“When you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change.”
The first time I heard this I was sitting in a circle listening to my karate classmates talk about what it meant to them. When it was my turn I repeated the phrase as a response not really understanding what to make of it. It was a paradigm shift I began embracing as I read, watched videos about, and contemplated on thereafter.
Stay present, choose meaning
It’s that easy, and that difficult. It’s simple because the present moment is all there ever is. When I lean into it and engage my imagination a lot happens. It’s challenging because cemented beliefs sometimes don’t budge for new ones to be planted. It is even harder when unconscious beliefs automatically override new ideas. Living as a possibility, as Sahdguru likes to say, will allow those ideas space to rise. Being absolute only anchors me to a limited circumference. There was a time, for instance, when people thought the earth was flat, when the earth was the center of the universe, and when the atom was believed to be the smallest particle. Until someone discovered otherwise, these ideas were more or less static. In the same way, until I realized what some of my unconscious beliefs were, I was only able to see things a certain way. Being present enough to choose how I wanted to interpret events was an unavailable state since I primarily relied on past memory.
Even your cells do it
Your cells also see things a certain way, and thankfully so. My nose-cells get to express themselves as such because of Methyl Groups (made of carbon & hydrogen). They bind to genes to selectively switch gene-instructions on or off so that nose-cells don’t express ear-cells. Can you imagine? Histones (made of proteins) are important too. They are the spools DNA winds itself around and can moderate how tightly or loosely packed DNA are. The looser it is wound the more access your cells have to your DNA, which enable changes to happen.
Changing your patterns changes DNA
While the fundamentals of DNA can’t be changed, how you manage the state of your thoughts, diet, stress levels, and exercise have a measurable influence on how packed it becomes, and how successfully Methyl Groups bind to your genes. This is the science of Epigenetics, formulated as recent as 2008. Unmanaged stress or really bad eating habits over long periods can, for example, cause Methyl groups to bind to the wrong places and make mistakes. Scientists have found this leads to abnormal cells, which can result in diseases. Since your thoughts affect neurotransmitters responsible for controlling bodily functions, they affect how Methyl groups bind and how tightly DNA wraps too. The same goes for exercise.
Since epigenetics is the software that tells your DNA (the hardware) what to do, and new discoveries demonstrate we have the capacity to rewrite some of it, how much we can direct is equal to how conscious we are about it. Considering the paradigm shift that came with realizing I had the ability to interpret events anyway I choose, this new one makes that discovery even more meaningful. To rephrase: “When you change the way you think, eat, stress out, and exercise, the things your cells look at (DNA) changes”.