My most recent blog post explored the work of Joel Zeff and the power of our emotions to shape our lives. Every day we encounter our own emotions and the emotions of others. The scientific underpinnings of this phenomenon are revealed in the book, The Molecules of Emotion by Dr. Candace Pert, an American neuroscientist and pharmacologist. Her scientific understanding of the chemistry of the body that we label “our emotions” helped me understand the chemical reality behind our thoughts of love, joy happiness, despair, fear, longing, and hope.

What’s Happening Inside

What Candace asserts in factual, scientific, yet humorous fashion corroborates what Joel Zeff demonstrates on stage. Namely, that our bodies create happy drugs (endorphins, serotonin, DHEA, and others) when we are happy and laughing. We are a chemical factory! The “drugs” we produce physically transform us, inside and out, with sweeping immediacy. Try this experiment sometime: when you’re in a bad mood, challenge yourself to smile for 5 seconds and feel your mood improve as your body chemistry responds.

What does all this mean? A thought is not only a thought, nor is air empty, although it’s invisible. A thought is energy! A thought produces chemicals, harmoniously mixing chemistry and the physics of vibration in the cells throughout our body to make a real, palpable change in our state of being. Positive thoughts are 100 times more powerful than negative ones, but the negative ones tend to outnumber the positive. These thoughts define our state of mind, and it is this state of mind we must attend to through conscious choice. We decide, often unwittingly, whether to linger in negative emotion or to let it pass and embrace our vibrant selves.

Emotion and Disease

As mentioned earlier, I fell in love with Candace Pert for validating what I knew I had experienced, for putting the lessons of her findings down in words, and for relating those lessons to her own life, which helped me corroborate them to mine. Most of all, her writing opened up a new mode of thought for me, one in which I began to take responsibility for my thoughts in connection to my own well-being.

I was on a quest to rid myself of illness, the nasty allergies that for years robbed me of my energy and began to choke the very words out of my mouth. Having tried almost every outward fix available, I was finally ready to look inward for a solution. The simple, yet profound epiphany that I may be part of the cause of my disease was a vital antidote to my fixation that I was merely a victim of it.

From Victim to Active Participant

It’s so easy to be a victim, to think “I am one of the afflicted miserable souls who can’t breathe or function when grass spores pollinate. My allergies come and go and I have good days and bad, but they are a function of something “outside” of me. They happen ‘to me’ and there’s just not much I can do about it.”

Think for a moment of the improvisation I wrote about in Joel Zeff’s work and perhaps a light will turn on. What I witnessed made it clear to me that people can feel good or bad when and how they decide! The mood of those around us has an immediate and direct effect on us. Sure, we can work to ward off the happy person on the bus next to us or ignore the surly boss running the meeting, but their vibrational impact on us is real and can alter our outlook in very short order, for good or for ill.

Accepting these vibrational patterns is the norm. We react as those around us dictate, over and over again, perpetuating the victim pattern we have developed for ourselves. I was a great example of a person stuck in allergy hell because I considered my plight as that of a victim, rather than understanding my disease and my response to it as something that I could choose. The story of overcoming the hold that my allergies had on my life will be shared another time. What is important is that this realization was the beginning of a journey of healing, a conscious choice.

Our emotions are not the enemy. The decisions we make about how we relate to them are the key to improving our lives, our families, and our communities.