your intention with a trusted friend or loved one. Ask that person for support in holding you accountable. You can do the same in return. Perhaps both of you, or more if you want, could form a support group to study this book.

Remember, at any given moment you have a choice in how to respond: Repeat or Rewire. Now, turn the page, and you’ll start to learn how to make sure you choose The Rewire Response every time.

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