Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankfulness - Heart Medicine

As Thanksgiving approaches it is a time to remember our loved ones and all that we are thankful for.  Today, it's easy to be wrapped up in the neurosis of being everything; mother, daughter, friend, spouse, sister, employee, baker, maid....etc.  All of the things that we try to be in one day, everyday.  It's enough to make us anxious and fearful all the time.

Did you know... you cannot be in a state of appreciation and a state of fear at the same time? In the book "What Happy People Know" author Dan Baker writes "During active appreciation, the threatening messages from your amygdala (fear center of the brain) and the anxious instincts of your brainstem are cut off, suddenly and surely, from access to your brain's neocortex, where they can fester, replicate themselves and turn your stream of thoughts into a cold river of dread.  It is a fact of neurology that the brain cannot be in a state of appreciation and a state of fear at the same time. The two states may alternate, but are mutually exclusive."

This means that being in a practice of mindful gratitude is heart medicine for all of us.  The more we count our blessings and stay in a state of thankfulness, we cut off fear and anxiety and teach our bodies to remain in a state of grace.  So when you are fearful or anxious, turn your mind immediately to your blessings and what is good in your life.  Teach your mind to choose joy, and that is what you will feel.

"This, then is the full satisfaction of souls, this is the happy life: to recognize piously and completely the one through whom you are led into the truth, the nature of the truth you enjoy and the bond that connects you with the supreme measure."
                                                                                          ~St. Augustine

Happy Thanksgiving.