Your thoughts, your body, your health.

In writing the new workshop (see 'The Director') I wanted to do a section on how our thoughts more profoundly influence our reality than we are aware of or appreciate on a day to day basis. There is so much exciting scientific research going on at the moment, the results of which are so affirming the importance of how and what we think, that it's hard to know where to start. One scientist at the forefront of this kind of research is the biologist Bruce Lipton and I have found myself drawing on his work to make the point of how important the way we think is in regards to our health - if nothing else. I recommend you visit his website and read his book 'The Biology of Belief'. In the meantime, below is an adaptation of the draft text from this section of the workshop: At the biological level, what is it that you understand that controls life? It was Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick who suggested that genes are both the blueprint for the body’s proteins and that DNA controls its own replication. However, it seems to be turning out that while the first part of Crick’s suggestion; that the genes are the blueprint for the body’s proteins, is correct, the second part; that DNA controls its own replication, is not. Put another way, it has long been held - and taught in schools - that the gene is both the plan for and the engineer, through replication, of the structure and behaviour of living things. This is the way we think about the generation of our bodies and our health - that ultimately they are controlled by the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid - and there’s very little to be done about it, unless you are a genetic engineer. The thing is, DNA resides in the nucleus of the cell. Hence the nucleus has been regarded as the ‘brain’ of the cell. The place where all orders are given from as to how the cell should behave. And seeing as we are completely made up of cells it’s easy to see how a rather fatalistic notion of how life conducts itself should have come to be so pervasive. Bruce Lipton began his scientific career as a cell biologist. He received his Ph.D. Degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville before joining the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine in 1973. In 1982, Dr. Lipton began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might be integrated into his understanding of the cell’s information processing systems. One study (not conducted by him) seems to have inspired him more than any other to do research that aimed to re-asses the relationship of the nucleus to the cell and how the processes that govern the functioning of the cell originate and propagate. In this study it was found that, contrary to expectations, if a cell has the nucleus removed - along with all its genes - the cell will continue functioning for as long as a month. On the other hand, if the cell MEMBRANE is so much as damaged, the cell will immediately become dysfunctional and die very quickly. Consequently, his research between 1987 and 1992, revealed that it is the ENVIRONMENT, operating though the MEMBRANE, that controls the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off. So far so good. For example, when part of the brain senses stress it initiates a complex signal cascade that directs the body’s cells to launch a protection response, particularly through a stress hormone called cortisol. The typical liver cell has receptors on its membrane that bind to cortisol. When it does this, the membrane sends information to the genes inside the nucleus of the cell to shut down their ability to break down a form of sugar called glycogen. The genes stop doing this, and extra sugar is released into the blood. That sugar is used as energy to counter the stress. But the breakthrough that Dr. Lipton made was in linking our THOUGHTS - not just our senses - through to the behaviour of our genes. When you have a thought, your mind sends out signals, in the form of growth factors, hormones, or other chemicals. Thoughts can also initiate rapid oscillations of nerve cells in unison, which creates a kind of field effect that influences other cells and neurons almost instantaneously. Now, what’s interesting, and what Lipton found out in his research at Stanford, is that your brain can veto what’s going on in other places in your body. The signals sent out by your central nervous system actually override the function of cell membrane receptors that are responding to signals in their immediate environment. That means the brain can ultimately control the activity of tissues and organs. Bruce Lipton believes that the most powerful information processing by the brain is in the domain of the subconscious and that it can shape tissue responses. These signals can actually influence the membrane to engage selected genes that then actively respond. At the moment biology textbooks and mass media still describe the body and its component cells as machines made of biochemical building blocks. So we can be forgiven if we have it a a fundamental (and ultimately limiting) belief that our lives are subject to the independent workings of our selfish genes. In Bruce Lipton’s own words:
“This perception has programmed the general public to accept the belief in genetic determinism, which is the notion that genes control physical and behavioral traits. This sad interpretation is that our fate is inextricably linked to ancestral characteristics determined by genetic blueprints derived from our parents and their parents and their parent’s parents, ad infinitum. This causes people to believe that they are victims of heredity. “Fortunately, the Human Genome Project (HGP) has pulled the rug out from under conventional science’s beliefs concerning genetic control. This is ironic because it set out to prove the opposite. According to conventional belief, the complexity of a human should require vastly more genes than are found in a simple organism. Surprisingly, the HGP discovered that humans have nearly the same number of genes as lowly animals, a finding that inadvertently reveals a fundamental myth-perception underlying genetic determinism. Science’s pet dogma has long outlived its usefulness and needs to be mercifully put to sleep.”
So, if genes do not control life … what does? The answer is: we do! Evolving new-edge science reveals that our power to control our lives originates from our minds and is not preprogrammed in our genes. This is great news. Science itself is telling us that the power for change is within us! However, to activate the amazing power of mind over genes we must reconsider our fundamental beliefs - our perceptions and misperceptions - of life. The message is, next time you look in the mirror, try not to see the body before you as a singular, individual entity. Try instead to appreciate what you truly are: a community of 50 trillion cells. While this number is easy to say, it is almost unfathomable. The total number of cells in a human body is greater than the total number of humans on 7,000 Earths! Just consider that nearly every cell in your body has all of the functions present in the entire human body, which means that every cell has its own nervous, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and even immune systems. Because these cells represent the equivalent of a miniature human being, conversely, every human is the equivalent of a colossal cell! Or think of your mind as a director of a mega blockbuster show with the ability to coordinate and integrate the functions of the body’s massive and varied cellular cast of trillions!. In the same manner that decisions by a theatre director regulate its performers, our mind shapes the character of our cellular community. As Dr. Lipton says:
“Insights into the nature of the mind, how it influences us, and where it lives, offer an opportunity for us to fully realize our true powers. An awareness of this knowledge allows us to actively participate in the unfolding of our individual lives as well as contribute to the evolution of our collective world.”
‘The Director’: a brand new workshop for the New Year.

‘The Director’: a brand new workshop for the New Year.

At the moment I am giving as much time as I can to developing a new workshop to be ready early in 2010. I will be releasing more details as the workshop takes shape but in short, my wife Sharon and I will be using our combined 40 years experience as professional actors to make the theatre a powerful metaphor for life - giving you the tools to make the Law of Attraction work for you and transform the way your show goes. For the moment, here's a little teaser:

The Director

Your life; your theatre. You get to say how it goes.

A 2 day programme creating a new future for your life.

"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players."

So wrote William Shakespeare in Act 2 scene 5 of 'As You Like It'. But do you ever wonder if you are playing your role to the full? There is such a thing as 'The Actor's Nightmare'. In this nightmare you get to spend the whole night searching for a script that you never find knowing all the while that you are due for your entrance onto the stage any second - and you've completely forgotten your lines. Does life ever feel a little like that? Have you forgotten your lines? Does it feel like you never quite make it to the stage? My wife Sharon (TheCoachingPractice.com) and I were professional actors for many years, playing a huge variety of roles to thousands of people in theatres all over the country including the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In an intensive two-day programme we will bring all our training and experience to bear and create a unique window into the workings of your life using the theatre as an analogy of life. In Shakespeare's own words from Hamlet, the purpose of the theatre ...
" ... was and is to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature - to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure."
Sharon and I will hold the mirror up to your life - and if your make-up has been laid on a bit heavy, if you've been wearing the wrong costume or even if it turns out you've been over-acting somewhat, we will help you to recognise and be your authentic self so you can be the star in your own life. If you've ever felt you're stuck in Act 2 of your life - Act 1 is in the past - and you're wondering when Act 3 is going to show up we'll show you that you have been mistaking Act 3 for a re-run of Act 1. We'll show you that Act 3 has got nothing to do with Act 1 and not only that, but you also get to write and direct Act 3. You will get that 'being' not pretending is the key to a great and memorable performance - both on stage and in life. You will be left with a clear sense of purpose and role in life and the confidence and authority to play it to the full. In short, you will discover that 'You are the one you've been waiting for'. TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAMME WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, PLEASE CONTACT ME
I, Actor …

I, Actor …

In the world of personal development we are told of the distinction between the ego and the observer, the true self. How would it be, if rather than identifying with the actor at the centre and source of the drama, we identified with the audience? We could enjoy the performance - even get quite carried away by it from time to time. But in the end, we would see quite clearly that none of it is real. It's all made up. Airy nothing. Actors are very clever - but it's so about THEM, isn't it? (I used to be one).
Taking a Look …

Taking a Look …

I used to have it that I was pretty agnostic. In other words, I was pretty sure I didn't believe in much. I could see that people choose to believe pretty well what they choose to believe - however crazy those beliefs may occur to others. However, what was hidden from my sight (and of course now seems bleedingly obvious!) was the number of beliefs I was holding about myself. And guess what? They WEREN'T ALL POSITIVE! Now, if you've been paying any attention at all to what the majority of self-help gurus have been telling us, you will understand that life comes at you through a kind of combined searchlight/filter made up of your beliefs about yourself and the world about you. I seem to be banging on about this myself quite a lot already. But the point is, I knew this stuff. I had understood that that idea made complete sense. How was it, that even when I understood that idea and even made up new beliefs to view the world through, it didn't make a whole heap of difference? Not in a lasting way, anyway. What I couldn't see was that I was trying to plaster "icing on mud" to pinch an analogy. I hadn't really looked to see what negative beliefs I already held about myself might be getting in the way. Negative beliefs are so habitual that they occur as 'just the way things are' - they don't attract our attention - they don't scream out (as they should do) to be questioned, to be challenged, to be vanquished. And that, in itself, is the challenge - to be honest enough with ourselves to have a look; to be open to the idea that something we made up, a fiction, may be running us rather than our free will. I challenge you to look. If you truly do, you will be shocked. I guarantee it. I was - and I continue to be ...
Wrong or right?

Wrong or right?

Here's a question to ask yourself - no, REALLY ask: "Do I believe things are always going wrong for me or always going right?" He answer will give you a clue as to why you experiencing life the way you are right now! Remember, believing either of those is a choice ...