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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Marlink

The brain: well-intentioned and sneaky AF

I recently learned about the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in the brain. This system is responsible for filtering the 2.3M bits per second of sensory information that you receive down to the 128 bits per second that your conscious mind can actually handle.

Let me repeat that.

It filters 2.3 MILLION bits per second down to 128 bits per second.

That blows my mind!

Yay for reducing the overwhelm but what am I missing out on? How does it choose which of those millions of pieces of information make it to the elite 128? From what I've learned, it uses a filter comprised of your beliefs, values, identity, memories, past decisions, language, mood and location/time.

That is the reason why you don't notice how many people are driving a drop dead gorgeous Mercedes G-class until you decide that you want one and then they are literally EVERYWHERE! Ok, perhaps that's a personal example, but you know what I'm talking about.

It's the same reason this video became so popular a number of years ago. Our minds literally filter out the details that it deems unimportant or irrelevant to us. (Even if you saw the original monkey business video, I highly recommend watching this one to the end. They surprised me and I've seen it before. Plus, it's less than 2 minutes long.)

I know that what we focus on expands, but I never realized it's because our mind is only showing us a fraction of our reality. I had no clue that there was an actual part of the brain (a bundle of nerves in the brainstem) that is choosing what we see and what goes unnoticed by our conscious brain.

"Change your thoughts, change your reality" makes a whole lot more sense now.

We've been taught to focus on changing our reality (eat less to lose weight) but that doesn't change the RAS filter. It's backwards thinking. You have to focus on the filters - your beliefs, values, identity, memories, past decisions and mood. Decide you are a fit and healthy person (an identity filter) and the RAS will start showing you a reality that supports your health and wellbeing.

When I look back at my own journey, I can see how this was happening to my detriment before I entered the Void in October. I was so focused on trying to make a living as a life coach (a career that didn't even feel quite right) that I had completely shut out any other opportunities.

After being in the void for a few weeks, I suddenly began to see the abundance of options that were available to me. It was when I removed the life coach identity filter that I realized I could be a writer. It also opened my eyes to leading healing experiences like the virtual retreats and Breathe with Tiffany.

So now I'm wondering what other filters need to be replaced. Maybe I can finally toss that belief that I have to do everything myself. Surely I could build a thriving life and business on my own, but as my bestie says, "wouldn't it be more fun together?"

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