Food for Thought––Nutrition for Mindfulness
by Juliette Jones
It’s obvious that our thoughts influence our quality of life. Yet the extent to which we spend time observing, reflecting upon and cultivating the powers of thought-energy is frequently drowned out by the hubble-bubble of daily life.
We all know what thoughts are, but they’re not so easy to define. Sometimes they appear out of nowhere. Sometimes we bring them to the fore as we perform analyses or focus on external event. Sometimes they arise from an emotion, memory, influence or dream.
From a neuroscientific point of view, thoughts are seen as the product of brain function. But other researchers think differently. Spiritual philosopher Ernest Holmes believed that “thoughts are things.” Other notables from Plato to Thomas Edison believed that ideas and thoughts arise from ethereal dimensions or an omnipresent consciousness undetectable to material interpretation. Clearly, all great minds do not think alike.
Thought refers to ideas or arrangements of ideas that are the result of the
process of thinking. Though thinking is an activity considered essential
to humanity, there is no consensus of how we define or understand it.
What is thought? Is it exclusive to the brain?
Currently, there are a number of theories circulating on the subject of thought. One explanation posits it as part of the material world as “physical patterns of electricity generated by the neurons in our brains,” or that other parts of the body can reflect or generate memories. For example, organ transplant research indicates the heart could be a seat of memory and even deeper reaches of thought.
Back in 1988, a woman named Claire Sylvia, whom I once met at a C.G. Jung Society workshop, had received a heart-lung transplant. Medical policy dictated the specific identity of donors must be strictly concealed from recipients for psychological reasons, and Claire knew only that her donor was an 18-year-old youth who had died in a motorcycle accident.
Soon after surgery, she found that she had acquired a taste for beer and chicken nuggets and later, green peppers––none of which had previously been to her liking. Eventually she had a series of recurring dreams in which she met a young man named Tim L. whom she intuited as the person who had been her organ donor.
She felt impelled to search for his family, and through a chance meeting was able to undertake research that led her to the family of Tim Lamirande who was confirmed as the donor of the heart she had received. Tim’s family established evidence of his strong penchant for beer, chicken nuggets and green peppers. This compelling story is recorded in Claire’s book, Change of Heart.
Not all heart transplant patients undergo personality changes, but in the years that have elapsed since Claire Sylvia’s heart transplant, many spellbinding examples of consciousness transference have emerged. In any case, there is a physical and formless side to everything.
On the leading edge of science and spirituality, a growing consensus is forming. Previously, science has postulated four fundamental forces of nature––namely gravity, and electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force––but now another force called consciousness is also given strong consideration. Perhaps, we should we think of it as Consciousness with a capital “c.” In the words of Max Planck, father of quantum physics, “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force…We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”
What is the most important part of your health care?
If mind is the matrix upon which matter abides, we must consider the entire body has intelligence. Indeed, it does––on the deepest of levels. What is it that beats our hearts, controls our autonomic processes and heals diseases?
Physician Lissa Rankin shares the following thoughts: “What if I told you that caring for your body is the least important part of your health? What if the body is a mirror for how we live our lives? What if you are in the wrong relationship, religion or job? You start getting little symptoms because the body speaks to us in whispers. What happens when we ignore the whispers?”
She goes on to elaborate that we are living in an epidemic of being disconnected from who we are, and that modern mainstream medicine doesn’t know how to address this. When we are disconnected from what we are, we become spiritually bankrupt, caught up in societal roles and disconnected from the deep self. The root cause of disease is not outside the self. We must learn to look within, find the Inner Wisdom Self, and become clear on what really nurtures the body and vitalizes our lives.
Most of us, including many mainstream physicians have a limited idea of the vast power of the Inner Wise Self to diagnose and heal the body. This is not to suggest that nutrition, proper supplementation, exercise, visits to your doctor or practitioner are unnecessary or unhelpful––far from it. The mind-body connection is interdependent.
Earlier this year, an association of healthcare practitioners from multiple disciplines inclusive of Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage and Physical Therapy, founded the Natural Healthcare Forum here in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Collectively, they ask the question, “Can you imagine that your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself?” Their mission is to promote awareness of natural care remedies and common sense. I asked some of the Natural Healthcare Forum founding members to give me “food for thought” on the subject of health and healing:
“As an acupuncture physician and applied clinical nutritionist, I get the opportunity to observe how stress and how we deal with it affects our bodies in many ways. Mind, body and spirit medicine is not only the most effective. It is also ultimately the fastest healing path available.”
––Cynthia Clark, AP, ACN
“Our bodies are physical manifestations of our thoughts and words. Energy flows where attention goes.”
––Tiffany Fradley, LMT
“One of the beautiful features of Oriental Medicine is that historically, this discipline did not separate a human into components. The OM physician directs attention to the physiological as well as the psychological details of each patient.”
––Carol Wentz Randaci, DOM, AP
“Just as actual food is nourishment for the physical body, thought is food for the mind, emotions and spirit…With practice, you can learn to choose thoughts that hold a high frequency vibration that creates vibrant health in the body.”
––Jacqueline Rikker, LMT, CST
“As a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I work backwards to help you discover the core belief that may be driving your behavior, creating your ‘disease’ and holding you back. Then, we work to clear it together.”
––Beth Snyder, CCHT
On January 23, 6 p.m., the Natural Healthcare Forum will discuss prevention and natural treatment of arthritis at the Selby Library Auditorium, and you are invited!