What an extraordinary evening we had with behavioural specialist, Dr John Demartini, at our monthly YES Group London event. With nearly 300 people attending, the sense of excitement and expectation was bubbling up before we even started.
We are very fortunate to have some of the best speakers on personal development grace the YES Group stage but Dr Demartini took the evening to a completely different level, with his talk on the mind-body connection.
Forty-five years of research has gone into his work and it was evident as he spoke to us about how negative symptoms in the body are feedback about how we are living our lives. Going beyond just the effects of diet, he shared how the body manifests symptoms of discomfort, illness and disease when we are living out of integrity with our values.
When he spoke of values, he wasn’t talking about morals, he was talking about living in alignment with what matter to us. For example, if you have a passion to create a business where you can work remotely and travel around the world, living in different countries, then you would be out of integrity to start a relationship with someone who is more conventional, who wants to be settled in one place and be able to see their family every day. While the ‘honeymoon period’ may disguise the lack of compatibility, over time, no matter how much you love each other, the stain of trying to align two very different value systems will create stress, which will manifest in the body – whether that be indigestion, headaches or a more serious illness.
He explained that our highest values are the foundation of our identity. Whenever we do something in line with our highest values, our self-esteem goes up. For example, if contribution is a high value for you and you are involved with Basket Brigade, you will feel deeply fulfilled, even when you face challenges because of this value – getting up at 5.30am to go and pack hampers). We can justify the short term pain for long term pleasure.
When we are only living alignment with our lowest values, we seek immediate gratification and are reduced to ‘survival’ consciousness, focused on lack and selfishness.
“We walk our talk when aligned with our highest values; we limp through life when we live by our lowest values.”
– Dr John Demartini
The majority of society is currently living in survival mode, which is why the incidences of stress related illness have increased by alarming levels in the last ten years. Having low level bodily discomfort or illness is so normal that most of us don’t consider that there could be another, better option.
Dr Demartini shared that our symptoms are our friends, showing us that we need to change our behaviour. If we don’t listen to the message contained in those symptoms, sometimes they become more pronounced. Our symptoms are guiding us to an extraordinary life, if we will listen and take appropriate action.
So, what is that appropriate action? The simple answer is to reflect on our lives and start to take the first steps to come back into alignment with our highest values.
Dr Demartini also talked about the tendency for us (particularly in the personal development world) to embrace the part of our personality that we feel are acceptable (kindness, optimism, generosity) and repress those characteristics that we feel are unacceptable, or that we will be judged for (anger, laziness, selfishness). This can also cause us to suffer and, potentially, become ill, as we contain each of these facets in our human form and to deny them is futile. That is not to say that we choose to indulge anger or selfishness. At the time they arise within us we listen to their messages (anger – someone is behaving unfairly; laziness – I’m worn out after a couple of really demanding weeks and I need some time to just do nothing) and take the appropriate action.
“We need to embrace the hero and the villain in ourselves, and in all people.”
– Dr John Demartini
After the break, Dr Demartini took some questions from the room and worked with some people, identifying that their symptoms directly related areas of their life where they had suppressed their values: Thyroid problems – the fear of speaking up for themselves; migraine – feeling they didn’t belong.
It was a powerful and moving session, that effected everyone in the room. Mindful of the shifts that people were experiencing from being part of this transformative experience, the evening closed with Allan Kleynhans leading us in a meditative chant, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, to ground our energy and send us home in a peaceful, grateful state.
Dr Demartini generously offered to share some resources, to supplement the learning we received during the evening. If you weren’t able to attend the event, do make sure you make the most of these values resources – and make sure you join us at our next event on Wednesday 27thJune.