Peak 133: I am reaching into the alpha brainwave state

Working with ‘relaxing into the receptive mode (alpha state flow)’ I looked up some guided breathing on YouTube and came across a TEDx talk by Max Strom called Breathe to Heal. He talks about how intentional breathwork leads to:

  • Focus increase
  • Calming of the ANS
  • Non-reactiveness
  • Qi regulation
  • Healing suppressed grief – which has been showing up as anxiety[!]

He recommends the 4-7-8 Breathing as taught by Andrew Weil:

I am learning so much about psychological wellbeing – and I do have the opportunity to teach what I am learning. Currently, I have been teaching or developing  courses in:

  • Workplace Wellbeing for marketing execs
  • Mental Health Awareness for frontline staff
  • Mental Health Conversations for HR and Managers
  • Suicide Prevention for staff at a homelessness charity
  • Emotional wellbeing for Primary School children
  • Supporting student wellbeing for parents
  • Supporting student wellbeing for educational staff
  • Student wellbeing for uni students (not my course)
  • Conflict management for children’s hospital staff (not my course)
  • Mental Health First Aid for adults (not my course)

And then there are the actual conflict resolution cases.

So you’re Teaching Peace, as per your year’s intention for 2019? [Reach Peace; Teach Peace]

Ha! Yes, I guess so. I’d been so hung up about it, like I’d have to wear white and teach ohming… Funny that.

But have I reached peace? I’m bloated with cortisol fat, and back to sleeping 5.5 hours… Am I walking my own talk?

You are on your way to doing so. It is clear that the learning is going in. As you develop true self-love and truer self-compassion, you will prioritise applying the learning to yourself more fully. 

Because I have been trying to give the time to this – dedicating my mornings to MEDS where possible. But man alive, my training work is so full on and so exhausting, and it quickly undoes all the good…

You are simplifying the training to your teaching about the brain. Very good. You are learning about the brain again. [Reading: The Inflamed Mind] Very good. You have the opportunity to work with your beautiful brain again. 

Today I am going on a course for women called Shake-Breathe-Live. I’m so happy. It involves a morning in a spa, followed by lunch then 2 hours of TRE and 2 hours of breath work. I will go back to retraining my autonomic nervous system and therefore calming my brain. It’s a whole system process, right? The AMOUNT of calming work I need to do to outweigh the stress and physical exhaustion of training is quite something!

It is not a large amount of calming work your ANS needs; it’s efficient calming work done with precision and ‘religious’ regularityYou can retrain your brain and ANS if you are prepared to steer it into the Alpha brainwave state daily. 

Ty. Ok. That’s extremely precise and clear. Maybe I need a neurofeedback device…

Maybe you do. 

Then I shall have a quick look:


Basically, the Muse and HeartMath EmWave sound like good starting points.

Or you could go back to mediation class (MBCT). 


Let’s read.

-70- My words are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. Yet no one under heaven understands them or puts them into practice. My words have an ancestor. My actions are governed. Because people do not understand this they do not understand me. Those who understand me are few. Those who follow me should be respected. Therefore, the True Person wears homespun clothes and carries jade [concealed underneath] in the heart. 

Here Lao Tzu talks of himself as a purveyor of the Tao, the Way. I recognise the concept of ‘wearing homespun clothes and carrying jade [concealed] in the heart.’ For me years ago, the definition of tragedy was losing my dignity or glamour or togetherness; yet I really longed for spiritual development. You can’t have both. I grieved as I apparently lost everything… but people started to change how they were towards me afterwards – in a good way. I myself changed upon finding myself in ‘homespun clothes’ (insolvent, unemployed and now living in a challenging neighbourhood, 2015). The difficulties became portals to new understanding and of fresh compassion: treasures of insight; hidden jade in the heart. 

Let me finally get quiet for a minute, and hear you today.


The 478 breathing does restore some balance. It’s also the hufflepuff breathing I tend to do as well!!! So I’d worked it out myself…

The invitation is to reach into the alpha brainwave state. 

Tell me more, dear heart of my soul.

When you settle into the alpha brainwave state (which btw you can’t do when looking at a screen), you replenish your mind, your heart and your ANS. This is your most direct way to settle, calm and restore yourself. 

Revision from yesterday from


Alpha brainwaves occur during quietly flowing thoughts, but not quite meditation.

Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.


Beta brainwaves are present in our normal waking state of consciousness.

Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity.

Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands; Lo-Beta (Beta1, 12-15Hz) can be thought of as a ‘fast idle’, or musing. Beta (Beta2, 15-22Hz) is high engagement or actively figuring something out. Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz) is highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, or excitement. Continual high frequency processing is not a very efficient way to run the brain, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy.

Description of alpha and beta brainwaves
Description of alpha and beta brainwaves via Brett Peters

This is what is meant by ‘Slow down, you move too fast; you gotta let the moment last…’

It’s about slowing the brainwaves??

And then the body, ANS and thinking follows…

I am aware my beautiful aspie brain is very… much like a Ferrari. Very sensitive accelerator pedal.

And you are learning to drive that brain just wonderfully. 

Ok. So… working with the alpha brainwave state. Calm – not fast, zippy, clever, showy-offy – but simple, steady… in ‘homespun clothes with jade in the heart’.


I am reaching into the alpha brainwave state

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