“Within each of us there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. And when we experience that silence, we remember who we are.” - Gunilla Norris
Mind body medicine is the knowledge that our physical being and our minds are one. We can not separate them out as the sole source of pain or injury, nor can we think that what we do to one does not affect the other. This is a beautiful reality because it means there are always many ways to treat and address an issue. In psychology the "Top Down" or "Bottom Up" approaches are taught early on. We can affect change from our minds down wards, or from the source of the issue upwards. In Mind Body Medicine we teach tools to calm the mind and reconnect you to who you really are.
Much of the time we are run by fear. Fear writes the scripts of our lives disguised as practicality. But all that truly exits is what is happening here and the decisions we are making in this moment. We are addicted to projecting our experience of the past onto the future. We do this because our minds believe that we can make the future certain and avoid pain. Our minds trick us into thinking that if we take enough steps, are careful enough, and address all the known variables, the future will be free of pain. What is wrong with pain? Each moment we make decisions which are based in either love or fear. Decisions to avoid pain which is impossible, or to embrace the wisdom of our hearts.
Focusing on what we feel and letting go of the need to know the exact path to get there is a way we can move forward in peace. Trusting that our brains, our faithful servants, will be enough to succeed is the antidote to fear based decision making. Coming to the realization that all feelings were created equal, some more intense than the others, defames fear. Removes the wind from its sails. We will always have fear. It is an adaptive and brilliant mechanism that has enabled the survival of our species. Occasionally we out grow certain anti-fear mechanisms that we created unconsciously as children. As a result, those ingrained mechanisms hold us back from achieving our true potential. Luckily, when we are open to experiencing emotions and sensations, we can move forward with fear, joy, excitement or any other emotions that accompanies our advancement.
Here are some tools to managing fear and becoming who we are truly meant to be. How exciting!
MINDFULNESS Mindfulness practice is about focusing your attention to the present moment. Creating a separation between who you are and the thoughts that you think. Everyday we live most of our lives thinking about the past and preparing for the future. We spend very little time in the here and now. Fears about the future and worrying about the past eats away at our energy leaving us with underlying anxiety and no sense of relaxation. Mindfulness is becoming aware of how it feels to sit in this chair, the temperature of your skin and the rise and fall of your chest as you breath. Becoming mindful is an important part of stress management. It brings us into the present moment, and in contact with our higher self and aware of our full potential.
MEDITATION There are many kinds of meditation practices. Buddhist meditation focuses on sitting with eyes unfocused, paying attention to only the breath. Another form of meditation is to sit in a comfortable position, paying attention to the breath. Releasing the thoughts of the mind as they come up and tuning into who we really are. Tai Chi is a form of moving meditation, great for the mind that requires movement. Yoga, guided meditation, mantra, plant meditation and transcendental meditations are all available as tools to reconnection. Mediation has been shown to help anxiety disorders, asthma, cancer, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain and sleep problems. Meditation boosts self control, productivity and happiness. This Harvard study demonstrated that yoga based meditation enhances the expression of genes involved in energy metabolism, insulin excretion and reduced the expression of genes linked to inflammation, stress, and aging.