“If you could learn to squeeze the vibrancy and beauty out of each moment of your life, would you say yes to a practice that could get you there?” ~ Lisa Wimberger
I absolutely love the idea that in addition to sculpting my butt, I can sculpt my brain. Lisa Wimberger, author of the revolutionary must-read Neurosculpting: A Whole-Brain Approach to Heal Trauma, Rewrite Limiting Beliefs, and Find Wholeness, shares this nugget right off the bat: “We can sculpt ourselves into our own divinity.” Sign me up!
Now, I’m a full-blown creative-intuitive but I adore when science & divinity flow together so effortlessly as they do in Lisa’s work. If you want to learn practical tools for reshaping your brain, dive into this book. Equally, if you enjoy a beautifully written story, you’ll delight in the narrative ease of Neurosculpting. It’s the best of both worlds that empowers you to create your own best world. And Lisa’s experienced the brilliance of these practices on a very personal level. In fact, she’s neurosculpted her way into a life filled with grace, health, and happiness. You’ll love learning from her! Here’s another gem: “There is nothing more important than a clear expression and transmission of unconditional love.” Amen.
Before we dive into our Gratitude Speaks interview, I’d like to bring you up to speed on Lisa’s work. I’ve read Neurosculpting cover to cover and highly recommend it. Below I’m sharing unfiltered bits from her book so you get a clear sense of her voice & wisdom. You’ll learn about Brainbows, neural confetti, gratitude, food, scripts, the mind on vacation, hope, grace, resilience, the queen card, and so much more. It’s a fabulous primer to get a good grasp of Lisa’s research so that you gain even more from our interview. Be sure to scroll all the way down to learn more about Lisa’s work and how to stay in touch with this rockstar. Happy neurosculpting!
- Beliefs: “Our beliefs are our castles made of sand, seemingly solid until the waves of change wash in. I have come to believe that Neurosculpting is the power that can direct those waves and help us rebuild our thoughts.”
- Neuroplasticity = Your Ability to Learn: “Plasticity means that the brain changes second by second with each passing wave of thought, motion, emotion, and experience — just like those castles made of sand. With every retrace of a thought, we reinforce a pathway, and with each departure from the path, we begin to create a new one… We use our neuroplasticity to transcend the current moment and look to the future. We open ourselves up to potential, possibility, and change.”
- Neurosculpting Math: “Spirit’s design + unconscious patterns and thoughts + neuron-action potential = action/behavior.”
- Shapes of Gray: “ What we now know is that the gray matter of our brain grows! The more we use it, the denser it gets with dendrites and activity. So if you keep exercising those stress-based thoughts, you eventually broaden the neurological reach of the maps associated with those thoughts. And, if you don’t actively practice positive thoughts the gray matter dedicated to those thoughts shrinks.” Oy vey, Louise Hay was on to something back in the day.
- Vacation Mind: “Vacation has shown me how large an influence my mindset is on how my body chooses to experience and express itself in the world. I smile more on vacation; my muscles relax; and my aches and pains recede.” Can you relate? I sure can! Funny how I always feel fabulous at the beach.
- Epigenetics: “Our DNA is no longer thought of as the conductor of our physical destiny, but more like an orchestra of all available instruments, which may be played or can remain silent. It turns out that the conductor is actually you, and more particularly you in relationship to your inner and outer worlds.” Now go ahead and wave that magic wand of yours!
- Meditation: “We know that we reduce adrenaline and cortisol levels with meditation. We know meditation increases our immunity. We know meditation helps regulate blood sugar and metabolism. Therefore we know we have a direct impact on our genetic destiny right here, right now, in each and every moment… Your commitment to a regular practice is in direct support of the best possible version of you.” If that doesn’t convince you to meditate, I don’t know what does. Wait — meditation also makes you sexy.
- Scripts: We all have stories on who we are, how others perceive us, what we think we can or can’t do, how life is supposed to function… I love that Lisa helps us kick off the pioneer domino that’ll have our story wall tumble down like hard gummy bears: “What freedoms might you experience if you could adapt the stories of who you are and release the version of yourself your ego had created? Who could you be without those scripts? What might be possible?” Meditate on that, yo.
- Community: “The ripple effect of change, hope, and transformation only works if there’s a point of origination. A wave must originate somewhere at some source. YOU are that point of origin for waves of self-love and wholeness to ripple out to others.” Read my piece on the Pioneer Domino HERE.
- Stress: “How often do you trigger your own limbic response with a thought and then spend hours fighting phantoms? … And here’s something science has discovered: the chronic elevation of cortisol in the body damages the hippocampus, which is in the center of the limbic system and is highly involved in creating new memories and turning down the fight-or-flight response. Through excess stress, we actually damage the body’s ‘off’ switch for the stress process.” Meditation, anyone?
- Free will: “This is how we begin to change our daily scripts and drink more of life’s juice. This is how we move into wholeness. In fact, this die-hard belief in free will is a foundational model for Neurosculpting.” If ya don’t have free will, whaddaya have?
- Queen card: The significance of owning your power can fill a billion books, and maybe we’ll get to read more about the queen card in the near future. For now, know this: Always wear your invisible crown.
- I can’t: “I can’t keeps us in our rigid and fixed limitation… It spits on the face of our potential as adaptable and resourceful human beings. I can’t makes you incapable of overcoming your fears. It sets up shop in your limbic system… It hides your queen card.” Again, always wear your invisible crown.
- Hope: “Hope is the very opposite of rigidity. It’s the promise that our creations born out of the past can change to meet the future in a way that works better to support who we want to be. The very act of hoping means that, on some level, we believe that change is possible… The language of hope is the expression of our neuroplastic strength… Hope is the face of I can.”
- I can: I can is the “embodiment of neuroplasticity… It’s a reclamation of our power. I can reminds us of the abilities of our PFC [pre-frontal cortex].”
- Brainbow: “We have a landscape of neural jungle in our brains. Modern science has given us Brainbow imaging technology, which is a magnificently beautiful way in which to view the networked jungles of brain cells without having to cut the brain… Imagine looking into a transparent body to the mechanisms in the brain pulsing in a neon Technicolor dreamscape —- a carnival of confetti thoughts — and then you might have a notion of how utterly fantastic our neural jungle can be.” Brainbow, I dig it.
- Mind-Body: “What I do to my body, I do to my mind and soul… It’s so easy for us to ignore our health issues as though they have nothing to indicate about the thought patterns we keep, the relationships we’re in, or the circumstances we create.”
- Nurture: “What if each smell, touch, sight, taste, and interaction were one of intentional nurturing?” Wow, this would change the world. You in?
- Clarity: “We can rebuild ourselves from the inside out. But first we have to notice what’s going on internally so we can begin to neurosculpt the dynamic.”
- Sleep & Dreams: “While scientists continue to study the function of sleep, we already know that it’s vital for a sharp mind and positive mood… Dreams can be viewed as a neurosculpting sandbox in which we modify our old stories to keep ourselves present.” Now that’s a playground.
- Gratitude Food: “If thoughts matter to our physicality, then what would happen if I began to cultivate a relationship of reverence and gratitude for the food I ate, whether I was a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan?” Gratitude Food!
- Gratitude: It is now believed that moments of expressed gratitude are linked to an increased secretion of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is highly involved in our perception of quality social bonding and trust.” Look up Lisa’s gratitude practices starting on page 99 of Neurosculpting. Gratitude’s having a moment — from Deepak & Oprah to Pam Grout to Liz Gilbert to Jack Canfield… I love that folks are sharing about the genius of gratitude.
- Good Enough: “What insidious beliefs make it painful to look upon ourselves with acceptance? What levels of shame, comparison, or self-deprecation cause us to avoid our own natural reflections?” There are points in our lives when we think we’re frauds. But we aren’t. We’re awesome.
- Consciousness: “Consciousness is the end voice of all the percolations of my sensory and autonomic self… The more I view others as conscious beings, the more I have to look upon the world with a greater capacity for love.” #IAmCompassion #YoSoyCompasion
- Grace: “I was learning and bearing witness to how accessible grace can be when body, mind, and spirit all begin to speak the same language.” Alignment is the lube of life. Tweet that.
- Memory: “Science has shown us that we are made up of more space than actual matter, and so too are our histories made up of more fiction or narrative than actual fact… Your own constructed biography can be renegotiated at any time. This will enable you to show up more fully in each moment.” You create your own reality, right Abraham?!
- Great Art: I not only love great copy but the stories that stem from it. Nibble on these nuggets from Lisa’s neurosculpted brain that’ll help you to engage from a whole-body perspective: “A voice called me further, begged me to fall backwards even deeper.” “Continuing on to that moment of birth when the light went from comfort to stark, when fluid sounds became sharp and breezy — when an entire existence of symbiotic union cleaved into singularity.” “And then she went further, telling me to allow this light to communicate with my DNA. The double helix lit up, highlighting areas of open access and areas of great chromatin compaction… I tasted a fluency of sound-light. My body sensed its own synesthetic nature."
1) How do you define gratitude, and what are you grateful for?
I believe some of us are born with an innate capacity for accessing gratitude, while many of us need to learn it and practice it. I define it many ways. By the way it feels, gratitude is a sense of warmth and a perception that I matter. That each event I encounter has something of value to teach me because I am worth teaching. Even the painful experiences can help me understand gratitude as long as I remember to ask myself, “what can I learn from this?”.
I also define it in terms of brain functioning. Gratitude is more accessible for us when we have developed a robustly functioning prefrontal cortex, which doesn’t truly mature until our early twenties! It is a measure of increased activity in the front part of the brain that has a natural capacity to dial back our negativity bias, our stress response, and open us to the infinite possibilities in front of us. I am grateful for so many of the mundane moments in my life. As someone who’s had too many near-death experiences, I find a profound gratitude for the quiet moments where everything is simply safe and sound. When my daughter is tucked in to a warm bed I can easily get overwhelmed with gratitude that she feels safe enough to fall asleep. When I hear my husband tinkering around in the other room I often stop to close my eyes and drink in the sounds of his engagement. I’m not in this space in each and every moment, but I find the older I get the more gratitude is by my side.
2) What is art to you?
I believe art is anything that makes your heart soar, and your mind forget your “to do” list so that all you have is the present moment to experience. I grew up dancing, and then became a musician as I got older. For me music and dance is the thing that makes me feel like I have wings. When I can walk away from an experience more fulfilled and happier than when I started, that feels like art to me. There are no right or wrong ways to be an artist, which opens it up to revealing itself in as many ways as there are breaths in our bodies. [Check out this clip of Lisa sharing about the power of drums and how it’s informed Neurosculpting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2-_0gfdflg].
3) When did you experience significant personal growth, and how did it impact your perspective on life?
I think the questions is more like when haven’t I experienced significant personal growth! I have to say that I often feel like life is beating me over the head with growth opportunities…and not all of them are shiny and pretty. I’ve had many messy relationships that resulted in massive internal reflection, growth around boundaries, and lessons in self-worth. My accident when I was fifteen caused me a lifetime of personal growth that is still unfolding. I was hit by lightning and my seizures started. This experience has caused me to reflect upon my fragile body, our temporary time here on earth, my vulnerability, my illusions of safety and how that coats all of life, and what exactly I want my legacy to be in this very short time I have in this body. I feel like I’m in this growth period continually, and have been for most of my life. Perhaps this sentiment is what allows me to focus on gratitude instead of negativity.
4) What other gems of joy & wisdom would you like to share?
I think part of what I want to do In this lifetime is help others feel a little less broken, a little less “the victim”. If I can help someone find a sense of their own worth and power I seem to be my happiest. Perhaps this is also a bit self-serving as it functions as a reflection and validation for me of what’s possible. And during times when I lose my way I can call upon these experiences. So in the service of healing others, it’s really me who gets the healing. But I often wonder what the world would be like if we all leaned a bit more towards service and a bit further from competition.
As you can see, Neurosculpting offers precious, practical tools for daily life. May you be reminded of the right practice for you at the right time. It’s all about allowing, opening up, and flowing with the grace of creation, lotus-style. I’ll leave you with Lisa’s words: “As we allow ourselves to mold anew with each of life’s experiences we embody the very essence of hope. We become alive in the elasticity of adaptation, demonstrating that this, too, shall pass. Each of us can be an expression of the ‘I can’ as we collectively put to rest the ‘I can’t.’” Let’s become alive in the elasticity of adaptation and boldly embody our greatest vision.
To learn more about Lisa Wimberger’s Neurosculpting Institute, click here.
Go here to get Neurosculpting: A Whole-Brain Approach to Heal Trauma, Rewrite Limiting Beliefs, and Find Wholeness.
Learn about Lisa’s magnificent Neurosculpting audio trainings here and here.
Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter.