– Christiane Northrup, M.D.
In a similar way, you have internal “thorns” you’ve built your entire life around.
You bury your childhood traumas, your fears, and your emotional insecurities. Whenever something “touches” these internal thorns — rather than letting them rise to the surface, experiencing them, and letting them go — you bury them deeper by distracting yourself from the pain as quickly as possible.
Said Tony Robbins, “You always get out of life exactly what you tolerate.” You’ve learned to tolerate living with your fears and internal conflicts. As a result, you’ve settle for a live far beneath your potential.
We all have.
The Evolution Of Fear
Human-beings have an embedded fight-or-flight reaction to threat. For most of human history, we were exposed to physical threats constantly. However, now that our physical environment is quite safe, our threats have shifted from external to internal.
Now, rather than worrying about being killed by a tiger, you’re worried about your self-esteem. You’re worried about what people think about you. You’re worried about not being good enough. You’re worried about offending other people. You’re worried about failing.
When your body is healthy, you don’t think about it much. It just is, functioning properly. But you spend a large portion of your waking hours concerned about your emotional well-being, always trying to ensure you feel good. What does that say about your emotional health?
Healthy emotions reflect a healthy body — you shouldn’t have to think much about them. When a problem arises, rather than burying it deeper, you mend it. You get over it. You let it go, so that it doesn’t have to plague your future.
But that’s not how most people deal with emotional problems. Rather than fixing them, they construct the most bizarre relationships and life to protect themselves from facing their fears or traumas.
You Are Not Your Fears
The first step in living a life of freedom is to realize that you are not your fears. You experience your fears. Similarly, you are not your thoughts. You are aware of your thoughts. You are not even your body. Rather, you are the being inside experiencing and operating your body.
You are the subject — your thoughts, feelings, and physical experiences are objects.
Herein lies why most people build their lives around their fears. They have over-attached themselves to a particular self-concept. They’ve created a box around themselves — “personality” — to define who they are and how they act.
The truth is much more simple: you are the one who experiences your thoughts, feelings, and physical senses.
You are the observer of the inner and outer world around you. You determine where you place your awareness, what psychologists call selective attention. You pay-attention to thoughts, feelings, and things that matter to you. What you focus on, expands. Your awareness of things makes them real to you.
When you experience something associated with a fear or emotional disturbance — an internal thorn — your attention immediately shifts from whatever you were doing. Rather than watching a movie, you’ve become lost in thoughts and memories.
This is where you take a conscious step back.
You are not the thoughts or feelings you’re experiencing. The very fact that these emotions are rising-up is a signal you have an unresolved internal conflict.
Rather than burying these emotions deeper, see them for what they are: feelings. These feelings are not you. They are something you’ve experienced. Feel them out. Don’t hide from them. Don’t distract yourself from them. Observe and experience them fully. Forgive yourself or the event. Learn from them. This will likely be uncomfortable. You bury these feelings because they are unpleasant and painful.
Experience these feelings and free yourself from them.
Pull that thorn out.
The only other option is to perpetuate and compound the problem.
Living A Life Without Fear
Most people live in The Matrix — a state of being completely absorbed in your thoughts and feelings. The Matrix is the box you’ve built around yourself to avoid reality. Get out of your head — paralysis by analysis. Said Tim Grover in his book, Relentless, “Don’t think. You already know what you have to do, and you know how to do it. What’s stopping you?”
The only way out of the Matrix is to confront reality. You can only do this by exposing yourself directly to your fears and emotional problems. Until you do this, you are living an illusion. Until you do this, you’ll construct a pseudo-life to protect yourself from yourself.
Spirituality begins outside your comfort zone. The essence of living — of being truly alive — is to directly expose yourself to what you fear. Said Jack Canfield, “Everything you want is on the opposite side of fear.”
What are you afraid of?
What have you been hiding from?
What experiences have you been avoiding?
What conversations have you been avoiding?
What people have you been protecting yourself against?
What would your life be like if you confronted your fears, and grew past them? What would your relationships be like? What would your work be like?
When you face your fears, they disappear.
So, you have only two choices:
- Build your entire life around your fears like most people.
- Build the life you want by exposing yourself immediately to all that you fear.
Said Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
The Fastest Path To Growth
“The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. Usually, growth comes at the expense of previous comfort or safety.” — Josh Waitzkin
In his book, The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin explains a concept he calls, Investing in failure. While training in Tai Chi, Waitzkin noticed that when given the option of who to train with, most people would select an opponent either at their own level, or slightly worse. The goal is to win, right? As a result, most people don’t advance in their skills quickly.
Conversely, Waitzkin always selected an opponent far superior in skill to him. Consistently, he’d get the crap kicked-out of him. Waitzkin’s goal was to fail. As a result, he was forced to adapt quickly. The mirror neurons in his brain would rapid-fire, allowing him to mimic, match, and counter his opponent’s moves.
By competing with people more skilled than him, Waitzkin’s weaknesses were exposed in all of their nakedness. Consequently, his weaknesses were addressed and improved upon.
Trial by fire.
While most people prefer to be the smartest person in the room, you’re far better off being the dumbest person in the room. This requires intense humility. Most people’s egos are far too inflated to look and feel inferior. But if you’re constantly the dumbest person in your social circle, you’ll quickly grow into your social circle.
Rather than avoiding impostor syndrome, you should embrace it. The more you can feel like an impostor, the better. When you feel like an impostor, you’re out of your comfort zone. You’re doing something beyond where you currently are.
A few years ago, I started advising startup founders and high level leaders. Most of these people were decades older, far more experienced, and more successful financially than me.
The first week or two consulting these people, I wondered if they would find me out. I wondered if they would realize the fraud I was, fire me, and publicly make a mockery of me.
But that didn’t happen.
Within a few weeks, I realized the people and organizations I was advising completely appreciated the strategy and perspectives I was providing. The impostor syndrome was in my head, not their head’s.
Exposing yourself to your weaknesses and fears is the fastest path to growth. It forces you into a flow state. It forces you to quickly adapt or fail. And failing is the fastest path to learning.
Your goal should be to expose yourself as dramatically to your weaknesses as possible. Expose yourself to your greatest fears. Clinical psychologists use exposure to fears as a form of therapy. It’s the only way to grow and evolve.
Like Waitzkin, put yourself in positions where the chances of failure are extremely high. The higher the chances, the greater the lessons you will learn. The faster you’ll be required to adapt. The more intense and deep you’ll be required to focus.
Don’t try to date people you think are at your current level. Try to date people you perceive to be way “out of your league.”
Be the dumbest person in the room.
Surround yourself with people who make more money, are more physically fit, and more spiritually evolved than you are.
Get out of the Matrix.
Get Over Yourself
Most people live a life of fear because their main concern is their own feelings. Most people pursue relationships and careers they believe will make them happy.
But you cannot directly pursue happiness.
Happiness can only come as the unintended side-effect of pursuing a cause greater than yourself. Purpose trumps passion always.
When your why is strong enough, you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes. You need a cause you truly believe in. When you do, you’ll be willing to invest in failure. You’ll be willing to figuratively throw yourself — or your feelings — under the bus.
It’s not about you. It’s about the cause. It’s about your purpose, which is far greater than you.
When you love someone, you’re willing to take a bullet for that person. You’re willing to die for that which you love. Similarly, you’re willing to truly live for that which you love. Truly living only exists outside of your fears, outside of your box. Where love is, fear is dispelled.
You don’t have to have “a box.” Let go of your imagined self-concept. Who you really are cannot be defined. Forgot what you think you are. Instead, follow your fears wherever they take you. They point the direction. Expose yourself.
Be who you want to be, not who your fears define you as. Live for a purpose bigger than yourself, something you believe in your bones.
The Power of compassionate thoughts
Could the power of loving thinking and loving intention, with their ability to create health enhancing biology be a more powerful place to start improving our health than all the fear around trying to get, and stay, thin? What would happen if we could adopt healthy lifestyle habits of thought?
As our cells change to increase the receptor sites specific to receiving ‘guilt molecules,’ there’s a corresponding decrease in the sites for receptors related to receiving ‘love’ neuropeptides that the power of positive thinking could bring us.
As Dr. David Hawkins is a controversial spiritual teacher points out in ‘Power vs Force’: The human central nervous system clearly is exquisitely sensitive when it comes to differentiating between life supportive (health-enhancing) and life-destructive (health-eroding) thoughts. We know this from the flight or fight system. When our bodies are in flight or fight mode, according to Dr. Bruce Lipton our cells go into shutdown mode and close down growth and repair mechanisms – that’s what does the biology of fear do. All very well and fine if it’s for a short term threat – but not if you’re living in that state constantly with fear neuropeptides coursing through your body because of living in a body you don’t like and living in constant fear of food.
A positive biology of belief produces health-enhancing chemicals which, release brain endorphins that exert a tonic effect on all the organs. On the other hand, guilt emotions which are heath-eroding, release adrenaline which supresses the immune response and causes weakness in specific organs.
Our neuropeptides are our brain’s most abundant chemical messengers to our body. So news alert….this is a major brain health care tip: What you believe and tell yourself – i.e. your biology of belief- affects your health in extremely powerful ways.
The daily experience of struggling to like your body, where you constantly hate and berate yourself, produces an entirely different set of bio-chemicals (neuropeptides) than feeling loved and accepted do – and these either erode or help our health. Happy cells are essential to achieving a healthy lifestyle. You could think of them as brain food for health.
Some basic biochemistry 101 can easily illustrate how the power of the mind affects whether our body is going to produce health-enhancing or health-eroding neuropeptides and that might help you realize that the most powerful diet you can go on, from a health standpoint, is ‘The Self-Love Diet’ in fact, of you’re struggling with a distorted body image (and many of us are)- it might be the only diet you need go on.
How thoughts trigger mind body neuropeptides
Thoughts are an electrical impulses (energy) which travel at lightening-speed nd electro-magnetically via our neural pathways, setting off a cascade of chemical reactions (neuropeptides) throughout our bodies.
According to neuroscientist Dr Candace Pert particular emotions are associated with a particular neuropeptide, so that over time, if we are prone to experiencing a particular emotion, our cellular structure actually changes to accommodate more of the neuropeptide associated with that emotion.
Here’s a thought. In a 2007 study British researchers found that workers who were followed for 11 years, after rating on a scale of 1-6 their answer to: “I often have the feeling that I am being treated unfairly.” Researchers concluded that feeling unfairly treated has a significant effect on a person’s risk of heart attack.
Now think about people with weight problems… how fairly treated do they feel? ow take a walk through the biology of a person moment-by-moment as they negotiate their way through a ‘I hate my body‘ day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
What it is
Energy healing is a holistic practice that activates the body’s subtle energy systems to remove blocks.
By breaking through these energetic blocks, the body’s inherent ability to heal itself is stimulated.
Energy therapy is the gentle art of clearing cellular memory through the human energy field promoting health, balance and relaxation. Energy therapy is based on the concept of connection between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of our lives found in many holistic healing methods. It uses focused healing energy to clear blocks that accumulate in the body hindering the natural flow of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. This healing focus promotes personal empowerment, self-healing and spiritual growth.
Why it Works
For many people, feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, and tired become a way of life. Living this way can lead to health problems such as headache, digestive disorders, back and neck pain tension, and sleeplessness, among others. Additionally, situations such as conflict in relationships, both personal and professional, being unproductive and unhappy at work, can easily and consistently develop. These types of issues, which originate from physical, emotional, and mental stress often involve an unhealthy complex relationship between mind and body, are ideally suited for treatment with energy based bodywork and therapy.
Energy therapy acknowledges that negative life experiences create emotions such as anger, fear, stress, resentment, guilt and sadness and that these emotions become trapped in specific areas of the physical body. Trapped emotions, often called energy blocks, create physical, emotional and mental disharmony.
How it Works
During an energy session, suppressed emotions are released without the client having to remember the actual stressful event that caused the energy block. It is a safe, gentle, supportive method that can be used to release negative patterns of the past and help to empower and bring balance to your life. It is an extremely effective healing modality that releases stress, feelings of being overwhelmed, and negative emotions.
As a result, energy therapy…
- Releases tension and everyday stress that makes you feel tired, burned out, and overwhelmed.
- Creates a renewed sense of vitality.
- Supports healing on all levels—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
- Brings balance to your life, allowing you to enjoy a clear sense of purpose and direction.
- Leaves you with a deeply relaxed and calm state of being.
- Awareness: Starts with YOUR-SELF—your observation of your own emotion (energy-in-motion).
- Absorption: Invite neutral curiosity to the observation. Learning in the experience of your own emotions is about enhancing your personal understanding and loving compassion as you honor your experience and the outcomes of your journey.
- Acceptance: Embrace that feeling with compassionate understanding and you will automatically start to learn from it and integrate. Practice staying in “neutral.” It happens most easily by using or embracing the idea of no judgment.
- Appreciation: Life is the result of your appreciation of your process and journey. It is about gratitude as part of the love vibration; an attitude of gratitude for the perfection that actually exists in each moment.
Face it, embrace it automatically will replace it with a higher vibration or an easier situation occurring because the energy has been transformed and enlightened to a higher understanding…this is our creational potential and process.
How do you feel energy?
Your aura is like an egg shaped magnetic antenna that is sensitive to people’s energies and the energies of the environment. If you are sensitive to energy, you should be able to use your aura and your other extra senses to sense when people are sad, happy or angry without even looking at their body language.
Everyone Has the Ability to Sense Energy
Being sensitive to energy is not that rare. We can usually feel other people’s vibe, but most of us do not know how to differentiate our vibe from other people’s vibe. This is because we have been conditioned to believe that the energy we sense is only our energy or the energy of the environment.
There is a small percentage of people who are very sensitive to energy. These people can easily pick up other people’s energy and emotions. If they are in an area that has a lot of negative energies, it can make them feel very uncomfortable and even slightly sick. People who are sensitive to energy often don’t like to be around big crowds because people’s vibe can make them nervous.
Sensing energy is not that hard. Some of us are natural at it and some of us have a hard time sensing it. If you are not the sensitive type, you can learn how to sense energy by doing the exercise below. This exercise can also help improve your natural energy sensing ability.
Please be aware that the energy sensing technique below is very basic. To strengthen your energy sensing ability, you will need to study advanced energy healing techniques and learn to activate your “junk DNA.”
How to Feel and Sense Energy
- Take a few deep breaths, relax and clear your mind, and try to sense the energies around you. You may feel a cold, hot or tingly sensation around your body, especially around your palms and fingertips.
- Move both of your hands in front of your chest with palms facing each other. Your palms should be about a foot away from each other and about a foot away from your chest.
- Imagine that your are holding a balloon, then try to squish the balloon in a fluid-like motion. As you do this, pay attention to the changes in the atmosphere. Your hands may feel cold, hot or tingly. You may also feel a magnetic force pushing and pulling your hands.
- Once you are comfortable with this exercise, try sensing energy in different areas, such as the basement, attic or outside. By switching areas, you may notice a change in the vibration of the energy. Certain areas may make your hands feel colder, hotter or tinglier. You may even notice the change in the density of the energy.
When I do this exercise, I usually sense a lot of tingly sensation around my finger tips. My hands also feel warm and I can sense a magnetic type of energy. This magnetic energy tends to push and pull my hands when they are moving slow or standing still.
Are You Having a Hard Time Sensing and Feeling Other People’s Energy?
There are many reasons why some people have a hard time sensing energy. One of them is pineal dysfunction. If you are having a hard time sensing other people’s vibe, your pineal gland may not be working as well as it should. The pineal gland has a strong connection to spiritual energy. Many spiritual teachers like to refer to it as the third eye or mind’s eye. This small gland at the center of the brain is believed to have the ability to see both physically and intuitively.
When people say that they see energy, they are seeing it through their third eye. These people are often referred to as clairvoyance. If you want to strengthen your energy sensing ability, you need to learn how to stimulate your pineal gland and protect it from harmful chemicals, such as sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride, also known as fluoride, is harmful to your pineal gland because it can calcify it. Eating a lot of junk and processed food can also help calcify the pineal gland.
How to Strengthen Your Energy Sensing Ability
If you want to strengthen your energy sensing ability, you need to practice energy healing techniques, so that you can train your body to sense energy. You also need to take care of your health and protect your pineal gland from toxins (i.e., sodium fluoride) that can calcify it. For more tips on how to decalcify your pineal gland, read this informative article titled Calcified Pineal Gland: How to Decalcify It.
There is recent story from CNN about Oscar winner David Seidler* who reportedly imagined his cancer away.
“I know it sounds awfully Southern California and woo-woo,” he admits when he describes the visualization techniques he used…
Not surprisingly, he cried a lot when he found out he had bladder cancer. Have you ever wondered whence comes the copious amounts of mucus that fills your nose when you’re upset and sobbing? It’s like having a cold. Seidler concluded being upset is bad for the immune system, which is, after all, his best friend in fighting his cancer.
Right now there’s a tiny scientist speaking softly in my brain. He has one foot on my astrocytoma and a glass of scotch in his hand, neat. “Piffle!” he says in a vaguely English accent.”the placebo effect is well documented but this case seems suspect, highly suspect.” Yes it sounds absurd. But perhaps it’s snot.
(Is that a pun, a spoonerism, or just juvenile?) In any case, there’s a good deal of research to back up the idea of a substantial connection between the mind and body. Eastern philosophy and medical practice has long argued for and in fact depended on such. The connection seems pretty obvious to me now. My focal seizures show that my brain can make my hand feel hot. The question is, can I reduce the symptoms by what I think or do?
I knew at the first moment it happened that it was all in my head. Although it’s different each time it occurs, a mini seizure seems somewhat susceptible to stalling techniques. Drinking a glass of very cold water helps. Spinning on one foot too. Annie has me smell lavender blossoms. Others seizure sufferers have reported that singing a single note provides some relief tho I can’t get that to work. Eastern medicine has for centuries used herbs, massage, and dietary therapy.
Another example: people with amputated limbs sometimes experience pain that seems to originate in the missing arm or leg. Neurologist V.S. Ramachandran, profiled in the New Yorker, found he could treat phantom limb pain using a mirror to convince the mind the limb was gone. Brain scans show that what is actually happening is a change in the portion of the brain responsible for the arm. After lopping off the limb, that brain area atrophies and merges with neighboring tissue where it misinterprets signals coming from other, still present, parts of the body. The mirror exercises help the brain re-map to redirect stimuli and eliminate the non-real connection that causes the pain. The mind has a mind of it’s own apparently.
It’s been shown musicians can improve their proficiency by imaginary playing. Psychoanalysis can modify brain anatomy. The brain of a woman who lost her sight adapted its visual cortex to process the voice of the scan reader she used to speak pages. It improved her comprehension and “reading” spead**.
As his doctor booked an appointment for his bladder surgery two weeks later, Seidler’s wife said, “Well, what if they go in and there’s no cancer?”. “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Seidler thought, but “why not”? And for the next two weeks he imagined a perfect bladder. After the operation the doctor called. ‘I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s no cancer there.’ Retesting confirmed the original biopsy was cancerous. Yet the cancer was gone. Western medicine has been proven mistaken before. Think of acupuncture, which is now accepted as legitimate by most health plans. Does visualization work? Nobody knows for sure.
But if nothing else, it makes me feel like I’m doing something.*for “The King’s Speech,” ** examples from The Brain that Changes itself, N. Doige MD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
The King’s Speech
This story is from an article written by CNN about David Seidler, who won an Oscar for best original screenplay for “The King’s Speech,” He was a stutterer just like King George VI, whose battle with the speech disorder is portrayed in the film. http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/03/ep.seidler.cancer.mind.body/index.html
What you might not know is that Seidler, 73, suffered from cancer, just like the King did. But unlike his majesty, Seidler survived the cancer, and he says he did so because he used the same vivid imagination he employed to write his award-winning script.
Seidler says he visualized his cancer away.
“I know it sounds awfully Southern California and woo-woo,” he admits when he describes the visualization techniques he used when his bladder cancer was diagnosed nearly six years ago. “But that’s what happened.”
Seidler says, when he found out his cancer had returned, he visualized a “lovely, clean healthy bladder” for two weeks, and the cancer disappeared. He’s been cancer-free for more than five years.
Whether you can imagine away cancer, or any other disease, has been hotly debated for years.
One camp of doctors will tell you that they’ve seen patients do it, and that a whole host of studies supports the mind-body connection. Other doctors, just as well-respected, will tell you the notion is preposterous, and there’s not a single study to prove it really works.
Seidler isn’t concerned about studies. He says all he knows is that for him, visualization worked.
“When I was first diagnosed in 2005, I was rather upset, of course,” Seidler says in a telephone interview from his home in Malibu, California. “After three to four days of producing a lot of mucus and salty tears, I knew prolonged grief was bad for the autoimmune system, and the autoimmune system was the only buddy I had in fighting cancer.”
Seidler said that’s when he decided to sit down and write the screenplay for “The King’s Speech,” which had been simmering in his brain for many years. “I thought, if I throw myself into the creative process, I can’t be sitting around feeling sorry for myself,” he says.
After consulting with California urologist Dr. Dino DeConcini, Seidler decided not to have chemotherapy or have all or part of his bladder removed, common treatments for bladder cancer. Instead, he opted for surgery to remove just the cancer itself, and he took supplements meant to enhance his immune system.
“For years, whenever I walked down the stairs I rattled like a pair of maracas, I had so many pills in me,” he says.
Despite his best efforts, the cancer came back within months. Seidler was forced to rethink his decision not to have chemotherapy or bladder surgery.
As his doctor booked an appointment for surgery two weeks later, Seidler commiserated with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, and it was a comment from her that gave him the idea to try to visualize his cancer disappearing. “She said, ‘Well, what happens if in two weeks they go in and there’s no cancer?’ ” he remembers. “I thought to myself that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. This woman’s in total denial.”
But later, reflecting upon her comments, Seidler thought perhaps she might be on to something — perhaps it would be possible for his cancer to just disappear while he waited for surgery. Figuring he had nothing to lose, for the next two weeks he imagined a clean bladder. “I spent hours visualizing a nice, cream-colored unblemished bladder lining, and then I went in for the operation, and a week later the doctor called me and his voice was very strange,” Seidler remembers. He said, “I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s no cancer there.” He says the doctor was so confounded he sent the tissue from the presurgical biopsy to four different labs, and all confirmed they were cancerous.
Seidler says the doctor couldn’t explain how it had happened. But Seidler could.
He says he believes the supplements and visualizations were behind what his doctor called a “spontaneous remission” — plus a change in his way of thinking. He stopped feeling sorry for himself because of his cancer and his impending divorce.
“I was very grief-stricken,” he remembers. “It was a 30-year marriage, and in my grief, I could tell I was getting sicker. I decided to just change my head around.”
“The mind has the power to heal”
While Seidler says he knows his unorthodox recovery techniques sound “woo-woo” to some ears, they sound “like science” to Dr. Christiane Northrup, a best-selling author who’s written extensively on the mind-body connection.
“This doesn’t sound woo-woo to me,” she says. “The mind has the power to heal.”
“She said, by moving himself from fear and abject terror into action, Seidler changed his body’s chemistry. Fear increases cortisol and epinephrine in the body, which over time lowers immunity,”
High levels of the two stress hormones lead to cellular inflammation, which is the way cancer begins, Northrup says. Taking action, as Seidler eventually did, decreases the hormones.
“Hope is actually a biochemical reaction in the body,” she says.
Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of “Love, Medicine & Miracles,” says it’s the same way an athlete uses visualization to improve performance.
“When an athlete visualizes success, their body really is experiencing success. When you imagine something, your body really feels like it’s happening,” says Siegel, a retired surgeon from Yale Medical School.
Remember, cancer can’t live in a healthy, mind and body that lives in gratitude, balance and harmony. It’s time to find your true healing.