We spend a great deal of time talking about sickness and disease and little on healing and wellness. And, there is good reason for it. Healthcare is one of our largest costs and conversely, one of the most profitable industries.
Inside you, there is a key to wellness. And, something that every good medical doctor will acknowledge and report with an almost complacent, “Yep. It’s true. Strange, but true” is the reality that biological organisms - specifically humans - do not respond in predictable ways to treatment; we assume someone will respond according to the math of medicine – the linear A + B should equal C treatment plan.
We aren’t machines. We are more complicated. Our thoughts interfere. Our beliefs interfere. Our social support networks (or lack thereof) interfere. Doctors don’t really talk about the placebo effect – it’s not profitable to acknowledge that the power of your thoughts can have the exact same medicinal impact as the drug you were about to spend $97.50 to buy.
But, most things work in synchrony. The wind affects the weather. The sun impacts your mood (there is a reason people retire in the South). Two patients with the same illness receiving the same medicine can have two different outcomes.
Why? Because of you. That thinking part of you. That “someone” inside you that thinks and believes and chatters to you all the time.
My dissertation was in stress and stress management. Turns out, stress is the number one predictor of dis-Ease, is responsible for 90% of our healthcare claims in the U.S., AND is completely transactional and preventable – meaning it is based on our perceptions of what is going on in the world – i.e., “that person ‘cut me off’ in traffic on purpose” vs. “an honest mistake.” That means we can do something about it. THINK about how MUCH money we spend on HEALTHCARE maintenance. I guarantee the company you work for has a policy to discount your health insurance premiums if you commit to not smoking. Why don’t they have a program for committing to not stressing? Research shows stress is worse for you than cigarettes - - - but in this country, we wear stress like a badge of honor. People LOVE to tell you how busy they are. Maybe we should all just get ‘stress’ tattoos marking our to-do lists like totem accomplishment logs.
Right now, “someone” inside of you is having a conversation with herself – do you agree with me, whether you like what I am writing, do you feel guilty because you sometimes honk your horn at people, etc., etc. This conversation never shuts up. And, every thought has emotional reverberation - every mental action has a biological correlate. This conversation impacts your health. It would be in your best interest to know who this “someone” is that never shuts up.
It’s time for a paradigm shift. I am not the first ‘scientist’ to write about the now ‘proof’ we have for your consciousness and its impact on - - - well, everything.
Consider the BIG picture.
We’re about 13.8 billion years old.
Human beings are brilliant. Look at what we have accomplished! But, we must move from the information age, to the wisdom age, and the difference between the two is application and execution. The difference between the two is living on the Earth without destroying the 13.8 billion years it took to get here.
We still have a “cave brain” culture in an age of nuclear weaponry.
And, as much as we know, we know so little. Consider that all we know in all of our Sciences is based only on the .01% of the Universe that we actually know about.
75% of the whole of our universe is “dark energy” - meaning we don’t know what it is. Dark energy is expanding galaxies faster than the speed of light at this point. Einstein called this the cosmological constant, which was close, but not quite.
20% of our universe is dark matter. We have no idea what it is, but we do know how important it is. It holds EVERYTHING in place. And, it’s really strange. It emits no light, reflects no light, has some ‘stuff’ or substance so it causes gravity – and a lot of it – and if particles of dark matter collide with one another, they pass right through each other. Without dark matter, we wouldn’t exist. It quite literally holds our bodies together through its gravitational influence. And, we have no idea what ‘it’ is…
About 4% of the Universe is a hodgepodge of invisible atoms. So, that’s 99%.
The last 1% of the Universe is mostly hydrogen and helium. And, of that 1%, only .01% is really visible to us as “stuff”.
So .01% of our Universe is what we visibly see, study in Science, argue over, fight over… All the galaxies that you see in the vast expanse of space are accounted for in this .01%. When you are on the beach, and you look up, and you see the billions of stars that are in the sky - that’s the .01% we’re talking about.
“The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth – the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. … So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more … the universe is in us.” - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Humans really do squawk a lot about how much we know, and we marvel in the wonder of our science, which has categorized .01% of the universe we are able to see. We could spend our time categorizing and framing or performing advanced mathematics to figure it all out. But, at the end of the day, nothing is more important than the reality that you are here, NOW … that you exist and KNOW that you exist.
The real depth of the story lies in the reality that you are awake – that this random cosmological error fusing stardust and carbon - is now aware of ‘itself.’ Cosmic evolution took 14 billion years to create you and me. We are an activity of the universe - an activity of the universe in which the universe is becoming aware of itself. Without you, the “universe” is a vast, ambiguous quantum soup. The universe has color, texture, and form, because YOU are the witness of it. Without YOU, quantum possibilities do not materialize into these colors, textures, or forms. The world – EVERYTHING - is a projection of consciousness.
So – your work? Start seeing the world around you. Enjoy the colors. Smell your food. Touch the people next to you and enjoy your humanity. Back of life, being alive is a miracle. It is amazing. Live in gratitude. And, know that your beliefs – your thoughts – your ability to let something go, to forgive, to move on… these things REALLY matter. They impact your health, your wellness, and how it feels to walk this planet.
You are a living, conscious Star. (And, just as the stars are to you, so are your cells to your atoms - tiny particle clouds of stardust orbiting together in the sky of the atom, swirling and functioning with purpose and intention). Your consciousness is a gift of 14 billion years of evolution and it impacts everything you feel and do; it affects your outcomes, and your health; it impacts me and my health; and quite literally, our collective future depends on it. Really consider the absurdity that we spend billions of dollars every year inventing new warfare technology so that we can blow one another up.
We have the capacity to heal our world, feed our poor, and to thrive. We could invent a world, if we could gather as one tribe, where there is goodness, truth, beauty, and virtue – where none are starving or economically deficient, one where we are not burning and chopping the Earth, but honoring her.
But, first we must overcome our hardest opponent: our mind. It starts with you. So, be good to yourself first. That way, you can learn to receive goodness from the world. And, that's wellness.