5 ways to create more good for ourselves - #2 focus on our thoughts and especially on how we want to feel

Candace Pert was a neuroscientist (she passed away a few months ago) whose amazing career included two excellent books "Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel," with Deepak Chopra and "Everything You Need to Know to Feel Good".

In the early 90's while serving as the chief molecular biologist at the National Institutes of Health she made an amazing discovery that thoughts are real, physical things.

She found that every thought we have (and emotion it produces) has a unique neuropeptide associated with it. Our body produces that unique neuropeptide every time we think that particular thought and experience that particular emotion. These neuropeptides are amino acids produced by the hypothalamus (the control center) in our brain.

Every time we think a thought our hypothalamus translates the thought into billions of neuropeptides that are uniquely associated with the feeling we experience by that thought. Our bloodstream is just flooded with this stuff. 

These billions of neuropeptides join with our cells by inserting themselves into a special receptical in each cell's membrane - just like a key fitting into a lock.

Each neuropeptide receptacle on a cell's membrane is designed to fit just that one particular peptide and no other. So once that neuropeptide finds the right receptacle it gets absorbed into the cell (the cell that literally creates our physical body).

Dr. Pert discovered that over time our cells develop more and more unique receptacles based on the neuropeptides they are most frequently capturing. Our cells even begin to crave these familiar neuropeptides (the ones they have built those unique recepticals to receive). Our cells start telling our hypothalamus to produce these particular peptides because we have developed an actual physical need for them.

So, our cells are not craving stuff that feels good (meaning good thoughts and good emotions) - our cells are craving thoughts and emotions that are familiar.

This gives the need for us to "focus on the feelings we want to have" a whole other impetus. It also helps to explain how focusing on how we want to feel rather than focusing on what we want to get actually works.

(also the law of attraction which is much, much bigger than The Secret and operates more like a tuning fork with like attracting like)

Focusing on a goal always brings up resistant thoughts - Why aren't I there yet? Why don't I have that yet? Why does she have that and I don't? What if I don't get it? What if this never happens for me? This is the "what we resist persists" problem with attracting what we want.

Focusing on a goal also requires us to actually have a goal in the first place which means we have to know what we want which is the place we might get stuck because we often don't know what we want in the first place.

Luckily, we don't have to know what we want. We only have to know how we want to feel and all of us, every single one of us already knows that. We just have to get our hypothalamus to start creating the right neuropeptides and our cells to start producing the right keyholes!

Now our cells may have had decades creating all these keyholes for chaos and shame and fear and guilt and grief, but we can start building new keyholes today - right this minute. We can start focusing on how we want to feel (regardless of what is happening in our lives) today.

How might this work? Well, let's say we have a goal of making more money, but we can't really see how we can do this or what this would actually look like. So, we don't worry about that part (worry thoughts will just produce worry keyholes in our cells and we will literally become made of worry).

If we want to attract more money we think about the feelings that extra money would bring us which could be : safety or freedom or joy or peace or being loved or cherished or attention (which I've heard is the number one thing women want from men) or appreciation (which I've heard is the number one thing men want from women) or some other thing or all of these things.

We make a list of the emotions we want to feel.

(always write lists out by hand and use script since there is more energy in our physical makings and more fluid movement with script writing - I have heard some schools are no longer teaching script - maybe they have forgotten we all need to be able to sign our names and our unique signatures come from writing script letters a hundred, gazillion times)

We spend time each day with this list feeling each emotion. 

We think about things we have experienced before or we just make stuff up - our body doesn't know the difference. We just feel what it feels like to be secure - to have enough money that we can take care of everything we need to take care of easily. We feel what it feels like to be happy and joyful. We dance around our studios and bedrooms and kitchens. We breathe deeply from our bellies with this stuff.

We also notice when we feel these emotions throughout the day (and we will start feeling them more and more) and we savor them.We don't wait for something to happen to feel a good emotion, we just feel them for no outside reason at all.

(think about that Meg Ryan diner scene in When Harry Met Sally, you know the one I mean, we need to really savor these emotions that we want to feel - other people will just want some of what we are having)

When we notice a negative thought coming in - we catch it before it produces the negative emotion. We let that thought go - we replace it with another thought - one that produces the emotion we want to build keyholes for-

the kind of emotion we want to feed our body; the kind of emotion we want our bodies, and lives, to be created from; the kind of emotion we want to attract more of.

(yes, I'm dangling participles all over the place - ignore this)

Now, again this isn't about pouring pink paint over our problems and pretending they don't exist (as Marianne Williamson says) - sometimes we are going to get mad or feel overwhelmed or sad or scared - once the thought has brought on the emotion, we let our bodies feel it, then we let it go - breath it out with a pulse breath.

We move on to a better thought and an emotion we want to have. We let our bodies chow down on that.

I turned my entire life around very quickly many years ago with just this step and meditation. I have gotten out of practice but am back on the wagon .. will report on what develops.

next up part #3 necessary stillness


Nancy said...

Wow. These concepts are so important to me right now. Thank you.

KJ said...

Two things-

I must have stress receptacles in my stomach.

When I think of attracting more money I think of security and a really beautiful home- not fancy, not big, just beautiful. Guess I should check those lottery tickets I bought last Friday. :)

Joy to you Cat.

Catherine Ivins said...

xo to you both - I focus on feeling security, too Kathy and the joy of travel and exploring new places for fun (not just for work!)

DancingMooney said...

For me too, it is not about having a big home, but being comfortable, and able to do the things we want to do... This was a great post Cat, and at a great time too!