“Your Brain Constantly brings in Sensations. That’s non-negotiable. But your Perception is negotiable.”
Dr. Andrew Huberman (Neuroscientist)
I have been working with dyslexic adults for many years now. They have experienced amazing break-throughs and aha moments, often accompanied with tears.
Tears of mixed emotions: relief and joy of finally understanding how they learn and how their level of focus and mindfulness make a huge difference for them, but also emotions of anger.
How would their lives have been different if they had been taught the way they learn with ease when they were children?
Why hasn’t anyone picked up that they are dyslexic? Why weren’t they taught how a visual, creative brain takes advantage of its innate talent, instead of being forced into learning the auditory way?
Learning by listening and sounding out when reading was the auditory way that most of their class mates seemed to learn best. That is how most teachers learned.
There are few teachers who are dyslexic. They cannot comprehend how some people are learning visually or hands-on – neither are they taught how to help this growing minority of students.
Instead of sitting at school feeling shameful, embarrassed, traumatized or stupid, they may have known then already how smart and brilliant they really are.
Even today I hear parents tell their children that they are so clever, but just not academic and that they should choose professions where they don’t need university or courses, but be hands-on. They are told to use their sporty, crafty or artistic gifts as their professional goalposts.
Teachers try to coerce children to study harder to not end up becoming street sweepers.
I believe every child should be able to choose the profession they feel most aligned to. Yet most children don’t dare to dream. Their final marks may not mirror these dreams and they don’t want to set themselves up for disappointment. Most dyslexic individuals can be academic, especially when they study a topic of great interest. They just haven’t been taught how to process information.
They haven’t been taught to train their brain to making the optimal choices for them.
I used to work with adults on literacy and correcting dyslexia only. It worked for those who had already developed a strong discipline or had a passion for a dream strong enough to overcome the conditioning that runs our subconscious program.
Unfortunately a great number of adults found change too difficult. It is human nature to fall back to our default program, sabotage the efforts to change and then tell ourselves that at least we have tried, but it was just too hard or not possible.
Dr. Joe Dispenza was right when he said:
“You have to find a passion for your dream that’s greater than any addiction of any familiar emotion that keeps you connected to your past.”
Dr. Joe Dispenza
Now, when I work with dyslexic adults, we make mind and brain training as important as dyslexia correction around literacy and numeracy, using the science of change.
There are core concepts that need to be added in order to function and take advantage of this amazing, vast brain with its tendency to lean to the right side.
When we look at the human being, our ‘self’, there needs to be a holistic picture that incorporates:
- The physical self (food, exercise and self-care), and how to optimize the body’s well-being
- The mental self (our spontaneous and deliberate thoughts) and how we can use perception to train our mental abilities. We need to add laser-sharp focus in order to learn and zoom out of the big picture that dyslexic individuals are more prone to – and hone in on literacy, which needs different focusing tools. The training from a broad to a narrow focus can be a huge asset for any learner, and an easy one to achieve.
The emotional self (finding the difference between feelings, emotions and sensations) and how our perception guides the attention to the sensations of our environment.
You can, for example, feel the sensation of your feet inside your shoes, when paying attention to it. So by directing perception your sensation will increase. It had been there before, but only through thinking about it – are you really feeling the light pressure on your feet. Perception is the spotlight.
Your feelings are the link between emotions and sensations.
- The spiritual self,
where meditation links mind, body and feelings to bring about the desired changes through a heightened state of receptivity – a link to a higher version of self.
- Behaviour: We have heard about neuroplasticity and that our brain can change at any age, but it takes repetition and perseverance to change. Especially the adult brain prefers to go back to the old ways of reading and processing information. However, the more internal work that has been done, to be less anxious and more focused, the easier the behaviour changes and actions can be taken.
- Action: Once the duration and outcome has been established (it will take 6 months to be fully competent at reading and writing), the path can be determined and followed: It takes work, needs focused attention and initially it will be hard work. The brain needs to warm up before rewards can kick in and the desired outcome, the reading for pleasure, the writing with ease and the life of confidence and joy becomes a reality.
So if Dr. Huberman is right and our perception is our spotlight, we need to decide, what is important for us to highlight, where do we shine that light – and when do we switch it on?
Do we need a deadline to get started?