Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Biographies of Biology

 We all have personal stories, traumas, and patterns of behavior that may or may not serve us. The trick is not to become stuck in our stories about them, since any attachments we have to our experiences become the very measure of our health. Biographies are what make us unique, having experienced life the way only we can. Through the lens of our individual beliefs, we gain our experience and perception of ourselves and the world. Something that has inspired me over the years is to remember that we are not our stories, but how we handle situations and respond to present challenges does reveal who we are as a soul.

I remember a metaphor about attachment, and this is how I interpret attachment to our 'story' as it relates to our health. Imagine you are driving down a highway somewhere forested with trees. As you speed past the tall green giants you may notice their shape and smell, you may notice their population, you may even notice one or two individual trees that catch your eye. But, you keep driving and your main focus is on the road ahead and the thoughts passing by with the time. It's unlikely you would continue to contemplate a tree you sped past a few miles back, and probably unlikely that you would focus on a tree in the present longer than it took to pass your window. However, if a car on the opposite side of the road that looked like one your ex used to drive came speeding past you with an unknown passenger, that image may linger with you for the remainder of the drive, and you might create a story about it that challenges your peace.

Becoming emotionally charged and making a decision about yourself or the world you live in based on an emotional upset is what your 'story' is all about.  The point is to allow all things to be like those trees, to come and go from our focus as they come and go from our present view. Our health depends on it. If we cling to one of our 'stories,' such as "I"m not good enough" or "life isn't fair" or "I'm not lovable," just think of all the damage that can do. Every cell in your body believes what you believe, and if every cell in your body believed it wasn't good enough, it would be no wonder your body felt tired and sick, right? That is the biography of biology.

Stories get trapped in the body like thoughts get stuck in the mind. If we can detach from the emotional weight we are giving to the stories we have identified ourselves with, our bodies can relax and heal. Each story carries with it a message intended for our growth and development as a soul. Be it peace, patience, kindness, compassion... whatever the message, the story is here to be acknowledged and released, assuming we understand the message it carries. The challenge is bringing awareness and compassion to the stories we tell ourselves, and learning from them so they can be free to go. As messengers, these stories have no purpose beyond getting your attention. Once they effectively deliver their message, they leave, and their health related metaphors are free to leave with them.

I tell the story of a client I had a few years ago, someone with an intense emotional story that they identified with since childhood. After over 19 years of struggling with a chronic disease, this man was able to bring awareness to his story of being 'bad,' find compassion and self-love, and release the story that had deteriorated his health. After one session he was able to reduce his need for insulin by 70%, bringing a sense of ownership and empowerment to what was once a victimized reality. The truth had set him free. He was not 'bad,' and now every cell in his body had the same realization, making it higher functioning machine.

What stories do you tell yourself everyday? What is that meaningless chatter you hear upstairs, and how often do you believe it? I want to challenge you to take some time to reflect on this, notice the recurring thoughts about yourself and the world you live in. Notice if they are really true, or if they are biased and dis-empowering. Then, just observe them as if they were an ugly vase in a beautiful museum. No need to get rid of it, but feel free to move on to the next display....