What we believe about aging influences how we age. If we doubt this, there are numerous scientific works proving the role of belief in aging, including Ellen J. Langer’s Counterclockwise, and Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief. Both books offer convincing evidence about the pivotal role our beliefs have on the way we age, develop illness, recover from illness, and live life as glass-half-full or glass-half-empty people. Once we become convinced that our beliefs influence our lives we understand that to live with greater energy and joy, we simply need to shift our beliefs about our bodies and our world. However, we quickly learn our beliefs are often resistant to change.
Although we are spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual beings, our lives often demand that we focus on one of these areas to the detriment of others. For example, work may require hours of intellectual energy in front of a computer, challenging situations with family and friends may overburden our emotional circuits, a variety of situations may require prolonged physical energy expenditures, and all of our material-world demands may conspire to make us feel without spiritual support. It is easy to fall into the habit of depression or anxiety when we meet one of these basic needs at the expense of others.
Sometimes on our forays into daily physical practice, we hit speed bumps and even walls. Fear can discourage us from beginning a practice just as the fear-based memory of injury can prevent us from resuming a practice once we have recovered. EFT is effective in resolving any irrational fears or early influences that keep us at home when our trustworthy inner voice tells us it is time to lace up our shoes and head out into the beauty of the larger world.
Most of us have discovered the benefits of physical movement by now. Regular, sustained, physical activity of every variety energizes us, and more energy for living our daily lives helps us to feel joy. Loving relationships, conscious connection with the natural world, meditation, prayer, and gratitude also bring us joy, but without some activity that requires the full in-breath/out-breath that is the hallmark of an active life for humans on Planet Earth, joy is often an elusive visitor.
Throughout my childhood and early adolescence in the nineteen fifties, it seemed almost everyone I knew smoked. My mother, aunt, and eventually my older sister and school contemporaries were lighting up Dumauriers, Rothmans, Kools, or Camels. Boys used cigarettes to foster an aura of coolness, hoping to emulate James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Girls often used cigarettes to suppress their appetites to achieve the lean boyish look that would eventually peak with Twiggy, the wide-eyed, androgynous teen model who burst onto the Mod style scene in the mid-sixties.