I've long believed that our greatest power is the ability to choose our thoughts. Being a father of two young boys, I'm not in the same peaceful warrior-like state that I consistently embodied when I was in my mid to late 20's. Still, despite having few opportunities to be alone with a clear blue sky, I have this visceral memory of how blissful it can be to choose a stream of compassionate and grateful thoughts.
The feeling is this ball of energy that forms deep within my chest and flows outward to bathe all of my cells with pure health. When I'm in this state, I can actually feel waves of nourishing and protective life force coursing through me, and I'm certain that whatever healing hormones are involved cannot be manufactured outside of my body.
It's like the feeling of elation where your heart and lungs have stopped for a brief moment - you're completely overtaken by surprise, happiness, gratitude, or other equally uplifting emotions. Like if you've ever had the experience of being separated from a loved one without knowing when you'll see them next, and then bang, by surprise, you meet again. Or you find out that something extraordinarily good has happened to you or a loved one. These events come with healing energy that is generated by our thoughts about these events. We can actually create this healing energy whenever we choose - we don't need some wonderful surprise to trot our way. By choosing to deeply feel compassionate and grateful, we promote healing within.
"I Am" is a documentary by Tom Shadyac. It takes this concept of our thoughts leading to real things beyond just our own lives. What we think and therefore create within our individual lives affects every living thing around us. Yes, even how we look at our family, friends, and strangers has impact on their lives. "I Am" does a lovely job of conveying this reality.
If you don't have time to view the entire film, a couple of areas to scroll to:
1. At the 29:50 mark, the film begins its look at how we are designed to deeply yearn to connect with others, and how a parasympathetic bundle of fibers called the vagus nerve is largely responsible for allowing this innate desire to manifest as body-wide emotion. Just a brief few seconds of seeing a US Navy man pay a surprise visit to his 6-year old son in kindergarten class after returning from overseas duty is enough to help anyone fully get this idea.
2. At the 43:50 mark, the folks from the HeartMath Institute illustrate how our thoughts affect living things around us, even when we aren't in physical contact - its the most fascinating use of yogurt and electrodes ever.
This idea - that our thoughts are the origin of everything we are and contribute to the world - is what I want to emphasize with most clients looking to overcome any health challenge. I don't care if it's osteoarthritis, acne, obesity, eczema, multiple sclerosis, congestive heart failure, constipation, kidney failure, or any stage of cancer. Whatever the health challenge, for our best shot at lasting improvement and just a more meaningful existence altogether, I believe that we have to understand and embrace the idea that we choose so much of what we experience with our thoughts.
Dr. Ben Kim is a chiropractor and acupuncturist living and working in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Visit his website at www.drbenkim.com