The Power of Your Mind in Healing Part 1: You Are Not Your Mind
You have a body, composed of many parts. You also have a mind composed of many parts, more elusive and harder to define. I will focus on 2 aspects of the mind, which are quite interwoven: the conscious and the nonconscious.
For many years, it was believed that the mind was the brain, or in the brain. Not so. The mind is seemingly everywhere. Memories and consciousness are located in every cell of your body, as well as all around you.
In her book A Change of Heart, Claire Sylvia demonstrated that cellular memory outlives physical death, as transplanted organs gave the recipient more than just a new heart; s/he also received the memories of the donor.
Groups of cells taken from a person and set in a Petri dish reacted to the feelings the person was experiencing while watching a movie in a different room.
Let’s see how the conscious and the nonconscious differ and how they serve us, by comparing them to a computer.
The conscious mind has a tiny processor, able to process about 40 bits of information per second at a speed of 100-150 mph. The conscious mind can generate positive thinking, set goals, claim a healthy body, healthy relationships, etc. It can think about raising your arm, and do it. It can change your body temperature, slow down or speed up your heart rate, etc. However, your conscious mind cannot focus on all your body functions at the same time, which is quite a mind-boggling feat. Once you have learned how to get dressed, tie your shoes or drive a car, the nonconscious takes over.
The nonconscious has a mega processor able to process 20 million bits of information per second, at a speed of 100,000 mph. It is neutral. For the nonconscious, there is no right or wrong; it simply plays programs, whether good or bad. It is the nonconscious which limits your abilities and takes your power away. “You cannot be healthy…” “You are not that good…” “You don’t deserve it…” “You are getting old…” On a positive note, it frees up consciousness for creative thinking.
Only about 0.01% of all the brain’s activity is experienced consciously. It is as if roughly 10,000 movies are playing all at once, while you are only consciously aware of one of them.
The conscious/cognitive faculties typically linked to the mind are attention, memory, producing and understanding language, thinking (problem-solving by asking and answering questions), decision making, learning, reasoning, judging, feeling, and perceiving.
The nonconscious is a storage area, a file cabinet, comprising of subconscious programs from your past, from childhood and genetic memories, as well as programs from the collective unconscious. The superconscious is your connection to a super/higher power.
Do this little exercise, will you? Read first, then practice.
Sit in a comfortable position, feet on the floor, hands resting on your lap. Close your eyes if/when comfortable.
In the Theater of your Mind, bring up the image of a wide river, flowing gently downstream and going far away, disappearing in the horizon. Imagine being comfortably seated on the bank of that river. Notice that there are many logs close to you, waiting to float away, down the river.
Every time a thought comes to your mind, pin it to a log, and allow that log to float down the river. Way down the river it goes until it’s out of sight, or until another thought comes to mind. Pin that thought to a log too and let it float away. Then the next one, and the next one … Observe, without judgment.
What thoughts are coming to your mind? Concerns about health? Money or lack thereof? About your career or a potential change? About a relationship? Dreaming about a vacation? If you think, “I don’t have any thoughts,” that’s a thought too. Pin it to a log and let it float away. Do this exercise for about 10 minutes. What do you notice? Too many thoughts? Thoughts running too fast? Needing to bundle up logs?
Did you realize that you could take the thought and pin it to a log to let it float away, before picking up another one? It means that the thought is NOT you. It means that YOU have control over your thoughts! YOU are NOT your mind. YOU are in control of your mind, both conscious and nonconscious.
How can the mind heal the body? As stated by Drs. Elmer and Alyce Green, “Every change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the mental/emotional state, conscious or unconscious, and conversely, every change in the mental-emotional state, conscious or unconscious, is accompanied by an appropriate change in the physiological state.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week!