Archive for the 'Healthy Habits' Category

DNA Is Not Destiny

Friday, August 8th, 2008

“If you believe you can, or if you believe you can’t, - you’re right.” Henry Ford

I just finished a fascinating book titled, “The Biology of Belief,” by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. Lipton is former Stanford University biologist whose work focused on cloning. He writes that, unlike what most of us learned in life science class, the nucleus is not the brain of the cell. The membrane or what he calls the “mem-brain,” which is outer skin of the cell, is the actual brain that turns on the release of certain proteins in the cell depending on the information that the “mem-brain” receives from its environment.

This is a real break-through in understanding how thoughts control your life, and physiology because what he’s saying is that cellular function is not hard wired by DNA, but influenced by stimuli, or thought fields, in the environment. The stimuli trigger one of two states; growth or protection, and a cell cannot be in both states simultaneously. It’s either growing, or it’s not.

Lipton gives the example of how thought energy can activate or inhibit the cell’s function. When you’re scared, or fearful your body produces cortisol the stress hormone. When the stress hormone is registered by the cell membrane it goes into the protection response and puts up a barrier to keep out foreign substances – even nutrients – which it likens to invaders. Over time if the level of cortisol remains high that cell will starve and become sick, or die because the protection response is one of shutting down and barricading itself against the enemy. It is the opposite of growth. When the body is in a relaxed state it’s in a growth state and the membrane easily allows nutrients to pass through to nourish the cell.

What this means is that our thoughts, or state of mind, directly affects us on a cellular level. If we let fears and negative thought patterns control us we inhibit our cellular growth and can eventually produce disease, or dis-ease, in our bodies and our minds. And, it makes no difference if the fears are unfounded either, because the cell will go into protection response regardless of whether the thoughts have a basis in truth, or not. Also, we cannot shout, “I am fine!” if deep down we believe we aren’t. Either way, our deeply ingrained subconscious beliefs win out every time. So, it’s really important to weed our minds of unfounded fears and beliefs if we want to succeed.

By learning to control our thoughts we will also be taking control of our health. The best way I know of to turn off negative mind chatter and clear negative belief patterns is to meditate. If you get into the habit of doing it everyday you’ll see a dramatic reduction in your stress level and tremendous increase in your happiness quotient.

Do Your Work With Your Whole Heart

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed. (from my fortune cookie)

I love this fortune. It’s so simple yet very meaningful.

The best way to deal with these challenging times is to find the joy in what you do - and put your whole heart into it. If the job isn’t you’re idea of perfect, and you have no other choices, find something, even the smallest part of that job and find the joy in it. The more you focus on the joy, the more things you’ll find that you enjoy in that job.

It’s no different than when we were little and we would tense-up when the doctor went to give us an injection. Tensing up only made it hurt more, but no matter how many times Mom told us that we continued to tense-up when were given injections. Now, as adults we know to look away and remain relaxed when the needle is inserted and we barely feel the pinch, if at all.

When you put your whole heart into something it becomes a joy to do. And, whatever is a joy to do flows with ease. When we tense up with negative emotions such as fear, or anger, for example, we dam-up the flow and actually end up making things worse in our lives.

When in doubt follow the path of least resistance. Resistance is painful, acceptance peaceful.

Walking the Path of Least Resistance

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Today on my morning walk something unusual took place. I started out going down hill, which isn’t at all unusual since I live on the top of a hill. But, about 15 minutes into it the sun filtered through the trees above a particularly lovely stone house with beautiful landscaping, and fell upon the right side of my face. At that moment the world around me changed. I can only describe it as being similar to an episode of The Dead Zone where the main character places his hand on someone and then he’s transported into a scene from the other person’s world. Suddenly I was there walking, and then the warmth of the sun hit my cheek, and then I wasn’t.

I felt connected to everyone and every living thing, and a thoroughly magnificent joy welled up from within me. All the colors were brighter- the trees were greener, and the sky bluer. While I knew I was still walking I felt as if I were floating. I was still me, but aware that I was part of something greater. I also knew that this place – this joy – was the place where life emanates, and the ‘stuff’ from which we create our lives. I also understood that thought patterns such as fears and worry were false distractions that veiled my consciousness from this primal state of being. And, I realized that great accomplishments spring from this joyous source; not from a place of lamenting the conditions of our lives.

It lasted only seconds but for the remainder of my walk I was exuberant and full of energy. I never slowed down – not even climbing several more hills. I just kept thinking of how all the energy spent focusing on our problems actually dams-up our consciousness, preventing us from accessing answers from that sublime pool of joy. It also occurred to me that when fear and worry block the natural flow of our energetic thought patterns it drains us, whereas joy and happiness are energizing because they flow unobstructed along the path of least resistance to manifest in our lives.

I would characterize loving your life, doing what you love and loving what you do as following the path of least resistance.

From now on I’m walking the path of least resistance.

All is Well And I Have Enough

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Yesterday Steve made the following comment about the post, Is Advertising Making Us Poor?

We recently watched “Finding Nemo” on network TV. I was floored. It was nearly impossible to watch with all the commercial breaks. We decided to time it as I was sure the breaks were longer than the movie bits. Sure enough, eight minutes of Nemo, and 13 minutes of advertising. Unbelievable. No wonder kids have ADD, and want everything they see.

“The things we own, end up owning us.”
-Tyler Durden, Fight Club.

Angela writes:

Isn’t amazing what we’ve learned to put up with? I say - Turn off the TV!

First we’re bombarded with advertising to buy, buy, buy, and then we’re barraged by headlines saying that the economy is tanking. I think we need a national media black-out day where everyone just lives their lives and listens to their heart instead of media. Whatever we focus on expands.

Let’s all start thinking - All is well and I have enough!

Would our world change if we all collectively changed our thinking? My gut says YES.

Let’s get a dialogue going on this topic. What do you think?

Is Advertising Making Us Poor?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

I read somewhere that on average Americans are exposed to between 500 to 1000 advertising messages per day. This bombardment comes to us in from television, radio, magazines, newspapers, the sides of buses, taxis and trucks, labels, logos, T-shirts and the Internet, to name a few plus other sources I may have forgotten to include. Advertisers spend billions of dollars each year to compel us to buy their products – and it seems to be working. We are a nation of debtors living in a nation deep in debt.

This statistic about advertising made me think of how much stuff I already own. In my adult life I’ve moved 8 times, and each time I threw, or gave away things I was no longer using, or had never used in the first place. After getting rid of these possessions not only did I feel lighter and freer, but I never missed them, and not for a second did I wish I’d kept any of it. The other thing that amazed me was that when I went to move the next time, I’d acquired as much stuff as I’d given away all over again.

I’ve now gotten to the point in my life where I no longer wish to add to my possessions. I’ve come to see that owning more stuff makes me less happy as I have to find the means to safeguard all of it. I’m tired of being driven to distraction by all the advertising pushing us to buy and own more and more. In a way, I think all this stuff clutters the mind and obscures the simple essence of what life is all about; enjoying time together and making memories with the people you love and care about.

Currently, the advertisement I find most annoying is one for Macy’s Department Store where every celebrity hawking a brand is in the store checking their wares. I absolutely hate this commercial. I am not interested in making any of these celebrities any richer, nor am I interested in buying their products. When did we all become such suckers that the mere dangling of some shiny object in front of us by some celebrity makes us run out and buy it?

The other thing that drives me crazy - store sales during holidays like Fourth of July, and Memorial Day, and Presidents Day, etc. Just because the store is having a sale must we run out and buy more of what we probably already have? I cannot think of a worse place to spend an afternoon on a beautiful day than inside a mall.

I can and do buy things when I need them, but I have to really need it. In these difficult economic times, I’m thinking more about my purchases and putting back more things than I buy. You can absolutely live without most of the stuff you take to the check-out counter, or order online. And, you can absolutely be happier when you aren’t receiving credit card bills in the mail that you have no way of paying off. Think about it – as soon as you put something on credit you become a slave to it. Is that the kind of life you want?

How much more precious time could you spend with friends and family if you weren’t shopping, storing, cleaning and maintaining more stuff you probably don’t need in the first place?