How to Live in the Now to Rewire the Brain and the Body
Countless experts have weighed in on the mind-body issue, trying to explain how the mind affects the body and how it can be used as a tool to effect changes in health and happiness. And then Dr. Joe Dispenza came along and raised the bar with his research that includes a melding of meditation, quantum physics, psychoneuroimmunology, and neuroscience.
Arising from Dispenza’s work is a science-based understanding of how the mind can be used as a tool to create changes in the body and reverse disease. In the second and third episodes of his eye-opening series “Rewired,” Dispenza delves deeply into the science of conscious change by recognizing habitual thinking patterns.
Dispenza speaks about the popular idea of “being present” from a scientific point of view, and how to use meditation to transcend your body and environment, as well as time to reach the “sweet spot of the generous present moment.”
The question naturally arises: How does finding this “now” help you? The answer is that in order to change the health of your body and focus on creating a new personality, you have to get past the analytical mind. This requires being “in the now,” which Dispenza refers to as the key to becoming “supernatural.”
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Amping Up Your Meditation Practice
Meditation, Dispenza says, means “to become familiar with.” If we can become familiar with the fact that 95 percent of who we are by age 35, which includes reflexive emotional reactions that define our personalities, we will realize that we are running an unconscious/subconscious program. When, with the help of meditation, we become conscious of our unconscious thoughts and notice how we are feeling, our states of mind and body become known to us.
This, in turn, leads to a change in the hardwired attitudes and thoughts that usually occur without conscious awareness of them. The awareness makes the change.
Typical thoughts that interfere with good health and happiness, says Dispenza, include ones such as “I’ll never change,” “It’s too hard,” “I’ll never find love,” or “My life isn’t very good.” When these thoughts come to the surface during meditation practice, the moment you realize you can’t control these thoughts, says Dispenza, the tendency is to give up — and you buy into the belief that you’re not very good at meditation.
But victory comes when you realize that you can simply not put your attention on these types of thoughts. There is no need to react to them, just don’t give them any energy. This is the beginning of knowing yourself. There is a realization, says Dispenza, that you are not the body; “you are the mind.”
Liberating Your Energy
“Every time you work on overcoming some aspect of your old personality there is a liberation of energy,” says Dispenza. When he and his research team studied students who kept returning the body back into the present moment, because the body is a servant of the mind, they discovered that sooner or later the body acquiesces.
And when it does, notes Dispenza, “there’s a liberation of energy.” This energy then becomes available to heal and create a new future. The process of change is breaking the habit of the old self and reinventing the new self by pruning old connections and sprouting new ones.
Liberated energy can go toward installing new thoughts, and this is the key to change in the body.
The Analytical Mind Obsesses About the Past and Future
Ninety-five percent of who we are by age 35 is our subconscious mind (attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and habits), says Dispenza. Children become programmed at a very early age, having developed their analytical minds between ages 6 and 9. Once this analytical mind is formed, says Dispenza, a person divides the conscious mind from the subconscious mind. Although the analytical mind is important for learning and navigating our world, it also becomes constantly involved in thinking about the past and future.
Edward Enever, a health coach who works with cancer patients, explains that “the left brain is all about the past, and it’s all about the future. It digs through the database of memories and experiences to try to relate the present moment to something, then it projects into the future the possibilities based on these. So under stress or a dominant thinking mind, our consciousness projects out into the future and the past away from the present moment.
Meditation is the practice of bringing yourself back into present moment awareness and not living in the future and/or the past. This is where mindfulness comes in. When we are present, we are mindful. When our consciousness is projected out, we are unmindful and that’s where we can make mistakes or poor choices.”
Thus, according to Joe Dispenza, to realize real change is to make your mind work for you by becoming aware of the process of automatic programming, and to move your thoughts into the present moment.
Stress Causes Undesirable Changes
In the fourth episode of “Rewired,” Dispenza shows that there are three types of stress: physical, chemical, and emotional. Combined with anxiety, depression, and other states that perpetually make people the effect of automatic, habitual unconscious thinking, these take their toll on the physical body and mental health.
The chemicals of stress cause health issues by knocking the brain and body out of balance. And “the hormones of stress push the genetic buttons and create disease.” So when people are living in chronic stress, and the field around their body is shrinking, they feel disconnected from everyone and everything in life, they try to force and control outcomes.
The solution, Dispenza says, is to live “in creation,” which is “the exact opposite of living in survival.” Ultimately, it is a matter of moving the thoughts into the present, away from the stress of the past and anxiety of the future and to do this takes rewiring the mind.