What We Practice Grows Stronger
In psychology today, we are seeing a shift from a solely aspiring medical model in research to one that integrates alternative arts of healing. It is indisputable that there remains so much of human existence that cannot be explained by science alone. Yet, science can provide understanding of some of the relationships between intangibles such as the mind, thoughts, emotions and brain function.
This leaves those of us, who have dedicated ourselves to helping others by facilitating healing to explore what some traditionalist might consider, unconventional strategies and modalities, such as the healing art of breath and mindfulness found in the disciplines of yoga, eastern medicine, as well as the use of essential oils, foods, nature, and energy work.
In Dr. Shauna L. Shapiro’s work in the art and science of mindfulness, which is an exceptionally effective technology to optimize transformation (change). She has published numerous empirical studies that have found that use of the technology can reduce cortisol hormone levels (hormone produced due to stress), enhance/strengthen the immune system and open the learning center of the brain (due to increased levels of dopamine – helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers).
Dr. Shapiro’s model of Intention – Attention – Attitude is simplistic and yet profound. You see we know that our human mind on average wonders 47% of the time. Therefore mindfulness meditation
[another word that means to cultivate] has empirically substantiated the belief that what we practice grows stronger. Scientifically this translates loosely into mindfulness meditation can reprogram neuropathways in the brain over time.
I love how Dr. Shapiro put it in a recent post-doctoral training, “Transformation is possible. It requires kind attention and practice.” The simple act of placing your hand over your heart while meditating has been found to increase oxytocin (the good for you love hormone).
There are universal truths found in philosophy and the early works of human scientists and psychologist that lend themselves to current beliefs. For example we know that the world and everything in it has energy. Our brain is considered a complex circuitry of electrical pathways that generate impulses that travel throughout the body to cause specific reactions. The earth has gravitational energy that allows it to remain on an orbital trajectory that does not allow collision of the planets. Certain emotions have been measured with the use of instrumentation to affect the brains function. These too are described in terms of energy/vibration.
Early philosophers postulate that the highest vibrating energy is emanated in the emotions of Faith, followed by Love and then the emotion of Sex. The emotion not the physiological act of Sex. How fascinating…examination of the lives of some of the most success individuals in American history has revealed quantitative evidence of the essentialness of a burning desire, self-determination, imagination, perseverance and purposeful alignment of objectives and resources as the script for success in life and business.
Personally I have always been a positivist. And it has been this perspective towards life that has served to propel me and others around me towards repeated experience of success in life and business. One of my daily mantras since I was a young adult has always been “Good morning, I love me.” This practice, I believe led to my development of self-compassion (despite being a trauma-graduate) and my empathy for others, which is essential in my life’s work.
My truth; and now it appears that my school of academic thought has aligned to it, is that you have to Love yourself, in order to be able to serve others in any significant way. Research now supports that empathy is the number one predicative indicator of favorable outcomes in interactions between people.
This truth when employed in health, business/work, and relationships leads to the life one wants and deserves!