Mind Medicine

The emotions are considered the major internal causes of disease in TCM. (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  Emotional activity is seen as a normal, internal, physiological response to stimuli from the external environment. Within normal limits, emotions cause no disease or weakness in the body. However, when emotions become so powerful that they become uncontrollable and overwhelm or possess a person, then they can cause serious injury to the internal organs and open the door to disease. It is not the intensity as much as the prolonged duration or an extreme emotion, which causes damage. While Western physicians tend to stress the psychological aspects of psychosomatic ailments, the pathological damage to the internal organs is very real indeed and is of primary concern of the TCM practitioner

I sent this out to a few friends and family members recently:

People mainly think that health is eating healthy food..with some exercise…neglecting the emotional…Is this true?

The answers were wide and varied.  Some chose to focus on the food and ignore any mention of the emotional component.  This is interesting to me when I contextualise my last 18 months.

I wasn’t sick, run down or fatigued before this moment in time.  Sudden loss has all the symptoms of any other serious trauma – this is a fact.
Would you believe me when I tell you that this sudden loss was captured by my body at a cellular level?  ie my highly charged emotional state resulted in disease?  I’m not talking about just sadness and depression.   I’m talking about nervous and hormone systems and internal organs.

Would you believe me if I told you my kidneys represent my fear, my liver represents my anger and my lungs represent my sadness.

Would you believe me if I told you my fear around lack of security – the sense of survival – is causing my mudlahara, my root chakra, my foundation to wobble?

Would you believe that the chaos in my mind was reflected in my blood?

Would you believe me if I told you at a Soul level I invited all of this in, that my path towards SOMETHING is being formed through my experience?

If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body. Every miracle demonstrates this

  ‘A course in miracles’

Alternative medicine is a bit hopeless at the serious end of disease.  Too little too late in most cases.  It is in fact a lifestyle choice..a preventative.  Determining the onset of serious illness requires listening skills.  The signs can be vague and commonly dismissed.

Of course we can identify the outcomes of common chronic disease by these familiar names – the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, IBS, leaky bowel and thyroid disorders.

But…what if ALL diseases started with a single thought?  What if acne was caused by unsupressed anger.  What if cancer was caused by 30 years of depression and hopelessness?  Would you believe me?

Is all disease preventable?

And  if it is,  where is the stick by which we measure perfect health and whose protocol do we use?  Or do we just suffer on alone searching for remedies and cures?

There is simply too much information in the unisphere (thats a new ponicornism 😉 to intellectualise everything and verify any blanket conclusion….or is there?

Before I go on…let me change gears for a bit…

In a separate conversation on Fear and Anger.  The question was:

Is all fear behind anger?  If so what are you afraid of?

My answer:

Anger is a feeling that is a provocation and an opportunity.  A chance to look inside and observe what person or situation stirred up a reaction in you.  It always comes back to the reaction in yourself and the awareness of the learning thats presented.  Anyone who angers you is your master and your mirror.

Fear is not a feeling.  Its of the mind, therefore an illusion.

But what of anger?  Anger is an emotion that is stored in the liver.  The liver is the bodies largest internal organ.  It is literally the core of chinese medicine and for good reason.  It filters out all the shit that gets poured into the body.  By shit I don’t just mean alcohol, drugs, sugar and processed food.  I mean emotions.

There is no doubt you can f*ck up your body by mistreating it using either method.  But its the mind stuff that interests me.

Take anxiety as an example.  It affects all of the Zang organs.
The spleen for obsessing and over thinking.
The lungs for grief, self esteem and the inability to let go.
The liver, anger, frustration and the inability to let go.
The kidneys fear and phobias.

Anxiety almost always leads to kidney deficiencies because its related to FEAR which is a water deficiency.   And yet anxiety affects multiple organs and in fact the whole body.

Integration
In my head I write protocols.  Every minute of everyday I think about a recipe for common chronic, sometimes terminal illness.  If I open my kitchen drawers I find 101 different remedies, supplements and potions.  Yes I’ve learned a lot.  But is it of any use.  Am I just wasting my time?

None of us can afford to spend $12 on chia seeds, but somehow we’ve had to resort to superfoods to keep us going and amp us up because our lives have ACCELERATED.  We are turbo charged, so we must turbo charge our energy.

But…let me take a minute…stop…look inward…change tack…FEEL my body…FEEL the wind on my skin…access the present moment with my breath…observe any contraction or tightness in my body…feel any anxiety in my abdomen…sense tight muscles in my head and neck…experience the swirling chaos in my forehead…unlock my chest, activate my diaphragm, BREATHE from my belly, filling it long and slow then exhaling the longest slowest breath that I’ve ever exhaled.

All of a sudden I feel energy in my feet and legs.  But the rest of me…those tough spots need to be twisted, squeezed and oxygenated out of the tissue.  ie exercise.

In the last 5 minutes I’ve literally diagnosed myself… through a very brief meditation.

1.  Movement required…cardio…yoga…qi gong..
2.  Abdomen tight and full…green juice…probiotics…twists and stretches to stimulate stomach meridians.
3.  Tight neck, crown, shoulders …anxiety, stress or worry…journel…ask the question? Whats causing this?  Look into the reason why… massage…breath

Intuition…
…is literally ‘listening’ to our body, deciphering its messages and taking action on them.

While food, exercise and lifestyle have an impact on health, I can confirm in my experience that exposing your body to long term ‘over thinking’ does not assist regeneration.  And if thoughts are negative in nature…doubt, insecurity, anger, sadness, this could just be the precursor to ALL chronic and serious illness.

Would you believe me if the frenetic pace at which our lives are lived has contributed to an epidemic?

Disease of the mind.

PS I should note that writing is creative and,  as long as it doesn’t require research, is therapeutic as it shifts paralysed thoughts.  Talking Helps, So Does Writing.
James Pennebaker found that the value of expressing deep feelings stemmed first from the willingness to confront the disturbing emotions. By confrontation, he means actively thinking and talking about the experiences and acknowledging the feelings they’ve stirred. Putting those feelings into words makes it easier to understand what has happened and eventually assimilate it into one’s life.

References:
http://www.shen-nong.com/eng/principles/sevenemotions.html

http://www.storiedmind.com/recovery/why-writing-heal-depression/

Life happens. It happens for a reason.

the present

We can’t anticipate the grief process and what comes next.  Once again, I sat down to write, on a completely different topic, but my mind diverted me to what is true for me today, what I need to express today.

I often muse that a lot of people, myself included, who have experienced a trauma, if they survive, quite often are reawakened to a sense of purpose, a desire to change, an enlightenment and a need to simplify and learn their truth.  In fact, that is how we should have been living in the first place, but somehow along the way, life has gotten in the way and we’ve forgotten how to look after our bodies and our minds.  In fact, the universe has been sending you signs all along, telling you that you’re not on your path.  When we don’t listen, the shit hits the fan.

If you are not at peace, then you are not on your path

I’ve learned this the hard way, but I’ve also come to an important realisation – Everything is for a reason, nothing is by accident.  The only true way to navigate life is to listen to your intuition.  The universe will tell you when you’re off course….just follow the breadcrumbs..

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I constantly muse around ‘Free Will’ versus ‘Everything happening for a reason, nothing by accident’.  The universe is intelligent.  As a network of living creatures, we are intelligent.  Whether you choose to believe it or not, we are connected – either unconsciously, or consciously (if you wish).

Scott (my husband) was an excellent motorbike rider.  He took risks, he rode fast, without fear, completely in the present.  I’ve never felt unsafe riding with him.  I trusted him and his ability implicitly.  So did his friends.  His life was a history of risk – Airforce pilot, Rugby and Cricket Rep, Foreign Exchange Trader.  He had lots of accidents, head injuries, knee injuries, car and bike accidents.  He made lots of mistakes, but he didn’t die…until the 23 November 2013.

Was this woven into the fabric of the universe?  Did he have a higher power calling him home?  Or was it just an accident.  If, like me, you adhere to the theory that everything is for a reason, nothing by accident, it either follows that the Universe was calling him home, or it was his own free will – he decided.

Scott didn’t enjoy his job in Hong Kong, for whatever reason.  We always had very open discussions around death and dying.  When he was most miserable he’d tell me that his soul was dying.  He had a desperate desire to come home to NZ.  Anyone who knows us, knows that the last 6 years have been financially unstable, stressful.  So, we give away our beautiful dogs and leave for Hong Kong.  Two and a half years later, Scott gets made redundant.  7 months after we’ve settled back into NZ, Scott is dead.

The most unfair part of this journey, is that, he was finally home, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and then,  some asshole in heaven decided it was his time.  Or did they? If you knew Scott, like me, you’d understand that a part of his Soul did die, it died awhile ago under the burden of life.

Life happens.  It happens for a reason.

The universe has a funny way of ensuring that balance ensues.  The body also has this ability – you just haven’t been listening to the signs.  When the Yin doesn’t equal the Yang, your lifeforce is challenged.

After Scott passed, my world fell apart.  My friend, Simone, describes it as being in a washing machine.  When I finally went back to work, I started experiencing strong, desperate desires to get back in my car and just drive – anywhere – as long as I wasn’t at work.  I finally answered that call in June this year and its the best decision I’ve made.  (more on that later)

I realise that Scott’s death was an event that has catapulted me into the life that is my true and authentic self.  For that I am grateful.  I wish with all of my heart, that he was still here with me.  But also, I wish that I had not been stupid and made bad decisions.

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Morning pages

I wanted to add in a handy tool for uncovering that pesky true self…

http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/

This technique was recommended to me by my friend Jehanne Thomas of http://www.lovingvoice.com

It involves 3 pages of stream of consciousness journelling and is pretty powerful stuff. I recommend making this a regular practice.