Synchronization

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The story

One day, during the first semester of earning my psychology degree, I hadn’t slept the night before. I don’t remember why. My lack of sleep, however, showed. By the time I was at my last class of the day, I had severe issues with memory and wasn’t anywhere near where I needed to be to remember the material that I was about to learn. Unfortunately, the lab material for that anatomy and physiology lab, up to that point, had been provided in person only. We weren’t going by a book, and there were no slides or handouts to print out. My note taking methods required that I be there mentally, as my notes were sparse, and attempts at verboseness tended to mean I missed more and understood less, long-term. So there I was, hoping to find a solution to my fatigue, sitting outside the classroom with seven minutes to go before the lesson started. I decided to try something new.

I started searching my body for any responses to lead my movements. I had no idea what I was looking for. I had no idea if it would help, but I was out of options, so I gave it a shot anyway. I found instructions throughout my body, providing me with directions to make small adjustments to how I was sitting, where I was attending, what I was doing with my hands, my neck. There were a lot of little instructions here and there that I had never noticed before. Seven minutes into this and it was time to go into the classroom. I felt perfectly fine. No fatigue, no cognitive issues. I learned and remembered the lab material without issue. Two hours later, the effects of what I did before class wore off. I suddenly crashed and slept for several hours.

A few days later, I was at school way early and had nothing better to do, so I decided to try it again. Instead of seven minutes, however, this time I spent seventy minutes attending to the little instructions throughout my body. At times I was walking. At times I was sitting. Every motion was subtle. Every action was careful. Every instruction was detailed. I had no idea what I was doing or what effect it was having on me. I had slept well the night before. I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t really expect anything at all. It was just a nice thing to do, and it seemed to be good for me, so I went with it.

After seventy minutes of this, a lot of other people were walking the halls of the school, so it was time for me to be social instead of weird. I stopped the process, mostly, but I felt amazing. I felt full of energy. I felt like I could wrestle a bear. No bears around. Shame. The bear would probably win anyway.

I had no idea what was going on internally during this process. I called this trick a synchronization because the process is me aligning myself with all the movement instructions that I could find throughout my body.

Lesson

Synchronization can look a bit like meditation from a bystander’s perspective, but it’s a much more active process. It doesn’t require your full attention, but it does require much of it, and it can make other activities difficult, since you can’t choose what to do with your body during the process. You can usually still talk though.

  1. First take care of any pressing needs. Ask your body if you need anything and go through the process of discovering each need, until you run out of needs.
  2. Start with your head and work your way down, moving your attention through your body, looking for any general movement instructions. Do everything slowly and carefully. If the instructions move, follow them.
    • Angle of your head.
    • Where should your eyes focus? Or relax? Or close?
    • Forehead?
    • Cheeks?
    • Jaw?
    • Neck?
    • How should you be resting your shoulders, or perhaps moving them?
    • The angle of your back?
    • The exact position of your hands?
    • Fingers?
    • Elbows? Seriously, go slow and skip nothing.
  3. Every time you run out of instructions in an area, move to another, and another, and another. Keep going, repeating step #If you find no instructions, search somewhere else. The act of looking is good for you in and of itself. You cannot look too much.
  4. You can stop any time that you want, but the longer you go on, the stronger the effect will be, though I have never tried to go beyond 70 minutes.

How It Works

Internally, multiple things are going on during a synchronization that result in how you feel afterwards.

  • You are making it easier to notice and work with your body after you stop performing the synchronization by making cooperation on the forefront of your attention.
  • You are reducing the physical burden on the parts of your body that you are adjusting the positions of during synchronization.
  • You’re reducing your short-term sleep synchronization burden. When you are awake and not following your body’s needs, you are all diverging in multiple directions. There is a synchronization system that makes it more likely for you to work better with your body in the future. This process occurs mostly while you sleep. This is the sleep synchronization process. You build up a sleep synchronization burden during the day, as you resist your body’s attempts at directing your behavior. This burden can also build up from network conflicts: your body disagreeing with itself.
  • You are reducing the behavior inhibitory burden placed on you and other nodes on your network when you are not working with your body.

It’s a cool process and I haven’t found any associated negative effects with the process. It does take time to perform, but the results of a synchronization are well worth the effort. However, performing a synchronization is not always encouraged.