Health

Dr Joe Dispenza on Changing Your Thoughts, Emotions, & Life

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com, that’s wellness with an E on the end. And this episode is one of my favorites I’ve recorded to date with Dr Joe Dispenza, who, his passion can be found at the intersection of the latest findings in the field of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics to really explore the science behind spontaneous remissions, which we talk a lot about today. But he uses that knowledge to tell people how to heal their bodies, their health conditions, to make significant changes in their lives, and to evolve their consciousness. And I know it can sound unbelievable, but we really go into some of the specifics of this today. Since 2010, he’s been partnering with scientists and universities to perform extensive research on the effects that meditation has on the brain and the body. And during his advanced events around the world, his team has gathered over 12,000 brain scans and 8,000 heart rate variability measurements in an attempt to correlate the effects of sustained elevated emotions and self-regulation on heart and brain function, on immune response, and overall mind-body health.

He and his team have also studied gene expression, protein regulation, immune response, neurotransmitter changes, telomere length, and variations in bioactive cellular metabolic particles in both novice and advanced meditators. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, researcher, and lecturer. And in this episode, we really go into the topic of breaking the habit of being yourself and how changing your thoughts and emotions can drastically change your life. He talks about how our thoughts directly affect our physical body and why, and understanding this and breaking it down and using it to our advantage, the toughest part about what changes…about changing ourselves and why this occurs. And he goes into some really fascinating case studies. We also wrap up by talking about how we can use these tools to help our children develop better thoughts, emotions, and patterns in life. Very, very fascinating episode. I learned a lot and I’ve made a lot of notes for you guys in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm, including links to his books, if you’re interested in learning more from him. But without further ado, let’s join Dr Joe Dispenza.

Katie: Dr Joe, welcome, and thanks for being here.

Dr Joe: Thank you so much, Katie. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Katie: I’m excited to chat with you and even more excited that we get to record it and share it with my audience. I think that this will be really relevant and helpful to a lot of people listening. You cover so many topics and I wanna start a little bit broad and then we’ll narrow down from there. I’ve read your work quite a bit and heard you talk about the way that our thoughts affect our physical body. And I think for some people, this is still a somewhat new concept. So to start broad, can you kind of walk us through what you mean by that?

Dr Joe: Sure. I don’t ever think that there’s a time where your mind isn’t influencing your body, and a time where your body isn’t influencing your mind. But from a very simplistic standpoint, when you have a thought, every time you have a thought, you make a chemical. And when you fire that thought, the brain produces a chemical, it signals the body for you to begin to feel exactly the way you were just thinking. So if you have a joyful thought, you make chemicals that make you feel joy. If you have a self-depreciating thought, your body switches on a different set of circuits in the brain and produces different chemicals and you feel unworthy. The problem is the moment we start feeling unworthy, the moment we start feeling unhappy, the moment we start feeling angry, the brain checks in with the body and the body causes the mind to think the same thoughts equal to how it’s feeling.

So then the person starts thinking more thoughts equal to that feeling, firing and wiring certain networks in the brain and sending the same chemicals to the body. So thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings of the language of our body and how we think and how we feel creates our state of being. So it makes sense then that some people get caught in these loops of thinking and feeling, and feeling and thinking for years on end. And the redundancy of that cycle, the thought and the feeling, an image or a memory and an emotion, a stimulus in response is what conditions the body emotionally like any conditioning process to live in the past. Now, the body is the objective mind. It doesn’t know the difference between the real-life experience that’s creating that emotion and the emotion that the person is fabricating by thought alone.

So most emotions are chemical records of the past. So the person, by living by the same emotional state, their body living as in the same past experience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, to the body, the body’s literally emotionally conditioned into the past. Well, turns out that certain thoughts that we think that produce certain chemicals either cause the body to flourish and to grow and certain thoughts cause it to weaken. And the response then causes the body to move out of balance. Now, here’s an example in the short story. We all know that when we are threatened or there’s some danger in our outer world where we feel like we lost control of something, or we can’t predict what’s going to happen next, or we have the constant perception that things in our life are going to get worse.

We turn on a very primitive system, an alarm system, an emergency system that says that there’s a threat and a danger. And what happens is the body mobilizes enormous amounts of energy and chemicals to prepare us for that danger or a threat. Well, that’s sympathetic response, and for the short term, all organisms in nature can tolerate short term stress. The problem is that when there’s that arousal of chemicals that’s created, the person becomes conditioned or needs the rush of that adrenaline. The rush of that chemical to feel something. So if you start responding to the people in your life or the circumstances in your life and the conditions in your life and your response is producing that emergency system, then over time when your pupils dilate and your salivary juices shut down and blood is sent to your extremities and your heart rate increases and your respiratory rate increases, your body’s prepared for that danger.

But what if you’re sitting in traffic? What if you’re sitting next to an in-law? What if you’re sitting next to a coworker in a cubicle or watching the news? So what happens is, is that our response to the environment, the arousal causes us to pay more attention to our problems. And this is where it gets dangerous because we can think about our problems and we can turn on that same stress response just by thought alone. Now stress is when your brain and body are knocked out of homeostasis, is when you’re knocked out of balance. You keep knocking the body out of balance, that imbalance becomes the new balance and now the person’s headed for disease because no one can live in emergency mode. In that state where you’re putting all your attention on your outer world, there’s no energy for growth and repair in your inner world.

Okay, so it’s a scientific fact that the hormones of stress push the genetic buttons long-term and create disease. Well, if you can turn on the stress response just by thought alone, thinking about your problems, that means that your thoughts can literally make you sick. So the question is if your thoughts can make you sick, is it possible that your thoughts can make you well? And we have spent over 10 years studying this mind, body connection. And the mind and the body are always talking to each other.

Katie: It’s so fascinating. And I love that about your work. I think some people listening have heard me talk before about my own past trauma of sexual assault in high school and how that was an acute event, but the emotions of that carried on. And I think to your point, my body didn’t recognize that that wasn’t acutely happening anymore. And it wasn’t until I addressed it that the physical part started changing as well. But I know from having been in that, it can seem overwhelming and a little bit helpless at times, so how do we start to break that cycle? I think it’s one thing to know it, it’s another thing now to do it.

DrJoe: Yeah. So this is a great question. So let’s talk about the biology of long-term memories because I think that’ll help us to understand trauma. Okay. So when you’re threatened or there’s some type of trauma or there’s some type of danger and you’re in that experience, we could say that in the stress response, there’s an alteration in your internal state. Well, the stronger the change in your internal state from some event in your life, some person, some condition, like, the more altered you feel inside of you, the attention causing from outside of you and the brain freezes a frame in snap called the long term memory. So people then start to think within the neurological of that experience and they feel with boundaries of those… So what they don’t know is that every time they recall the event, they’re producing the same chemistry in their brain and body as if the event was occurring.

So again, stimulus-response, image and emotion, thought and feeling, the emotion is no longer just in the brain. Now the emotion is being stored or conditioned into the body. So now then the person then lives their life, and what they’re doing is they’re scanning their environment to make sure that that never could happen again. And they’re anticipating in the next moment that something could happen similar to that feeling that caused them to be altered in that moment. And so to say to some person, why do you live in such anxiety? Why do you live in such terror? Why do you live in such fear? And they’ll say I live in because of the experiences I had in my past. And what that really means is, is that that event altered them biologically and they haven’t been able to change since then. Right?

So now it’s an interesting phenomenon to talk about the process of change. Because if it’s not just in the explicit memory system, the declarative memory system, you know, the memories that we can declare, but it’s in the implicit memory system, it’s in the body-mind, it’s in the non-declarative system where you can’t explain why you are the way you are. It’s nondeclarative, right? It’s just who you are. So then when the person then decides, okay, I wanna make a change. I wanna change these feelings of terror, these feelings of anger, these feelings of resentment, these feelings of unworthiness, whatever it is. And those feelings have been influencing the person’s thoughts and behaviors. The hardest part about change is not making the same choice as you did the day before. And the moment you decide to make a different choice, no matter what it is, if you have an intention to follow through on that choice, get ready because it’s going to feel uncomfortable.

It’s going to feel unfamiliar and you’re no longer in the known territory of your biology. You’re stepping out into the unknown. And for most people who have had trauma, the unknown is a very scary place. So the person who lives in trauma is always in their mind anticipating many times the worst thing that could happen to them based on their past experience. And by doing that, they’re emotionally embracing the outcome before it occurs. Now, they’re conditioning their body into that state. So you say to yourself, “Okay, my personality creates my personal reality. My personality is made up of how I think, how I act, and how I feel.” So the present personality who’s listening to this podcast has created the present personal reality called their life.

Okay. So if I want to change my life, if I want to change my personal reality, I’m going to have to change my personality. I’m going to have to change because nothing changes in your life until you change. That’s the law. So then the person says, “Okay, I’m not going to think these thoughts that are connected to the memories of my past, or I’m not going to think these self-depreciating thoughts. I am not going to complain or blame or make excuses or feel sorry for myself or judge anybody. I want to change all that. It’s not making me happy. And these emotions of fear, of anxiety, of worry, depression, these emotions are emotions that are connected to my past. So I’m going to stop, every time I notice that I feel those emotions, I’m going to become aware that I’m feeling them.” Now, this is the first step to change.

In neuroscience is called metacognition. You gotta observe yourself from a different state, not as the programmed self, but the program is being unconscious that you’re that way. And you gotta become conscious of your unconscious self. So now the moment you decide to choose differently, well, the first hour goes by really well. And then about the second hour, all of a sudden, your body is looking for same familiar emotions. And the body starts influencing the mind and then it starts saying, “Come on, you’re never going to change. It’s your ex’s fault, you’re not worth it, you know, it didn’t work before, this doesn’t feel right. It’s my mother’s fault,” you know, all of those sub vocalizations is the body trying to influence the mind to feel the same emotions so that you can return back to the same self, right? And so this is where the battle begins because some people would rather cling to their pain or their suffering than to live in that unknown place.

Now, what we’ve discovered is that that unknown is the biological death of the old self. You’re not firing and wiring the same circuits in the same way because you’re not having the same thoughts. You’re not making the same choices, you’re not doing the same things. You’re not creating the same experiences. You’re not feeling the same feelings. And you’re leaving the known territory into this void, this unknown. And for most people, they’ll return back to what’s familiar than take a chance and possibility, but right there, what we’ve discovered, you have to leave the known to create something new. You can’t create anything new from the known. So if you can teach a person when they’re in that state, okay, it’s entirely possible that I can program a new thought in my brain. As I unfire and unwire those thoughts by inhibiting them, what thoughts do I want to install in the circuitry of my brain?

And if we taught you a way to do it and demystify the process so that it was no different than learning how to sew or learning how to dance the salsa. If you understood, there was a formula for that and you, with intention and attention, started thinking about what you do want your brain to tell you, as you fire and wire those circuits, you begin to install hardware. Now, repetition of hardware in the brain creates software, and software is an automatic program. And all of a sudden, you start hearing the voice in your head that says, “Come on, believe in yourself. You actually can change. Hey, your life could get better. Stay open to the possibility,” whatever that thought is. Then if you said, “Okay, I can’t be the same person I was if I wanna be happy. So I’m not blaming I’m not complaining, I’m not making excuse, I’m not doing any of that, but let’s fill in and replace a new program.” So if I taught you how to do that, and you could rehearse in your mind.

Now let’s demystify this. Musicians, dancers, actors, athletes, anybody who performs some type of skill, they will tell you they spend just as much time thinking about playing the chords, thinking about doing the backflip with the half twist, they’re rehearsing the act in their mind. So the research on mental rehearsal shows, if you asked yourself, how am I going to be with my kids? How am I going to be when there’s chaos? How am I going to be in the next Zoom call? How am I going to be with my partner at the end of the day? What would greatness look like today? If you asked yourself that question and you closed your eyes and rehearsed doing it in this scene, the research on mental rehearsal says if you do that properly in the present moment, your brain won’t know the difference between the real-life experience and what you’re imagining.

Now, the brain is typically a record of a past. It’s a repository of memories that we have from things we learn and experience. When you rehearse a new way of being, you’re installing new neurological hardware in your brain to look like you did it or experienced it. Now it’s no longer a record of the past. You’re priming your brain to be the map of the future. Do it over and over again, and fire and wire, the same circuits, and then all of a sudden it becomes a software program, and it makes sense then that you should behave that way. No magic there. Now, this is the tough part for most people. If your personality is made up of how you think, how you act, and how you feel, and I have to change the way I think, the way I act, and the way I feel, the hardest part about this process is changing the way we feel.

So most people, they’re reliant on something to change in their outer world. Some problem to go away, some shift, some circumstance to change in their outer world to make that anxiety or that fear or that vigilance go away. They need some event in their outer world to relieve them from this feeling inside of them. And so when things are good, they feel good. When things are bad, they feel bad. And if you ask you, “Hey, Katie, why are you feeling this way?” And you say, oh, I am this way because of that circumstance or that person, what you’re really saying from a biological standpoint is that person or that circumstance is actually controlling the way I feel and the way I think. Now, that’s an unconscious program. The only thing that controls you, controls your feelings and your thoughts, you have to be victim too.

So then that’s how people change because they need something outside of them to make that feeling go away. What we’re saying is let’s break that conditioning, that programming, that belief, and let’s teach our body emotionally what our future could be like before it happens. That means you don’t wait for your life to change to feel gratitude. The moment you start feeling gratitude, your life starts to change. That’s the experiment, right? So we teach people then to elevate their emotional states, to learn how to practice moving out of resentment, and out of anxiety, and out of impatience, into these elevated emotions that seem to be connected to the heart. And when they do this properly, we measure this. Here’s the beauty, the heart starts to move into this beautiful rhythm and blood starts to move into it, and all of a sudden you start to trust again.

And all of a sudden you start to feel love again, and you start to feel grateful for your life again. And you’re trading that fear and that anxiety and vigilance for gratitude, appreciation, and care, as an example. And if you kept practicing doing this every day, thinking those thoughts you wanted to fire and wire, rehearsing who you wanna be and rewriting a new program, creating a new habit, conditioning your body to give up the fear and begin to feel by a new elevated emotion. When you start to open your heart again after all the trauma that you’ve had in your life, and you’ve given enough time to practice and you understand how to do it, you understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing and what it will do for you, so the how becomes practical. You wanna do it, right? So what we’ve found is that when the heart starts to move into this level of order and you can train a person on how to do this, the heart starts informing the brain.

It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in a brain scan. The heart is telling the brain it’s safe again. The heart is telling the brain to no longer look at the past, let’s create a new future. The heart is the creative center. And when it moves into coherence, it causes the brain to move into a very creative state. Now, as it does this, many, many, many times, it resets the baseline in the amygdala for trauma. It’s not the brain that does that, it’s not talking about it that does it. It’s somehow when the heart can actually fall in love with life again, it begins to tell the brain the event is over. The survival state ends now, and if it’s done with enough sincerity, you start thinking thoughts equal to those feelings, no longer thinking thoughts equal to those other feelings.

And those thoughts are super creative. They tend to be you examining a new way of life, a new career, a new opportunity. And it’s that thought and the feeling, it’s that image, that memory of the future that the person is imagining and the emotion of feeling that future before it happens, the stimulus and response that starts conditioning the brain and body into the future. And the stronger the emotion the person feels. if they do it, the more they remember the picture in their mind, and literally their brain and body look like it’s already happened. They’re becoming that person. So as the heart begins to inform the brain and it resets the baseline for trauma, then it lowers the volume to anxiety and fear. It cools off the circuits for aggression and frustration and hatred and anger and resentment. And it silences the activation of certain circuits that have to do with pain and suffering.

And so this person, all of a sudden, we’ve seen these hundreds of times, a person who’s in that state when they are lifted and no longer connected to the emotions of the past and their heart is actually telling the brain the trauma is over. They will look back, and we’ve seen this so many times, at their entire past, all off the trauma, all of the betrayal, all the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, they will look back at the entire thing. And in that moment they won’t want to change one thing in their past because it brought them to this elegant moment, this freedom, and they understand why, how it all had to happen. And somehow they love and forgive their betrayers because they’re no longer connected to the consciousness of the past. And so in a moment, it’s almost like the person has a rebirth in a simple way.

And the side effect of that is there goes the depression, there goes the anxiety, there goes the suicidal tendencies. There goes the endometriosis. There goes the uterine persistent uterine cysts. There goes the pain that happens during menstruation. Their body literally is moved outta the past. It’s no longer reliving the trauma on a daily basis, and a side effect of that is there’s a dramatic biological upgrade that takes place in the body. New personality, new person reality, and we’re measuring the biology of how this happens. And literally, thousands of metabolites are released in the brain and body that begin to cause the body to literally change.

Katie: It really is incredible. I remember that moment when it happened to me and how shocked I was to realize I could look back and say, not only am I okay that, that happened to me, I’m actually grateful that that happened to me because I’m now here and I can feel all this gratitude. And I think back then I can look back and think of all those things, to your point, where I had these stories in my head like, oh, if only this, this and this, then I would be happy. Or if only I could move past these health problems, then I would be happy. And I realized that the inverse ironically, is that I could choose to be happy now and then those physical things became less important and they inadvertently resolved themselves, and the Hashimoto’s went away, etc. But I also remember before that happened being in that space, and I can guess there would be people listening, going, “Well, I didn’t create this reality that I’m in right now. It’s not my fault these things happen to me.” And I’ve heard people say, even like, you know, “I lost a child. I can never be happy again.” So how do you help people to move from a place like that to start to be able to understand how to begin this process?

Dr Joe: Yeah, I think the greatest challenge when we have strong emotions that are stored in the brain and body is it’s very difficult to think greater than how we feel. I think that is the challenge. And, feelings are a record of the past. So the person, if they can’t think greater than how they feel, then they can’t see a possible future because they’re looking at that future through the lens of their past biology. And so the best thing for a person to do, if they’re truly, truly committed to change is to really understand what change means and really understand that there’s a biology and a very specific explanation of what change is, okay? So the person says, “I didn’t create this reality.” Okay. You didn’t create that reality. “I didn’t ask for the life that I’m living.” Okay. You didn’t ask for the life that you’re living. Okay, “I didn’t pick these parents somehow. I was born into this family.” Okay, great. So now what? I mean, now what?

I mean, like if our excuse to change is really it’s that person or that circumstance or that past, that’s really making me feel this way you can do that for a while. But if you start reading and learning and filling your brain with knowledge and making new connections in your brain, you got more raw materials to start thinking about new possibilities. Now, that’s what information does. Information, every time you learn something new, you’re making thousands of synaptic connections in your brain. Repeat it, review it, think about it, talk about it, share it, and those circuits begin to create long-term connections called memories. And now you’re adding more three-dimensional stitches into the tapestry of your gray matter, and you’re building information to see that there are other ways to live.

Now, you pick up a book on someone who’s had trauma and they turn that trauma around and they live their life in joy and they see it differently, and you’re picking up and relating with the story. And at the same time, you’re realizing you’re identifying with this character and if they can do it, you can do it too. All right. So now the possibility exists. Okay. Now the person really, who truly wants to be happy says, “I can’t live in my past any longer. Okay, I understand that. I know it’s hard and I know I’m going to default back to my old personality maybe 10 times or 20 times or 100 times in one day. And that’s okay because if I’m alive tomorrow, I’m going to try and do it better the next day. I’m not going to think, act and feel this way.” So how many times do we have to forget until we really stop, forgetting and start remembering? How many times do we go unconscious in our waking day that we have to stop going unconscious and stay conscious?

So the person who no longer wants to be, and I hate to use this word victimized by their life, but excusing themselves from the possibility that there could be an alternative way to live, a new life to live in, the person who excuses themselves that way is because they can’t imagine a new life greater than how they typically feel. And of course, it takes trauma or disease or diagnosis or loss or betrayal for the person to be so knocked out of balance that they finally say, “I have to change.’ And they can tell you exactly where they were, the time of day it was, who they were with when they made up their mind to change. This happens thousands of times in our research. The person says, “I’m making up my mind in this moment.’ And they make a decision with such firm intention that the amplitude of that decision carries a level of energy that causes their body to respond to their mind. That the choice that they’re making in that moment in time is a moment in time they will never forget. In other words, the stronger, the emotion they felt when they made that choice independent of what was going on in their environment and their life, the more they’ll remember the choice they’re making, that’s what emotions do. And that gives the body a sampling or a taste to the future. They’re changing their state of being in one instant.

So the person then who says, “Okay, I’m going to try this out as an experiment. I’m going to practice the process. And is it possible as an experiment, if I take a little time out of my day and I change the way I feel and I change the way I think, and I’ll read a book and I’ll practice how to do that, let me see if I could actually get happier. Not that I need anything to change in my life yet. I just want to see if I do this, I’d knee-jerk less in traffic. I don’t judge my best friend as much. I don’t rush through a meal because I have to hurry up and clean up the dishes and put the kids to bed and there’s a thousand things that… Let me just see if it works. Just if I could just try it out as an experiment.” The majority of people who give up their past and the emotions and memories of their past and start reprogramming and doing things differently in themselves in the future report back almost 100% of the time that they start noticing these synchronicities, these opportunities, these coincidences, that something is coming to them.

Something’s changing in their life and nothing is changing except them. Now, this is the experiment called life because when you see the synchronicity, when you see the serendipity, when you see the coincidence, when the opportunity shows up, you are going to start thinking, “Oh, my God, I was changing the way I was thinking and feeling and it’s producing these effects in my outer world. Oh, my God.” That moment is no longer you thinking that you’re the victim of your life, that’s the moment all of a sudden you start realizing you’re the creator of your life because things are out-picturing in your world equal to your change in thoughts and feelings. Now, the person who does this, the surprise of the event, I swear to you does not create fear. I swear to you, it doesn’t create hostility or anger or hatred or resentment. It tends to create this kind of joy. This kind of excitement. This kind of change in energy.

The person is waking up, oh, my God, I’m getting feedback from my life. Now the moment they get feedback from their life, they’re going to pay attention to what they did to create that feedback and they’re going to do it again. And all of a sudden here come the better opportunities, the synchronicities, and the person starts feeling a different emotion. And if they’re feeling a different emotion from the synchronicities in their life, they’re going to think less about their past and their traumas because they only go back to those memories of the trauma when they feel the emotions from some trigger or some circumstance in their life that caused the emotional response, and they have no idea that they could actually change that. Give the person the tool on how to change that, and you hang out with enough people that are doing the same thing. You come to…we have events with 1500, 2000 people and everybody’s got a story. Yeah.

And you know what? You can’t tell me now you’re too old to do this work. You can’t tell me that. We’ve measured elders’ blood, their brains, their hearts, they know how to…you can’t tell me you’re too sick to do this work. We have people with stage four cancers that got the prognosis they weren’t going to live more than a month. They are completely cancer-free. People that were blind that were traumatized from birth and traumatized from childhood that are seeing again because they overcame the trauma. So you can’t tell me how you had a difficult past because we’ve had people that had some brutal pasts and turned it around.

So there’s this kind of amazing thing that starts to happen when we try out the experiment and we feel these elevated emotions, we won’t be thinking about the past because those emotions are causing us to enjoy the present moment. Why would we want to leave the present moment? It feels too good. And so we teach people how to create this balance and coherence between their heart and their brain. And when there’s this elegant dance between the two, the person becomes very relaxed, not relaxed like they want to sleep, but calm and at peace and very awake and very aware. They’re not in the familiar past. They’re not in the predictable future. They’re actually present and relaxed in the moment. So then the job then is to be able to get so good at that with your eyes closed, that you could actually do with your eyes open in your day. That’s the challenge. So I think it is a worthy conversation, but I can tell you from my own experience and our own research that enough people have made those changes when they start experimenting with the process.

Katie: And I love the idea of framing it as an experiment. Because that makes it seem fun and doable, and you’re not attaching necessarily the attachment to an outcome. But I also love that you brought up the documented cases of people who have reversed something really severe by changing some of these things. And on the, like, on the flip side of that, people who have died because of a curse or some kind of hex or because of a misdiagnosis with a severe illness, and I think things like that really highlight just how powerful this connection is for people who maybe have trouble believing it. But can you go a little deeper on what’s happening in those cases, maybe the person who is told they only have three months to live and so they die, and then an autopsy reveals they never had the thing in the first place.

Dr Joe: Yeah. When I wrote my third book, “You Are the Placebo,” I start off the book with the story of this guy who was diagnosed with a severe cancer, and he was given three months to live. And the doctor told him to get all his affairs in place and, you know, that he could try some treatments, but more than likely he wasn’t going to survive. And the guy just said, please just keep me alive through Christmas. I just want to spend the holidays with my family, just give me those days and then I don’t care. So turns out the person dies one week after Christmas on New Year’s Day. And when they did the autopsy on his body, he didn’t have cancer. He died by thought alone, right? And so I think what happens when we get a diagnosis, and this is not easy, the doctor comes in, opens the test, puts up the scans, does whatever, and then looks at you and says, you have this health condition, whether it’s cancer, whatever it is, rheumatoid arthritis, whatever, and that’s a big moment for a person.

They’re altered from the experience of what the doctor’s telling and the primary emotion that we feel is fear like, oh, no, this thing’s got me or this thing is bigger than me. And when we’re living in the emotions of fear, we become suggestible to thoughts equal to the emotions of fear. We accept them. We believe them. We surrender to them without analyzing them. And that tends to go right into the autonomic nervous system, which is the automatic nervous system and starts to program the body to make the exact pharmacy of chemicals equal to those thoughts and feelings, the outcome, their future.

And so that becomes a moment in time the person never forgets. They remember the diagnosis when the doctor told them, and then whatever the doctor tells them after that point, “You have three months to live, or you’ll have this condition the rest of your life. It will never go away. I’m sorry.” All the things is just never it just… And the person lets that in. And then the programming process starts, right? The doctor told me this, he told me this. Now that’s what’s natural, that’s what normal. And by the way, I have nothing wrong with the diagnosis or the doctor giving the diagnosis. But we have had so many people who did the chemo, who did the radiation, who did the surgery, who did the gluten-free vegan ketogenic whatever else they were doing to try to change the health condition, but they weren’t changing.

And so nothing changes until we change. And so then we say that we had a cancer researcher, this woman come on the stage last weekend diagnosed with a uterine sarcoma in the middle of her life six years ago. And sarcomas are one of the most aggressive cancers. There are 6% of the population who responds to chemotherapy from this particular cancer. And she’s a cancer researcher. She researches cancer. So she does the round of the best type of chemotherapy they think, gets worse. Spreads to her lungs, spreads to her bones, spreads to her liver, spreads all through her pelvis. She’s in excruciating pain, her body is getting worse. She tries an experimental trial, she plateaus for a period of time, and then all of a sudden she starts to get worse again. Anyway, she started thinking, “God, I lived in stress my whole…” She read my books and made sense to her because she’s a scientist and science is the language.

And she was thinking about the hormones of stress and how it had an effect on her body. And it was more than likely what created the health condition. Nothing else was working. I gotta change if this is gonna change. There were days that she didn’t feel like doing it because she felt so horrible, she did it in meditation anyway. There were days that she felt a lot of fear because she wasn’t getting any better, but she did her meditation anyway and overcame her fear that day. There were days that there was doubt and she could have very easily given up on herself, but she did it anyway. And every day she kept overcoming. And what she said was, okay, the environment, according to epigenetics, signals the gene, the end product of an experience in the environment is an emotion. If I feel the emotion of my healing before it happens, this is a researcher, a scientist, my body will believe it’s grateful that the healing is happening to me, right now or has happened to me. It won’t know the difference.

And if I can hold an image or a picture of what that would look like, and if I traded all those survival emotions for an elevated emotion like gratitude, you know, gratitude. When you’re receiving something, when you just receive something that’s pleasurable or favorable, something wonderful is happening to you or something amazing just happened to you, you feel this emotion called gratitude. So its emotional signature is it already happened or it’s happening to you in the present moment. So it is the ultimate state of receiving. So every day she practiced opening her heart and feeling the emotions of her future. Now, if you’re in a state of gratitude and you’re in a state of receiving and that’s its emotional signature that it’s happening to you or it’s happened to you. You will accept believe and surrender to the thoughts that are equal to the emotional state of gratitude and you can program your autonomic nervous system into a different destiny.

In other words, if you’re living in fear and you’re trying to change your mind and you think it’s going to change your body, and you say I’m healthy, I’m healthy, I’m healthy, I’m healthy, I’m whole, I’m whole, I’m whole, I’m balanced, I’m balanced, I’m balanced. And that thought’s never moving past your brainstem into your body because your body’s saying you’re in fear. You’re in trauma. You’re in survival. The thought never makes it to the body. But when you’re feeling gratitude and you can break the conditioning of stress and elevate your emotional state to gratitude, you accept, believe, and surrender to those thoughts because it’s equal to the emotional state, and you can begin to reprogram that autonomic nervous system to produce different chemicals. Turns out in two weeks, all of the metastatic cancer was out of her lungs. She couldn’t believe it.

Two weeks later, all of the metastatic cancer, which is very, very uncommon to reverse in any type of conventional therapy. All the metastatic cancer out of her bones disappeared. And then all of the metastatic cancer in her liver and her pelvis, she has no evidence, zero evidence of cancer in her body. New personality, new personal reality. You ask her where is the cancer? She’ll tell you it’s in the old person. I’m somebody else, right? And so I said to her, well, then you discovered the cure for cancer. And it was within you the whole time. And people begin to understand that. Now, what’s the profundity of that? I’m watching the audience of 1500 people while she’s telling the story, and everybody is leaning in. There’s truth on the stage. There’s an example of truth. It’s right there. She doesn’t look any different than anybody else.

She tells you the facts. She tells you the story. She’s a researcher. She’s a scientist, tells you about her fears and the challenges. What happened, she lost her hair, the chemo didn’t work all of that. But when she’s telling that story, she’s the four-minute mile. She’s the person that broke through, right? Through a layer of consciousness or unconsciousness and says it’s possible. I guarantee you, someone in the audience, who’s looking at her and hearing her story who has the same or similar health condition is going to think, well, hell if she can do that, I think I can do that too. And that moment for many people starts to create this wonderful collective consciousness or all of a sudden that becomes the new normal. In other words, you’re witnessing truth. There’s a footprint in the quantum field and the energetic field of information, and there’s evidence right in front of you.

There’s evidence right in front of you that it’s possible. You’re looking at something that is, should be changing your belief. It’s unbelievable. And when you change your belief, you become conscious of other possibilities. Oh, my God. I am aware of another possibility that I wasn’t aware of before. And so the person who gets the diagnosis and lives by the emotions of fear and doesn’t understand that they can change that, then they gotta go against the program. The person who trades the fear for gratitude and changes their state of being and does it every day, we have researched the proof that if you did that for four days, you would strengthen an immunoglobulin that your immune system makes called immunoglobulin A. It gets 50% stronger. It increases by 50%. That’s an enormous amount of resistance in health that’s being created in the body.

So when people start to understand what they’re doing when they practice gratitude, why they’re doing it, then the how they can assign meaning to and get better results. So I think it’s so important to, if the person accepts the diagnosis without going, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Go slow here because I don’t want to get into the fear and not hear anything you say. And I accept the things that make me more fearful. And let me ask the right questions. Let me be analytical about this. Be aware of my choices. Let me go research it. Let me see if there’s an answer that you’re unaware of. Let me see if there’s another possibility without getting programmed. I think the world’s changing in that way and people, the medical model is changing because you don’t, you get a diagnosis and a lot of people go home and research about it, and then they know more about it than their doctor sometimes. And if their doctor isn’t supporting them in the health choices they’re making, they look for a doctor that does. And I think there’s a time now in history where it’s not enough to know. I think it’s a time in history to know-how.

Katie: And I know you’ve written extensively about this. I’ll make sure all of your work is linked in the show notes for everybody listening. I know a lot of people probably want to go deeper now.

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I think the question I’ve been most excited to ask you, especially for all the parents listening, is how can we use these tools that you talk about so much to help our children develop good thoughts and emotions and patterns so that they can hopefully avoid some of these things in life that all of us are working through as adults?

Dr Joe: Yeah. Well, first of all, you know, mothering is the, as I said, is the hardest job in the world. I raised three children, and I practiced raising them within many of these principles. And it was children, number one thing is they have mirror neurons. And mirror neurons are called empathy neurons. They model behavior. When a lion is teaching her cubs how to hunt, she’s not on a chalkboard and saying, you go here, you go there. She’s saying, watch me do this. And when the Cubs watch the lioness hunt, as they’re looking at their mom hunting, they’re priming the very circuits in their brain to hunt. As they watch their mom, they’re becoming their mom hunting, and the mother’s act is selecting and instructing circuitry in their brain equal to the environment that they’re perceiving.

So what does that mean to an adult or a human being? You gotta be the example of everything you want your children to be. That’s the fast path to enlightenment. So you can’t tell your kids get off your technology while you’re over there on the computer, on the phone, or on the TV, and expect them to find something to do if you’re not engaging. It’s important to have technology, but it’s also important to not have technology and that’s healthy as well. So one of the cool things that’s happened in our community is we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids that come to our week-long events from the age of 7 or 6, all the way up to 25 and 26. And sometimes there’s 200 on the stage and the children are interested in understanding that they can create a better life.

And so there’s certain principles I think that really help parents. And of course, another one is never try to reason with your children when they’re emotional. Because we don’t want to be reasoned with when we’re emotional. We want to be left alone until we get through the emotion because no information could actually enter their brain that isn’t equal to that emotional state. Now, one of the most important things that I think you can teach a child by demonstration as well as story allegory and conversation is to teach them how to shorten the refractory period of their emotional responses. So as I said, you react to or respond to something or some condition in your outer world, that changes your emotional state. It could create fear, it could create anger, create jealousy, hostility, envy, whatever.

So then the lingering of that emotion, that chemical, if you allow it to last for days to weeks, it’s called a mood. If it lasts for weeks and weeks to months on end, that’s called a temperament. Oh, he’s an angry temperament. Why are you angry? I’m angry because of this experience. If you keep the same emotion going on for years on end, that’s called a personality, personality trait. So personality traits many times are created by the experiences and the emotions that keep us connected to the past. Teaching children how to shorten their emotional reactions is such so vitally important because when we’re in that emotional state, there’s a gap between the way things appear and the way things really are. We’re altered, grown on ourselves. And if we act during that time, if we send an email during that time, if we speak during that time, even if we think during that time and we follow through, we’ll normally say, “I should’ve never said that, should have never thought that, I’d never should have sent that email. I should never done it.”

So children then are so neuroplastic, it’s so important for you to have conversations with them about how hard it is to overcome our emotional states when we’re in the emotional state. As an example, with my daughter, my kids, whenever I saw her react to someone or something, whatever I was doing, as long as there was no injury, or there’s no one in danger, I would stop. And I turned around and I would observe her just for a minute while she was doing what she was reacting to. And she became aware that I was observing her. After she became aware that I was observing her, then I would deal with it however I had to deal with it. At the end of the day, I would lay down with my children in bed and I would start to talk about myself.

God, I had a pretty tough day today. I lost it right around 3:00. I couldn’t get back the entire day. I was frustrated and I was inpatient at too many things going on. I was overwhelmed. And I wasn’t present with you guys at dinner. I don’t know, making something up. You just pause for a moment, my daughter would say, “Yeah, I got really angry at Paris today.” And I’d say, “I know, I saw you.” And then she’d say, “Yeah.” And she’d start telling me what happened and I’d say, “Okay, now that you know what happened, if it happened again, how would you do it differently? How would you behave differently?” How would you evolve your experience? And then we would talk about it. And between her and I, we would come up with another plan, another rehearsal we would begin to. Okay. Let’s okay. So Paris comes in, she says, and you do this and said, so you’re, before you go to bed at night, your subconscious mind is wide open to information.

And so I would rehearse it with her before she would go to sleep, well, you know, while everybody was in bed. And I would then tell a story of these kids that lived in a faraway land. And then I would bring in each kid’s little allegory about them and what they were working on changing to give them an opportunity that they could evolve their experiences. So we have these laws, we call them the 10 laws of quantum parenting, and they’re all based on the biology, really, of how we can really begin to transform our children. And the fast track, of course, is being the example of everything you want them to be.

Katie: I love that. I’ll make sure, you’ve mentioned quite a few resources, that they are linked. For anybody who’s new to your work, where would you recommend them starting, especially if they’re really resonating with some of the things we’ve talked about today?

Dr Joe: You know, I think probably there’s a couple of different things that work for people. And I think the book “Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself” is a really good basic tool for people to begin to demystify the process of change, and gets them how to, excuse me, the how-to on how to do that. For some people that want to be more stimulated through video, we just released this new program called “The Formula.” It’s 12, 30 to 40 minute, little bites, and five meditations that go along with it that seemed to be pretty popular. For those people who are really wanting to get going, I would recommend to get the Progressive Workshop which is an online course. And, Progressive Workshop has a lot of tools and a lot of information in. It’s a nine-week course.

You could do it in a weekend if you want, some people do. And there’s lots of meditations, there’s lots of techniques. And if that motivates you, or if you find that as something interesting, then, of course, the magic, the real fun happens at our week-long events that we do around the world. And, I think when you get a community of people together that are all doing the same thing, we’re always pretty surprised. Our research in the last two years has taught me so much about how amazingly powerful we truly are.

Katie: Well, it’s on my list for sure to make it to one of your events whenever kid logistics allow. But I will link to the things you mentioned for those of you guys listening at wellnessmama.fm so you guys can keep learning from Dr Joe. Thank you so much for being here. I know how busy you are, and I’m so grateful that you shared with my community today.

Dr Joe: Thank you. I hope I helped somebody.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you guys, for listening and for sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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