Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't Convince


click on photos
"If you think you can,
or think you can't,
you're right!"

Henry Ford

"I reckon a man is about has happy
as he makes up his mind to be."

Abraham Lincoln

"We invariably spend more time

living with the consequences of our decisions
than we do in making them."

Larry Price


Aayla fell off the ladder.
She let out an expletive,
then she wiggled her toes.
At least her fool neck wasn't broken,
she reflected, as she cursed her bad luck.
"I know that I'll be bruised up tomorrow!"
And she was right.
"Why does everything happen to
M E ?!
She felt shaky the rest of the day
and had no interest or energy
for all the stupid things she had to accomplish.

Zoey fell off of a ladder.
She felt deep gratitude when she realized that nothing was broken.
"Thank You!" welled up in her heart spontaneously.
It was not superstition,
or paying back a jealous God for a favor;
she just felt a profound joy in dodging a bullet:
"I could be hurt, paralyzed - or even DEAD!" she reflected.
The rest of the day was sweet.
She noticed the quality of Springtime light, and all the
fresh growing green.
She appreciated anew her wonderful legs, joints, and feet that carried her
through the town that she loved,
and her faithful lungs imbibed the scented air,
pumping sweet oxygen to her heart.

There is a growing international consensus among experts,
reported in a review of research in a recent issue of Lancet,
that placebos (so called "fake" treatments)
have actual biological effects on the body.

It is common to hear the term "bodymind" these days,
for we now understand that "body" & "mind" are false distinctions
when talking about human beings. They are inextricably married.
What affects one, affects them both.
Though it seems that the mind, including our views and choices,
is in the driver's seat.
What we believe truly IS for us,
our bodies, and subconscious,

"When you think you are going to get a drug that helps,
your brain reacts as if it is getting relief." said Walter Brown of Tufts.

The Lancet article cited studies in which the brains of Parkinson's patients
responded to placebo medications by releasing feel-good dopamine
that led to other changes in brain activity.

But what does this have to do with Aayla and Zoey?

I have come to understand, that we inhabit the world
that we believe in.

Aayla might say that it was "all in Zoey's mind."
Zoey might say the same of her; and both would be right.

Our individual freedom of will
is a cornerstone of our faiths
and of our politics.

From the Bible, to the "Pursuit of Happiness" in the US constitution
we acknowledge that, despite differences in circumstances,
we somehow control how we feel about it all.

So how do we travel from a negative mind set
to a more pleasant one?

Clearly, deluding one's self is only a temporary and shoddy solution.
Sure, we must often "fake it till we make it"
but if we get too far ahead of our gut beliefs
the experiment will only prove those gut beliefs

So what to do?

I have discovered that often we try to convince ourselves (and others)
of what we'd LIKE to believe.
But it's not about convincing.

You must discover the truth underlying a positive mind-set.
It cannot be imposed any more than
one suit of clothes can practically be worn atop another set
of street clothes.
Oh, you can do it, but you will walk funny;
And you are still wearing the original
outfit. The suit on top is just a veneer, a disguise.

You are a depressive in a happy suit - but
you remain a depressive nonetheless.

All of this is very important to me
as I grew up in a very uncomfortable, depressing outfit,
and have studied these things hungrily for many years.

Teens I used to work with
would often say:
"That's just the way I am."
when I tried to get them to examine their knee-jerk behavior.
And surely we do have something of a temperamental set-point.
But if I can move out of Hell's suburbs,
I know that anyone can do it.

Not by convincing yourself
of something you'd LIKE to be true,
but through fearless exploration of the reality
beyond unexamined assumptions.

Don't convince - Discover!

Taste and see.
Reality is sweet,
I promise you.

And you are my friend. . .
a very sweet flavor
in my

Thank YOU! cloudia