I was fortunate enough as a child to never have my mouth washed out with soap. I feel certain it wasn’t because I never said anything worthy of this punishment. Luckily, it just wasn’t my parents’ style.
As an adult, I am keenly aware that my thoughts can often use a thorough “cleaning” out!
I recently had the privilege of personally meeting Dr. Joe Dispenza at a yoga retreat center in the Bahamas. Through a series of beautiful miracles, that were manifested through meditation and strong intention, I had the chance to sit with him for an hour on the beach discussing the neuroscience and quantum physics behind the parent/child connection.
If you are not familiar with his work, Dr. Dispenza is a best selling author and is conducting compelling research in the areas of neuroscience, biology, psychology, hypnosis, behavioral conditioning, and quantum physics. He is showing what can happen to the brain when we reprogram our thoughts. He reveals “before and after” brain scans of patients and workshop attendees that have healed from chronic diseases simply through changing the perceptions and beliefs that were limiting them.
We tend to get stuck in repeated cycles of the same thinking and the same events that replay over and over. It’s a nice idea to think that these things can shift, but where is the science that backs up this thinking?
First of all, it’s important to understand that our conscious minds—the parts of us that are analytical, are aware of our surroundings, know when soccer practice is and that we have a dentist appointment tomorrow—are not writing our stories. Then who or what is? Ninety-five percent of our thoughts, actions and beliefs are determined by the unconscious mind—the automatic programming of which we are unaware.
This high percentage is why we find such difficulty in breaking habits. For example, if we use our conscious minds to break a longstanding habit of hitting snooze five times in a morning in order to get up when the alarm initially goes off, we can typically use will power (our conscious minds) to do this two or three days in a row. However, more often than not, our unconscious patterning prevails and we fall back into our old ways, which lead to beating ourselves up for being incapable of change.
The seeming inability to change has us feeling as if we are victims of our unconscious mind and stuck in a life sentence of our own patterning. Not only is it possible to change this patterning, but according to scientists like Dr. Bruce Lipton it is also possible to escape the repercussions of our genetic coding. Yes, you read that correctly, the field of epigenetics is revealing that our genetic coding is only minimally responsible for our own health and wellness, as well as how we experience this world. If not our DNA, then what determines our characteristics, tendencies, physical and emotional health? Dr. Lipton and others in the forefront of epigenetic research are proving that it is our environment.
On a microcosmic level, the environment of the cell (hydration, nourishment, chemical input and neurological input) greatly determines the health of a cell. If the surrounding of a cell in a petri dish is one of malnourishment, the cell will not thrive.
On a larger scale, let’s look at the entire body for a moment. If we feel tension and pressure as a result of the outer environment, the inner environment of the body responds by releasing cortisol, a stress hormone that places us in a state of fight or flight. Cortisol serves a purpose and is helpful in small bursts when experiencing a threat or danger. For example, this hormone helps to channel blood to our extremities to help us run if encountered by a vicious dog. This is an appropriate response to danger, and may save our lives. However, many of us are in a constant state of fight or flight, and our cells respond accordingly. When we are out of balance and in a state of disharmony, we are inadvertently creating a stressful cellular environment and compromising the integrity and function of our entire body .
On a macrocosmic level, we can look at the family dynamics in a home environment and see how one or more members of a family can be affected by the fight or flight response. If a child is predisposed to ADHD due to an increased presence of this diagnosis in the family and he experiences high levels of stress in the home, he is more likely to exhibit symptoms consistent with that diagnosis. On the contrary, one can be genetically prone to a condition but never experience symptoms because she has a positive inner and outer environment (nourished cells, nourished mind and peaceful family dynamics).
During my time at the yoga retreat, Dr. Dispenza shared a moving story of a woman in her thirties who had a rare bone condition which resulted in her having 17 fractures on her femur. She used a walker at all times. Following a regular meditation practice with a focus on reprogramming her unconscious mind, she experienced a full healing. X-rays revealed no evidence of past fractures whatsoever. She walked freely and her disease was gone. At a subsequent workshop, Dr. Dispenza asked her if she wanted to share her story with the large group. She declined saying that she couldn’t even remember the story because she was no longer that person!
As for the parent/child connection, I’ve seen it countless times in my own life and in my work with clients. When we as parents, work through our “baggage” and live from a place of harmony, clarity and intention, we create a home environment filled with love and compassion. Our children can’t help but pick up on this and follow suit!
So, though it is impossible to wash our brains out with soap, we can choose to be aware of our thoughts, observe them and the accompanying feelings, release the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs and re-write the story to be one of joy and loving connection within ourselves and with our children.