“Conventional medicine, at its foundation, focuses on the biochemistry of cells, tissue, and organs. Energy medicine, at its foundation, focuses on the fields that organize and control the growth and repair of cells, tissues, and organs, and on ways of influencing those fields.”
We are energy. Energy is in everything. Energy moves information. Your thoughts and organs emit energy. Food has an energetic signature, a frequency. You have an energy field around you and running through you. And there’s energy everywhere, from small appliances and cell phones to the towers they use to transfer large amounts of energy around the world.
We’re going to talk about two different kinds of energy in this section. The first kind is the positive/non-positive energy and the second kind is the energy you feel in your bones and muscles and have to work with during your day to make your body move. The second kind, the kind in your muscles, gets a huge boost from the first kind, the kind that flows through your energy fields.
If your body is running positive, you’re going to pull other positive energy towards you. Have you ever been walking down the street and passed someone who had a little smile on their face and just seemed to be so dang happy and you thought, “What are they smiling about?” That person has got a whole lot of positive energy going on.
What we want to do is have our own energy running positive and just keep on pulling good energy towards us all the live-long-day (and night) because it not only makes us happy, it helps us heal.
Humans are the only mammals that have a pre-frontal cortex. It’s the part of our brain that grew when we became smarty-pants man, able to think and reason on a whole new level than before.
We use our pre-frontal cortex to live out things before they happen. It’s the area of our brains where we daydream and practice things before we try them. What we think in there is informed by everything we’ve ever done before or that happened to us, how we felt about it, and what we guess might happen in the future based on those feelings. We place a value on the outcomes of those experiences, that may or may not happen, and decide if we will like it or not, if it will be good or bad, if we will succeed or fail.
If you’re a normal human, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in telling yourself stories in there. You could be thinking about skydiving and decide to not try it because your chute will fail and then you’ll free-fall to your death while flashing on your past and die a grisly death. That will play out in great detail in your mind while your body responds as if it was actually happening. Your Fight or Flight response will kick in for a minute, setting your heart racing and a burst of adrenaline will hit and you’ll breathe fast and think, “No way, Jose. That’s not going to be me!” And then hopefully, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and calms everything down before it goes on too long.
But in that brief moment, you were actually feeling what that would be like and solidifying in your mind why you would never, ever do it, thanks to your pre-frontal cortex.
The reason we care about this process is because it can hinder our healing process. If we get caught up in stories that may or may not ever happen, we forget to be available for what’s actually happening in the moment, this one right here. And if we aren’t here, we aren’t a part of the process.
Everyone needs their pre-frontal cortex, their reasoning center, because without it, you’d be relying on pure intuition, and that can lead to some odd associations between things that happen to you when they aren’t based on anything but happenstance.
For example, if your friend at work says hello or is wearing a green tie that means you’re going to have a great day. Or because he said hello, but he said it in a weird way that must mean he hates you and you should only have tuna for lunch because last time you ate tuna, he was nice to you the day after.
We need both our reason and our intuition to navigate life. When you get dressed for work, your reason will tell you to wear a suit because you’re heading into the office, but your intuition can tell you to wear the blue shirt with it because you love blue and it makes you feel good.
When we get a good balance between the two, we win at life. It’s when the reasoning voice turns into the critic in our head, always telling us we can’t do something because people will think we’re dumb or something bad will happen because bad things always happen, well then we’ve got a critic that needs a little reigning in.
It’s important to catch ourselves when we start to spin these stories about the future and make sure they’re based in reality, make sure it matters that we’re telling them to ourselves at all and that they’re positive, and consider stopping ourselves from continuing to tell a story that has no value.
Happiness = Positive Energy = Wellness. It’s the positive energy coursing through our veins that pulls our immune function higher, keeps our thoughts centered on uplifting things and subsequently initiates endorphin release in our brains. Positive energy helps us see experiences in our lives that aren’t going the way we planned as challenges instead of “bad,” which keeps those experiences from becoming negative and instead as things we can figure out, like puzzles. Staying in positive energy where happiness and joy are keeps our bodies from releasing cortisol for extended periods of time and suppresses the Fight or Flight response. Our hearts, minds and bodies increase in wellness, which makes us feel happy, which creates more positive energy.
Life doesn’t always “feel” happy and positive, so what can we do to stay in that zone?
There are two kinds of happiness in life. There’s the kind that happens naturally when we get things we want and hope for, and then there’s the kind we make for ourselves. Natural and synthetic happiness.
I bucked against the term “synthetic” being paired with happiness for a long time. I felt anything synthetic couldn’t be positive. But, when we look at the word, it means “made by chemical synthesis.” All the stuff that goes on in your brain is chemical synthesis, so if I can make that happen when I want it to, awesome.
Here’s how natural happiness works: You buy a lottery ticket. You imagine winning. You hope you win. Then you do win, and you get a rush of happiness, endorphins, and it feels great.
Here’s how synthetic happiness works: You buy a lottery ticket. You imagine winning. You hope you win. Then you don’t win and you decide it’s fine, shrug your shoulders, give the guy on the street five bucks because he looks like he needs it, and go home with a smile on your face because it feels good to do something nice for someone else.
Creating your own happiness is a shift in perception. It can be done anywhere at anytime in any situation and it releases the same chemical reaction in your brain as natural happiness.
If you rely on only natural happiness, you’re prone to mood shifts and being batted around by life. When you set goals for yourself, you never feel satisfied when you reach them because there’s always something next you decide is better.
It’s like if you are a salesman and your sales manager tells you that this month’s goal is to sell 50 pairs of sunglasses. You work hard, meet that goal and have your next meeting with your sales manager, who tells you great, but if you did that ok, then surely next month you can sell 80 pairs of sunglasses.
You didn’t get a lasting feeling of happiness. Your brain just reset to the new goal, deciding you’d be happy then, in the future. But the future doesn’t come, because we live in the present.
Our goal is to be happy now. Right now! Not when you lose 20 pounds or get the promotion or start exercising or travel the world or anything. Just right now, as you are.
Being happy means we’re living positively and we’re attracting the positive to us. By raising your positivity right now, your brain is going to help you be over 30% more productive, which means more intelligence, creativity and energy.
When you’re in a positive state of mind, your brain floods with dopamine, which turns on the learning centers in your brains, which allows you to see the world in a whole, new way and adapt and relate to it differently.
90% of our long-term happiness has nothing to do with our circumstances. It’s predicted by how you view your world. The study of lottery winners and paraplegics is a good illustration. Both were equally happy a year after winning the money or losing their limbs.
We want to train our brains to see stress as a challenge, not a threat. If we can step out of our pre-frontal cortexes, be in the moment, find the good in the situation and make concrete steps to move forward, we don’t have to fall into the Fight or Flight response system. We can use our intuition to help us.
Part of what can make this difficult is that we are afraid to make mistakes. I mean, I’ve tripped and fallen in front of people before and it wasn’t just my hip that was hurting afterwards.
Our fear of being who we are in front of others and showing our happiness and passions keeps us weak. Being afraid keeps us weak.
Connecting with others is what it’s all about. That’s what we do in this life – Connect. If we’re too afraid to express what makes us happy to ourselves and others, we can’t really connect with anyone. It’s ok to be who you are. You’re both flawed and authentic. And that’s wonderful. Be brave. Be imperfect and love yourself anyway.
Our deepest, darkest secrets are about not being good enough. In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown does some wonderful work in helping people overcome shame. She says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and just accept who you are right now. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to improve ourselves if we see places we’d like to do that. But it means you can start loving yourself right where you are, exactly how you are, right this minute and not wait for the raise or losing weight or whatever might happen in the future. Be willing to make those mistakes and fall in front of people and put it all out on the table. Live your passion and exude happiness wherever you go.
Vulnerability is beautiful and helps us connect to each other. Perhaps you know someone that seems very distant and you just can’t quite get to know them or bridge that gap. They’ve got walls around them for their safety, but in that safety they’re missing out on the rest of the stuff, too. They don’t get the happiness and the joy. They tuck their heart away where no one can see it.
If we can do things in life and not be attached to the outcome, but expect the best, we will find happiness in that space. Make your choices. Do the things that feel good. And if it all comes crashing down, make synthetic happiness for yourself by changing your perception of “it all came crashing down.”
Watch yourself in action and when the non-positive thoughts come through, name them impartially on behalf of your Self and then let them go. “I can’t believe I just did that. Will I ever learn?” becomes “So, that just happened. I feel ashamed but I am not bad. I’m going for a walk. I’ll appreciate the sun, and I’ll breathe through it.”
It seems so simple to say, but believing you’re worthy of love and connection with others makes it so. You’ve probably seen that guy at the party who walks in the room and everyone seems to know him and wants to talk to him and he has something nice to say to everyone there. His secret? He thinks he belongs there and that everyone wants to talk to him. And because he’s projecting that energy, it makes it true.
Conversely, if you go to the party and skulk in the background, muttering to yourself that you don’t belong there and that everyone hates you, that’s probably going to be true.
Just because it’s simple to say it, doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone to do it, but knowing it’s the simple law of attraction might help.
Cultivate Your Intuition – What exactly is intuition, anyway? It’s the ability to understand something immediately, without having to think about all the reasons why and how. We say “I had a gut feeling” or “I just knew that was going to happen.”
Is it something you can practice? Yes. Listening to your inner voice is something you can get really good at.
Why do we care about cultivating our own intuition? Because it stops us from putting ourselves in places and situations that aren’t healthy for us. It creates a space where we can live in increased wellness and happiness and positive energy. Sometimes a particular situation will seem like it should be such a great idea. There’s “no good reason” why you wouldn’t go/do that thing/talk to that person etc. But if we listen to our hearts, our guts, our intuition, there might be a very good reason not to participate. We don’t even have to put it into words. We just know.
We’re so used to having to justify our choices and it’s possible you’ve made a few mistakes already during your lifetime that have made you a little leery of doing anything without a well-thought out reasoning session.
Getting your intuition to grow stronger and louder takes a little time, but it isn’t really difficult. Mostly, you just have to practice listening. You could write to yourself in a journal or in letters starting with Dear Me, and then just write down whatever comes up. You could practice isolating non-positive dialogue in your brain as it happens and rewording it to be positive. You could step up the amount that you do your meditation and practice feeling what your feelings are without judgment.
Cultivate Something Good
Get in the habit of taking just two tics before answering someone’s questions or making a decision to give yourself a moment and really feel what it is you think – from your gut to your brain. Cultivate that gut feeling and if it turns out to be wrong in some conventional way, learn to always think of it as right anyway, because of the learning opportunity it brought to you. “Thanks, Body, for always giving me opportunities to learn and grow.”