The more I dive into the other three parts of my being (spiritual, intellectual, and emotional) the more I start to find out how they all work in the same way.
For example, when my coach and mentor taught me how to do a brain dump, the 10 year old boy in me chuckled a little. In fact, I almost said, “I just made you say dump,” [ tee hee tee hee]
All kidding aside, when the word dump is used as a verb (ACTION, hint hint) it’s described in the dictionary as follows:
Deposit or dispose of (garbage, waste, or unwanted material) typically in a careless or hurried way.
Now, at the risk of getting a little gross I have to say that careless or hurried doesn’t accurately describe the way I typically dump but nevertheless, when it comes to the brain dump, careless and hurried is the only way to effectively do it. Otherwise judgments and stories start tainting the process.
Our brains are amazing pieces of equipment. They’re designed to process and solve the most difficult problems. The problem with them is when a problem isn’t really difficult, they will still process it like it is. That’s when we get to that place where we’re over-thinking things and emotions show up.
It’s kind of like a lawyer having to justify his $1000 fee for a 5 minute conversation.
Normally, thinking is a healthy thing but, like anything else, too much of a good thing usually turns into a bad thing. Over-thinking shit is often, useless and harmful if you persist.
Most addicts know what I’m talking about when it comes to too much of a good thing.
Fortunately, there are a lot of good tools to overcome stinkin’ thinkin’ and one of them is an exercise called “The Brain Dump.” It’s sometimes referred to as Stream of Consciousness (SOC) writing.
Here’s how it works:
Just grab 2 full size sheets of paper, write the emotion you’re feeling at the top of the pages and start writing…That’s it.
But… there are a couple catches.
1) You can’t stop writing until both pages are full and…
2) You can’t judge, edit, or filter what you’re writing.
You may see yourself writing things like, “I don’t know what to write next” or if you’re like me, a lot of 4 letter words. You may write things that seem completely irrelevant to the emotion or your preconceived notion of the exercise…just keep writing until the pages are full.
Once you are finished, you can use it to find nuggets of wisdom or ideas if you like or you can use the exercise as a way to just unload. In many ways, the brain dump is just another biological function like sneezing, coughing, pissing, or shitting.
I’ve used it for both and found it to be super effective, especially when I have writer’s block. Looking for ideas in it can be like a treasure hunt. Using it to just unload my brain always makes me feel lighter, calmer, and more centered.
And if you think it’s disgusting to look at your dump for hidden treasures all I have to say is, “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone.”
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