Monday, January 26, 2015

The Power of Biology and Belief

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
-Andy Warhol
Living through another persons journey is a powerful experience. Last week I wrote about my journey and experience through a very small part of my fathers life. This journey could be witnessing the growth of your child, standing by a friend going through a difficult time, watching a loved one losing their mind, and so on. Through it all is a strand that connects every one of us……our minds. 
Our minds are mysterious. They are both what sets us apart, and what connects us all. We are learning so much about our brains and how they function and the biology of belief. Our brains are also amazing and powerful, and yet they are not the same as our minds. What is true is that as we believe something, everything in our mind and thoughts follows the belief; including our biology.
An example of this phenomenon is with illness. I have seen people riddled with migraines for example, begin to see and understand something within their selves. This understanding could involve a pattern of anger in them and in their families, and with that new understanding, a new set of movements and awareness opens for them. They begin to know that they have permission to be well and they dont have to carry their parents anger, or be like them, or disrespect their selves or others. They begin to eat differently and care for their selves differently and their migraines disappear. 
Another example of this phenomenon with our minds I witnessed with my father during his last visit. He has known and believed for over 50 years that he is diabetic. When he first made this discovery, he couldnt tolerate sugar, including rice and yellow corn. If he ate sugar or rice inadvertently, he would feel horrible and go into a diabetic coma. Looking back, most likely at that time he had type 2 diabetes, not type 1. Type 2 is adult onset and is usually controlled well by diet and exercise. As one changes ones diet, loses weight, eliminates sweets and processed foods, often the diabetes goes away. My father believed he was a type 1 diabetic, and controlled it through diet; not insulin. He successfully stayed away from sweets, rice and corn and did well for years. Recently, as his minds awareness is receding through dementia, he has forgotten he cant eat rice and corn and barbeque sauce and such. In fact I saw him eating sweetened sauce, rice pasta, liberally sprinkle fried eggplant with sugar, and had no after effects. He has forgotten he cant eat these foods, and now he can tolerate them. He didnt have type 1 diabetes, which he believed he had. Yet still, he can now eat foods he wouldnt allow himself to touch for many years with no or little ill effect. 
Our minds are amazing, and so is the power of our beliefs on us. What do you believe strongly that affects you psychologically, emotionally or physically? Can you see how that belief affects you? Is this belief tied to one your family carries, or your church, or your friends, or your community?  What would happen if you tried something different; how would that feel?

Give these things a try, and I would love to hear from you what you discover.