Meet The Four Characters of Your Brain
Category: Articles, The Brain, | By: Dr. Jill | Share On Facebook
|I hope you are doing well. This is my first post, so I want to share with you why I wrote Whole Brain Living, what its power is, and why I want you to devour this material.
I am a brain enthusiast. (I’m sure you have picked up on that by now.) But, beyond the beauty of this amazing organ we all have inside our heads, it is our remarkable brain cells that manifest our choices and abilities. When we understand which cells manifest which of our abilities, the more power we have to choose who and how we want to be in any moment.
I consider my new book, Whole Brain Living, to be a roadmap to the four different “Characters” inside your brain. The better you know your Four Characters, the easier your life will become.
If you want to be more productive, for example, then you will want to get to know, respect, and nurture your Left Thinking group of cells — also known as Character 1. This rational character in your brain is amazingly gifted at creating order in the external world. This part of your brain defines what is right/wrong and what is good/bad based upon its moral compass. It is also our left brain Character 1 that triggers our stress response since it is a perfectionist in all it does. This part of our brain cares that the stapler goes back where it belongs and it insists that you color inside the lines.
I call my Character 1 Helen—short for ‘Hell on wheels, she gets it done!’—and I hope you will pick a name that rings true for your methodical self.
Time is made up of one chaotic moment followed by another. If your Character 1 is under-developed and not encouraged to rule the roost to keep your life orderly, then in no time at all you might shift into your Left Emotional Character 2 and feel overwhelmed, anxious, or hopelessly behind.
Our Character 2 tends to fear the unknown, which is often powered by a familiar feeling of unease that stems from either a traumatized or out-of-control past. As a result, this Character 2 part of your brain may end up feeling either ‘less than’ or not worthy of being loved, simply because our Character 2 perceives life through a lens of lack rather than through a filter of abundance.
In order to escape these negative emotions, or disappointments that are based on external circumstances, our Character 2 may choose to either blame others for our less than optimal conditions, or it may try to entirely escape our pain by engaging in our favorite addiction.
My Character 2 is Abby—which is short for abandoned. There is a long story behind that one, of course, but I encourage you to give a name to this part of your brain—one that sums up your deepest fear or emotional wound. Knowing this part of ourselves and learning how we can self-soothe our own little Character 2 by using our other characters, is key to feeling okay again after we have been emotionally triggered.
Learning how to identify and embody all four of our characters, and then choosing to step into the strong, compassionate, and loving parts of ourselves when we need it, has the power to lift us out of our Character 2 discomfort and pain. It is so important for our individual personal growth that we wade into and reflect upon our Character 2 pain, but it is equally critical that we only visit there, and don’t adopt it as a lifestyle.
Our right brain Characters 3 and 4 are all about the present moment. Character 3 is our emotional experiential self that seeks similarities rather than differences with other people because it wants to connect, explore, and go on adventures with others. The way the present moment feels is delicious, and sharing time, having fun, or deeply connecting through empathy can be gratifying for everyone. I call my Character 3 Pigpen after the Peanuts cartoon character by Charles Shultz.
My Pigpen is curious and consistently making a mess, so chaos follows this part of me wherever I go. Life is composed of consecutive moments of disarray, so this part of me sings at the top of her lungs, creates art with abandon, and explores nature without a schedule. She is friendly, joyful and potentially explosive when she comes face to face with fear.
Our Character 4 is the Right Thinking part of our brain which exists as our most peaceful, open, and loving self. Our Character 4 is right here, right now, and completely invested in celebrating the gift of life with immense gratitude, acceptance, openness, and love. When you meditate, pray, or repeat a mantra, you are quieting your left brain Characters 1 and 2, so you can experience the deep inner peace of your Character 4. It is always there and always available for you to tune in to.
I call my Character 4 Queen Toad—Queen because she is as big as the universe (yours is too), and Toad because she is a bit of a goofball and I live on my lily pad boat named “BrainWaves” six months of the year. I encourage you to name this part of your brain, too, so you can gain easy access to this most holy part of your soul.
Now that I have shared a bit about my Four Characters, I hope you will be inspired to take the time to get to know yours. You do have the power to choose who and how you want to be in any moment, so give them names so you can honor their identities.
From my brain to yours,