Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
by Joe Dispenza
Joe Dispenza, DC, known as “Dr. Joe” from the award-winning movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, teaches and writes internationally on the untapped potential of the mind. Bridging the worlds of science and personal growth, he draws on scientific breakthroughs in neuroscience, and findings on the brain’s ability to continually grow and change, to prove to people that you can teach an old dog new tricks—a lot of new tricks. In this essay, he shares his own remarkable healing story and invites us to consider the ultimate implications of the power of the mind.
It sounds crazy, but in 1986 I had the privilege of getting run over by a truck in a triathlon. When I received the diagnosis that I had broken six vertebrae, that I had bone fragments on my spinal cord, and that I probably would never walk again, I had to make some important decisions. After I opted against a radical surgery recommended by four different experts, I left the hospital facing the prognosis of paralysis and with only one conviction: “The power that made the body, heals the body.” My mission was to make contact with this innate intelligence, give it a template or a design with very specific orders, and finally surrender my healing to this unlimited power.
For two hours twice a day I went within and began creating a picture of my intended result: a healthy, healed spine. If my mind wandered to any extraneous thoughts, I would start from the beginning and do the whole scheme of imagery over again. I reasoned that the final picture had to be clear, unpolluted, and uninterrupted for this intelligence to take my condition to the next level.
Over the course of 10 weeks, I experienced an amazing and veritable healing. At 11 weeks, I was back in my office seeing patients again without surgery or a body brace (both of which were recommended by physicians at the time of my injury). As a result of this experience more than 20 years ago, I have spent the remainder of my life investigating and researching the mind-body connection, as well as the concepts of mind and matter.
I learned some pretty profound lessons as a byproduct of my injury. I know that we are defined by our adversity. When we are confronted with trauma and crisis, we must shift our worldview to truly address that situation. We must begin to think, act, and feel in new ways in order to produce a new and more profound reality. In difficult times, we must look to see what piece of philosophy or intellectual understanding we may know, but have not experienced, and then apply that knowledge to create a new experience.
For example, in my situation I intellectually understood that the body heals itself, but I had to apply every bit of philosophy that I knew in order to take it to the next level and beyond, in order to create a true experience with healing. Quantum physics tells us that mind and matter are not separate elements. In fact, your subjective mind has a true effect on the external, objective world. If we can accept this idea, then we should reason that by changing our mind, we should produce some changes in our world. And if you can begin to sharpen your abilities to observe a desired destiny, your life begins to reorganize itself.
To think differently is to make the brain work in new and different ways. What if we woke up and asked ourselves every morning, “What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?” If we were patient enough to wait for an answer, we would begin to think and feel differently than we would if we woke up and remembered ourselves as the same person. When we experience new thoughts and then combine them with an elevated emotion, we are destined to behave differently throughout our waking day. Once we sincerely take the time to do this process with intention and focus, we’ve changed our mind.
Depending on your circumstances, this can be an easy task, or it can seem insurmountable. The key is to commit to that ideal in every moment, regardless of what your environment tells you. To align to a concept in thought and emotion means you are using your innate capacities for creation. When we have mind and body working together, we have the power of the universe behind us.
Since the hit movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, I have been traveling around the world, talking to audiences about how our conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings are the very blueprints that control our destiny. I have also been fortunate enough to spend the last 10 years investigating hundreds of actual medical case histories in which ordinary people experienced a spontaneous remission from a host of different diseases. As a result, I wrote a book entitled Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing of Your Mind, in which I discuss the nature of reality and the relationship of the brain, the mind, and consciousness with the health of the human body. I now know that there is a true science and biology to personal change. All of us, at any time in our life, can change the way we think and feel, and when true change occurs in both the mind and the body, that internal change produces measurable external effects in our lives.
I truly believe that every person is a divine creator, that independent of race, gender, culture, social status, education, religious beliefs, and even our past mistakes, there is a power within each of us that is common to every human being—and we are all connected to it. This invisible consciousness is both personal and, at the same time, universal. It is the giver of life. This refined mindful energy is conscious enough to support, maintain, protect, and heal us in every moment. It keeps our heart beating hundreds of thousands of times per day, creates more than 60 million cells every minute, and organizes hundreds of thousands of chemical reactions in one cell every second. It is also the same intelligence that creates supernovas in distant galaxies, that keeps the planets rotating around the sun, and that brings the lily into bloom. When we take the time to develop a relationship with this mind, when we make contact with it, when we use it to create desired events in our future, when we ask it to intervene in our lives, and when we create space for this power, love, and intelligence to be expressed through us, we are touching our divine nature.
Joe Dispenza, DC, is the author of Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind and the soon-to-be-released book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. A doctor of chiropractic with a background in biochemistry and postgraduate training in neuroscience, functional brain imaging, and neuroplasticity, he oversees a busy chiropractic clinic near Olympia, Washington.
© Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. All rights reserved. Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Kripalu Online. To request permission to reprint, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.