Through the making of Love Bomb I landed on the simplicity that if we can live from Love, we will be better off, individually and collectively.
One of the easiest ways to access the concept of living love is through service. Service easily activates some of the best parts of us, the most loving parts. Another way I have found to access my most loving self is through the application of mind/body practices to create daily habits to help me choose love, first from within myself, and then through my actions.
One of the most successful tools that I have found is actually a set of audios that I wrote and recorded to help me embody the material in the book "The Rays of the Dawn" by Dr. Thurman Fleet called Breathe Love. I actually used the audios regularly while filming Love Bomb in Peru to help me to activate trust when I would get worried (especially during the deleted scenes we have on the DVD from when I actually lost my passport, money, phone, and credit cards!).
This is a guide to some mind/body concepts that I put together for help in understanding the principles in mind/body science behind these audios.
Mind/body science looks at the relationship of our mental and emotional states and how they affect our body, along with how we can apply this knowledge to direct change in our health and life.
We now know that we can "rewire" our mental strategies and therefore change some of the ways that we interact with the world while creating a positive affect on our health. Interestingly, the strategies to benefit the body with these systems also end up creating more compassionate, patient, and, loving people, while research shows that the more compassionate, generous, and grateful we are, the healthier we are.
I developed Breathe Love in order to put these ideas into practice.
Lets look at a few basic mind/body science principles:
"The mind is an intelligence that is located within every cell of the body." -Candace Pert
There are biochemicals of emotion, called neuropeptides released during emotional states. The relationship of these neuropeptides and how they interact with cells, and therefore gene expression, indicates that we have a mind-body, and that the mind is not separate from the body. Also, stagnancy in emotion and stagnancy of the body can produce a state in which we get frozen in a chemical "expectation" to keep feeding the same emotional states, or, put otherwise, emotional stories. The more positive the emotional stories we can tell, the better the chemistry produced will be for the body.
The goal of using Breathe Love as a tool to practice feeling positive emotions is to purposefully elicit the beneficial results of psychoneuroimmunology, so that the chemistry of the body is one that is loving and nutritious to the cells instead of toxic.
2. Neuroplasticity & Contemplative Neuroscience
Neuroplasticity shows that the brain is built to rebuild itself and that the intentional use of mental retraining strategies can create plastic changes in the brain changing our cognitive and emotional styles. The study of how the brain can be transformed through the engagement with purely mental practice is contemplative neuroscience.
Our mission with using Breathe Love regularly as a part of a mission to replace fear habits with love habits is to optimize the ability to rewire ourselves to new expressions. The process, in my experience, takes time, patience, and lots of repetition!
Our genes do not determine our body's function autonomously. The genes turn on as a relationship to our environment, including, our mental and emotional ones. As we change the chemical emotional environment within our body, we proactively affect the expression of genes in the body. Here is a short talk by Bruce Lipton, who discovered epigenetics and has gone on to explore some of the potential that it implies.
4. Applying Mind Body Science to Create Healing, Mind Body Medicine Research
I had the honor of meeting Dr. Herbert Benson, pioneer in Mind Body Medicine and the person who discovered the "relaxation response" at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Mass General Hospital several years ago when I first released Breathe Love.
Dr. Benson has been researching the effects of eliciting the relaxation response since the mid-seventies. This practice seems to elicit the benefits of all three of the mind/body ideas listed above: changing the emotions to create positive feedback for psychoneuroimmunology, rewiring the brain/body to think and expect more positive thoughts through optimizing neuroplasticity, and most recently, proving that you can use relaxation response to create positive changes in gene expression.
To Elicit the Relaxation Response Using Breathe Love:
1. Choose 2-3 tracks that add up to about 20 minutes.
2. As you hear the words, focus on them without trying to interpret them.
3. When your focus wanders, bring it back saying "oh well, that's okay."
4. Continue to focus on the words without trying to interpret them.
5. Do this for 20 minutes.
6. You can be seated or laying with eyes closed, or you can be active like running, walking, or hiking.
7. Be sure to be doing it with safe surroundings.
1. We can change the genes that express in our bodies.
Up-regulation and down-regulation of gene expression has now been proven using the relaxation response for creating positive health outcomes and through the science of epigenetics. We can use Breathe Love to elicit the relaxation response and benefit from this epigenetic outcome.
2. We can boost our immune systems with positive thinking.
Psychoneuroimmunology shows us the relationship of our immune system and our emotions. By using Breathe Love you can intentionally elicit positive emotions thereby getting the benefit of boosted immune function.
3. Our brains regenerate and rewire: we can create new realities for ourselves in emotion and health.
Neuroplasticity is now a fact. Every day we have the capacity to grow our brains in a new direction. With intentionally listening to positive suggestion you can direct your mind into constructive and loving mental habits.
In essence? If you want to be a Love Bomb to life, practicing a mind/body retraining technique should be in your tool box!
I love that the more research we have of this kind, the more faith we can continue to grow in our own healing capacities, and in the power of love itself. I know it has certainly helped me to literally "breathe love" at times where it would have been difficult to find that response in any other way.