I'm listening to Anita Moorjani's second book, What If This Is Heaven?
It has powerfully reminded me of something I've written about before, but this message is the cornerstone of all of health, and frankly happiness in all of life. So unless we're enjoying perfect health and a miraculous life, there's something here for each of us.
Before you read the article, ask yourself the following questions. It'll make the article more meaningful to you.
Whenever you think you have to eat right, exercise, go get your annual check-up...
Why do you do it?
I'm sure there are a variety of reasons. Take a few minutes to ponder this question.
Why do you care to eat healthfully?
Why do you tell yourself to exercise?
Why visit the doctor every year?
Listen for your answers. This is important.
Do they sound like this?
- Because I have a few pounds to lose
- Because I need to keep my __________________________ in check
- I don't want to have _____________________________ like my dad/mom/friend
- Gotta get breast/prostate/colon screening because early detection is important
- Because I'm not getting any younger...
Or do they sound more like this?
- Because I love my body and enjoy taking great care of it
- Because I love the feeling after a vigorous workout
- Because I feel so much better when I'm active
- Because I feel at peace going to the doctor and checking that box
Do you see the difference?
The crux of the issue is this:
The power of your mind and your emotions is VASTLY greater than the actions you take externally for your health.
The actions can look exactly the same on the outside, but if the undercurrent is fear, you undermine your good efforts by giving your cells the programing that there's something be feared.
In fear: Your subconscious focus is on a dreaded thing that must be avoided or fixed.
If on the other hand, your actions are underscored by love and joy; by an appreciation of your life and your body, the result is the opposite. Your cells respond much more effectively because your focus is wellbeing.
In self-love: Your subconscious focus is on preserving the expansiveness of wellbeing throughout your body.
Anita Moorjani does a beautiful job of pointing this out in her book.
You see, Anita essentially died of cancer. In other words, she had a near death experience (NDE) and came back with profound understanding of the nature of life and beyond. She realized during her NDE how her deathly fear of cancer had kept her hyper-focused on doing everything she could do to avoid cancer.
Before getting cancer, she was a vegetarian, took multiple supplements and drank green juices daily, and she was a regular client of naturopaths and other holistic health professionals.
She was doing everything "right". And she got terminal cancer.
Since her NDE, she's no longer driven by fear of cancer. In fact, she realized that self-love is the juice that heals our body. So powerfully so, that her terminal cancer (including lemon-sized tumors protruding from her skin) disappeared within one month following her NDE. Whereas her battle with cancer had lasted several years.
She's been not only cancer-free, but thriving since her NDE in 2006.
With all of the self-love she now embodies, Anita no longer approaches health as necessary tasks to fix her body or prevent it from getting sick. She knows that perfect health is an expression of self-love.
She enjoys ice cream and wine with her husband, when they have a date. And she doesn't feverishly take green juices, supplements or visit health practitioners as if her life depended on them. Because she knows that it doesn't.
It's a powerful lesson for all of us. It's one that I'm still very much learning, particularly since my spontaneous and surprising jump into a 6-week fitness challenge.
I'm observing myself... and asking,
How much of my drive to do this fitness challenge is coming from a desire to "fix" my body? (aka. fear)
And how much of it is my enthusiasm for the joyful expression of a fit, active, dynamic body? (aka. love)
So this morning, when I got out of bed at 5:28 am to go for a run, I realized I was not in the least bit joyful about running. So I climbed back into bed and curled up with my husband. Going to a 4:00 pm workout instead.
When we're operating out of fear, we're in "sick care" mentality. It's hard to win the battle in that state, and no-wonder we have such an epic and costly "battle against cancer" / heart-disease, etc.
When we're operating in a place of self-love, we are truly practicing the best, and most effective health care.
Where did you come out in your answers?
Need some ideas on switching out of fear and into self-love?
Drop me a note, I'd be happy to help. I'll also likely blog about exactly that next week.