At times the mind can be our worst enemy even on our best day. The perpetual madness that lurks in our brain, some call the monkey mind, hinders us from being in the moment and living our lives to the fullest. We tend to fixate our thoughts on past events along with the instant transition of concerns on what the future may hold.
The New York Times best selling author, Elkhart Tolle, describes our never ending thinking as the ego or the pain body. Believe it or not, we are addicted to the ego along with the pain that tags along with it on a subconscious level. These thoughts that constantly pops up in our brain is a form of identity seeking. In Elkhart Tolles book, The Power Of Now, he characterizes this identity seeking as our way of discovering relevance in ourselves from the rest of the world; as if our problems covertly makes us special.
I was reading an article the other day on a woman named Anna Willems, who was a manager of a psychiatric institution in Amsterdam who’s profits annually totaled two million Euros a year. The write up starts off with her catching up on her professional studies for her job. As Anna skimmed through the pages of a journal article, she had a hard time engaging in what she was reading because of her constant thinking. As her mind unceasingly began to drift off into oblivion, she began to wonder about her husband’s whereabouts. Anna asked her two children if they’ve seen him; without exception they exclaimed that he hugged them earlier that morning but have not seen him since. She tried to call him on his cellphone yet she did not get any response.
Curiosity fused with anxiety brewed through Anna’s head until she heard a knock at the door. When she opened the door, her heart sank. She immediately knew that something was wrong as she stared down two police officers on her front porch. While welcoming the officers in, her body started to gradually freeze, preparing for the news she was about to receive. The police reluctantly told her that her husband jumped off the tallest building in the city. Anna and her children sat for moments in disbelief before Anna could gather her thoughts of what she just heard. Anna’s breath stopped and she uncontrollably gasped for air. Stress took over her as her neck stiffened, putting her body into survival mode. Fighting the pain that sunk into her gut, she tried her best to remain strong for her children as they sat next to her, mentally paralyzed from the officers news.
The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, however Anna felt frozen in time, reliving the day that her husband died every moment of her life. She didn’t realize that her body didn’t know the difference between the original event that caused her stress and the memory of the event. The chemistry in her brain became wired to thinking that she was living in the day of her husband’s death over and over. Her body experienced stress from the past around one hundred times a day.
As you can imagine, Anna’s life tumbled down hill as different emotions compiled within her. Consequently, Anna sensed pain, grief, shock, resentment, sorrow, hate, regret, fear, frustration, anxiety, worry, powerlessness, and betrayal. She felt worse everyday despite spending every waking moment in the past. Anna became identified with the pain that she felt and the people around her treated her as the person who lost her husband. She later found out that her husband committed suicide because of their personal finances. Even though he was a successful lawyer, he mentally hit rock bottom. She was stuck having to pay off the debt that he left behind, which she had no way of paying.
The downward spiral of negative thoughts entered her mind until she was lost in her cognitive dissonance. Anna constantly repeated to herself , “how could he leave me with all of this debt and raising these children on my own.” She then started thinking, “ Did I fail as a wife”? Her self talk affected her body even further to the point where she woke up paralyzed from the waist down. She was then diagnosed with throat cancer and tumors in her brain. When she figured that life couldn’t get any worse, her current boyfriend started being verbally abusive to her. After months of bills piling up resulted in her having to move her and her children with her abusive boyfriend. Anna’s perspective on her husband’s death converted to understanding. She had a negative outlook on life and she sensed clarity on why her husband committed suicide because she was beginning to feel the way he felt.
Anna’s doctor put her on numerous amounts of meds for her depression and anxiety. To top it all off she was given steroids to reduce the inflammation in her spine. Nevertheless, the pills that she was prescribed made her mind state repugnant. Anna desperately sought alternative methods to help her with the mental meltdowns she was experiencing. Like a light illuminating from the heavens unto the depths of Anna’s soul, she discovered a meditation practice taught by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Anna decided not to take any of her medications anymore with the attention to heal herself naturally. She also rented a house and moved away from her abusive boyfriend. Anna was determined to turn her life around for her and her children. No matter how much depression or physical pain she endured, she continued to meditate twice a day. Gaining passion for growing internally, she joined Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meetings and seminars on meditation. Anna learned how to meditate while doing everyday activities. She also learned to switch her negative thoughts into positive as soon as they entered her mind, which was a game changer for her.
After years of focused meditation, she began feeling better. Her whole aura was more optimistic than before the death of her husband. Anna suddenly began to walk without a wheelchair or walker. Her doctors did a check up on her and she received astonishing news. All of her cancer and tumors were gone. Life started to shine brighter for Anna after receiving a call from Dr. Dispenza. She was offered to tour around the world doing speeches on her reality with pushing through life after her darkest times. The money that she was granted was enough to get out of debt and to pay for her kids’ college. Anna accepted the offer. She continues to uplift others who are having a hard time in life to this day. Anna is a clear example of how our thoughts can be our villain or our hero.