I was talking to a friend last week who's been suffering from complications from cancer treatment. "I know I'm going to die from this," she told me in a chipper tone of voice.
Truth be told, I was a bit taken aback. "Your doctors have been telling you that?" I asked. "Because I know it helps to keep a positive attitude."
"They told me they can buy me a few more years, but I'm realistic. Unless something takes me out first, like a bus, this is how I'm going to go. I'm a realist."
I asked a few more questions and it became clear. She likes what she's been telling herself based on her doctors' information. She's not willing to take in new information. She's got a set of beliefs in place and they are comforting to her. They are providing order in a chaotic world for her, this world that in her mind has now orchestrated her death.
If you're like this and happy to be like this, read no further. This post is not for you. I respect where you're at, life is hard enough, and I don't want to rock your world.
If you'd like to know more about epigenetics and how you might be co-creating your world, read on.
Epigenetics is the study of the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. In one study, researchers found that mice who were repeatedly shocked in the foot while smelling the scent of cherry blossoms passed the fear of the scent of cherry blossoms down to their children and grandchildren. It seems reasonable to assume the human mind likely can do more.
Think of all the close-calls your parents had from before you were born that might be impacting you. Then think of your grandparents' close-calls before your parents were born. It might someday be found that humans need to look back many more generations than that. Now think of your own traumatic events through your lifetime. These things are resonating within you, increasing the tension that you live under.
Now add to that the self-talk that you do. Are you positive and supportive of yourself all the time, just as if you are a loving parent or coach? Or do you get frustrated at yourself when you fail at something? Do you call yourself names that you wouldn't allow someone else to? Any negativity is increasing the tension that you live with. You might say that you're being realistic, but if you put a child down, you are stopping their motivation to try, which stops their growth. We all have parts of our childhood selves within us throughout our lifetime. Read Getting Unstuck by Dr. Don Kerson if you have any doubts about this fact.
All of your accumulated tension and all of the accumulated intergenerational tension you were born with is locked within you. Your unconscious is communicating with your cells and making changes minute-by-minute to them based on whether you think the world is a safe place or not. If the world is unsafe, you're more likely to be making excessive amounts of adrenaline and cortisol. You're stuck in fight-or-flight, which ultimately becomes an inflammatory process to your body if your body forgets how to reset. Inflammation leads to disease.
Getting back to my friend, it's possible to go into spontaneous remission from cancer. Read Dying to Be Me, by Anita Moorjani if you doubt it. Do you think spontaneous remission is more likely to happen to a person who's decided they're dying or to a person who's decided to be a loving coach to themselves, learn how to reduce fight-or-flight to heal their body and mind, and figure out what self-love truly means and practice it?
It's possible to change. That's what I write about in my book, Your Best Health by Friday. Find the mind/body techniques you feel comfortable with to help change. Maybe it's yoga. Maybe it's meditation. Maybe it's one of the many other ways I delve into in my book. Try different things that put you into a sense of safety and flow until you find a fit, because you are retraining your stress patterns away from fight-or-flight and into wellness. Your unconscious is sending tens of thousands of messages to every last cell in your body every single day. Will you let those messages undermine your life, health and potential, or maximize them?
Look at the picture above--will you let your potential lie fallow or make it fertile?
Whether you work on your own, with me, or one of the many other mind/body coaches out there, know that I believe in you. Know that you can do it.
From my heart to yours--