Your Life as a Sponge
Quanta Change® founder Mimi Herrmann made an important and fundamental distinction about humans–she saw our lives as the product of the behavior of human energy, rather than of human behavior. She discovered that each moment of our lives is generated automatically by the invisible work of our energy, not by what we do or think. How did she come to this?
Long before the recent books and movies about applying physics to human energy came out, Mimi became intrigued by the word “quanta.” As defined by physics, a quanta is a bundle of energy particles (a tree, a flower, a snowflake). These energy particles’ behavior is governed by the laws of energy. In her quest to answer the question, “Why do people get sick?” Mimi started wondering specifically how the particles that make up human quanta behave according to the laws of energy.
Through nearly 20 years of independent research, she came to see that 3 laws of energy are particularly important in understanding how our human energy behaves. Let’s look at the law discovered by the Chaos scientists in the 1970’s and 80’s, which governs how we develop into our unique human selves.
This law states that as energy particles are “bundling up” to become a quanta, these particles are “sensitively dependent upon their initial conditions.” In other words, they are sponges absorbing the conditions around them; what they absorb creates the quanta’s unique form.
Think of a ice crystal… its initial conditions are the air temperature, moisture content and wind speed of the place in which it forms. As energy particles that make up the crystal stick together, they “soak up” the unique combination of these conditions, and that is what creates the ice crystal’s unique form.
Through her work with a Ph.D. neurophysiologist, Mimi came to understand that the human brain’s sponge-like period is from the third day after conception until about the age of 2 ½. During this time, the brain (and actually the whole body) is a “sensory sponge,” absorbing how those people around it feel about being human. Mimi called this “Sensory Learning.” So, our initial conditions are the way everyone around us feels; how they feel is how we will feel about being human.
A sponge has no choice in what it absorbs, and neither does this “sensory self.” The rational brain hasn’t developed yet, so our brains are merely absorbing and feeling, without the ability to filter anything out, or to choose what we absorb. When someone around us doesn’t feel good, we absorb that feeling…and we store it as a feeling about ourselves: “There is something wrong with ME being just this way.” Mimi called this Learned Distress®.
There is no blame associated with Learned Distress. We absorbed it at a time we had no choice in the matter. Those around us were just doing their best with the Learned Distress they absorbed through no choice of their own. . .and on back through the generations.
Learned Distress IN, Learned Distress OUT
Ever heard someone say, “Garbage in, garbage out”? This phrase was coined by a computer technician to describe what happens when a computer is given nonsensical code to process–it puts out nonsensical answers. Sir Issac Newton described this same principle in his Third Law of Motion: “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
In her discovery of how human energy behaves, Quanta Change founder Mimi Herrmann saw this law at work. Mimi realized that in human energy terms, it was, “Learned Distress in, Learned Distress out.” She coined her own term for it: “Brain Direction.”
Let’s look at each part of this law. First, she realized that Sensory Learning is the “action.” Sensory Learning puts into place our sense of self, our unique sense of how it feels to be human. This sense of self–or sensory brain, as Mimi sometimes called it–is like a battery which stores 2 kinds of energy: our natural well-being, which is the kernel of energy we started out with, and Learned Distress.
The “opposite” part in human energy terms is that the brain generates each moment of our lives directly from the energy stored in the sense of self battery. The energy came in during Sensory Learning (the “action”) and now, the energy is going out as the energy we live each day with (the “opposite reaction”).
To understand the “equal” part, we need to understand that memory is stored by the quality and intensity of feeling associated with it. In other words, your brain stores what you feel strongly. These stored feelings are what the sensory brain uses to generate the moments of your life (the “equal reaction”).
For example, let’s say that a new mom momentarily forgot her baby boy and left him in a store, then rushed back. She is going to likely feel her own Learned Distress strongly in this moment, which means he is going to absorb Learned Distress then, too–in the realm of abandonment or the very common feeling of “I don’t matter.” He then experiences moments throughout his life in which he is abandoned or feels that he doesn’t matter. Those moments are generated from Learned Distress stored in that moment–his Brain Direction generates situations in which he feels he doesn’t matter.
Computers only generate answers from the code they are given. Likewise, the sensory brain only generates moments from what is stored in the sense of self. This is what Mimi described as the automatic and invisible behavior of human energy, and it’s the reason that she said with certainty that all our negative moments and conditions are generated–automatically and beyond our rational control–from our Learned Distress.
Next, we’ll look at third energy law that Mimi found was so vital to understanding how your energy behaves. It’s all about how your sense of self battery recharges itself, and this law holds the key to getting rid of your Learned Distress permanently.
Renewable Energy Isn’t Always a Good Thing
These days, we’re all familiar with the concepts of renewable and non-renewable energy. And the renewable kind is always better, right? Actually, no. When it comes to energy we use to power our homes, businesses, and transportation, renewable is good. But when it comes to your human energy, renewable energy has actually been causing a lot of misery and difficulty.
We’ve already talked about the laws of energy that govern how your human energy develops and how your brain uses that energy to generate each moment of your life. Now, we’ll explore how your human energy renews itself according to the Law of Conservation of Energy: “Energy is neither created nor destroyed, but only transformed into renewable or non-renewable energy.”
While you’re awake, your sensory brain uses its stored energy–a combination of Learned Distress and natural well-being–to generate each moment. Through her research, Mimi realized that the purpose of sleep is to recharge or renew the energy stored in your battery-like sense of self. Physical and mental rejuvenation and repair happen in the two slower levels of sleep-time brainwave activity, and your sensory brain is recharging during the fastest level–REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when you are dreaming.
You recharge your cell phone battery with electricity. Your sensory brain recharges itself with the feelings you experienced in the day you just lived. The purpose of your dreams (whether you remember them or not) is to use how you felt during the day to recharge how you feel about being human. Dreams are “pictures of feelings” that your brain generates automatically to do this recharging work.
Since your awake-time moments were generated, in part or even mostly, from Learned Distress, your sense of self is recharging each night with the sense that “there’s something wrong with me.” So, in this cycle, Learned Distress is renewable energy. Not only that, this renewal causes the intensity of Learned Distress to rise over time, so you feel more of the sense that something is wrong. And, because Brain Direction generates moments equal to the intensity at which the Learned Distress is stored, your negative moments feel more intense.
For example, let’s say that someone absorbed the sense that “there’s never enough for me” early in life. As she grows up, this Learned Distress generates the condition of not having enough money. At age 20, she might be bouncing checks. By the age of 50, the intensity has risen to such a level that she’s in bankruptcy.
How you feel this rising intensity depends on your Sensory Quotient® pattern. (You can find out your SQ pattern for free by completing and sending me this test.) If your pattern is like the one that Mimi called the Defeatist, you feel worse and situations keep getting worse, despite everything you do to the contrary. If your pattern is the Idealist, you may still feel that life can be good, but it gets harder and harder to make that happen. Or, maybe you used to be able to make it all work, but lately, your efforts just don’t seem to produce the same results. In each case, the intensity of Learned Distress has risen to such a level that you are feeling it or experiencing its power.
I know this isn’t terribly uplifting, but renewable energy is just half the story with this law.
Burning Your Learned Distress off Permanently
Let’s look at the big breakthrough Mimi had when she considered the Law of Conservation of Energy further. It is the key to your life feeling better and easier.
Until this point, Mimi thought she was just looking for the source of illness. She never set out to change anything. But now, she started to wonder if your brain could turn Learned Distress into non-renewable energy. Think of burning a log in a fireplace–once you’ve burned it, you can never use the ashes to produce more heat. What if you could burn off Learned Distress permanently, so your sensory brain could no longer use it to generate negative moments?
Mimi knew from her research that she had an important hurdle to get over: your brain’s natural resistance to change. As nerve cells in the brain mature, a myelin sheath forms around them, which creates a physiological wall of resistance to change. And, as your rational brain begins to function around the age of 2 ½, a wall of resistance to change forms around your sense of self. This wall means that you can’t think your way out of your Learned Distress.
Your brain has good reason for this resistance–it’s protecting your way of surviving, which it customized for you and your surroundings from your sponge-like Sensory Learning process. Since your rational brain hadn’t begun to function, your sensory brain didn’t have any way of understanding that it had absorbed this feeling that “there’s something wrong with me,” so it’s just holding tightly onto what it believes is keeping you alive and well!
To burn off your Learned Distress, Mimi realized she had to get your rational, thinking brain out of the way–that when the rational is operating, the wall of resistance is up. She carefully considered all the different brain wave activity states, which fall into 3 major categories: wakefulness, sleep, and purposefully-altered states where the brain produces Theta waves (like hypnosis and meditation). She saw that sleep is the one time when the rational is shut down entirely and that sleep also has a big bonus–it is when your sense of self recharges. So, all you have to do is tell your brain you want to recharge with your natural well-being, instead of Learned Distress.
That was Mimi’s next hurdle–how can you give your brain this permission for change when you’re asleep? She created a Sensory Message recording to do just that. She recorded a spoken message in the language of your sensory brain–sensory images, or spoken “pictures of feelings,” that tell your brain, “I don’t want this bad feeling anymore; I want to recharge with what feels good.” For example: “I am a leaf floating down a river. I get to a place where it’s all clogged and nothing can move. But then, things begin to move again and I float into this calm pool where I can relax and enjoy this peaceful way of being me.” I’ve created a new Sensory Message recording, drawing on the knowledge I gained from Mimi as well as 10 years of my own experience guiding others through Quanta Change.
This Sensory Message recording is the catalyst for change, giving your brain permission to burn off layers of Learned Distress permanently (just like burning the log in the fireplace). As this “unlearning” happens, your natural sense of well-being expands to take the place of the burned off Learned Distress. More and more, well-being becomes the energy your brain uses to generate your moments. Just as you’ve never worked hard to have a bad day, the moments that feel truly good to you just begin to happen automatically.
Sound too good to be true? I certainly thought so the first time I talked to Mimi. Now, I’ve had 10 years to see for myself and through my clients’ experiences that it actually does work that way. Click to get your FREE, personalized report to learn how Quanta Change could help with your specific challenges.