Mind Power & ways to harness it from Ian Gawler
Last weekend I went along to Ian Gawler's one-day workshop in Denmark, Western Australia. For anyone unfamiliar with Ian, he is an Author & Advocate for mind, body, medicine and meditation. Almost 40 year ago, while working as a Vet he was diagnosed with Cancer, Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer. In 1976 doctors gave him weeks to live. After following conventional treatment Ian adopted a regime of intense meditation, (up to 5 hours each day)! He followed the Gerson Diet and an intense program of research and personal development. In recent years controversy has surrounded Ian for various reasons, that aside he has survived a terminal diagnosis of Cancer and is alive and well today. I was intrigued to learn more, and especially about the power of the mind and his intense approach to meditation, which appears instrumental in his recovery.
There were 6 key messages I took away from the day:
- The consequences of stress in all its many forms can be debilitating to our bodies; lowering immunity, increasing chronic inflammation and accelerating degeneration and ageing. Love regulates stress, the more love we feel, the less stressed we are! Love this - share the love!
- Cancer likes a low oxygenated environment and therefore doesn't do so well in a well oxygenated body. More good reasons to move and breathe every day.
- His research shows there are 2 aspects to the mind; The thinking mind and the Essence (the true nature of the mind), which is what meditation can really help with. Our Essence is a function or a process that regulates our flow of energy. Our thinking mind is responsible for perception, interpretation, storage and action. Our mind is a function, not a noun or a verb, as apposed to the brain.
- Change our minds, and we can change our bodies. He outlined 2 steps; one - to let go of the causes of 'suffering', the rubbish we all haul around with us such as fear, resentment and anguish, (which for evolutionary reasons is often our first and most natural response). Secondly, regain balance and establish a clear and calm mind. Do this and we are well on our way to living our best lives ever!
- We just need to tame those 'monkey minds' and... Meditate. The Chinese have been doing it since 5000 B.C. there must be something in it.
- If you're starting out Ian suggested even 5 - 10 minutes of mediation every day makes a big difference.
Regular meditation isn't easy, it takes work and practice, but now having this knowledge - why wouldn't we commit to taking at least 5 minutes out in our day and start the process of rewiring some of those hard wired neurons. In doing this we lower our stress levels, increase our immunity, activate happier thoughts, positive energy and perhaps some much needed clarity and perspective. It seems to be a fundamental strategy to put us back in the drivers seat and take back control or our own health.
Want to get started, but don't have time, or not sure how? One of the simplest ways to start, even if you take just 5 minutes, is to find a comfortable spot to sit, then place continuous thought on one subject e.g. to focus on your breathe or the sounds you can hear off in the distance, really listen out and aim to be present in the moment. When I take even 5 minutes to stop and centre my thoughts, I notice that afterwards my energy levels have lifted, my mind is calmer / clearer and I am more productive. Meditation, or even just being still and centereing my thoughts is something I'm doing more of and aim to build up the amount of time I dedicate to it.
Ian also shared an entertaining cricket analogy, 'In 1874, the first 'testicular guard' or 'box' was used in cricket. In 1974, the first helmet was used'! Now that's something to get our minds around...
And, check out this great infographic on the power of our amazing brains;
What works for you? What helps you tame your mind when it gets a bit monkey minded? Please share, we'd love to hear and learn.