Gray’s BAS/BIS Theory


  • Proposes that personality is based on the interaction of two basic systems in the brain:

1. Behavioral Activation System (BAS): The accelerator (“hit the gas”)

– Impulsivity, novelty seeking, sensitivity to rewards and motivation to seek rewards.

–Attraction to a person or a cookie and a desire to approach the person or cookie, especially a “new” one?

  • High BAS = Lots of positive affect (PA); Low BAS = Less PA
  • High BAS = Impulsive; Low BAS = Reserved and Careful
  • High BAS = Extraversion; Low BAS = Introversion

BAS = Left Frontal Lobe:

  • Active while experiencing positive emotion (happiness).

2. Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS): “Hitting the brakes”. Sensitivity to potential punishment and motivation to avoid punishment.

–Fear of rejection by someone you fancy or fear of a snake and the motivation to avoid these things comes from this system.

-Avoidance of people, places, and situations that have the perception of causing potential pain?

  • High BIS = negative emotions (fear, anxiety)
  • High BIS = inhibits movement toward goals
  • High BIS = High Neuroticism; Low BIS = Low Neuroticism

But……Low BIS also = High Psychoticism

BIS = Right Frontal Lobe:

  • Active while experiencing negative emotion (fear, anxiety).
  • Active when presented with an incentive.

How does this effect behavior and coping methods? Can it be the underlying mental processing that fuels addictive behavior, especially when deeper obsessive and compulsive patterns emerge?

The Sacred Path

Our “SACRED JOURNEY” – Is A Holistic (Soulistic) experience of reclamation and transformation that starts with integration of all parts of ourselves into our complete and whole soul. This approach creates ultimate health of “Heart, Mind, Body & Spirit. Taking Actions, Developing Skills, and Harnessing Mental Processes that “Make A Real Difference” in our behavior and lives. When we are congruent and honor who we truly are we own and see our highest self and align with inner wisdom to be that person one step at a time.

This is a process that can bring “Clarity” and Courage to:

  • “Realize” – Where you’re at
  • “Visualize” – What you really want
  • “Strategize” – How to create change to get there
  • “Actualize” – Your plan, step by step for better results
  1. Start with the (physical), Cellular Balance builds a foundation for complete Body Balance.
  2. This physical balance leads the way for total Inner Balance (integrating emotional, mental and spiritual health with that of the body).
  3. All this allows the optimum Life Balance you seek.

Continued treatments using complementary and alternative modalities along with the best current medical support will reinforce a permanent chemical change in mind and body and will allow the electrical synapse system of the MindBody to rewire itself back to healthy patterns and the natural energy flow to heal and return us to our natural adaptability and flexibility.

Healing on a cellular level allows you the opportunity to take back your health, wellness and fitness. It will require a lot of hard work to change daily behavior patterns to those that will support continued healing, recovery, and optimum health to return. We need to include the following in our daily actions and activities.

  • Proper Nutrition, Rest, and Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Healthy activities and recreation
  • Self Care
  • 12 step meetings
  • Therapy
  • Creativity and Grounding Activities
  • Prayer and Meditation
  • Service and connection
  • & of course “Continued Abstinence” from what enslaved you!

These valuable investments of time and energy into ourselves will support the journey from Cellular Health and Balance to Physical Health and Balance. From Physical Health to adding complete inner balance and (Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual Health) for a Whole and Balanced Soul. Once we achieve this inner balance, peace and wholeness our higher path will lead to a life balance filed with the joy, love, meaning and the fulfillment we desire. With growth and contribution comes contentment and love.

Inner Voice IV


Part IV of a series on Empowering Language Patterns:

Get rid of the word “TRY” in your vocabulary. “Try” pre-frames going through the motions. It gives us not only permission to fail but permission to exert efforts of far less than 100%.

Quit using the word CAN’T or add to the word can’t…“do it yet” which shifts it to the place of possibilities instead of no possibility. Ask yourself …What would happen if I could? What will happen when I do? This will shift the negative limiting belief as you visualize or imagine!

STAY AWAY FROM GENERALIZATIONS – they are all lies… “always” and “never” “hardly ever” are absolutes that only exist in our mind. Generalizations discount our belief in our personal possibilities. They also undercut our faith in humanity and the power to change and grow.

Remove the word “DON’T” from our speech patterns, because whatever happens next in the sentence comes across as a command to “do it”   Example, “Don’t stop” “Don’t tell” “Don’t eat the cake” This is literally how our brain functions. Our brain dysfunctions in regular patterns. We fool our brain all the time and it fools us!

Examples of brain dysfunction:

  • Negative hallucinations – (not seeing , hearing or feeling what is there) Honey, where are the keys. What did you do with the keys?
  • Positive hallucinations – (seeing, hearing or feeling what is not real) imagine someone is talking about us…. imagine the boogie man under the bed.
  • Time distortions – The three hours waiting in line at the bank was really 30 minutes, or the 5 hours at the wonderful party seemed like 30 minutes.

“The fact that we already fool ourselves, means we are capable of doing it in a positive way. We already have these skills, we just need to use them to our benefit.”


Inner Voice III


Part III of a series on Empowering Language Patterns:

Get rid of the word SHOULD.

Using statements like I should meditate…. solicit guilt, rebelliousness and maybe even shame…Thoughts like “Dammit why didn’t I, I was supposed to!!” soon follow. These shame and fear based thought patterns do not take you to a powerful place, but often undermine motivation and positive intentions/thinking.

Find another word that elicits better responses:

Wish – won’t motivate most people

I would like to – nope won’t bring urgency

I need to – not quite there to bring about action

I want to – getting closer to a commitment

I have to – to authoritarian for most (defensiveness and rebellion follow)

I must – sounds too desperate

I am going to – will work for some.. gives me a way out…

I will – a personal agreement is made…much closer to getting me to do it (I can visualize it and imagine myself doing it, and based on that feeling and imagery I actually may do it!)

Another powerful method is to take what you want to do and turn it into an action verb.

“I am meditating tomorrow morning at 7 AM”.     This should cause you to imagine not only doing it but the positive feeling, results, and benefits of doing it.

Questions: Do I see myself doing it in a certain place? Is it a movie, a video or a still picture? If it is a still picture, then I want to find better wording!  I am meditating tonight! Turns it into a video clip. You can play with words and get it into a vibrant, colorful movie which will flow ( a little short movie) – chances are that you are 10 times more likely to do it. An emotional/physical state of being shift actually occurs and you can see the benefits of what you will gain from that, and then make a decision or commitment to do it.. The more detail to your imagery and the deeper you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the difference the more energy you will have in your motivation to take action.

We do this from the negative side too creating negative video tapes…but the more positive imagery tapes we make to offset the negative the more empowered we will be to take right actions!

Inner Voice II

redrockheader5Part II of a series on Empowering Language Patterns:

Get rid of the word “BUT”

But….used in the most common way, negates the positive that came before!! (Thank you for getting the groceries, but you forgot the milk.) It stops the brain then restarts the new statement leaving the prior portion of the message unheard – alone (in the dust)….the brain moves on to what follows the but. So, only use but to turn a negative into the positive (I know you wrecked the car but at least you did not get injured).

You can substitute the word “and” & “however” for but and it minimizes the damage caused by the negation (I went shopping at the health food store and on the way home I ate a Big Mac.). Think of how that sentence would feel with the word but instead of and. This helps us be more positive, resourceful and more motivated. An example would be (You did better on your grades this semester however there is room for improvement in math).   You did “x” for me and you forgot “y” (keeps the sentence continuous and the full message unit stays intact. The word but turns it into a more negative message unit going to your subconscious since the part after but is what is encoded).

Speaking this way with ourselves is kinder and gentler and it lays the foundation to speak the same with others.

A way to even enhance this speech pattern change is using the sandwich effect. This is sandwiching any negative or paternal statement in between two positives (Positive/Negative(Correction)/Positive). It helps us abstain from the defensiveness and packages the negatives with a positive feeling. This pattern would go something like this (It was great I did Yoga this morning, however I need to do it several times a week. Since in the past I practiced Yoga on a daily basis with such great results that means I can do it again starting with that class today.).

Empowering language patterns for ourselves and others;-)

Change Your Inner Voice


Part I of a series on Empowering Language Patterns:

We need to look at ourselves more as the adult children we are and start paying attention to how we parent ourselves. The way we word our “inner voice” and the tone we use in this self talk will determine whether or not we listen to ourselves and do what we ask ourselves to do. Certain words build and add resources and others burn resources.

A lot of times we think through the “why” we do things or why we don’t do things … Stop using the word why !!!! When we ask ourselves why? It makes us feel like we are judging ourselves and you will usually feel defensive or rebellious….we revert to justification or excuse stories with ourselves!! It doesn’t empower us (it allows us to make excuses). Our brain like the computer it is, starts looking for answer’s the moment we pose a question. When we assign our brain to find information that it can’t, it continues to sort and look for data that it never truely will. Since “why” questions rarely have clear and concise answers our brain burns wasted energy and uses valuable resources looking for information that will never quite fulfill the need for certainty that our pondering’s wished for.

So get rid of the word “why?” Substitute the word “How” or the question “For what reason” instead – “How is it that you’re not getting up and working out in the morning?” How are you continuing to do this same destructive pattern. Be genuine with ourselves as we seek to understand the details….How are you doing or not doing something (verses defensiveness which is not resourceful) , it puts us in the offensiveness to discover the real underlying reasons.

For what reason is it that I stay in the bed and not get up? For what reason do I not meditate?, this will bring out or help you discover your true intent and “what stops you”. It takes skill to not do things. To change strategies we need to see our current ones clearly. As we master our “Inner Voice” our “Outer Voice” will follow.