What if there were a simple, effortless way to feel well and to thrive? What if there were a simple, effortless way to heal from illness and to shift challenging circumstances in your life?
Well, there is. You don’t need to struggle. You don’t need to try to change things or make things happen. It all can come easily, without effort.
Whatever you’re needing for whatever’s going on in our life — whether it’s a health issue or a challenging situation — can be had in a moment. In this very moment. It’s simply a stop, pause, and breath away. All that you need to do, to heal that health issue or to shift that challenging situation, is to first stop, pause, and be here now.
It’s by surrendering to the present moment, and by allowing disease, that suffering and disease can leave us. We don’t have to struggle to be well. In fact, it’s through surrendering that we can become well. The same principle holds for challenging circumstances and situations in our lives. We don’t have to struggle to shift them. Rather, it’s by surrendering to being, rather than doing, that those challenges can leave us.
Perhaps this sounds implausible. Perhaps even magical thinking. If you’re not feeling well — if you’re ailing in any way or seeking change in your life — it may seem that you should be taking action, doing something to shift circumstances and situations. But it’s not magical thinking. Everything that you’ll ever need for anything and everything that’s going on in your life can arise from being, not doing.
To be clear, it’s not that we never take action. We don’t simply wait around for things to change or happen. But things changing, things happening — whether you’re healing a health issue or transforming a challenging situation — arises from a place of peace. Peace mentally. Peace emotionally. And peace physically.
This place of peace is Absolute Health. It’s from this place of Absolute Health, of inner peace, that healing happens. And it’s from this place of peace, that clarity, solutions, and effortless, inspired action arises.
I didn’t always get this. In fact, it took me many, many years to get it. Years of living in an unwell body, with emotional strife, with challenging life circumstances, and more. I was always trying to fix things, to make them better, to make them change or go away. When I finally stopped with all of the trying, when I started to just be present with what I was experiencing in the moment, I came to know Absolute Health and inner peace. And then things started to change. My health improved. Circumstances and situations got better.
The Science of Being
Science has a lot to say about being. Here’s what that science tells us: Our thoughts and feelings affect our health and well-being instantaneously. Every thought and feeling is either creating a state of ease or dis-ease. A calm, peaceful mind creates a calm and peaceful body. A disturbed mind creates stress in the body.
When the mind is calm, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. That’s the system we need for rest, rejuvenation, and healing, as well as sleep and digestion. When the mind’s not calm, the sympathetic nervous system is turned on. That’s the system we need to be active, alert, vigilant. It serves us in times of stress. The sympathetic system inhibits sleep and digestion, and so, too, healing — we can’t be sleeping or eating when we need to be alert and vigilant. And we can’t heal when our body is needing to use its resources to protect us.
These two nervous systems work in opposition to one another. When one is on, the other is off. The parasympathetic system needs to be turned on for healing to happen. A peaceful mind turns that system on, facilitating healing. Healing won’t happen otherwise. We cultivate that peaceful mind by being here now, with all that we’re experiencing in the present moment. Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations. Even difficult ones.
Research studies have shown that being present with feelings can keep us well and get us well. A 2016 study of women with breast cancer demonstrated that women who were more able to be with their feelings about their health, even difficult ones, had less symptoms of sickness. Those who weren’t able to were sicker. In 2019, a study of individuals undergoing cancer treatment revealed the same connection between feelings and health: Those who avoided their feelings of uncertainty and fear, fared worse.
Other studies have demonstrated the connection between feeling feelings and chronic depression and anxiety. Individuals experienced less depression and less anxiety when they could be with their feelings of sadness or worry. Another study showed that being present with feelings, including difficult ones, leads to longer, healthier lives. And when it comes to physical pain, recent brain research has demonstrated that feeling feelings can help those with chronic physical pain. Being present with feelings can ease that pain.
Here’s my take home message: Feeling feelings, rather than resisting or denying them, can move us from dis-ease to ease, to that place of peace where healing happens. What we resist persists. Being with what is, is how we shift what is.
Based on the book Beyond Medicine. © 2022 by Dr. Patricia Muehsam. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com
Patricia A. Muehsam, MD, a pioneer in the synthesis of science, holistic health, and contemporary spirituality, has distinguished herself as a practitioner, educator, and research scientist and has been an influential force in shaping the landscape of health-care options available today. She is the founder of Transformational Medicine™, a whole person approach to health and well-being. www.transformationalmedicine.org