by Connie Hernandez, ND
Unsettled feelings are bound to arise in unsettled times. And despite our most earnest efforts, we can never escape them by simply remaining as we are.
Those of you who followed us in our very early years in Hawaii will remember how we praised the deeply inspiring book Change We Must, My Spiritual Journey, by native Hawaiian Nana Veary. I naturally remembered the title of her book when it came time to write about change.
Unsettled times demand resilience – translated, resilience is the ability to adapt to our unpredictably fluctuating environment.
We must accept that each moment and every circumstance holds a promise of undiscovered benefits. But to tap the good things, we must learn to live in a part of our interior reality where peace and calmness are ever-present and unalterable – and where alone external changes cannot touch us.
We must learn to respond rather than react. Centering ourselves in those internal centers of energy and consciousness, where we feel confident and protected, requires engaging in ancient, thoroughly tested and proven spiritual practices, with all our willpower and commitment.
Meditation is a scientifically and spiritually validated method for stimulating the higher brain centers where inner peace, positive attitudes, and the ability to form realistic goals and persevere in achieving them are localized.
Meditation quiets the limbic system and accomplishes a transformation in consciousness that sets us free from emotional reactivity and discord.
In recent decades, science has confirmed what wise sages have always known – that our brain changes according to the information we feed it and according to how we direct it.
Brain cells proliferate and new neural pathways open according to the actions and attitudes we allow to enter our lives. Exposed to violence and anger, the limbic system becomes strengthened in emotional reactivity. When we expose our brains to chanting or other uplifting music, energy is diverted from the limbic system to the prefrontal cortex.
- Negative self-talk stimulates limbic reactivity. Affirmations (statements of truth, repeated with committed intensity) promote higher brain functioning.
- Service activates the frontal lobes of the brain and promotes kindness. Selfishness fires the limbic system’s survival instinct.
- Gratitude lights up the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
- Positive visualizations point us in the right direction. Visualizing negative outcomes has the opposite effect.
- Communing with high-minded friends promotes our own high-mindedness, while hanging with depressed or angry individuals lights up the limbic system.
- Being in nature quiets the limbic system. Being in shopping malls feeds desires and activates the limbic system.
In short, whatever we choose to think or say or do is sure to program who we’ll become in the next moment, and the next.
According to the behavior patterns we cultivate, we change our lives. We can choose to live with increased access to wise intuition, and generate creative ideas and be co-operative problem solvers, or we can become emotionally governed agitators. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions can make our lives expansive or contractive.
- Vibrational remedies such as sound and color therapies, homeopathics, flower essences, hand healing, spiritual healing, and emotional freedom technique can help us along the way.
- The botanical adaptogens of restorative medicine can help balance our neuroendocrine systems and calm any physiologic causes of uneasiness such as high or low adrenal, thyroid, and sex hormones.
- Exercise and breathwork can relax our bodies and minds such that we can effectively meditate and chant and pray.
It only takes a few minutes a day to begin generating positive internal changes in ourselves, and just a few months of concerted effort to sustain these very real changes. What could be more worthwhile?
For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, or use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch. Thank you!