Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Energy of Gratitude

In reading, "You Are The Placebo" by Dr. Joe Dispenza and listening to an NPR interview with Mitchell May, the themes of gratitude emerged. They talk about the energy of gratitude and how that energy can be harnessed for healing.

From "You Are The Placebo", p. 135:
"On the other hand, emotions like gratitude and appreciation open your heart and lift the energy in your body to a new place - out of the lower hormonal centers. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions for increasing your level of suggestibility. It teaches your body emotionally that the event you're grateful for has already happened because we usually give thanks after a desirable event has occurred.
If you bring up the emotion of gratitude before the actual event, your body (as the unconscious mind) will begin to believe that the future event has already happened - or it is happening to you in the present moment. Gratitude, therefore is the ultimate state of receivership."

Dispenza goes on to list the elevated emotions that move us out of a survival mode to creative emotions:

These are the emotions that fuel us and propel us forward in our life's journey, our life's work.

Mitchell May offers that when one offers gratitude, whether to nature or another person, we are healed in so many ways and life responds. We become open to what is possible. May is quick to point out that we don't know the future and don't know what the outcome of any healing might be but suggests that we stay open to possibility and allow our bodies the freedom to allow the creative adaptations to occur.

For decades I lived in survival mode that got jump started when I contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5. I had to fight for my life and I had to fight to learn how to walk again. From the age of 8 years old until I was 17 years old, I lived in the battlefield of an alcoholic father, a drug addicted mother and a psychotic grandmother but I always held onto hope and was blessed with angels seen and unseen to see me through.

In December 2006, survival mode no longer worked for me and as my body shut down, my Spirit and my heart could open and breathe. The first thing I learned from Dr. Bernie Siegel was the importance of gratitude; being thankful for all that happened to me and for me and to find the blessings and the gifts wrapped up inside the challenges. A wellspring of poetry poured forth bypassing all of the appearances of being in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at times for mobility and facing a scary and uncertain future according to the Western medicine physicians and therapists. I gave thanks for the healing that I believed in every fiber of my being was happening within me. I visualized and meditated on the outcome I wanted and felt my heart open and my Spirit blossom as I realized that I am free. I couldn't choose what happened to me but I am certainly free to choose my response to what happened to me.

Recently, the tapestry of my life has become even more vibrant and beautiful overflowing with people I never would have met had I not lived through each and every one of my experiences. With at least a daily and often times more than daily practice of gratitude, allowing the energy of gratitude to flow through me for the blessings and opportunities that have sprung forth out of all of my trials and tribulations, I continue to heal on deeper and deeper levels.

The last four lines of "Running the Race," the poem I wrote in February of 2007 as I sat in a leg brace, using a wheelchair at times for mobility and not knowing what my future held...if I had a future ... were:
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
so much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.

The energy of gratitude ... we are healed in so many ways ... and life responds!

Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....

My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.

When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.

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