Saturday, March 15, 2014

Who is Responsible for Our Health and Happiness? or Reprogramming Our Brain Smells Like Licorice

I recently had the privilege of speaking with a group about taking personal responsibility for our health and happiness. This topic is a passion of mine because I truly believe that wellness starts with our thoughts, and our thoughts can make or break our peace of mind.  Why is peace of mind so important (besides the obvious)?  Because our ability to relax into a peaceful mode is the foundation on which we build our health.

Chances are if we can't relax, our bodies will have a hard time healing themselves.  The repair and healing process requires a relaxed state: it's one of the reasons our bodies heal the best while we sleep.  When you're sick or recovering from an injury, there's a reason your body wants to sleep so much, and why it takes longer to get over a cold if we don't get adequate rest.

I've discovered this is a scary topic for a lot of people.  Dare I say, even one that puts us on the defensive?  I've had folks comment angrily, "So, you're saying its our fault we're sick?"  No.  I'm not saying that at all.  What I'm saying is that our health and happiness is something WE are responsible for, yet we tend to maintain an outward locus of control.  We hold the doctors and other "experts" responsible for our physical health, and we also hold others responsible for our state of mind.  And its a very dangerous thing to hand over our happiness to others--it can literally undermine our health.

Our perceived level of happiness has a direct affect on our ability to enter a relaxed state, where healing happens.  (Check out Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin for an in-depth, professional look at this concept) Thus, whether or not we allow others to directly affect our peace of mind, in this case a.k.a. happiness, has a direct affect on our overall well-being.

This is a layered topic, so I'm not going to try to fit it all in one post.  I've already written about how to use yoga in our quest for a happy life and how we use cupcakes to adjust our brain chemistry.   What's on my mind today is who and what we hold responsible for our health and happiness. It's so easy to point fingers of blame at people and situations when it comes to our unhappiness.

Our family is crazy; our friends aren't paying enough attention to us; our spouses aren't listening; our children are out of control.  The list of people who steal our happiness goes on and on.  But, frankly, I have to call us out on this one, including myself.  No one, and I mean NO ONE else on this planet or elsewhere is responsible for our happiness or lack thereof.  We are the ones in control of OUR happiness.

Okay, I can hear the grumbles already.  "But there are assholes out there who say and do mean, aggravating, stupid things.  We can't help that they piss us off."

Um, yes, we can.  Now, I'm not saying its easy, not at all. It actually takes a LOT of work to get past the brain training that makes us emotionally salivate like Pavlov's dogs whenever someone rings our bell.  Basically, we have to retrain ourselves.

We have to undo the programming that says, "Other's have the power to affect me without my permission."

How do we do that?

By writing a new program.  May I suggest, "I am responsible for my emotional and physical well-being."

I like to keep my programming simple.  Uncomplicated mantras have the power to reprogram our brain in profound ways, and in ways we never imagined.  And the way to use this mantra is simple, as well:

-Whenever we allow another person to steal our peace of mind, repeat the mantra.
-Whenever our thoughts go something like this, "She really pisses me off", repeat the mantra.
-Whenever we are tempted to think, "When I get that promotion or when he starts doing x, I'll be happy", repeat the mantra.
-Whenever we make our happiness dependent on anyone or any thing other than ourselves, repeat the mantra.

Keep in mind that I said the reprogramming process was simple, not easy.  It requires dedication to the task.  EVERY time we have a thought that supports the old programming, we need to halt that destructive thought and whip out our mantra.  Its a long, tedious process.  I know.  I've been slowly chipping away at my old programming for years now.  Once I get one line of code rewritten, I discover another line that needs modification or elimination.

The secret to changing our programming is tenacity.  We have to be determined to stick to the reprogramming process long enough to make the change.  Think of it this way:  we did not program our brains to think other's have the power to affect us overnight.  It has been years and years of running the same program until we don't even notice it, its so automatic.

Therefore, isn't it logical that reprogramming may take some time, as well?  I do think using essential oils in tandem can speed up the results, however.  For instance, I recommend Fennel essential oil for assistance in taking back responsibility for our health and happiness. Daniel MacDonald writes in Emotional Healing with Essential Oils, that Fennel is the oil of responsibility. Rub a drop on your solar plexus in the morning and then keep a cotton ball with a drop or two in a ziplock with you.

Whenever you stop one of those negative thoughts and repeat the mantra, "I am responsible for my emotional and physical well-being," take a sniff of the Fennel essential oil.

Yes, it smells like licorice.  If that is offensive to you, try Ginger essential oil.

We are ultimately responsible for our own health and happiness.  We have to make the effort.  We have to heal ourselves.  The best doctors will tell you that they can only assist the body in its own healing process.  There are no miracle cures, my friends.  Only dedication and a willingness to learn.

Struggling?  Tell me about it.  I'm hear to listen.  I don't have all the answers, but I love to discuss ideas.

Much love and light, my friends.

Namaste.

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