“The body doesn’t know the difference between an experience and thought. You can literally change your biology, chemistry, hormones and genes simply be having an inner event”Dr. Joe Dispenza
One of the reasons I look at diabetes through the lens of possibilities is simply because I have seen myself what the body is capable of.
Both good and bad.
Looking back to the months before I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I today see how I unknowingly was making myself sick – to the point where t my body said STOP.
And even though there are several contributing factors to my getting diabetes, including a poor diet and the lack of exercise, there is one factor that I believe deserves attention. The thoughts in my mind.
A trip down memory lane
To make a long story short, 2011 didn’t start out so well.
In 2009 I moved to Los Angeles and went all-in in a startup with a lofty vision. Three Norwegian friends were going to create a film production company to bring the Western book series, Morgan Kane, to the big screen. And guess what? It didn’t go so well (Article in Norwegian and one in English).
Even though the company didn’t collapse until 2019, my exit was in early 2011. After disagreeing on the direction going forward I was told I was no longer needed in the company.
Over the months to come, one thought and the corresponding feeling were given more and more energy.
The feeling of failure.
The power of disbelief
At night I would spiral downward in negative thoughts and emotions. It felt like cutting myself with a knife from the inside. I had attached so much of my self-worth to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
I reached a point where the only thing I was sure of in life was that I was not capable of handling it.
And then I got diabetes.
Looking back I can’t help but think that I got what I asked for. A manifestation of my thoughts and feelings.
Having spoken to other people who have gotten type 1 diabetes later in life, I see a pattern. Often a traumatic event has happened sometime before the disease.
The feeling is the secret
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”Henry Ford
The great thing about thoughts is that they have no more power than the power you give them.
What can be challenging is to cultivate positive thoughts on a consistent basis – especially when the mind is instinctively wired to look for danger. And when life throws you a few curve balls it can feel overwhelming to dive into this part of yourself – to look inwards. Trust me – I know.
What I also know is that my blood sugar is better when I get into uplifting and positive states. Earlier in life, I thought that these states could be reached only by external circumstances. . The feeling of love from someone. The feeling of success when I reached a goal. The feeling of happiness when I bought something I have wanted.
Living life like this can be exhausting. Always looking for or craving something on the outside to create happiness on the inside.
So what if we turn it upside down? Creating feelings on the inside simply by choosing the thoughts we would like to cultivate.
This a-ha moment is one of the biggest insights I have had. And I am not talking about just positive thinking. I am talking about practicing creating feelings, or states, that change “..biology, chemistry, hormones and genes”, to use Dr. Joe Dispenza’s words.
Let’s take gratitude as an example. One thing is to say thank you out loud. Another is to create a feeling of gratitude.
A practice I have is to give myself a few minutes each day to be grateful for the things in my life. The roof over my head, the food in my fridge, or a beautiful sunrise. What it is I am grateful for doesn’t really matter as long as it creates a positive feeling. And with the feeling, I notice how my body changes. My blood sugar is better those days. My digestion is working better. The world just feels better.
I got this
Now, let’s turn it up a notch.
The reason I chose gratitude as the first example is that it is a feeling most of us are able to easily create.
Having played (yes, it can be play) with creating feelings of gratitude for a while, I came across another affirmation that made even more of an impact on me. It is the feeling associated with “I got this”.
Interestingly, “I got this” is the exact opposite of how I felt in 2011 in the months before I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I felt lost and like a failure.
Instead, affirming and feeling the energy of “I got this” is empowering. It removes the feeling of being a victim and replaces it with the knowing that I am able to take on any challenge that may come.
“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul”William Ernest Henley
The reality of spirituality
Before we get into my practice, let me just clarify one thing. If I had read this article 3-4 years ago I would have wondered if I had lost it. It does sound a bit “out there”, and what does this really have to do with diabetes?
This skepticism has, however, been silenced over the years as I have repeated time after time that my blood sugar is improved when I am in states such as gratitude, (self)-love or “I got it”.
That said, this is a practice and not a quick-fix. I’m not walking around in a state of bliss all the time. However, when I feel a little off or down, I know what I can do.
So do you want to try yourself?
Find a place where you can be by yourself for 15 minutes. I like to lie down as it helps my body settle.
Then I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and think about what I am grateful for. In my experience, it is not about the quantity but the quality. Meaning, it is better that you find one thing to be grateful for and to feel the feeling of that than to make your mind busy coming up with lots of things to be grateful for.
Breathe slowly throughout the practice. 5 seconds in and holding for 3 seconds before exhaling for 5 seconds, and then holding for 3 seconds. But you don’t need to count. The point is to just slow down your breath.
After some practice, you should notice that your focus moves from the thoughts in your mind to a feeling in your body. And when you get to that feeling you can put more focus/energy on it, and feel it grow. It’s an interesting experience when you feel this positivity grow inside of you. Simply put, it feels… healing.
When you are in this state you can also start playing with other feelings – like something as empowering as “I got it” or loving yourself for who you are.
The play part is to find the affirmation, the thought, that will create a positive emotional change in your body – and this can be unique for each of us.
So invite you to play. Of all the lifestyle practices I do this is the most positive and life-changing of them all. It only requires some time for yourself and the willingness to be in touch with your feelings.
I wish you a wonderful time with this practise! ❤️
This is wonderful. Just trying to figure out how to do this with my 9 year who was recently diagnosed T1D. Any thoughts?