Greetings and Happy Father’s Day. I just got back from a magical run underneath grey stormy skies and was so excited to get back and write about 2 of my favorite topics: 1) The Human Body; and 2) its direct relationship to Authentic Happiness.
As a Charlotte, NC chiropractor, and formerly a licensed acupuncturist as well, much of my life life has been devoted to learning, understanding, and mastering the various layers of the human body experience. From the gross physical body to the more subtle energetic aspects of the human body, I have endeavored to create healing from the top down, from inside out. What I have found is that doing this well literally primes the human being for authentic happiness. What is also so very cool, is that consciously creating *authentic* (important distinction – authentic happiness is not the same happiness our culture speaks of and will be described below) happiness in your life primes your body for radiance and vitality.
This, in turn, leads to deeper, and increasingly more authentic levels of true happiness. I submit then, the human body is one of the most powerful tools we have for personal and planetary transformation. Woo-hoo! So lets go into this. (Just as a side note, I eventually faded away from acupuncture practice as I found it to be a fairly slow and inefficient tool in creating massive shifts in a person’s body, mind, and emotions relative to the work I do now).
Ultimately, when your body is vital and vibrant and you are truly happy, you are *FLOURISHING* on multiple levels in your life. Furthermore, each of those levels are integrated to each other and enhancing each other. We might think “happiness” is a temporary mood of levity, joy, or lightness and this is only a very small part of the story. Real happiness is unconditional celebration of the whole of life – our great successes, our great challenges, and our fundamental gratitude that we are spiritual beings having a brief human experience. In this model, we completely embrace all of life unconditionally – our great successes, our great joys, AND our great challenges, and even our great “failures”. We take it all in as a the great gourmet organic entree of life and digest it fully. It then nourishes our character, soul, and body. And we become radiant. We become transfigured. Seriously. Its pretty phenomenal.
Lets talk more about authentic happiness, because that is core here. And it leads nicely into a discussion about the human body. The human body (mind, brain, body, emotion, thought, energy systems) is what is processesing your experience moment to moment. The body’s clarity, therefore, is absolutely critical in authentic happiness. So, what is this, “Authentic Happiness.” Well, I can tell you scientifically what it, what it is not, and how to experience it. This is not new age woo-woo or pop psychology fluff (all of which drives me nuts). This is the confluence of the perennial philosophies of east and west, modern brain research, and authentic mystical practices.
What happiness is not: the accumulation or accomplishment of wealth, beauty, or fame. In fact, scientifically, the more we place these as our focus and in the foreground of our minds, the LESS psychologically stable we are and we experience more depression, anxiety, and relationship problems. It is not some “pie-in-the-sky” fantasy of a responsibility-free life where “I can do whatever I want in life.” Nope, has very little to do with that. Even when we accomplish feats of residual income or vast savings such that we “never have to work again” that has, nothing to do with actual real happiness. Most of what you learn in the culture about happiness states that everything I just mentioned is happiness. Nope. That belief system is tyrannical and oppressive. It is part of a great lie that ultimately, happiness can be bought or accomplished. It feeds a narcissism that is dangerous to the health of our bodies, our children, and our planet. Happiness is not a relationship or no relationship. Is not a degree. It is not a geographical location.
What happiness is, then, is the art of flourishing on every level. We can break this down scientifically in 2 ways. First came from my mentor Donny Epstein and his team of researchers regarding Network Wellness Care. Basically, happiness is a deep internal sense of wellbeing that is made of 4 components: 1) Physical wellbeing; 2) Emotional + Mental Well Being; 3) Our ability to thrive and flourish in the midst of life’s great and inevitable stresses and challenges; and 4) Our ability to deeply cultiavate and enjoy our work, our life, our love, relationhsips, sexuality, creativity, and spiritual lives. And we showed, in a ground-breaking study at UC Irvine Medical College, that in a sample group of 2,818 people, 76% of them had Significant Improvement in everything I just mentioned. WOW! Network Care alone was twice as effective at boosting this sense of wellness over exercise, stress management, and diet changes. This is important as it lays out why the body is so critical in authentic happiness.
Lets look a bit more. We said that fame, wealth, and beauty won’t yield happiness and that they actually pull as away from true happiness the more we focus on them. So, in another group of Studies done at Penn pretty clearly show that Authentic Happiness is made up of the following components: 1) Continued Personal Growth; 2) Increasingly meaningful relationships; and 3) Conscious contribution to our communities. The more we focus on these, statistically and scientifically the happier we will be. I love that because it basically shows what our UC Irvine study showed. What is so very cool is that Network Care can help engender happiness. Real, authentic, and integrated happiness.
The fact is is that we can have all the great studies in the world and the greatest concepts and theories but unless we live them, it means nothing. The “happiness” we’ll get form learning something new is completely fleeting unless we hard-wire it in as a habit through practice and conscious endeavor. Lets go one step further. All the “poor happiness” habits of a lifetime are stored….you guessed it….in your body. Especially in your human nervous system. So, we can think and think all we want, read every book under the sun, and talk about happiness but unless we act, its actualization dies like fruit on the vine. And we are tremendously conditioned to focus on the externals and it takes *a lot of work* to “re-write those scripts” embedded deep in the caverns of our heart and mind. However, the very act of re-writing those scripts produces embodied happiness.
Network care is such a critical piece of authentic happiness becuase it is an evidence-based tool for literally shifting the human nervous system into a massively efficient functioning while helping “prune” the “branches that yield unhappiness and suffering.” Then, as we approach with conscious endeavor and commitment a life of virtue, meaning, vitality, and vibrancy on every level, it is so much *easier* and more efficient. Its like being on a lake in a boost whaler with a 30 HP engine trying to pull a water skier vs. having one of those sweet water skiing boats with a 250 hp inboard engine. We can re-write the conditioning of a lifetime, heal physical problems, and cultivate a heart and mind of deep clarity, equanimity, radiance, and authentic joy. No matter what we exerience in life, we are deeply rooted in this ground of well-being. We are not thrown by the winds of experience. We are stabilized in authentic experience.
I can tell you that as a Charlotte, NC Chiroprtor this is what everyone is looking for. Even when people come to see me for low back pain, sciatica, migraines, stress, etc., what they are mostly scared of is how these problems effect their quality of life and their greater sense of wellbeing. 99% of the time its not the “pain” that hurts – its how our relationship to that pain effects our life, creates fear, and affects our relationships, or blocks us from living the life we love. Furthermore, most pain is a call to let us know that somewhere in this web of well-being we have gotten off track. It is a dear friend calling us to pay attention – to live our life fully. To embrace ourselves and begin the magical and courageous journey to unconditional celebration.
Not only can your flourish, you are built for it. Your body is built to support you in this endeavor. Albert Scent-Gyoergyi, who received 2 Nobel prizes in medicine, stated that there is an “innate in living matter to perfect itself.” In Ayurvedic medicine, health is defined as Swasta – which is a sanskrit word for being “One with the Self.” So, health is truly being integrated on every level, constantly growing, which matches the inherent biological drive within to express greater and greater depth of joy! Your body is pushing you towards Life, growth, and joy. And it is an amazing indicator when we are not pursuing that. It will lets us know.
Food is an important aspect of this too, and I encourage you to see my blog post on nutrition: http://www.networkwellnesscharlotte.com/a-fresh-look-at-nutrition-and-supplements-charlotte-chiropractor-talks-nutrition/
Specifically in the human body, the spine and the heart act as antennae that literally help us connect to the infinite energetic experience within and without. The more “resonant”, “in synch”, clear, and “coherent” these systems are, we are literally and scientifically inclined to authentic happiness.
The Human spine is simply a mirror of the holding patterns of stress, trauma, fear, and the seeds of anger. Whether we look at it from the perspective of biological systems, fractal geometry, or quantum physics, the human spine is the main frame computer regulating the flow of all information, on every level of human experience. When these seeds of stress, trauma, fear, anger, and external focus are transformed into seeds of wellbeing, we can literally cultivate a life of authentic happiness. We can flourish, and we are honoring our biological and evolutionary imperative to do so.
Pierre Tielhard de Chardin said it best: “When we fuse the powers of the Sacred Heart with the energies of the body, we can transform anything.”
Here is to you – to your destiny of being a beacon and example of Authentic Happiness. Not only is it possible, it is who you are. The meeting place of the body and of authentic happiness is an incredible place to be. It is the journey into inner space where everything is literally possible. In fact, according to quantum physicists, all matter is simply pure probability and potential. That includes every cell of your glorious being waiting to explode in radiant authentic celebration of Life.
Whatever your invitation to this glorious journey – pain, stress, health challenges, feeling inherently unhappy – these are simply the ribbon-laced and fine calligraphy invitation of your body, heart, and mind, to truly heal on every level and radiate authentic happiness.
Dr. Matt Lyon
Charlotte NC Chiropractor