Persuading the body is about winning the heart of matter. Mind over matter is not simply about imposing the power of the mind on the body, although that is a legitimate interpretation. Another way that the mind is able to manipulate matter according to its will is through the power of persuasion. As explored in the previous handout the body (matter) responds to the ‘evidence’ of our actions, ultimately that’s what it understands and respects. So if we start making our intentions visible in our actions, the mind will no longer be fighting an on-going battle with matter. By understanding how matter responds and applying your will in a different way, you can win its cooperation without intense labour. This is not to be mistaken as an easy option because it still requires structure, application and discipline.
Once the relationship between mind and body is better understood (see handouts Metaphysics 1 & 2, Mind-Body Medicine, P.N.I. 1 & 2) it becomes clear that to win the trust and respect of matter is an approach well worth pursuing as it offers a life of greater harmony and contentment. The constant battling with one’s mind to fulfill one’s dreams is energy-sapping and time consuming and bears meagre fruits. Therefore, doesn’t it make more sense to work with the mechanics of matter (the laws of nature) to engineer our heart’s desires?…
We need to understand that our bodies do not have consciousness (the power to think and decide their own destiny) but they do have a form of intelligence. Remember, the way that this intelligence works is to simply record the evidence of our experience and that experience influences how the cells, tissues, organs etc. in our bodies behave.
The main storage area for experience is the brain, unquestionably the most sophisticated part of our bodies. Advancements in science have enabled us to understand how stress, anxiety and trauma leave powerful impressions on the right hemisphere of the brain (the side associated with emotional experiences). However, the impact is not limited to that area alone, we also know the frontal lobes (which are responsible for thinking and speaking) are also impaired and the amygdala (also bound up with our instinctive emotional responses) is thrown into disarray.
Once the brain absorbs our inconsistencies it’s overwhelming influence on the rest of the organism begins and the cycle of biological and psychological dysfunction is set in motion. The gut is known as the ‘second brain’ because all the emotional material that our brains process generates electro-chemical responses in this sensitive area. These responses go on to affect how the body behaves and ultimately the biological consequences will impact on our psychological position (moods, attitudes and perceptions).
So by winning the heart of matter that which may have seemed beyond your grasp can be attained simply by respecting the power of your body. Remember the body is not persuaded by the promise of your intentions but by the reality of your actions. So, start today by making pledges you can keep. Start with small realistic goals. Gather around you as many positive habits as you can and with practice, consistency and heart-felt resolve the green shoots of self-respect and self-worth will emerge.
You are not going to achieve all you want immediately but with practice, patience and perseverance miracles will unfold (see handouts Focusing With Faith, & Miracles Are Made). Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, so try not to see your endeavours as a set of chores to be endured. Understanding that the body will work with you when you have laid down consistent patterns offers you the gift of positive change. This gentle, patient, persuasive approach will, if you become consistent, win you matter’s heart, which in turn will heal your own.