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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

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Introduction Congratulations on getting started with EBT! You are beginning a process that will give you power to rewire how you process daily life moment to moment throughout the day. This method will show you how to rewire the unconscious circuits that were encoded long ago that ramp up stress and block your joy. In a way, it’s a simple process. You use your prefrontal cortex, the seat of your consciousness, and become highly competent at directing the flow of energy through your brain to change your wiring. Once you know its precise level of stress, you use the exact mental process that most easily directs the flow of energy through your brain back to a state of well-being. In time, those repeated experiences change your wiring so that you are less prone to stress and naturally experience more moments of joy. Symptoms of stress — overeating, high blood pressure, depression, inactivity and more — tend to fade. Rewiring the brain — these emotional circuits — takes specific tools and support to use in a focused intensive progressive way over time. That is the purpose of EBT: to provide you with both. In EBT, you will learn how to identify your brain state, then how to effectively use just the mental practice that most easily and quickly returns you to well-being. As your use of the tools begins to rewire your circuits, you will find that you can be in all the brain states without judgment. You will have clarity about what mental process to use that will bring you an immediate payoff. You will find that you can switch your brain back to that state in which you feel positive emotions, so that unproductive stress diminishes and you feel good or even great more of the time. Basically, you learn how to accept the unavoidable pain of life, and avoid being mired in stress that is not productive and most deleterious to health and happiness. The primary areas of the brain that we are rewiring are the emotional centers. Even 20 years ago, doing that was considered an impossibility; however, stunning

Advances in neuroscience suggest that we can rewire the elusive emotional brain.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

advances in neuroscience have shown that the brain is highly plastic. We can change the brain’s structure and function through orchestrating repeated and focused experiences. The challenge is to feed it the right experiences, and to do that over and over again. When we do that, we alter the neurons that link together to form wires, opening them up when we are emotionally aroused, then using the mental practice (“tool”) to reconsolidate them into wires that move us through the stress back to well-being or avoid allowing the stress to be triggered to begin with. Most of us focus on our conscious thought, our explicit memory: what we know we know, such as important events in our lives, the birth date of our best friend, or how to figure out how to access technical support for a computer program. This memory is largely based on cognitive processing. Our explicit memory processes information at the rate of about 40 pieces per second. That’s a lot, but our implicit memory — our emotional unconscious memory — processes about 20 million pieces of information per minute. When we enter into the activity of rewiring the emotional brain, we are approaching a memory system that is vastly complex and strongly wired. The emotional brain itself is the clearinghouse of stress, the center that mixes input from the internal milieu with the external environment and coordinates our physiological response. However, in addition to processing stress, it is the

Each use of the EBT tools creates small but important changes in your wiring.

seat of those aspects of life that give rise to our greatest satisfactions. It is the seat of emotional balance, relationship intimacy, spiritual connection and red-hot pleasure drives. As a result, even small changes in our emotional brain can have a broad spectrum of effects. Throughout our lives we can gain new cognitive knowledge. We can pick up a new fact, learn a new program, or analyze problems in new ways. The cognitive brain remains highly plastic through much of the life span. However, the emotional brain is less accommodating. It is plastic, but because it is our ace in the hole, our survival brain, it does not change easily. It in fact views forces of change, anything new, as a threat. It’s as if it is saying to us, “I’m surviving now. I know what I know. I prefer sticking with what I know and I don’t want to disturb what is working,” even if the status quo is not working well at all. That is why there are two phases to this training. The first is to bring to your conscious awareness and store in your explicit memory what this method is: that


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there are five brain states and five tools. You check in and interrupt the ineffective processing of your emotional brain often throughout the day, for example, 10 times, and identify your brain state. You then use the corresponding tool that most effectively switches your brain state back to balance and well-being. It takes most people about four weeks to get down the basics of what this is. Then the games begin because the emotional brain will do whatever it takes to avoid using these tools at the frequency, intensity, and effectiveness required to change your brain’s set point to the optimal state of well-being, in which stress symptoms and appetites fade. So instead of allowing the emotional brain to have its way, we settle into using structured progressive courses to inspire, excite and inform us to progressively practice the skills and rewire the emotional brain until it defends joy instead of clinging to stress. When the emotional brain is seduced into shifting to a new set point in balance and well-being, still free to be wild and woolly and enjoy time in all the states, nearly every aspect of life changes in ways that are measurable. Perhaps you lose weight, your blood pressure decreases, or your relationships become more fulfilling. On the other hand, the changes are often hard to describe in words. The experience of living begins to be different and the level of balance required in the brain to stop wanting the various excesses brings a level of peace, power, and, yes, love, that enriches our lives. When you are dealing with the area of the brain that is so awesome, even small changes can result in important rewards. As well, the emotional brain isn’t burdened with the linearity of the thinking brain. Each time you use the tools, be aware that personal evolution based on the emotional brain can happen in zigzags, stair steps and leaps. So the entire endeavor becomes one which, the more you use the tools, the more fascinating they become. That’s why I suggest keeping a sense of humor about the whole process. We’re dealing with that whacked out part of us that is always coming up with something astonishing when we step into the portal of the emotional brain using these tools. As much as the emotional brain won’t get you an A in calculus, it’s not asleep at the wheel. From the first time you begin reading about this method and using the tools, your emotional brain will take notice. It has been used to processing daily life in a very specific way, laid down in the first few years of life. Now you are introducing

Changes can occur in stair steps, zigzags and leaps!


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

something new, so it resists doing it this new way. You “forget” what the tools are. You lose this journal. You find yourself wondering if joy would be a good idea at all. And who has time to do this work, anyway? If it weren’t for the resistance put up by the emotional brain, if this were a simple cognitive task, you could easily use the tools 20 or 30 times a day. They only take a few moments and, besides, you get an immediate payoff of an emotional

A surge of pleasure naturally occurs when the prefrontal cortex is tuned in to the emotional brain. The joy of connection!

shift. Yet the emotional brain does put up a fuss, so perhaps you settle for using the tools less often, say 10 times a day. Nonetheless, each time you use the tools, neurological changes occur. Each time you take a deep breath, become conscious, observe yourself, identify your brain state and use the corresponding tool, the flow of energy in the brain changes. That stressed out mood switches to a positive mood. Before you used the tool, the lower brain, given to distortions and extremes, was ruling your operations of life. Now, with a simple mental process, the upper brain, the balanced, aware, conscious part of your brain, is running the show. You accomplished that, not with a device, a drug or a procedure, but with a mental practice which is so easy that I first taught this method to children. They aren’t as burdened with an emotional brain locked in stress, and their emotional brain is far more plastic, so they soak in the tools more rapidly. But nonetheless, the tools are simple, and they do create immediate effects! When you shift your brain state, you feel better, but more importantly, your brain changes one synapse at a time. The wires that ramp up stress for no objective reason, the stress circuits or “allostatic circuits,” weaken. The wires that naturally move you through stress back to optimal functioning and well-being, the joy circuits or “homeostatic circuits,” strengthen. Meanwhile, you are attending to your day. People see you reading the paper, talking to a co-worker, gazing at your computer screen, but what are you really doing? What are you doing that will transform your life? Behind the scenes you are honoring your personal agenda of checking in and switching your brain state. You are envisioning what is happening in your brain, the stress circuits weakening and breaking and the joy circuits becoming stronger, bigger, more robust and more dominant. The internal drama is astonishing! Each moment of the day when stresses hit, the two opposing kinds of circuits are competing for arousal. You notice a headache, thoughts of chocolate chip cookies arise, you feel the heartache of lost


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love, an impossible deadline hovers, a wordless knowing that you are not enough, the constant demands of a difficult child . . . in other words, life! Each time a stimulus arrives in the brain, opposing circuits can vie for arousal with the strongest one winning out and firing. Then it sparks for the moment, sparking other concordant circuits, and before you know it, you are experiencing a rolling, lovely good mood or the start of a persistent bad mood that you just cannot shake. The wire that wins out becomes even stronger and more dominant and more likely to win out again. In a way, by equipping yourself with these tools, settling into the courses, and setting your eyes on becoming wired at 1, you are engaging in the most amazing internal sport known to humankind. You are wordlessly shifting the flow of electricity and chemicals in your brain to break allostatic circuits one by one by one and re-encode them as circuits that efficiently return you to a state of well-being, where you are productive, insightful, intimate, compassionate and healthy. It’s all in a day’s work, and with each use of the tools, each intimate internal act, the results become more formidable. Each use of the tools matters. The wiring changes begin to add up over time, until the homeostatic circuits start coming out on top. They become so strong, so dominant, that they fire easily and often. At that point, you have become a wizard of your own stress processing, and life becomes far easier. Feeling emotionally competent, knowing the ropes of how to get from stress to well-being, you find that surges of pleasure in your body appear more of the time. You are really good at triggering a joy response, moving through stress back to feeling aware of the grace and mystery of life. Having a stressed out day? You don’t sweat it! You would never judge yourself for being stressed, because some times, you just prefer it. You accept that being stressed is right for you at that time. Some people expect that when they have accomplished this rewiring their life will be a piece of cake, that they will never be miserable, and that things will always go their way. I haven’t found that to be true. What I have found to be true is that you feel secure inside. It’s rather sobering really, because instead of being way high, way low or numb, you feel securely attached to yourself. You know that even if all other humans on the planet judged you, you would not judge yourself. You get your comfort, your peace, your security and your love, first and foremost, from inside you.

Your prefrontal cortex, your consciousness, can learn how to break stress wiring and build wiring that promotes well-being.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

Another reason that life doesn’t turn into a bed of roses is that you have so much energy and passion. That sump hole of chronic stress stopped interfering with your life. There are new things to learn, new adventures to be had, and new pleasures to be discovered. Even more there is this abiding drive to be of service, to give back to honor your spiritual path and do what you came to earth to do, and that is not always convenient! It brings new challenges, but you are never bored! Evolution ensures that when we have beaten back the internal allostatic circuits of stress enough, then we start getting these surges of feel-good neurotransmitters in the reward centers of the brain. These come from living a purposeful life without the ego getting in the way and reminding us that we are living a purposeful life. We just do it because that is our nature.


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The 4 Rules Let’s review the basics of the method, including the four rules of emotional plasticity. More information is available through the books on the method that are available on the ebt.org website, but what follows is a brief overview of the key points of the method. 

The Three Brains

You move freely through all the emotional states, but favor the optimal brain state of peace and power, what we call joy. Neocortex “Thinking Brain” (Thinking, Planning, Deciding)

Reptilian Brain (Survival Instincts)

Mammalian Brain (Emotions, Connection, Rewards)

Rule 1. It’s not us. It’s our wiring. There are three brains. One is the neocortex, which is at the top, the center of thoughts, planning and deciding. In the middle is the limbic brain or mammalian brain and it mixes together various sources of stress from our internal world and the external environment and determines what we need to do in order to survive. It packages that information into a message which it sends up to the neocortex. If things are really threatening, it will also arouse a fight or flight response in the third brain, the reptilian brain. The emotional message that finds its way up to the neocortex is mixed with thoughts to bring about a conscious feeling that gives us the urge to take care of that need. Then we do, and that corrective response takes us back to a state of well-being.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

That is all well and good, and we can carry on and respond to life very well because the brain records our past episodes of responding to the demands of the day by laying down a wire, a string of nerve cells or neurons. Those neural circuits are like tracks in the brain, so that when a similar situation comes along, instead of having to go back to square one and figure out what to do, the brain automatically arouses an old circuit. Without conscious thought, we respond with the same emotional processing, the same neocortical processing and the same corrective response. All of us have two kinds of wires. One kind is the kind that works really well. The emotional response is about right given the threat at hand, not sweating the small stuff or ignoring a true threat. The message to the neocortex arouses feelings that point to needs that are spot on, so that we easily follow through by doing just the right thing and return to a state of well-being. That is a homeostatic circuit, or for short, a “joy circuit.” The homeostatic circuit tinkers with our physiology and easily self-corrects so we tend to stay in a state of balance rather easily. We all have another kind of circuit and that’s not the peaceful, productive, efficient

Surge of Joy!

Circuits connect all three brains, chattering back and forth, but each has its own role.

A Joy Circuit

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(Homeostatic Circuit) 1

Stimulus

Emotional Processing 2

A stimulus enters the mammalian brain and triggers an effective emotional response, not overreacting to the stressor.

1 2

Neocortical Processing The neocortex functions effectively, accurately identifying feelings and needs. 3

Response The responsive to the stimulus is is effective, turning the individual to a state of well-being.

wire that gracefully ushers us through life’s stresses. Instead this wire takes a good situation and flat out ruins it. It creates problems where there are none. It manufactures difficulties and then in a domino effect, one fabricated problem begets another and another. The emotional response is typically overblown and


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triggers an unnecessary stress response in the reptilian brain. The chemical cascade from that compromises our conscious functioning of the neocortex. We can’t think clearly and become forgetful. Extremes of thoughts, feelings and behaviors abound. This is an allostatic circuit or, for short, a stress circuit, and it doesn’t self-correct. In fact once the stress response is turned on, there is no easy, healthy, natural way to escape it. That is why we try to stop the pain of it all in any way we can. The means to stop the pain often have nothing to do with moderation or good health. All day long stress circuits and joy circuits are being activated. They are triggered

A Stress Circuit (Allostatic Circuit)

Stimulus

1 1

Emotional Processing 2

A stimulus enters the limbic (mammalian) brain and sparks an ineffective emotional response: “getting triggered”.

2

Neocortical Processing The neocortex functions ineffectively due to the “fight or flight”response. The primitive reptilian brain is in charge.

3

Response The response to the stimulus is ineffective, creating a spiral of changes that promote heightened and prolonged stress. 3

Stress Spiral

in time, measured in ten thousandths of seconds, and are stored primarily in the emotional brain which is comprised of unconscious memory systems. There is no “source attribution” so we don’t have a sense that we are remembering something or that we are being guided by past experience. Trying to change them in that instant is like chasing a speck of dust in a windstorm. They are emotional, and no matter how we analyze our behavior, even if we are aware of them cognitively, thoughts alone are not enough to break emotional circuits. What’s more, one emotional wire arouses a whole constellation of other emotional wires that are similar. Before we know it, we are so confused we don’t know what we are upset about. In fact, we are upset about being upset.

We all have both kinds of wires, stress and joy. Using the tools as a daily practice rewires the stress circuits.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

Stress and Brain State Stress

For each level of stress, a different area of the brain is in charge. As stress increases, the dominant brain area becomes more primitive and emotions, thoughts and behaviors naturally become more extreme.

Allostatic wires are not wrong, in fact, they are internally consistent. They were created in response to a certain emotional state, followed by a certain neocortical processing based on an expectation. That led to a corrective response that was the best choice for us at the time. They make sense, even if they are maladaptive, and even if they are the primary source of optional pain in life. In a way, it’s important to love your allostatic circuits because in that state of stress in which they were encoded, they were the best we could do. Where would we be if we weren’t caught by them and saved from falling into the black hole of stress that has no safety net? Imagine that each of us has a bucket on each side of our bodies. We carry them around with us all day long. One contains our allostatic circuits, the ones that ramp up stress. The other contains our homeostatic circuits, the ones that usher us through the stress back to joy. Imagine that is how it will always be. However, the more that bucket of allostatic wires is filled and overflowing, the more we will be wired for stress because wiring leads to brain states . . .


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Rule 2. Wiring Leads to Brain States The brain organizes itself for survival. Survival of our ancestors, who were threatened by hungry lions on the chase, meant marshaling a lightning-quick stress response from the snappish reptilian brain. That enabled us to survive in response to short-term threats. Survival also required that we share with other tribes, so that when their crop failed, we help them out, and visa versa. So being good, and compassionate and forgiving, even loving, enabled us to survive in the long term.

The 5 Brain States Level of Stress and Perception in each State State (#)

Stress Levels

Perception

1

Lowest

Balanced and Rewarded

2

Low

Balanced

3

Moderate

A Little Stressed

4

High

Definitely Stressed

5

Highest

Full-blown Stress Response

Our shared brain physiology takes that into account. The level of stress perceived in any moment determines which area of the brain is in charge. The quick lower areas are in charge when stresses are high, and the slower, upper areas are in charge when stresses are low. In fact, the brain can be in a range of states, depending upon how much stress is perceived. This dictates which brain area is in charge. In EBT we identify 5 brain states and use a 5-point scale to identify them. It makes perfect sense that if the neocortex is dominant when stresses are low, then we will think magnificent thoughts, remember where we put our keys, see the bright side of things and empathize with those around us. Eating a crisp red apple? Delicious! For those cravings and drives, those extreme chemical demands of the reptilian brain are not part of our emotional landscape. On the other hand, if that snappish reptilian brain is in charge, extremes prevail: cravings and appetites ramp up, and our thinking is rigid, negative, obsessive. Our entire world is different. It turns out that in each of the five brain states life is very different.

In EBT we are dismantling the stress circuits and re-encoding them as joy circuits. We’re tipping the balance toward well-being.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

The EBT Brain States State

Thoughts

Feelings

Relationships

Spirituality

Behavior

1

Abstract

Joyous

Intimate

Connected

Optimal

2

Concrete

Balanced

Companionable Aware

Healthy

3

Rigid

Mixed

Social

Unaware

Moderate

4

Reactive

Unbalanced

Needy/ Distant

Disconnected

Unhealthy

5

Irrational

Overwhelmed

Merged/ Disengaged

Lost/ Obsessed

Destructive

One of the most exciting parts of the method comes early on, which is starting to think in terms of brain states. So many things that didn’t make sense about life start to become a bit clearer. For example, why is it so hard to stop the late night munchies, eating all that sugary fatty food before retiring for the evening? Well, if we are in Brain State 5 or perhaps even Brain State 4, it makes sense to be

As we start thinking in terms of brain states, many things that had been confusing about life become clearer.

eating sugary fatty food. Our thinking is reactive, our emotions unbalanced, our relationships sorely lacking in intimacy; we’re spiritually disconnected. Taking into consideration all that, what is a little banana bread or chocolate ice cream? It also makes sense why our attempts to be good about our behavior, be quite healthy, when we are in those stressed states aren’t very successful. It’s not us. It’s that our wiring has triggered a brain state in which it’s only reasonable that we are going to reach for artificial rewards. The natural rewards of life are nowhere to be found. Our brain naturally seeks reward and strives to find some source of bliss. It’s normal to travel among all the brain states in any given day. We are not bad when in Brain State 5 and good when in Brain State 1, but our experience of love, work and play are quite different. The allostatic wires tend to land us in the stressed states and the homeostatic wires keep us safely in the balanced states. Those allostatic wires, given that no handy and healthy off switches are available when they are triggered, tend to be persistent. It’s easy to get stuck in stress, which leads to the third rule of emotional plasticity.


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Rule 3. Brain States Get Stuck The emotional brain is not all that smart. It only learns by experience and whatever information flows into it. Even experiences of which we have no conscious awareness are stored in implicit or unconscious memory systems. It distills from all that mish mash of experiences the basic truths about ourselves, others and life. Although it may come up with basic expectations that are often entirely unreasonable, nonetheless it holds onto them. We don’t even know that they are there because they are stored behind the curtain of unconscious memory. There can be some really whacked out unconscious expectations rattling around inside us for decades. They cause cascades of stress hormones and overreactions that can be not only embarrassing, but painful and destructive. How can the neocortical mind assess those expectations when they are unconscious? They can only become conscious when we return to the level of stress at which they were wired, experience our emotions ramping up, and use the tools to become conscious of these expectations. That’s a tall order, and that’s what you can learn how to do in EBT: break those wires. These brain states tend to become stuck and persistent because the emotional brain likes what is familiar. So if we have a lot of stress, not even from our situation now, but from circuits wired into our emotional brain early in life, we are likely to get stuck. These circuits were wired when our connection with those close to us was a little off or their circuits were allostatic, and these circuits found their way into our emotional brain. The wordless messages, the unconscious knowing that “I am not enough, I am bad, I have no power, I am not loveable, No matter what I do it will fail,” can echo through the corridors of our mind for a lifetime. Unconscious implicit learning is recorded without our permission or awareness and is aroused and reactivated without any sense that we are remembering something. Our entire lives can line up behind a few unreasonable expectations sewed into the brain during the first few years of life, before conscious memory systems matured or later during trauma, when our neocortex is off line and not functioning well. What’s more, those allostatic circuits tend to rattle around inside us causing chronic stress quite easily, because they are positive feedback loops. When triggered there are no automatic shut off mechanisms, so they tend to persist for longer. They train the brain to stay stuck in stress because that is familiar, and therefore, safe.

Those unconscious unreasonable expectations implanted during childhood? We can begin to rewire those circuits.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

On the other hand, the homeostatic circuits are negative feedback loops. If we are a little high or a little low in mood, that process brings us back to center, so feeling great is not persistent. We need to reactivate those positive emotions by being conscious. We need to pause and reflect on the rewards of meaning in our life, the things that we are grateful for, happy about, feel secure about or proud of, the feelings of love we have, and the way we feel loved by others. All those rewards and more naturally come when we are at Brain State 1, and they mix together so

The human brain has the capacity to activate the reward circuitry and feel joy regardless of circumstance.

thoroughly that it is hard to tease them apart. It doesn’t matter. We are at Brain State 1 and that is enough. A bad mood can last longer than a cheerful one, which is not reactivated intentionally or by happenstance. So unless we consciously lift ourselves out of stress, it tends to have the upper hand. In time the brain becomes wired for stress. It likes being stressed out. If something really good happens to us, we can tolerate joy for a moment or two, but the brain will tend to scurry back to being discouraged, numb, irritated, anxious or on a false high, separated from reality. Not only are we creatures that can marshal an effective stress response to ensure our survival, but we are born for bliss. We need our rewards, and when we are in balance, those homeostatic wires are firing, the human brain can experience joy by choice not chance, and even unrelated to the circumstance at hand.

The Eudonic Rewards Santuary

Secure and peaceful from within.

Authenticity

Feeling whole and self-accepting; being genuine.

Vibrancy

Enjoying optimal health and vitality.

Integrity

Honoring the ideals that are important to you.

Intimacy

Being close but separate from others.

Spirituality

Feeling connected to the grace and mystery of life.

Wired at 1

An abundance of all six rewards.


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Because being of good intent is associated with survival of the species, there are connections between our consciousness, the prefrontal cortex in the neocortical brain, and the pleasure centers in the emotional brain. So we can think about the meaning of what we are doing — such as authenticity, integrity, intimacy and spirituality — and arouse a robust and even persistent surge of chemicals in our pleasure pathways. These “eudonic” pleasures are not easily sated and the brain doesn’t wear out their welcome. We can’t access these pleasures when in stress because the prefrontal cortex can’t focus attention on them, and the stress response turns our attention from spiritual motives to ego-based drives. After all, we must survive! So the only pleasure left when in stress is hedonic, artificial pleasure, which the brain is not equipped to process effectively. Our pleasure response to them wears out and we have to move from one artificial pleasure to another or use one so heavily that it becomes addictive, and stressful. It’s easy to become wired at 3, given how stressful life is. With a few extra upsets and losses, it is also easy to be wired at 4. Given enough trauma early in life or later on, being wired at 5 is a slam dunk. In those states every organ system of the body is significantly and deleteriously affected and most suffering occurs. Before long, we have no time for joy, because we are completely consumed by anticipating, experiencing and fixing our stress-related problems. We don’t even wonder, “Where did my joy go?” because we have forgotten how great we can feel. We’re stuck with relying on hedonic pleasures. They just make us more stressed, sicker and more dependent, which isn’t much fun, but it’s all that we’ve got when we are wired for stress. Fortunately, there is a fourth rule of emotional plasticity . . .


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Rule 4. We can create new wiring. We can use our prefrontal cortex, our consciousness and our conscious memory (explicit memory) to learn tools and then use them to switch our brain state from

By activating the reward circuitry in Brain State 1, we swamp stress and begin to quiet the drives for various external solutions.

stress to balance and well-being. The brain is not one size fits all, because in each brain state, the terrain is very different. So we need one specific tool from each of the brain states that provides the easiest quickest way back to the optimal state of 1. Then we move through the day being conscious, using the tools. Each time we switch the brain from stress into the balanced states, two things happen. The homeostatic wires become stronger and more dominant and the allostatic wires become weaker and less dominant. The wiring that leads us to using hedonic rewards that we’re accustomed to reaching for when we are in stress weakens. The bursts of high intensity well-being, the surges of feel-good chemicals in our reward pathways from the eudonic pleasures in life strengthen. At some point the homeostatic wires — the joy circuits — become so strong that they quash the allostatic wires — the stress circuits. They overpower them, and at that point the homeostatic wires take over. They fire more easily and more often, for we have used positive emotional plasticity to rewire how we process daily life. We have changed our brain’s set point, that comfort zone, from stress to joy. Stress symptoms begin to fade. Optional pain and suffering take a back seat to our joy in life. Even though life is still difficult, and we continue to use the tools consciously for the rest of our life, it is a new world. Quite naturally we move through stresses, and experience more of the rewards of life. We still get stuck in stress now and then but not for as long. We know that it is just a brain state triggered by wires. It’s not us. We have become wired for joy.


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The EBT System The EBT 5-Point System gives you the tools to switch your brain state to 1 throughout the day. It’s not hard. Being in stress is hard. These tools give you the power to switch your state. They mirror the internal processes that humans have used over the eons to ensure the survival of their offspring. Parents use their own emotional brains to switch the state of their offspring from stress and peril to balance and well-being. In this case, you will use your prefrontal cortex to switch the state of your own brain. What parents do to regulate the stress levels of their offspring, you will do for yourself. These tools give you the keys to open the door to being your best self, because you know how to get from whatever brain state you are in back to the natural state of balance and reward.

When the new wiring becomes dominant, it shifts to unconscious memory systems. We aren’t aware that we are processing life differently, yet we notice that we are happier and healthier.

Each time you use the method, you begin by identifying your brain state. The brain is not “one size fits all.” Each brain state has a different mental process that provides the easiest quickest way to return to balance and reward. Once you have identified your number, you have a choice. You can accept your state, that is, you can really see yourself and decide to accept your state. Or, you can change your state. You really see yourself and figure out what is right for you. You make no judgments about being stressed out. Instead you can warmly oversee what is occurring, and make a personal decision to accept it. That acceptance eases stress — for you have seen yourself! Seeing yourself is associated with survival of the species so it is naturally rewarded with a spurt of feel-good neurotransmitters! On the other hand, why be in stress when you don’t need to be? Everything you think, feel and do is easier and more effective when your brain state moves toward balanced states. Your thinking is clearer, your emotions more balanced, your relationships more intimate, and your behaviors are healthier. You feel more connected to the grace, mystery and power of life! You have the keys, the mental processes, to open the door to feeling more balanced and great, so why not use them? Just reach for the tools and complete the sentences or respond to the questions. It is all so natural and effective! What follows is a description of each the tools.

These keys open the door to your being your best self. For each brain state there is a tool that enables you to switch your brain from stress to joy.


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The Check In Tool This tool is the master tool of the method. To know what tool to use to switch your brain state requires knowing your brain state, that is, knowing your number. Here is how to check in:

Take a deep breath. By breathing deeply you focus your attention on your body, the place that you experience your emotions. Breathe into your belly, relaxing more with each exhale.

Assume Body at 1. Put your shoulders back and your head up or move your body to the position that

Taking a moment to be aware of your brain state eases stress and brings you a surge of peace and pleasure.

you naturally assume when you are at your best. Assuming that posture causes messages from the body to go to your brain. Those messages indicate that you are in a state of well-being. The perception of the brain that you are in a positive state further eases stress and enhances your prefrontal cortex’s capacity to accurately identify your brain state.

Warmly observe yourself. Feel even better by observing yourself. Allow your mind to wander for a moment until you can really see yourself in the present moment just as you are. You have no judgments about yourself, but instead warmly observe yourself. This technique is called “decentering” and it causes a wave of relaxation and a more positive mood.

Ask, “What number am I?” Ask yourself, “What number am I?” Keep it simple! Give it your best guess. There is a lot of trial and error with this, so have fun with it. Be curious. In general, here are the numbers and how you might experience each brain state:


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BRAIN STATES

SIGNS

1 Feeling Great!

You are present, balanced and feel a surge of pleasure

in your body. Your reward circuits are gently activated

by the power of connection with yourself.

2 Feeling Good

You are present, balanced and aware of positive and

negative balanced feelings. You are aware of the

emotional messages from your emotional brain, and

highly functional. You do not feel terribly rewarded,

but you definitely feel good.

3 A Little Stressed

You are feeling a little stressed, and notice that you

have more negative feelings than positive ones, but

all in all, you are still in balance.

4 Definitely Stressed

You are definitely stressed and starting to feel a bit

overwhelmed and confused. You are starting to

overthink everything and your emotions are either

beginning to shut down or becoming quite ramped up.

The feelings are unbalanced. You are not just sad but

depressed, not just angry but hostile not just afraid

but panicked. Or you can be on a false high, and

perceive everything as great and miss the emotional

messages needed to take care of your needs.

5 Stressed Out!

You are overwhelmed, confused, panicked and feel

lost. You are in a full-blown stress response. It is

difficult to think. Cravings and extremes ramp up

quite naturally because your brain perceives that

you are in grave peril. It is pulling out all the stops!

Use the corresponding tool to get to I. If you prefer, accept your state without judgement.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

The 5 Tools Brain State 1: Sanctuary Tool Use this tool when you are in Brain State 1, feeling balanced and great. Use this tool to deepen and extend your state of balance and reward. By doing so, you train the brain to feel safe in that state of well-being, and begin to improve your brain set point toward the state of joy. Be sure to be aware of the emotions in your body as you use this tool. Take an extra moment at the end to feel a surge of joy in your body. This helps consolidate the wiring that you have just aroused in favor of states of well-being. Take a deep breath. Connect with the safe place inside. Feel compassion for yourself . . . Feel compassion for others . . . Feel compassion for all living beings. Feel a surge of joy!


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Brain State 2: Feelings Check When you are in Brain State 2 feeling balanced and aware of both positive and negative emotions that provide accurate information about what you need, then use the Feelings Check. Joy comes from the connection between the prefrontal cortex and the emotional brain; that is, the experience of our being seen... by ourselves. Knowing that how you feel and what you need is evolutionarily supported, as it favors the survival of the species. Anything that is evolutionarily supported is rewarded with a spurt of dopamine. So use this tool to get to Brain State 1. Do not settle for being balanced, when you can experience a surge of joy and lift up your state to this favored state.

Ask, “How do I feel?” Identify your three strongest feelings. Then notice which of the three is strongest. Sometimes only one strong feeling arises. The strongest feeling points to the most important need. It is a natural process when you are in Brain State 2. angry

tense

grateful

relaxed

sad

tired

happy

rested

afraid

hungry

secure

satisfied

guilty

full

proud

loved

lonely

loving

sick

healthy

Ask, “What do I need? After you are aware of your feeling, ask yourself what you need. Wait for the emotional brain to inform you. If you are at Brain State 2, then the intuitive need will become apparent to you. It takes waiting and tolerating not knowing until the words pop into your mind. You can also find the logical need, such as, “I feel hungry. I need to eat some healthy food.”

At first, checking in requires focus and effort. With repeated practice, it becomes easy and automatic most of the time.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

Ask, “Do I need support?” A sign of stress is not knowing that you can ask for support, and not following through with making requests of others. There is a give and take and a giving and receiving in relationships that eases stress and enhances survival of the species and responsiveness to the needs of the individual. Always check, “Do I need support?” This refers to support from others, not from yourself.

Feel a surge of joy! Be aware that you have just switched your brain state to 1, and feel a surge of pleasure in your body. You have seen yourself. You have mirrored a secure attachment, which is the basis for peace and power.


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Brain State 3: Emotional Housecleaning When you are in Brain State 3, feeling a little stressed, use this tool to express emotions. After you express the negative emotions, you will be aware of positive emotions. Express them and find yourself at Brain State 1. If this does not occur, then it means that you were not in Brain State 3. Check in again and identify your brain state, then use the tool that corresponds to it. To use this tool effectively, just begin each of the sentences with “I feel� and state the feeling. Then wait for the sentence to complete itself in your mind. To begin, just express each feeling once. Notice that with the stress cleared away through emotional expression, you feel a secure connection to yourself, and a surge of joy. Feel that joy to improve the reconsolidation of the new circuit. I feel angry that . . .

I feel grateful that . . .

I feel sad that . . .

I feel happy that . . .

I feel afraid that . . .

I feel secure that . . .

I feel guilty that . . .

I feel proud that . . .


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

Brain State 4:The Cycle Tool When you are in Brain State 4, feeling definitely stressed, it is a moment of opportunity because, in this state, the allostatic wires that ramp up stress can most effectively be rewired. This tool is one that is the powerhouse of the method, and one you will learn how to use in more and more effective ways as you progress through the EBT Kits. What follows is a brief introduction to the tool.

This race is won by the tortoise not the hare. The emotional brain changes by repeated experiences over time.

Just the Facts. . . What are you stressed about? State the facts. No feelings. Keep writing until your feelings become very strong . This stress offers a moment of opportunity to nab and rewire a stress circuit.

Nab the Stress Circuit (Allostatic Circuit) By expressing your feelings, you activate the emotional circuits in the brain and bring to consciousness these unconscious feelings and thoughts. When you have completed this “Natural Flow of Feelings,� check what unreasonable expectation that those feelings suggest. What is the unreasonable expectation, the distillation of your experiences that is the stress circuit? I feel angry that . . . I feel sad that . . . I feel afraid that . . . I feel guilty that . . . What is my unreasonable expectation?

Build a Joy Circuit (Homeostatic Circuit) Now create a new circuit, by developing a reasonable expectation. State the reasonable expectation, the one that you want to grind in, so that it becomes a wordless knowing within you. Repeating that expectation begins to build a new circuit and break the old one.After identifying that new circuit, go on to the next step: the Grind In. If you want to deepen the cycle to help you follow through with building the new homeostatic circuit, then add these steps: Begin with: I expect myself to . . . then state what you expect of yourself. Notice the negative thought that immediately


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comes to mind. State the opposite thought. That positive powerful thought eases stress for long enough so that you can become aware of the hard part of following through, that is, the essential pain. Ask yourself, “What is the essential pain?” That is the hard part, the truth about the human condition that you would need to face. Once you have identified the essential pain, then ask yourself what is the payoff, the benefit of following through? That is the earned reward, the motivation for sticking with your new reasonable expectation. Be sure to look for the earned reward to be a eudonic reward, so that you experience a “pop” in the brain state that brings you to Brain State 1. What is my reasonable expectation? My positive powerful thoughts (encouraging words)? What is the essential pain? What is the earned reward?

Strengthen the Joy Circuit: Grind In At this point, the allostatic circuit is fluid, and it will be for up to six hours. This period of strong emotions increases the capacity of the circuits to reconsolidate in a new form. State the reasonable expectation 10 times. Then add this to your Grind In List and repeat it 10 times, one to three times daily for one week, and then reassess.


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Brain State 5:The Damage Control Tool When you are in a full-blown stress response and confused, overwhelmed and upset, use this tool to quiet the circuit. These statements are just what the brain needs to hear as they oppose the natural ineffective tendencies in this brain state. Say these phrases as many times as needed to quiet the circuit, often 5 to 20 times or more. Notice that as you quiet this circuit, you will find yourself at Brain State 4, the state in which you can use The Cycle Tool and rewire the circuit. Also, you may find yourself in Brain State 1, in which you can use The Sanctuary Tool to deepen and extend your positive emotions. Do not judge. (I will not judge myself or others.) Minimize harm. Know it will pass. (It’s just a wire!)

Please visit www.ebt.org to establish a membership in the EBT Community and access the Instant Connection and other web-based tools to enhance your learning and rewiring.


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How to Remind Yourself to Check In Each time you check in, you will find relief and you will create a small but important improvement in your wiring. You are changing the way you process daily life, so it takes focused intensive practice over time for this new way to become dominant and automatic more of the time. At first it takes a lot of effort to check in. That is because you are using conscious (explicit) memory systems; that is, the work of intentionally changing your brain. The more your brain has these experiences, the sooner it gets the idea that this is the new norm. Then it switches this process over to the unconscious (implicit) memory systems, and much of the time you are not even aware that you are using the tools. Life is better and easier, and it may even be difficult for you to recognize why! You are processing stress with symphonic precision, and your brain is doing it quite naturally and easily more of the time. You use the tools intentionally now and then, but your emotional brain has caught on, because you have rewired it. In changing how you process daily life, we are up against a formidable force. The emotional brain prefers to process life differently. At first it helps to get plenty of external support to remember to check in with yourself, and switch your brain state. The most effective strategies for increasing your number of Check Ins are:

External Reminders One option is to find an external device that will remind you to check in, such as: n

A watch, pager or cell phone alarm

Set your automated reminder for every hour. The advantage of this plan is that you don’t just check in when you feel very bad or very good but on a regular basis so that you really get an idea of how your brain state varies throughout the day. n

The EBT iPhone application

This application was designed for EBT participants, and not only gives you reminders to check in but also the capacity to track your Check Ins over time and many other features that make doing this work easier. This app is available on our website or through the Apple App Store.

The more often you check in, the sooner you see results.


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EBT Kit 1: Sanctuary Introduction

The EBT Pocket Journal

Many people find that having a small journal in their pocket so that they can keep track of their Check Ins daily is a motivator to use the tools. The EBT Pocket Journal has the advantage of including 30 days of Check Ins and support so that you can see your progress over time.

Natural Pauses in the Day Another option is to develop the habit of checking in at times during the day when you

What could be more powerful than spending more moments of the day in the brain state of joy?

would naturally pause and reflect or transition from one activity to another, for example: n

When you awake in the morning

What a great way to start your day, checking in and identifying your number and either accepting your state or getting to 1. It’s a great time to remind yourself that you are creating joy in your life and rewiring your brain in the process. n

Transitioning from one activity to another

Many people check in when they are on their way to work and coming home from work, before a meal and after a meal, before exercising and after exercising. Any time of change is a time of stress and a great time to know your number and switch your brain state. n

Periods of relaxation or self-care

Some people are so busy that the only time they check in is when they have a brief moment to relax! They take a moment to pause and reflect and check in when they take time to relax in the evening or throughout the day when they take a moment to reflect, a moment to go to the restroom or time to drink some water. n

As you conclude your day

A wonderful way to conclude the day is to check in and be aware of your state. Using the tools at the end of the day is an effective way to get closure on your day, process leftover stress and appreciate your accomplishments of the day. In fact using “bookends” on the day of checking in becomes a practice for many people, a core part of their daily lives. We will talk more about that practice later in the training.


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Connecting with Others Many people find that connecting with others daily helps. By sharing with one other person or a community how many Check Ins you did that day creates the structure and support needed. It can be a fabulous way to motivate you to use the tools. Here are some options: n

Find a Daily Connection

Identify someone who is using the method and plan a daily 3-minute phone call, email or text message. Report to one another how many times you checked in during the last 24 hours, and one thing you learned from checking in. The message begins with one person sharing. That might sound something like: I did 7 Check Ins and I learned that it is easier to Check In early in the day than in the evening. Then the other person shares, for example: I did zero Check Ins and learned that when I am overloaded at work, sometimes I check out, and the whole day goes by in a blur. That’s it! Keep these Connections very brief, so that they are practical to do in the long-term. Just take a moment or two to connect with one another. Plan to do a Daily Connection with someone for one week, then re-evaluate whether or not it works for you. n

Post on the EBT Internet Community

Check options on the EBT member’s section to post your Check Ins. Share your experiences with others. By posting on the forums, you not only increase your own motivation to Check In, but you also inspire others to Check In more often, too. Also, you can ask for ideas from others about how to make checking in easier. Try out one or more of these methods of reminding yourself to check in. What support will you use to help you check in more often?


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My Plan for Checking In External Reminders ■ A watch, pager or cell phone alarm ■ The EBT iPhone app ■ The EBT Pocket Journal

Natural Pauses in the Day ■ When you awake in the morning ■ Transitioning from one activity to another ■ Periods of relaxation or self-care ■ As you conclude your day

Connecting with Others ■ Find a Daily Connection. ■ Post on the EBT Internet Community


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How Many Check Ins Per Day? Some people check in 10 times right from the start. Others find that checking in 5 times per day is a lot. Some people find that they check in consistently each day. Others find that they check in for a few days, and then forget to check in at all. This is the nature of the emotional brain! It will rebel against changing, but that’s okay, because this is a race that is won by the tortoise not the hare. Persistence is key when our goal is to rewire the emotional brain. Have fun with this and experiment! What will your emotional brain tolerate without shutting down and resisting change? If you are wired at 5 or 4, you might want to start with checking in 5 times per day, then increase the number of Check Ins over time. If you are wired at 3 or 2, then you may be able to work up to 10 times per day rather rapidly. Whatever number you are wired at, the more external support, nurturing and attention you give to checking in, the easier it will be to check in throughout the day many times. The more often you check in, the sooner that new way of processing life becomes your norm. Try out one or more of these methods of reminding yourself to check in. What support will you use to help you check in more often?

My Number of Check Ins per Day I will begin by checking in 4

5

6

7

8

9 10 times per day.


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Sanctuary: The Kit 1 Reward Have you ever noticed that when you feel in the flow, in your joy, at your best that you have all the rewards of life and they are rolling kinds of joy, as if you have tapped into some source that is as good as it gets, and in fact, better than you could ever imagine? That’s Brain State 1, and even though it happens in flashes now and then or creeps up on you and holds onto you for moments at a time, you do have all the rewards of

Kit 1 Focus: Sanctuary Sanctuary is the experience of the brain in balance, a feeling of peace and power from within.

life. In fact, for that moment you have no needs, for you feel in unity with all. Of course that moment passes, but in that millisecond some rewiring occurred, and some of your most basic unconscious expectations of life have been altered to favor joy instead of stress. Stress is about ego, as we are chemically affected. We interpret that rush as our being at risk of death, and needing to do whatever it takes so that we survive. Yet in that moment of Brain State 1, our unconscious expectations have quite spontaneously been altered slightly to be of spirit, to have more than enough to give, and to see ourselves within the context of all living beings. And the more moments of the day we spend in the balanced state, or even a state of well-being, the more those expectations that shape our moment-to-moment decisions begin to change. On the other hand, the more moments we spend in stress, the more disconnected we become, the more we will naturally (and again not to judge) make sure we get what we want when we want it without regard for the consequences to others. It is when we are wired to accept our emotional state and are effective in using the tools to move through those states back to well-being that we experience an abundance of those rewards. We don’t experience them all the time, but so much of the time that we are in touch with the gritty side of life and know the inside out of all the brain states. Yet we have an emotional anchor inside, that sanctuary, that safe place within. Having someplace to go where you know you will not be judged and can find peace gives you some pause from stress. It gives you just enough time to use the tools and find your way back to states of balance. That is core to personal evolution, for it makes us aware that first and foremost, “I get my safety from myself, from the deepest part of me.” That is the foundation upon which we can do the fascinating work of finding out who we are and what we have to give and receive from our experience on this planet.


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So the first reward of this training is sanctuary. Oddly enough, when we are at Brain State 5, there is no safety within for there is only “me” and that gets a little obsessive and nasty, or there is no “me” in which case where would you find a sanctuary? So integral to experiencing a feeling of safety and peace in your body is the capacity to use the tools effectively and often, in effect, to move yourself out of stress when it flows into your emotional brain. That focus on using the EBT System effectively more of the time will be much of the work you do in this course. In addition, you will begin to establish the practice of using the tools throughout the day, drawing upon the activities of the journal to amplify your progress, and settling into developing a community of support for practicing the skills and experiencing the changes that occur in using the tools to rewire the emotional brain.

The Kits Each kit is composed of six chapters, and you move through the kits at your own pace. Although the emotional brain is plastic and open to change, the rate at which it is willing to change varies considerably. Some people who spend most of their time in highly stressed states find that they need to move slowly, completing a chapter every two weeks. Others, who have less stress, complete one chapter per week. Find the pace that is right for you. Emotional brain rewiring occurs in predictable layers, and the kits provide you with just the activities and experiences to support you in creating the next layer of changes in your wiring. The brain only changes with practice, so the courses provide you with just the experiences that we have found to be most effective at each leg of the process. The kits not only focus on the tools to effectively process emotions, but on taking really good care of your health, because health problems cause stress. In addition, you’ll focus on key aspects of lifestyle, particularly in key areas that impact neuroplasticity: sleep, food and exercise. You might say, “If I could get some sleep, eat well, and exercise, then I would! What makes it challenging to do those things is a particular kind of circuit. It’s a stress circuit that is formed when you are in Brain State 5. In that state we can’t access a secure connection to ourselves, and so we do the next best thing: in fact,

By creating an emotional anchor to a safety zone inside, it becomes a new world. You always have someplace really good to go.


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we do anything because chemically the message is that we are in terror. We connect to an emotion, a thought or a behavior as if our life depended upon it. Actually that survival circuit is internally consistent. Every time you experience the same emotion — say being depressed or on edge — the same thought and the same behavior are activated. That “default” circuit worked in the past and it continues to be alive and strong inside us, until we decide to break it. In Kit 2: Authenticity, you will learn how to break a survival circuit and that will make it easier to stop “wanting” something that isn’t working for you. In this kit it’s most effective to focus on getting down The EBT 5-Point System. That forms the foundation for the remainder of the kits, but because the tools are emotional, they are difficult to pin down. It takes time to experience the tools often enough to really trust that they work. Sometimes you won’t want to use them. That’s okay. In time, you probably will because they work. Once you finish this kit and are more aware of your power to change your brain state, even if you don’t always do it, you begin the middle kits (Kits 2 to 4). That’s when you begin breaking those survival circuits. At this point you might say, “Who

The first four rewards create intimacy with self. The last two build on that base to deepen intimacy with others and the spiritual.

wants to do that? I like my survival circuits. Don’t take away my (you fill in the blank). In this training we don’t focus on forcing change, because getting into a power struggle with the emotional brain is always a bad idea. It’s our survival brain and it wins most battles. Instead you just move through your day, aware of your emotional state, feeling present in the moment, and more often than not reaching for the tools and switching your brain back to feeling, not just good, but in time and with practice, great. That surge of neurotransmitters in your reward circuits that accompanies that feeling squashes the stress circuits, dampens down stress, and quiets appetites. Those cravings and drives are just “default positions” when you are not activating a circuit that gives you what you really need — a warm and powerful connection to yourself, the deepest part of you. The more you give yourself that, and some natural pleasures in your lifestyle too, you notice that the drives for external solutions (those crossed wires that connect a survival drive to something that is not what we need to survive) lose their power over us. The point is not to force change, but to connect so profoundly inside that you stop wanting that external solution. The tools “ruin” it for you. You don’t need it anymore.


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In the last kits (Kits 5 and 6), we build upon that secure connection to self to enhance the depth of intimacy with others and spiritual connection. Your brain isn’t wired for stress anymore and you aren’t in an allostatic state in which it feels normal to be stressed out. Instead you find yourself free to be in all the states, comfortable with your emotions. The last thing you would do is judge yourself for being stressed. Yet more of the time, you are in the range of Brain States 1 and 2, and that feels natural, spontaneous, and deeply good. There are five goals for each chapter. These goals are the most important activities at that point in the training. Thus, it is important to complete each goal. If you have difficulty with a goal, post on the EBT Internet Community for support or speak with your EBT Coach. We do not recommend skipping goals. Complete each goal as well as you can. You may not do every goal perfectly, but the point is to do the work as best as you can, and then move on to the next chapter. Our objective is to provide you with just the key activities that will have the greatest effect on your emotional brain in rewiring circuits, from favoring stress to favoring joy, until your set point is in the range of Brain State 1 and Brain State 2. What is required of you is becoming sensitive to your own needs, which may well require getting all the support you need, both from your physician and other health professionals and from the EBT community of providers, mentors, participants and staff. You will need to apply these Kit activities in ways that are powerful and sustaining for you. Here is an overview:

Kit 1 — Sanctuary In this kit, expect to learn more about the EBT 5-Point System and to begin to cultivate the experience of sanctuary. The most important shift you can make in this kit is making your first priority to know your number. It’s to switch from processing daily life by figuring things out or getting things done to being aware of your emotional state throughout the day. This one shift to creating awareness of your emotional state enables you not only to change your emotional state, but also to feel secure from within. That secure attachment is the foundation for easing stress symptoms and breaking the survival circuits that fuel the drive for external solutions.

The emotional brain only changes by repeated emotional experience. You feed your brain those experiences by using the tools.


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Kit 2 — Authenticity In Kit 2, you will begin to explore the various parts of yourself that all contribute to being a whole person who is self-accepting and genuine. You will use the tools of the method to really know yourself, and feel a new sense of freedom to be authentic.

Each kit builds on the rewiring of the past kit, and expands your tool kit.

This is a time of self-discovery and clarity about yourself, and learning how to feel whole and self-accepting. In this kit you identify a survival circuit, and learn how to break that circuit to decrease your drive for your most important behavioral external solution.

Kit 3 — Vibrancy In Kit 3, the stress circuits will begin to weaken and the joy circuits will become stronger. At this point, you will notice that your mood becomes brighter, and you welcome the opportunity to enhance the vitality that you experience in daily life. Feeling at your best eases stress and enhances your capacity for positive emotions and secure emotional connection to yourself. What’s more, in this kit you lighten your emotional load by gaining clarity about the past and healing past hurts. You will break your second survival circuit and separate from your primary emotional external solution.

Kit 4 — Integrity In Kit 4, you will learn how to separate from your last external solutions, the stress symptoms that you use to soothe and comfort yourself. You will learn how to effectively break stress circuits that contribute to cravings and appetites, and find power and safety in connecting more deeply to yourself. You will gain a new sense of closure on the past, as you narrate the story of your life, and begin to heal hurts that you may have thought could never heal. You will feel a new sense of acceptance of your past and yourself. You will break your third survival circuit and begin clipping the cords to your primary relational external solution.


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Kit 5 — Intimacy In Kit 5, you will draw upon the power of the rewiring you have already accomplished and appreciate that your processing of stress has become highly effective more of the time. The intentional use of the skills will remain; but often, these processes have become integrated into unconscious memory systems, and now have become spontaneous. Life becomes easier and more rewarding. You can now build on the secure connection to have with yourself, and create more rewarding connections to others: more loving companionship, emotional connection, and sensual pleasure in your life. In turn, that enhanced intimacy with others will strengthen your connection to yourself. You will identify any remaining survival circuits and break them.

Kit 6 — Spirituality In Kit 6, you will experience such a depth of connection to yourself and others that the grace and mystery of life will become more apparent to you. You will clarify your purpose in life, and look ahead with hope and appreciation for the meaning you attach to life. You will know how to be comfortable in all the brain states, and how to quickly and easily return to the Brain State of 1, in which you experience a rolling kind of joy that knows no bounds, and where you will spend most of your time in a state of high-level well-being.

EBT Graduates The journey continues after you complete the EBT Kits. We recommend that you consider staying involved with the EBT community. There are programs for graduates, including retreats for the EBT community, and ways of becoming involved as a mentor or provider that deepen your own skills, allowing you to even more securely attach to yourself and reinforce your security with the state of high-level well-being.

Our emotional set changes so it is easier and easier to get to Brain State 1.


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Your Progress As you complete the kits, you will see progress, and we support you in tracking that progress with easy-to-use assessments and progress charts. These both enhance your motivation and honor the skills you are developing. Right now, to begin this, take the EBT Inventory. By establishing your baseline score, you can track your progress with each subsequent kit. There are three areas of this inventory: rewards, brain states and stress symptoms.

1. Circle Answers To respond to an item, first read it, and then circle your response. If you are not sure about a response, circle the response that is most accurate.

2. Score Each Area Complete all the items in all three areas and then note your scores for each section.

3. Total Your Scores Add up your scores to find your stress total at the end of the questionnaire. Appreciate your progress as you start each kit. Take your first inventory now, then each time you begin a new kit, take it again and track your accomplishments.


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The EBT Inventory 1. The Rewards In the last month, how often have you experienced each of these life rewards? Sanctuary:

I was aware of my emotions, and felt peace and power from within. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Authenticity:

I felt whole and self-accepting and was genuine. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Vibrancy:

I felt at my best, physically fit, energetic, with a zest for life. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Integrity:

I was aware of my purpose in life, and honored the principles that were most important to me. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Intimacy:

I was so securely connected to myself that I did not merge with others or distance from them. I could be separate but close. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Spirituality:

I felt compassion for myself, for others, and for all living beings. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Now total the scores from all your responses. The range for this score is 0 to 18.

Your Rewards Total: _____


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2. Brain States In the last month, how often have you experienced each of these brain states? Brain State 1:

Feeling Great. Feeling balanced and rewarded, with surges of pleasure in my body. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Brain State 2:

Feeling Good. Being present and aware of my balanced positive and negative feelings. 0 = Rarely

1 = Sometimes

2 = Often

3 = Very Often

Brain State 3:

A Little Stressed. Feeling mainly negative feelings. Being somewhat numb and thinking too much. 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Brain State 4:

Definitely Stressed: Feeling negative, unbalanced feelings. Having expectations that are too harsh or too easy. 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Brain State 5:

Stressed Out! Overwhelmed, confused, lost or disconnected. 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Now total the scores from all your responses. The range for this score is 0 to 15.

Your Brain States Total: _____


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3. Stress Symptoms Emotions When in stress, what emotional state is most typical for you? That is a symptom of a “survival circuit” and we refer to this mood as an emotional external solution. Given enough stress, all of us use emotional external solutions. It’s important to know which one you use, and how they affect you. Which one(s) do you tend to use? Hostility Depression Anxiety/Panic Shame Numb (no feelings) or Thinking Too Much False Highs (mood abnormally elevated and separated from reality) Other: ______________________________________ In the last month, how often did you experience emotional external solutions? 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Relationships When in stress, it is normal to use relationships for comfort. However, in a highly stressed state most people trigger a survival circuit in relationships, either merging or distancing from others. These are relational external solutions. Signs of Merging:

Overly concerned with how the other person feels and what they need Losing sight of how you feel and what you need Rescuing others, people-pleasing, or controlling Signs of Distancing:

Overly concerned with how you feel and what you need, to the extent that you are unaware of how the other person feels and what they need Isolating, judging others, or persecuting others In stress, what relational external solution(s) do you use?


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Merging Distancing Both Merging and Distancing In the last month, how often did you use relational external solutions? 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Behavior Under stress, behavioral external solutions bring temporary comfort, even if they are not effective in the long term. Which behavioral external solutions do you use? Overeating Smoking Overworking/Excessive Busy-ness Overuse of Alcohol or Other Drugs Overspending/Hoarding & Clutter Other: __________________________ In the last month, how often did you use behavioral external solutions?

3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Body Most people have physical symptoms. If you do, please list your symptoms below, including the ones that are signs of stress or physical conditions that tend to worsen when you are stressed. If you have none, please write “none.� 1. ___________________________________________________ 2. ___________________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________________ Examples: weight gain, overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive problems (e.g., nausea, indigestion), immune system problems (frequent colds or


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infections), heart disease, headaches, muscle tension (e.g., neck or back pain), joint and bone problems, and chronic pain. In the last month, how often have you had physical symptoms of stress? 3 = Rarely

2= Sometimes

1 = Often

0 = Very Often

Now total the scores from this section. The range for this score is 0 to 12

Your Stress Symptom Total: _____

The EBT Inventory Summary Totals

Baseline Score

Wired at 1 Range

Your Rewards

_________

16 to 18

Your Brain State

_________

12 to 15

Your Stress Symptoms

_________

10 to 12

Congratulations! You have established your baseline scores for the EBT Inventory so that you can track your progress with your scores as you move through the kits. Now, let’s move on to creating a plan for using this kit.


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A Personal Plan Please take a few moments to establish a plan for using this kit:

A Practice Decide where you will keep your journal and CDs, and when you will use them. Some people do this work early in the morning; others listen to the CDs on their way to or from work, or while exercising. Some write in their kits in the evenings. Spend at least a few moments in your kit on most days.

Pace Plan your pace for this journal, either completing one chapter per week or perhaps every two weeks or more. The higher your stress load the more likely you will be to need more than one week to complete a chapter. What is most important is that you do not move on to the next chapter until you have completed all the goals in the current chapter.

Check Ins During the course of this training, you will be focused on being aware of your emotional state, and reaching for tools to switch it back to Brain State 1. You’ll also do Check Ins from 5 to 10 times per day. The more you do them, and are conscious of your brain state, feeling emotionally connected to yourself, the more power you have in your life, and the sooner that feeling of secure connection becomes spontaneous. At first you will use your explicit or conscious memory to check in. That’s why it’s easy to forget to do it, because the conscious mind has to interrupt the old way of processing daily life and use a new one. How many times have you done it the “other” way? It takes practice and outside support. We recommend using an EBT Pocket Journal to keep track of your Check Ins. If you prefer, try out the EBT iPhone application. The EBT iPhone app is available from the Apple application store and the Pocket Journals are available from the EBT Store. Also you can record your Check Ins on the EBT website.

Community One of the most rewarding parts of this work is community, because even though we are all so different in our neocortical minds, we are remarkably similar in our emotional brains. Most people who are in a weekly group or telegroup stick with the training, have a wonderful time, find that the months go by, and they are likely to be wired at 1.


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The groups begin with a relaxation activity in which everyone has a chance to relax from the day, and Check In with themselves. That is followed by a brief sharing, and then one or two people volunteer to do Cycles. The provider coaches them through the Cycle so that everyone learns how to use this tool more effectively. In addition, because of the activity of mirror neurons, when the participant who is doing the Cycle experiences a “pop” in the brain that leads them to Brain State 1, that joy is contagious. Most people leave each week’s group feeling inspired, informed, motivated and, many times, at Brain State 1. Next there is time for each person to reflect on their accomplishments that week in the training and their challenges, that is, what they most want to focus on in EBT during the next week to get the best results. There is also a brief Progress Check so that each person identifies their progress with the goals and has time to ask any questions that have come up during the week. The group concludes by being aware that we are creating joy in our life. It is a warm, close and a productive, fascinating experience to see yourself change and watch others do the same. Plus you have a built in community for support for practicing the skills and for connecting during the days between meetings. You can also enjoy the EBT Community and make Connections with others on our website to practice the tools. There is coaching, too, and retreats and web-based tools. We hope you find the combination of forms of support that work for you. Last, be sure to check your needs for health care, whether that means adjusting medications, dealing effectively with any source of physical stress, medical concern or monitoring. Often people who use the method notice changes in their health because the method is aimed at decreasing your allostatic load or stress load, so that stress symptoms tend to improve. Please take a few moments to develop your plan:


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EBT Kit 1: Your Plan Routine: Using my kit Where I will keep my journal:

When I will write in my journal:

When I will listen to audio programs:

Pace: The pace that is right for me ■ One chapter per week ■ One chapter every two weeks ■ I will wait to see what is right for me.

Check Ins: How I will record my Check Ins and Grind Ins ■ EBT Website ■ EBT iPhone Application ■ EBT Pocket Journal ■ I will wait to see what is right for me.

Community: I will access the following forms of community support: ■ EBT Internet Community ■ EBT Groups/Telegroups ■ EBT Coaching ■ EBT iPhone Application ■ Physician or Other Health Care Provider ■ Other _______________________________________________


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You have decided on your pace and arranged for community and support. Please turn the page and begin Chapter 1. Each chapter starts with a checklist of goals. The pages that follow the checklist support you in meeting your goals. Safety is our first priority. Using these tools eases stress and enhances wellbeing for most people, however, if at any time, doing an activity in this kit results in your being at Brain State 5 for more than one day, please access more support. Take a break from using the kit, and contact a health professional. If you find that you are destructive to yourself or others, do the same. If your need is immediate, then go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Again, your safety is our first priority. Welcome to EBT! You are joining a growing community of people who are using self-directed neuroplasticity to rewire their brains and thereby enhance the quality of their lives. We hope you find this training to be one of the most important experiences of your life. Thank you for choosing EBT.

Welcome to Kit 1: Sanctuary


EBT 1: Intro