Anybody who works with me knows I’m fascinated by the brain. By how it works, and how to train it. So it makes sense that I would eventually find the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Dr. Dispenza’s name popped up in my YouTube feed sometime in 2018, while my family was in the midst of some intense challenges. And I was instantly intrigued. For one thing, I’ve long been a fan of his colleague Gregg Braden‘s work at the crossroads of science and spirituality, and of his colleague Bruce Lipton’s important contributions to the new science of epigenetics.
Then I saw the title of Dr. Dispenza’s second book, You Are the Placebo. And boom! Lightning-strike. I had to get down into it and find out exactly what he’s up to.
Because I’ve always wondered why we humans have been so casual about the placebo effect. For example, check out this definition on merriam-webster.com:
1a. A usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder
1b. An inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (such as a drug)
2. Something tending to soothe
Really? A big piece of info is missing there. Because during drug trials in pharmaceutical research, a placebo always affects a statistically significant percentage of participants like an actual drug would. Again, and really think about this: the placebohas the effect on some folks that they expect the drug to have.
Whoa. Tell me that isn’t fascinating!
And what does it mean? And how can we humans harness whatever that’s about? Cut to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Ah, happiness. It’s one of life’s age-old holy grails, right?
The truth is, we often seek happiness like distant treasure we’re determined to find. Someday, somewhere, off in the hazy future, where the grass is greener and all our wishes and dreams have been fulfilled, then we’ll “be happy.”
But what do we really need to be happy?
When my oldest son went off to college, I realized that my dream for him was the capacity for happiness. Indeed, as I was letting go of my first little guy who had grown into a fine young man, nothing else I could want for him even came close. The truth is that I learned something about myself that day.
So today, what thoughts do you have as you consider these questions:
On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your capacity for happiness, without conditions? What will it take to move that needle? What, exactly, makes you happy? How can you live your life to fit that truth?
What’s first, the chicken, or the egg?
So what really comes first, my dears? Happiness, or the conditions we think we need to meet to have it? And a bit more truth-telling from me will take us deeper.
Indeed, my dears, are you ready to design your life?
To be an artist is to believe in life. — Henry Moore
These words of wisdom from sculptor Henry Moore made my night. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between creativity and health. About all the ways we creative types have to express ourselves in modern life. All the freedom we have to do so.
Though I’m not saying it’s easy. If so, would it, as Kurt Vonnegut said about practicing any art, make our souls grow?
Are you one of those folks who asks the honest question, Why bother to keep growing? Well, for starters, check out this bit of sung wisdom from Bob Dylan:
He [and she who is] not busy being born is busy dying. — Bob Dylan
In fact, “aging gracefully” is more doable now than ever. The days when young folks had all the fun are over. Days when they had all the freedom. Now it’s totally possible for us to have multiple phases of life that are in fact age-neutral.
Changing the game: from existing to growing
These days, people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s and 90s are living radically different lives from what was once the norm. And of course many still do act out beliefs that a certain age means it’s time to be tired. Unhealthy. Overweight. Maybe even done with real self-care.
But many, many others are focused on growing, still and always jamming away at their dreams and goals way past the old put ’em out to pasture days. They exercise, eat smart, and practice self-care strategies like examining unhelpful beliefs and exploring an empowering mindset toward truly changing the aging game.