“Our brain captures the strategies that work to keep us safe, connected and respected as possible in our early life environment, and then puts those behaviors on autopilot.”
(Amanda Blake, Your Body is Your Brain, 2018)
The behaviours you have that are on autopilot are hard to change because they have been buried deep down very efficiently. They are on autopilot so that they can run automatically when needed without thought.
When you need to be safe and connected, you don’t want to have to think it all through. Stopping to think for too long can be the difference between life and death, or connection and no connection with others.
So how do you change something that’s deep and not part of your conscious thinking intellect? You need to turn inward and put the intellect into the back seat for a while. Body Mindfulness work helps you to do this. You scale back the rate of thinking by focusing on your inner body, mostly from the neck down, away from the seat of the intellect. That brings you closer to the automatic patterns that you deemed early on as the best way to live.
I like Amanda Blake’s explanation of the there brains. The lower Cerebellum Brain is geared for safety. The middle Limbic Brain is geared for emotional connection with people and the Cerebrum (top brain intellect) is geared for Respect. This gearing or wiring are strategies that are on autopilot were created long ago, mostly in childhood.
Things change as you grow up and into adulthood. But very often these deeper autopilot patterns do not update. What burned them in place was so strong (probably traumatic) that you decided there is no way you are going to let that affect you in that way again. So that patterns is locked in deep to protect you. To keep you safe. To keep you connected and to keep you respected by people.