2003-08-29 / Community

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

This column focuses on which reality one chooses to place oneself in. We can consider ourselves as part of our society, our religious or ethnic group or as identifying with a famous character or television show. It was amazing to me how our society’s media focus so exclusively on the Hollywood stars while lots of other newsworthy events take place at the same time. A friend was sharing with me that several of her friends in their mid-thirties are preoccupied with the characters of a soap opera or "Sex and the City" on TV. She’s even started drinking cosmopolitans like the TV characters do. We can focus on our own inner reality as to what will make us happy, or have a superficial idealized image of what our own lives are. Many buy into external images from beauty to success. Recently a 17-year-old visitor told me that Baywatch was the most popular TV show in Greece.

Many people find that taking responsibility for their own actions and creating an exciting reality for them is too much to expect. Others are supposed to provide the entertainment or sustenance. If something doesn’t go their way, they are quick to blame another as if the other person is responsible for their happiness. Life is for learning and enjoyment. Each person is able to provide herself with this.

We have also become a highly medicated group. The medicines we are told to take are now given responsibility for how we feel, what actions we take (Prozac made me do it), and the levels of pain we tolerate. We would think it very primitive if we saw aborigines in a forest attributing so much of their lives to the plants that are ingested as part of normal life. But so many of us cannot just live. We need drugs/prescription drugs, alcohol, or food to numb us or assist us in not feeling depressed. If our society was loving, accountable for its actions, and functioned as part of a larger group, our nation would be so much more cohesive and supportive of both its groups and its individuals.

Wellness is a word that will become more widely used in the coming years. People are beginning to realize that there is much to be gained from studying those who are well, rather than focusing only on those who are not healthy. Wellness represents good health in mind, body and spirit. If the focus of society changes to appreciation for what we already have rather than on what we don’t have, and the realization that joy and happiness may be self-created from within each individual, society may be more apt to see the benefits of certain techniques that are seemingly passive, however bring much to the individual using them.

One such technique is meditation. Relaxation differs from meditation only in the fact that the objective of meditation is not to fall asleep or to allow the body just to rest. Its objective is to bring the body to a peaceful state, and in addition clear one’s head from thoughts that originate from outside the meditator as many do pass through the mind. With the recognition that one can bring thoughts to a halt, control thoughts to bring in more positive feelings a person can also allow his own inner voice to bring valuable information into his consciousness from the energies who know the "big picture" of our lives. Meditation can be used for relaxation, to gain information from within about one’s life lessons and also for healing purposes. Positive thoughts of well-being that eliminate stress, visual techniques of healing such as seeing wounds or infections growing smaller or thoughts that surround a loved one with beautiful energy are examples of what can be a part of a state of inner peace.

Why accept the premise that all illness is created by something that is concrete and can be observed under a microscope? Until now, science has given very little credence to what people think or feel in determining causes of illness or well-being. We are told that a disease is caused by an outside force (a germ) invading an unsuspecting body. However, many holistic physicians/practitioners are recognizing that our body’s immune system is greatly affected by our degree of stress, anger, hopelessness or fear. These emotions release toxins into our system and those toxins undermine the body’s well-being.

Stress can be alleviated by relaxation techniques, deep breathing, or by the control of one’s thoughts. If stress has not done too much damage to the body, the symptoms can be reversed. However, once the body has undergone too much, the condition will lead to illness.

What we experience in our lives that does not have a concrete form, such as feelings of love, anger, and discomfort in particular situations, or feelings of joy, are vibrations of energy that our bodies emit. A trained eye, however, can see the aura of an individual, which is actually a physical expression of our mental and emotional state.


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