The Power of Your Mind in Healing Part 3: Hypnotized or Conscious?
A little girl was watching her mother prepare a roast, cutting both ends before she put it in the pan. “Mom, why are you cutting off the ends?” The mother looked puzzled. “I am not sure, I always saw my mother doing it. Let’s ask her.” So, they called the grandmother, who was just as puzzled. Fortunately, the great-grandmother was still alive. “Why? Our pot was too small to fit the whole roast in.” Although pots and pans had become larger, the tradition of cutting the ends of the roast had persisted.
How often do we do things “just because…?”
My first realization that I had been imprinted with some beliefs happened during my trip through Europe and Asia. In Switzerland, where I was born and raised, it was mandatory for girls to take sewing classes. I was working on a pale green evening blouse, and remember having to buy thread and a zipper, which had to be just a shade darker. Everything had to match perfectly. I was surprised, even shocked when I bought a dress in Iran. The left sleeve was sewn with red thread, and the right one with purple. NOTHING matched! People did not seem bothered because colors did not match. It was a lesson in awareness.
Since then, I’ve studied many cultures and how beliefs/traditions evolve. I dare say that we have all been brainwashed or manipulated, and that it’s time to get de-hypnotized.
As a naturopath and doctor of natural health, nutrition is important to me. Habits can be formed by watching movies. Lately, I’ve been watching a British TV series. Tea is served at every opportunity, with cookies or cake. In the US, we meet for coffee. A glass of wine, a beer or whiskey is often enjoyed by the hero in movies as a way to relax after work. Social drinking anybody? Do you have a habit? Why? Where does it come from?
Did you know that the idea that breakfast should be a hearty meal was a marketing scheme promoted by Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew? Here is the story:
Beech-Nut wanted to increase consumer demand for bacon. Bernays turned to his agency’s internal doctor and asked him whether a heavier breakfast might be more beneficial for the American public. Knowing which way his bread was buttered, the doctor confirmed Bernays suspicion and wrote to five thousand of his doctor’s friends asking them to confirm it as well.
This ‘study’ of doctors encouraging the American public to eat a heavier breakfast – namely ‘Bacon and Eggs’ – was published in major newspapers and magazines of the time to great success. Beech-Nut’s profits rose sharply thanks to Bernays and his team of medical professionals.
Cigarettes were described as symbols of emancipation and equality with men. Bernays hired women to march while smoking their “torches of freedom” in the Easter Sunday Parade of 1929 which was a significant moment for fighting social barriers for women smokers. What link is there between cigarettes and freedom? Answer: None! How about the Marlboro Man? What link is there between a “real man” and smoking? A number of models who have portrayed the Marlboro Man have died of smoking-related diseases.
Are you consciously in charge of what you are eating/drinking, or are you on auto-pilot?
For many years, I thought that orange juice was healthy. This was until somebody asked me how I could explain that each carton of 100% natural “not from concentrate” juice had the same color and the same taste. How? Because it’s full of chemicals that give it consistency! If juice you must have, juice organic oranges and mix with half water to lower the sugar content.
Read labels! Beware of marketing traps! “Natural” does not mean much. A cute brown bag with the picture of a farm does not mean it’s homemade and healthy. If interested, I invite you to check out my health course.
Indoctrination is not only about food habits. Oftentimes, we are stressed/distressed because we follow rules imposed to us by our culture. Do you follow rules about Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and holidays? Are these rules empowering you or stressing you? Are they necessary? Could you change them? Would you change them? When?
A client of mine is quite distressed at the moment: she has specific beliefs about being a grandmother. In her situation, she is not able to play that particular role. I faced a similar challenge during a divorce when I was not able to nurture my children the way I thought a mother should. To stay healthy, it was necessary, yet not easy, to modify/eliminate some rules.
Ask empowering questions. Live mindfully. Become conscious about what you eat, drink and think.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week where we will discuss Health and Imagination.