Three brains

Why your brain makes a better servant than a master

In Coaching, Counselling and Personal Development, Insight and Experience, Mind and Movement by Bill Lee-EmeryLeave a Comment

Three brains are better than one. Three collaborating brains are even better.


Neuroscience research shows we have three brains, intelligences or neural networks; one in our head (cephalic brain); one in our heart (cardiac brain); and one our gut (enteric brain). Of these three, the head brain is often the source of scientific fascination, but it is only part of our ‘holistic mind’.

With approximately 80-100 billion neurons, the head brain is the most complex of all and has a specific role to play within our greater consciousness. It has three major functions:

  1. Cognitive perception via our five senses
  2. Making meaning
  3. Making up stories about life

Your head brain scans your world and uses your five senses to gather huge amounts of data. From this you make up meanings about what you perceive, and translate these meanings into stories about how life is. From these stories you live your life.

However problems can arise if we are not careful about one crucial element. The head brain is very imaginative and can travel anywhere in the universe; that’s the upside. Indeed, we need that creative spark to generate solutions to the issues and events we face on a daily basis. However, it’s a two-edged sword. The downside is that it can travel anywhere in the universe. If we don’t consciously decide where it goes, it can travel to scary and nasty places.

Further, it can ‘crank things up’, ‘make mountains out of molehills’ and make you anywhere from mildly apprehensive to downright terrified. It makes up scary movies that create anxiety and irrational fears. That is why your head brain makes a lousy master.

It can run amok and rampage out of control. Thus, it needs to be given clear parameters in which to play, i.e., it needs to be directed.

Here’s another reason why it makes a lousy master.

I mentioned earlier we have two other brains or intelligences – one in our heart and another in our gut. Often the head brain thinks it is the boss and bullies or tries to dominate the heart and gut, commonly with disastrous results. If you have ever overridden warnings signals from your gut but ignored them, you’ll know what I mean, In short, the head brain needs to learn how to share power and influence in collaboration with the heart and gut.

We can’t really blame the poor old head brain; it does its best with what we have taught it to do, and we are partly at fault. You see, we are actually designed to live our lives heart first. This is why when someone is standing correctly you’ll notice that their heart is just slightly ahead of their head.When we are emotionally hurt, we slump our shoulders to protect our heart and thus stick our heads forward. Then we dump all the responsibility for making major decisions on it. Poor thing. I mean if you’ve been doing that all your life, let me ask you, ‘How’s that working out then?!’

Let me cut to the chase.

Our head is incredibly creative. That’s what it does best. In mBIT (multiple brain Integration Technique) Coaching, co-founded by Grant Soosalu and Marvin Oka and authors of ‘mbraining – using your multiple brains to do cool stuff’, we call that its ‘highest expression’ – the thing it does best of all in collaboration with the other two intelligences.

Here’s the kicker, the idea that can save you countless thousands of dollars at your therapist, healer, or coach: Your head brain needs to be directed by your heart.

Your heart leads, and your head and gut are there to serve your heart. When your head serves your heart, it will go to only useful places in the Universe. It will stop scaring you unnecessarily. It will stop imagining nasty things happening to you and start to think of useful ideas, positive outcomes, and come up with better and faster solutions.

It will become a super-committed, creative genius servant, and will love it, for now you have given it a game worth playing.

When each brain performs its designed purpose, it’s the beginning of your three brains collaborating happily together! It’s what they do best and we need to let them get on with it.


Bill Lee-Emery is an international speaker, mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Technique) coach and mBIT Master Trainer. He lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and delights in talking to his veggie patch. It keeps him balanced.

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