Have you ever contemplated what your role is in relation to both the minor and major health challenges that you or others you care about may be facing?
Many of us are taught to believe that our health issues – whether chronic headaches or something more serious – simply happen to us and are out of our control.
The thing that saddens me the most about this is that people feel like they’re victims of something that has malfunctioned in their bodies. We don’t realize that we can shift what is going on inside of us in order to create an environment that fosters healing and health rather than disease and dysfunction.
In my last post, I talked about how important our environment is in determining whether we’ll thrive in our lives. In this post, we’re going to go deeper. We will explore how our inner environments play a significant role in the health of our bodies and minds.
Let me give you an example from my own life.
For many years, I suffered from chronic tension headaches and occasional migraines. I thought it was normal and that I was just prone to headaches. To relieve the discomfort, I’d have regular massages and pop ibuprofen like they were vitamins. These measures would give me temporary relief. But they never seemed to get to the root of the issue, and days later the symptoms would be back.
To be honest, I didn’t give much thought to the root issue. I believed that headaches are pretty normal and commonplace. Right?
I didn’t realize that my headaches were a symptom of a nervous system perpetually in a state of “fight or flight.” In other words, I was chronically stressed out. My muscles were always tight. I was on the all too common treadmill of life and didn’t know how to slow it down.
As the years went by, I started to get a few more relatively minor symptoms. My stress hormone, cortisol, was out of balance. As a result, I had sleep issues, weight gain, brain fog and generally felt like I wasn’t physically thriving.
Many people just “accept” these imbalances as either a natural part of getting older or living full and busy lives. Unfortunately, this blind acceptance prevents us from creating environments inside our bodies to heal and come back into balance.
Nature is always organizing around health and healing.
Just to expand a bit on what I mean by this, I’ll use the example of breaking a bone.
When a person breaks a bone, they are brought into the emergency room and the doctor physically aligns the bone. But the alignment doesn’t actually heal the bone. What heals the bone? An intelligent universe that is organizing around healing and health heals the bone. In other words, the doctor aligns the bone in order for nature to heal it.
So our job as human beings is to create alignment in our inner worlds so that nature can do what it is meant to do – heal us.
How do we create alignment in our inner worlds in order to promote health and healing?
We often think about exercise, nutrition, and other measures to alter and manipulate our inner environments. All too often we neglect our minds and emotions. Our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions play a huge role in the health of our physical body and whether we will ultimately heal.
One book that helped shift my understanding of how our thoughts and beliefs impact our health, is the Biology of Belief, written by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirituality.
Another great resource that I highly recommend is the documentary, HEAL which is available through Itunes. This film explores the latest science and argues that we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe.
Recognizing that we can deal with our thoughts and emotions that cultivate health and healing is very empowering. However, most people that I meet have no idea how to do this. This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts of meditation and mindfulness.
Meditation and mindfulness are practices that create an inner environment where we can thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually.
They are empowering practices that shift us from being victims of stressful, busy, drama-filled lives to taking control over the things in our lives that we can control – our inner worlds.
These practices help us transform toxic emotions like resentment and learn how to forgive, become more self-loving and kinder with ourselves, work with negative thoughts, settle our nervous systems, and tap into our deepest desires. All of these things help us to be more peaceful which in turn creates an environment for healing.
Once we’ve created an inner environment that promotes health and healing, we can shift into acceptance and the grace that arises from knowing we’ve done our inner work. Then the rest is up to a life force much larger than we are.
Please leave a comment to share and inspire others.