I thought everything was fine. I was preparing a proposal for a major talk, excited about my topic, then it all fell apart.

I must have been wrong about the idea. It was too revealing, and besides, it did not go to the heart of the matter.

The needed trip to 5

What followed was some suffering, or what appeared to be suffering. I was exceedingly uncomfortable, frustrated, and confused. I thrashed around a bit, threw up my arms, and finally said, "If I can't find the right topic, one that is authentic, then I will not apply."

Then I broke apart a few dozen wires in the bottom of my brain, as I was freed from being attached (yes, an addiction) to giving the talk. That release gave me the brain space to go deeper inside, trusting my feelings and playing with some new ways of thinking about EBT.

Then, some 12 hours later, a radical, fresh, and pure idea appeared in my mind. Out of the ashes of the 5, came the Brain State 1.

The spiral up to 1

It was a beautiful idea. It would work better for science, better for the audience, and better for me. I made amends for being late and gave myself plenty of time to write it up well.

Instead of being attached to being chosen for the talk, I was attached to my rewards, like authenticity, integrity, and freedom.

Also, I learned from it. I now feel more committed to the "after the 5 comes the 1" life. The 5 is really painful, but where would we be without it? Replaying the past? How boring and so . . . stressful. I'd rather suffer a little bit, reframe Brain State 5, and enjoy my renewal time, my brain refreshed!

How the 5-to-1 life works for you

How does that reflect your own experience? Why not laugh more when we're at 5, with all that thrashing around? I think I will always hope that I don't have to go to 5, but now part of me says, "Bring it on!"

After the 5, comes the greatest joy of all – a gritty, grounded Brain State 1.