learning impulse control

Today we ask that you learn to master your impulses.

This is one of the healthiest things any human can do.

Within every human, there are many lower, less evolved identities.

Every human brain contains a reptilian part, and a mammalian part.

The reptilian part deals with survival, fight or flight, seeing things as threatening or harmless, and initiating hostile, defensive, and attacking behaviors.  It seeks security above all, and is incapable of empathy.  

The mammalian part deals with social bonding, familial and tribal relationships, parent-child relationships, and social hierarchies.  The mammalian self can feel empathy, but only for those it identifies as part of its family, or tribe.

In addition to these, you contain your whole genetic histories.  Your ancestors have a kind of life within you, and can influence your thoughts and impulsive behaviors.  You contain your parents’ identities within you very strongly, even if you never knew your parents.

You also contain within you your identities at various stages of childhood and adolescent development.

Together, all these identities form a collective thought form body.  This thought form body manifests as what Freud called the “id,” “ego,” and “superego.”  They can take shape as a voice in your head, or as an overwhelming craving or impulse.

Most people believe that these identities are who they are.  But this is not true.  They are your Lower Self.  

You are an immortal being, temporarily occupying a human body.

These primal, genetic, Lower Self structures can dominate your existence.  Or you can liberate yourself from them.

The Lower Self is not bad, or an enemy.  The part of you that craves sugar, or alcohol, or procrastinates, or wishes to cheat on your mate isn’t evil.  It is just a less evolved part of you, that requires good parenting.

Most people have no idea how to be good parents to their Lower Selves, so they are totally ruled by their impulses and conditioning.

Meditation is an ancient and powerful tool for learning not to give into the Lower Self.

Simply sitting in one place, “doing nothing” for a set period of time will teach you impulse control.

Learning to observe your thoughts, and not get caught up in the discursive meanderings of thinking, will teach you impulse control.

From there, it becomes a little easier to refrain from impulsive habits.  Eating poorly, vegetating in front of the TV or computer, shopping compulsively, getting into hostile arguments over nothing — all of these are impulsive habits, triggered by your Lower Self.

You can even get familiar with your inner identities.  Feeling overwhelming defensiveness, hostility and a lack of empathy?  That’s your Reptile Brain.  Feeling insecure about your rank within the social hierarchy and desperate for approval?  That’s your Mammal Brain.  You can also learn to recognize your Inner Five Year Old, your Inner Ten Year Old, your Inner Teenager, etc.  You can recognize your Inner Mother, and your Inner Father.  You can recognize ancestral habits.  As you do, all these identities will have less power over you.  

Never be punitive with yourself.  Punishing impulsive behaviors only perpetuates them!  

Just learn to notice your impulsive habits, and be a gentle, loving, but firm parent.  If you know ice cream is bad for you, choose not to eat it.  If you do eat it, don’t attack yourself for eating it, but make a real commitment not to give in the next time.  If you know watching reality TV makes you sluggish and depressed, choose not to turn it on.  

If you feel disempowered in your life, learning impulse control is the path toward stepping into your true power.

Try meditating, even for five minutes a day.  It helps!