My Really Big New Crush: The Work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, Part 1

You Are the Placebo - Life Coach Teresa Young explores Dr. Joe Dispenza's work

Anybody who has studied with me privately or heard me teach knows I’m fascinated by the brain. By how it works, and how to train it. So it makes sense that I would eventually find the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Dr. Dispenza’s name popped up in my YouTube feed a few months ago as my family was in the midst of some intense challenges. And I was instantly intrigued. For one thing, I’ve long been a fan of his colleague Gregg Braden‘s work at the crossroads of science and spirituality, and of his colleague Bruce Lipton’s important contributions to the new science of epigenetics.

Then I saw the title of Dr. Dispenza’s second book, You Are the Placebo. And boom! Lightning-strike. I had to get down into it and find out exactly what he’s up to.

Because I’ve always wondered why we humans have been so casual about the placebo effect. For example, check out this definition on merriam-webster.com:

placebo

1a.    A usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder

1b.    An inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (such as a drug)

2.      Something tending to soothe

 

Really? A big piece of info is missing there. Because during drug trials in pharmaceutical research, a placebo always affects a statistically significant percentage of participants like an actual drug would. Again, and really think about this: the placebo has the effect on some folks that they expect the drug to have.

Whoa. Tell me that isn’t fascinating!

And what does it mean? And how can we humans harness whatever that’s about? Cut to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.

But first, let’s go back to merriam-webster.com:

placebo effect

Improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used

 

That’s more on point, right? Now what does Dr. Dispenza have to say on the subject?

The following is a fantastic intro to his use of the placebo effect from an interview with Brian Rose of London Real. It will take seven minutes of your time. Then meet me back here. For real. :)

 

The best part: why this matters to you and me

If you heard that interview, the thinkers among you already get it, at least conceptually. For folks who function more on instinct or feeling, consider this: the fact that the placebo effect happens to some humans means we can learn to use it.

The placebo effect occurs because we—our hearts and minds and beliefs—are that powerful. Though maybe not naturally. Maybe not without steady work and real changes to beliefs and habits. To patterns and resulting cycles in our lives.

In fact, I regard Dr. Dispenza’s work so highly because he has mastered the how of this effect. How to apply it in our own lives.

How, indeed:  his story

And yes, as is often the case with important innovators, Dr. Dispenza broke through to exciting new ground in terms of his own beliefs—and resulting possibilities—through a personal crisis. Because in 1986, as a young chiropractor living and working in L.A., he was hit by an SUV while biking in a triathlon in Palm Springs.

He wound up face down in traction with six crushed vertebrae. Several surgeons said he needed steel rods inserted down the length of his spine to ever, possibly, walk again. You can hear his story in his own words here.

But the bottom line is that he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Over the course of three months, since he had nothing to do but lie there anyway, he worked on his own shattered back. And long story short, he healed and resumed his life.

Ready for what may feel even more “woowoo” to you?

And here’s where the story may really test the boundaries of your beliefs: Dr. Dispenza worked on his back through meditation, visualization, and what I’ll call prayer. I’m not sure he would use that word.

Because one thing “Dr. Joe” says repeatedly is that science is the new spirituality. Quantum physics brought everything together over the past fifty years or more in ways that are just now trickling down to us regular folks.

So he steers clear of language that may alienate people for varying reasons. And his team of researchers and neuroscientists constantly document the startling results his advanced seminar participants are getting all over the world.

Now, before you say, whoa, too weird, I’m out, remember the placebo effect. In my own words:

 

Dr. Dispenza’s groundbreaking work with the placebo effect shows that, using belief in a possibility, focused attention, and elevated emotion, we can achieve an energetic dynamic that creates the results we want.

 

For three decades, Dr. Joe Dispenza has been learning how to apply what he learned in his own extreme life circumstance to the lives of others. These days he and his team are working and taking data all over the globe. Which means, in this age of instant information, all that goodness is available to us.

To be continued…

So I’ll end Part 1 with this link to a longer interview with Dr. Dispenza on his revolutionary work. If you’re intrigued, go for the gusto next and either read or listen to You Are the Placebo.

And I’ll be back soon with Part 2. It’ll be practical info on using Dr. Dispenza’s techniques to meet your own beautiful goals.

After all, why not, right? As you live your dream. For real.

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

On Grief and Growth: Strange New Inspirations and Insights

On Grief and Growth - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

My dears, I feel like reflecting on how grief and growth may—as I’m discovering—meet in our lives. So I’ll hit you right up front with what feels deeply personal to me.

Since last fall, when my mother had some awful surgery, then Hurricane Michael pounded my parents’ house and town, and my mother declined and died, I’ve been immersing myself in research on dying, death, and “life after.” If you know me, you know this is very different for me.

Though I do have a memory of myself sprawled on my pink bedspread at 13. I was writing a piece on the logic of the immortal soul that no one had assigned and no one was waiting to read. Awww, right? Eternal life was crystal clear to me then.

Fall from paradise

But that sweet certainty was shattered in a college history class in the fall of 1980. I had just become a young mother. Then we spent weeks on the Holocaust.

A hammer of shock and grief came down on me. When the apocalyptic dust settled a bit, I declared myself an atheist and an existentialist. Though in truth I also railed at God for allowing such atrocities.

I remember one bike ride home. I was livid, cursing and swerving all over the road! And newly free somehow.

Out went the Catholic creed I’d recited by heart since childhood, and the baby with the bathwater in terms of any belief in a higher power. I didn’t believe in anything beyond these mortal lives of ours. I just believed in myself, and in the folks around me.

Thinkers like Viktor Frankl moved me. My passion for the human journey was born.

Jung and mystery in the mix

My continuing explorations, especially reading Jung and experiencing synchronicity, brought me back to a kind of center from that brink. But I was still an existentialist. To me, the shorthand for describing this philosophy is that we create our own meaning and purpose in life. That’s what—as in all—there is.

And as a coach, that point of view has been a space of freedom for me. A creative space. In fact, my energy-based training has fit well with my existentialist mindset.

The realm of quantum physics has been the unifying field for me. Everything can come together there without religious or New Age language that may alienate people for all kinds of reasons.

Though I’ve also, always, still, had a soft spot in my heart for mystery. For what we can’t explain. Was that a distant fife and drum calling out that change was coming?

Then my mother passed through death’s door

So now I’m deep in this study of death and beyond. And I’m clear that my new interest isn’t temporary. My grief and my creative process are coming together right here.

After all, I am an explorer. Always have been.

These days I’m also in daily conversation with my 83 year-old dad. It’s a new ritual for the two of us. We’re talking it all out here in this strange country, him without his wife and me without my mother.

With beauty in this dark brew

More truth: I’m 100% clear that in this season of loss, there’s beauty, too. I experience large and small daily gifts of awareness and insight, and bits of delight like a flower or a bird or a glass or a fabric that my mother would love. It’s goose-bump city around here.

And I’m feeling energized by permission I’ve given myself to delve into soul territory. The word feels like rich brew that I’m tasting in some stranger than ever act of freedom.

Yes, it’s beautiful and confusing territory. Here’s an example of what I mean:

I attended Walt Disney Concert Hall’s Jazz Series this season with my dear friend Maggie, a Brit who has lived in L.A. for decades. The series included a recent tribute to Oscar Peterson.

“To Oscar, with Love” was a night of exquisite sounds and a sweet vibe, featuring world-class jazz pianists and a legendary bassist. And I had a confusing experience in the midst of it.

New urges and uncertainties

During one gorgeous piano solo, I slipped into a dreamy, ecstatic state. And just then I felt a sudden wave of regret for something that had happened earlier.

Because in the pre-show traffic madness on Grande Street, with the clock ticking toward the concert’s downbeat, we were trying to turn right in front of the hall to get into the parking structure. Meanwhile, all the folks valeting cars or dropping people off were heading left out of there. And that included an enormous black tour bus. Classic gridlock.

I’m an L.A. driver with plenty of street battle under my belt. So I was holding my ground with the bus driver while trying to get into the lane on my right to turn right. But he was just as determined to squeeze into my lane ahead of me to go left.

My eye-to-eye, non-verbal cue was, dude, I’ve gotta go right! He gestured at me wildly. Lady, I’m going left!

Later, as the music relaxed my busy brain, I suddenly registered unhappiness with my approach to the bus guy, not relief that we got in there on time. The messy truth is that I’m ever more aware this season of my own habitual ways of being.

I’m processing one message in my current studies, that a big part of the work of our lives, let’s say at a “soul level”, is really just kindness. Simple care and concern for our fellow travelers, both human and other. In short, I’m feeling challenged on a whole new level.

Beauty and confusion as delicious combo

Confusing, indeed. Because I’m not about to start expecting doormat behavior or perfection of myself or others. But it’s really delicious confusion for me.

Like the conversation Maggie and I had the next morning, inspired by the music and our ride down after in the packed elevator. We were buzzing with all the equally thrilled folks around us. And the chance to reflect on my new confusion with my old friend over coffee was a lovely part of the mix.

The point for me now is to continue living in the unknown in this odd new phase. I’m feeling my way.

So another truth is that I’m experiencing my mom’s death not just as heartbreaking loss, but also as opening. Opening into what, I still don’t really know. Though it’s at least in part about growth on some level that’s only possible now.

Growth meets connection

And not just growth, but also capacity for deep connection. As one of my personal heroines, Marion Woodman, said, “It’s suffering that opens us to love.”

 

It’s suffering that opens us to love.
~ Marion Woodman

And now

So the somewhat shocking truth is that, for the first time in my adult life, I can no longer describe my philosophical and spiritual point of view as existential. Though I don’t have words yet for what’s coming.

And that’s fine. All things in the fullness of time. New, unknown life is born, then named.

And you

Is there anything you’re grieving? If so, how could some reflection through a lens I’ll call soul territory possibly aid and soothe you? Let me know. I’m here.

And lastly for now, thanks to Pixabay and Lucinda Faye for use of the evocative image above.

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts On Your—and My—Capacity for Happiness: In Short, What’s Yours?

Being Happy - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

Ah, happiness. It’s one of life’s holy grails. Right?

Yep, we often seek happiness. Like distant treasure we’re determined to find. Someday, somewhere, off in the hazy future, where the grass is greener and all our wishes and dreams have been fulfilled, then we’ll “be happy.”

But what do we really need to be happy?

When my oldest son went off to college, I realized that my dream for him was the capacity for happiness. Indeed, as I was letting go of my first little guy who had grown into a fine young man, nothing else I could want for him even came close. The truth is that I learned something about myself that day.

So today, what thoughts do you have as you consider these questions:


On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your capacity for happiness, without conditions?

What will it take to move that needle?

What, exactly, makes you happy?

How can you live your life to fit that truth?

What’s first, the chicken, or the egg?

So what really comes first, my dears? Happiness, or the conditions we think we need to meet to have it? And a bit more truth-telling from me will take us deeper.

Before my beloved mother got so ill last fall and Hurricane Michael struck as she was recovering from surgery, and before Panama City’s medical community was punched hard by hurricane damage and my mother went weeks with little care, and then died in January, I was really still putting conditions on my own happiness.

In truth, I was driven! Always striving, working, and thinking. Planning and assessing. Improving.

Getting hip to happiness

These days, on this side of that life crisis, the truth is that I’m hip to what heartbreak taught me:  It’s all about love for me these days, my dears.

All about beauty. About kindness and connection. All about gratitude and wonder at the magnificent journey of life we’re all living.

In fact, these days my new projects are joys like using my intuition and being empathic. Getting ever more present to mystery and synchronicities. Less late-night writing. More stretching and walking. Way more meditating. Way more sleeping!

These days I see happiness, like the journey of life, as its own destination. After all, living—with all its twists and turns and ups and downs—is so precious. I just want to take it all in.

The journey these days

These days I say, with more passion than ever, the journey really is the destination. And more, our capacity for happiness doesn’t need conditions.

In short, I say snag happiness. Own it. Sing it! Be it. Then, by all means, with its glow shining around you from deep inside you, go out walking the path toward what you want most.

Yep, reach for it all from there, like that. Be you from there, like that. Day by day, step by step, on the wild, wonderful journey of life.

Yin to yang and back again

And lastly for now:

To me, happiness doesn’t mean no pain. No sorrow. Instead, these days I say being happy without conditions means accepting what is while we move through it.

Because we know living brings with it the whole range of experiences and emotions, from bright to dark. From agony to ecstasy. From yin to yang and back again. In truth, my dears, that’s the gig.

So these days I say happiness is ours for the taking, while the great pendulum of life swings as it will. And once again now, with feeling:


What, exactly, makes YOU happy?

Let me know.

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

Ready to Design Your Way to Your Artful Life? First Believe in Life. Then Trust Yourself.

Believe in Life - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

Indeed, are you ready to design your life?

To be an artist is to believe in life. ~ Henry Moore

These words of wisdom from sculptor Henry Moore made my night. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between creativity and health. About all the ways we creative types have to express ourselves in modern life. All the freedom we have to do so.

Though I’m not saying it’s easy. If so, would it, as Kurt Vonnegut said about practicing any art, make our souls grow?

In fact, part of the deliciousness of creative expression may be in meeting those challenges. Inner and outer. Short term and long term.

And doesn’t that sound a lot like just designing and living a vibrant life? In truth, the point is really to be fully ourselves. And to act on whatever truly makes our hearts sing. Yes! Deep breath.

That means putting the parts and pieces of our lifestyle together with all that in mind. Honoring our creative lives. Placing them front and center.

And, as Henry Moore said, the creative project of our lives is no doubt aided by believing in life. In the midst of the yin and yang of all things. Be that person. Take that stand.

Design your life from there. Beautiful, yes?

And what tends to get in the way? That’s oh, so human, right? Let me know. I’m here, in your creative corner.

xo,
Teresa

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Growing, Interesting Ones. Rock the Wild, Wonderful Journey.

Keep Going, Keep Growing - Life Coaching with Teresa Young

Are you hip to this bit of wisdom from Bob Dylan?

He [and she] who is not busy being born is busy dying.

We’re living at a time when “aging gracefully” is more doable than ever. The days when young folks had all the fun are over. When they had all the freedom. Now it’s totally possible for us to have multiple phases of life that are in fact age-neutral.

Changing the game

These days, people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, even 80s and 90s live very different lives from one another. Some act out beliefs that a certain age means it’s time to be tired, unhealthy, overweight. And in many ways done with self-care.

Others still jam on dreams and goals. Exercise. Eat smart. And practice self-care strategies like mindfulness and meditation that can truly change the aging game.

A growth mindset is win-win

A continuous-growth approach allows the wisdom of our elder years maximum space and time to develop. Then we can share that wisdom in all kinds of satisfying ways.

After all, we have our own difference to continue to make in the world. Traditional societies have always known this, but modern culture forgot. These days it’s time to change the game back again.

So I say the early 21st century is an amazing time to be “maturing.”

As birthdays accumulate

And of course no amount of self-care negates everything forever, no matter how much yoga we do. :) In truth, we all need ever greater inner fortitude as our birthdays accumulate.

In light of that truth, bravo to all who are jamming on beyond all kinds of old  boundaries. As you walk your own wild, wonderful 21st century path, reach out for the expert support you deserve.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.

 

 

In Moments of Darkness, Stay. On. Your. Path. Just Keep Walking, in Compassion. You’ll Generate Light.

Life Coaching with Teresa Young

I wrote the first version of this piece after the November 2015 Paris attacks, then updated it in November 2018 after the tragedy just down the road in Thousand Oaks. Today, yet again, as all too often of late, we’re trying to process our feelings of shock, grief, and horror after the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings.

Horror can sap our strength

When we’re confronted with dark events, dark forces, even horrific experiences and images, it’s natural to be blindsided. We don’t ever quite grow numb to it. And it’s easy to fixate. To lose focus. To lose energy and heart.

We can lose the vision of our way forward. We can lose the energy for anything. Our peace of mind, even our beliefs, shattered. Again.

Challenge and the way forward

In times of terrible trial, consider that your shattered focus is help that you don’t have to wait for. This challenge to your battered heart is the way forward. As one world leader said during a dark time in the 20th Century:

If you’re going through hell, keep going.
—Sir Winston Churchill

This guidance is right on in the fires of fear, pain, and the loss of simple human happiness. Loss of confidence in the next day or week or season for ourselves and our fellow humans.

In fact, to counteract darkness, double down on what matters most to you. Despite everything. Stay focused. Or re-focus. Or begin to focus, on your highest priorities. Live your values. What you find most meaningful and beautiful.

Walk. Your. Path.

It’s a discipline. Maybe the ultimate discipline. Maybe challenging enough that you can’t fixate on what would further sap your body, mind, and spirit.

Another great wisdom-keeper said it this way:

Do not let the behavior of another destroy your inner peace.
—the Dalai Lama

Be as informed and present as you feel is sustainable for you. Be active in creating change in ways that speak to you. Send your empathy and care telepathically to victims and their families. To anyone struggling for life.

Donate money and other resources. Express yourself in whatever ways feel right. And try to generate peace rather than yet more conflict. Practice compassion, including self-compassion, and real self-care.

In other words, put on your own oxygen mask now, right now, as one way of counteracting understandable emotional paralysis in the face of horror. And keep moving forward on your goals in the ways that matter to you today, one foot in front of the other. And pace yourself in the process. There’s time for all things.

In fact, take time to meditate, rest, and consciously take part in whatever helps to calm your spirit. Then you’re helping to generate the light that humanity needs at such dark moments. Plus you’re modeling that good work.

Proceed.

Do your work. Walk your path. And reach out for the support you need. In short, proceed, dear ones. Proceed.

 

Life Coaching with Teresa Young
Photo: John Livzey

Teresa Young wants you living your dream, for real. She coaches by phone, in person in Los Angeles, and via Skype outside the U.S.