To lead into his role as one of our experts for Fertility Journeys 2014, Russell has kindly written us a New Year piece which takes a look at the power of the mind.
I want you to read the following for a feeling, not for intellectual understanding. Listen for a feeling.
Our mind is far more powerful than we realise. It has the ability to create our experience of life moment to moment and it also has the ability to affect our biology for better or worse.
Our mind and body are not connected – they are one system, and epigenetics is demonstrating how our thinking can affect our biology down to DNA level. I have clients who couldn’t ovulate, but then do when they let go of unhelpful beliefs and feelings. My partner and I conceived naturally when we were told ICSI was our only hope after I let go of the belief that I don’t deserve good things and left a job that I wasn’t enjoying to pursue a career that would allow me to be free to be ‘me’.
As well as controlling all our bodily functions our mind creates how we feel in any given moment. Our feelings are not dictated by circumstances but by what we think about the circumstances. Our thinking tells us stories about the future perhaps based on past experience. Thinking creates an illusion of life that is so believable we believe it.
In the same way an alcoholic’s thinking tells them the next drink is going to make them happy we fall for the stories our thinking tells us. When we worry about something we are caught in our thinking which is telling us what is or isn’t going to happen. This thing is, nothing can predict the future, not even our thinking.
We think we need our thinking to make the best decisions in life, to be safe, to be happy. The truth is our thinking is not a good guidance mechanism to life. Our thinking tells us our feelings are created by external circumstances, such as ‘This person makes me feel X’, or ‘My job is stressful’.
Nothing has the power to make us feel anything.
We live in the experience of our thinking. And thinking changes moment to moment, which is why one moment you can be feeling hopeful and positive about your fertility and then moments later, despair and hopelessness.
Thinking can be like a brass band in our head. When we begin to recognise thought is not truth, it is just a story we don’t need to believe, we can tune out of our thinking and what we are left with is our instinct and inner wisdom which is like a still soft flute. It’s always there, it never goes away – it is just sometimes drowned out by the brass band to thought.
This place of instinct and intuition is a place of innate wellbeing. We’re born in this place – it’s our default emotional setting. We were born
a complete sense of wellbeing, living in the moment. It is only as we get older and we get caught more in our thinking, worrying what people think about us, thinking that we are not good enough, or whatever the stories we pick up are. We start looking for wellbeing in external circumstances and lose sight of the fact we have complete peace of mind within us.
I call this a place of peace without giving up. At first many of my clients don’t believe it exists – I didn’t. My wife found this place before me. She didn’t want to accept the present moment as she thought it meant giving up. It means you can continue your journey without a sense of desperation, without the stress and agony. You can find a place of peace within and you can continue your journey knowing you’re okay whatever happens. It is only your thinking that tells you otherwise.
Remember nothing can predict the future, not even your thinking. You can’t stop thinking.You can’t stop thoughts coming to your mind. Like being at a Yo Sushi bar you cannot chose which dish comes along next, but you can choose whether to take it on board or not. We all have stories in our heads but we don’t have to believe them. Tune in to your body, your inner wisdom – that is a much better guidance mechanism to life.