The greatest threat to our health is toxicity (see: The Secret of Health is the Removal of Waste). The body, in doing its wonderful job of keeping us alive, produces a colossal 30 billion cells of waste each day, which have to be removed. If the pathways of elimination become clogged, which to some extent will be the case for most of us, then a range of symptoms/diseases line up at our door. These can be as seemingly innocent as headaches and aches and pains, which are often the first signs of toxicity and can reach the disabling heights of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other life threatening conditions.
For those of you who are familiar with this site and our work, it will come as no surprise that we are passionate about holism and integration. In fact our slogan is SYNERGY IS THE ANSWER. The answers to our dilemmas and dysfunctions are rarely found in one place (see: Story of Health). This is why we place such emphasis on mind, body, spirit and environment all being seated at the same table at the same time. Each one needs to be understood and respected and from there a plan of action that addresses the idiosyncracies of each one is required. If we are to transcend toxicity then we need to do so in all four areas. What does this mean?
For the spirit this means finding a life of meaning and purpose and removing those things that are an obstacle to your endeavours. A spiritual life does not necessarily mean a religious life, although for some it may well do. The context in which spirit is being used here is a life of contemplation, reflection, a life that reveres periods of silence, that is quietly determined and focused on making one’s existence count. Anything that is denying you that opportunity, that is blocking your way, would be considered toxic and in order to fulfill your potential and purpose you would need to find ways to remove those obstacles. It is important to understand that a life that has a spiritual river flowing through its centre nourishes every part of your being. The latest research coming out of universities across the world clearly shows that a life of prayer, meditation, positive intention and altruism enhances human health. (Oxman, Thomas, et al. 1995, Psychosomatic Medicine and Powell, L.H., Shahabi, L., Thoresen, C. E. 2003, American Psychologist and Astin, J. A., et al. 2000, Annals of Internal Medicine).
“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” Buddha (562-483 B.C.) The mind is like a fertile field, awaiting the seeds of new ideas, ready with the richness of its nutrients to propagate those seeds and bring forth abundant possibilities in which we can find peace, joy, pleasure and fulfillment. In every seed there is a forest waiting to be created, all we need do is remove the obstacles to that enormous potential.
Transcending toxicity in the mind begins by understanding you are what you think you are. The general consensus in the psychological community is that we have around 60,000 thoughts per day and 95% of those thoughts are repeated thoughts. In other words they are the same thoughts you had yesterday, last year and if nothing has fundamentally changed, they’ll be the same thoughts you had ten years ago! If you don’t exploit the opportunity that free will offers each one of us, and exercise the power of choice, you will carry these thoughts to your grave. This would be fine if these were thoughts we had chosen to have, but for the most part these are thoughts that we have inherited. They are part of our upbringing and social conditioning so may well reflect our views and beliefs but there are just as many that hold us hostage to ideas and ideals that do not reflect the values of our hearts. So, only 5% of our thoughts each day are new. These thoughts offer us the opportunity to escape negative tendencies and unwanted influences from the past. However, we need to take up the mantle of responsibility and use the creative energy harnessed within these thoughts. Remember there is a forest waiting to express itself in the seed of every thought!
Fill your mind with kind, compassionate thoughts….. Fill your mind with heartfelt appreciation and gratitude.……Fill your mind with thoughts of peace and with the desire that all life finds peace….Fill your mind with good intentions and altruistic thoughts…. Fill your mind with love and acceptance, with joy and laughter and you will find that your mind will easily and naturally transcend the toxic waste dump of old patterns, habits and outdated ideas.
“The predominant thought or the mental attitude is the magnet, and the law is that like attracts like, consequently, the mental attitude will invariably attract such conditions as correspond to its nature”
Charles Haanel (1866-1949)
If you find your health precariously perched on the ledge of dysfunction or disease you will almost certainly have reached a point where your body is unable to endure the toxic burden that will have accumulated over many years. There are very few things that turn up in the body that are the consequence of yesterday or last week. In fact, most things have taken weeks, months and years before they manifest in a disease form in the body. At that point often drastic action is needed because the body is sending out the signal of red alert. What it is asking of us is to clear the pathways of elimination – colon, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, skin, lungs etc. All conditions will benefit from a protocol of detoxification but this should be done under supervision and guidance.
Just mindlessly going about the job of cleansing the body does not always lead to good outcomes because we can inadvertently dump toxicity out of one organ or tissues into another organ or system. For example, if the colon is not clear and one starts detoxifying the liver, then given that everything ultimately is dumped into the colon for evacuation, one simply creates a bigger problem in the colon by clearing the liver first. This leads to endotoxicity or toxaemia i.e. the re-absorption of one’s own waste. So although it is imperative for health that the body is kept clean, it’s important to go about the job of cleansing in a way that respects the body’s ecology.
The ideal place to start a detoxification programme is with the colon. This is the primary pathway of elimination. Once the colon is clear, cleansing the liver becomes the next logical choice. The liver is the largest gland in the body and is in charge of processing, converting, distributing and maintaining the body’s vital fuel supply. The liver is a genius and busies itself trying to lower our toxic load. Once we have cleaned the liver we can then clean the lymphatic system, followed by the kidneys.
There are a variety of ways to clean these organs and systems and we would recommend consulting a good naturopath or holistic practitioner who understands the mind-body relationship and how the disease process unfolds.
Amongst the options worth considering are colonic hydrotherapy, the liver and gallbladder cleanse, the use of phytotherapy and herbs which is a more gentle approach, ayurvedic massage, lymphatic drainage, epsom salt baths, aqua detox and specialist diets…. just to name a few. So busy yourself formulating a programme that will set your body free. Promise yourself you will no longer be a slave to your past mistakes. The biological wonder that is our body is ready to change. We have a set of genes known as the immediate experience genes (IEGs). Their function is to trigger the activation of other genes and they can do that in one to two seconds! They mediate between the environment and the body’s neurochemical processes. The work that has been done around IEGs is extensive and is helping us to understand that positive change is always within our grasp. See the work of Gary Marcus Ph.D., author of The Birth of the Mind and Hans Selye, the originator of the concept of stress. Also see Gary Marcus’s work, Making the Mind: Why we’ve misunderstood the nature-nurture debate.
Environment is a huge topic and for most of you it begins with looking outside. But if you are to truly transcend toxicity, you need to understand the different layers that constitute the environment. Our first environment is our thoughts. The most intimate relationship you will ever have is with your own mind. The thoughts and feelings that it produces literally course through your veins, in the form of neuropeptides, which in turn affect not only brain function but all other functions within the body (see the work of Bruce Lipton Ph.D., The Biology of Belief, Dawson Church PhD., The Genie in Your Genes and Candace Pert Ph.D., Molecules of Emotion).
The second environment that you need to be aware of is that of the food that you eat. Once food enters the mouth within anything from minutes to hours it is carrying its nutritional benefit or toxic consequence into every area of the body. Food doesn’t only affect your bodily organs and systems, it also affects your mind. Hippocrates, considered to be the Father of medicine, said “You are what you eat” but the cutting edge science of the 21st century has helped us to understand that you are what you absorb from what you eat!
The next layer of environmental consequence is found in the arena of your relationships. These are either enhancing the quality of your life or diminishing it. Relationships are either authenticating you, i.e. enhancing your beauty, or leading you down the path of denial, pretence and falsehood. So many illnesses are conceived out of the stress and demand of unhealthy relationships. The increased cortisol and adrenalin that the body produces in these circumstances perpetuates a negative cycle of biochemically-driven low mood and in some cases depression.
Our planet is the environment that most of you will have been thinking about on hearing the heading and there is no doubt if we continue on our present path of denial and ignorance we will have no planet to speak of. What is the point of trying to create healthy minds and bodies if there’s no environment in which to express our creative forces and potential? We are in danger of becoming so consumed by ‘me’ that we forget the importance of ‘we’. Although all these different layers of environment are vital and precious, it is imperative that we stop poisoning our planet. Otherwise our personal development will be in vain. So not only do we need to create a sanctuary in our homes that supports our personal improvement, we need to find ways to help our planet become a sanctuary for us all.
Removing toxicity from our lives is not a task to be taken lightly. It’s a serious endeavour and has many levels and layers. We hope you won’t be daunted by the demands and responsibilities of this position because if we all take small steps towards cleaning up our acts in all four areas we will collectively create a better space for ourselves and each other. It’s time to make a plan for positive change. Step away from apathy and stop making excuses. Your future is in your hands.
‘As human beings our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.’
Mahatma Ghandi. (1869-1948).
Also see: The Work of: Joan Borysenko Ph.D