Monday, August 31, 2009

What’s a nice doctor like you doing in a place like this?

By Mary Pellicer, MD

When I was eight I lived in Africa where my father worked for the Peace Corp. I was exposed to some of the health ravages that are often seen in third world countries. There were beggars with horrible deformities on the streets and Moms with babies slung on their backs—the babies had matted eyes and the flies buzzed relentlessly. I remember deciding then and there that I wanted to be a physician so I could help.

What I realize now is that was the first time I heard my calling as a healer. So I studied hard and chased my dream of becoming a physician. After my Family Practice residency, I went to work for a Farm Workers clinic in the States and sometimes saw third world type situations right here. I helped the best I could with what I had been taught.

Even though it is great for some things, I eventually grew frustrated with conventional medicine—seeing that for many of the chronic problems my patients had, I was way too far downstream to help and the tools I had learned in medical school were often just band-aids. I left the clinic and helped develop a Healthy Community program for a local hospital before being drawn into a journey through the realms of alternative healing. On that journey, I have seen many types of healing and met many different types of healing practitioners; I now know beyond a doubt that there is much more to healing then I learned in medical school.

My journey eventually brought me here, to this place in time and space we call Renaissance of the Heart. Together with Nancy and Ceitllyn, I continue on this journey into the depths of human consciousness, seeking to learn all the things about healing that my professors couldn’t teach me in medical school.

Certainly, some will think me unscientific for diving into the world of alternative healing modalities. However, I have seen and experienced too many things that the current science of conventional medicine can’t explain to stay inside the box. Since I believe that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality, I find the need to go exploring beyond the bounds of currently held conventional scientific knowledge. I have found many brilliant researchers and teachers to lead the way and excellent companions to make the journey fun.

What an exciting ride; why don’t you come join us?


P.S. Don’t forget to leave all preconceived notions at the door, they tend to make one queasy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

That’s Why I’m Often in Inner Conflict! – Triune Brain Theory

One of the major tenets of our healing practice, Renaissance of the Heart, is that we exist on multiple levels. This concept is known as the Triune Brain Theory.
Expanding on the work of James Papez, Dr. Paul MacLean who worked at NIH in the 1960s, called it the “triune brain model”, and associated his discoveries with the different parts of the anatomical brain. For us, the three major parts of our being are composed of the Mind, Heart, and Body consciousnesses. The Mind consciousness, or primate part of our brain, is located in our physical brain. It’s involved in understanding and uses the language of thoughts usually composed of words to get those ideas across to others. Our Heart consciousness, located in our physical heart, is part of our mammalian brain. It’s “job” is connecting with others and uses the language of emotion to convey its information. The third consciousness, our Body brain, is derived from the reptilian part of our physical brain. Its metaphysical location is in our lower belly, and has the job of maintaining our survival. This part of our consciousness communicates its concerns to us with body sensations such as headaches, body aches and pains, nausea, and limited range of motion. To complicate matters further, the Body or reptilian brain, has the rational capability of a two year old, so it wants what it wants when it wants it. NOW! Just like many two year olds, when your body consciousness isn’t heard, it ramps up the volume of the body sensations until it may be “screaming” at you with debilitating pain or other bodily afflictions to get your attention.
Notice that each of these parts of our being communicates in a different language…thoughts, emotions, or body sensations. These differing communication styles often result in our assorted brains “talking past each other” with their different languages. To complicate matters further, in western society, the language of rational thought is given priority status by many educational disciplines, with any other means of communication being demeaned. Most of us also haven’t been taught to interpret the languages of emotions and body sensations, so we’re often unaware that any information is trying to access our awareness. The result is often like dealing with a dysfunctional family within ourselves. An example would be that someone might be interested in another person who really isn’t in their best interests. The Body brain may have unconsciously associated that other person with some primitive survival need. The Heart consciousness might be trying to communicate its fears, joys, guilt, or sadness about that other person. Meanwhile, the rational Mind brain is saying to yourself that you’re crazy to be interested in that other person, so no wonder many of us wander around in inner conflict.
Learning about Triune Brain Theory and how each of these parts of our consciousness
operates was a real eye opener for me, as I had ignored my Body brain so much that it only knew how to get my attention by screaming at me. The various physical ailments that resulted from ignoring these unconscious messages led to many surgeries for myself. These procedures would alleviate my symptoms for awhile, but they’d return often in the same place where various organs had been removed, since I had not healed the issue that my Body brain had been trying to tell me.

Nancy Smeltzer

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paying Heed to Our Inner Voices

Each of us has a different way of getting intuitive information. Some people “see” things, while others are “told” things. Others talk about following their “gut instincts”, or something just doesn’t feel right. The English language is full of phrases such as “female intuition”, or “That leaves a bad taste in my mouth”. Often, these phrases are descriptive of various body sensations, which are usually connected with the more primitive parts of our brain.

These knowings, coupled with our body sensations and emotions, have a bountiful supply of information to convey. Unfortunately, in most western societies, we’re not taught how to interpret these body bulletins, and focus entirely on the Newtonian principles of scientific ways to know. While these methods have a wealth of data that, depending on what’s being sought, can communicate volumes, a soul dependence on that way of knowing leaves our spiritual souls bereft.

I’m talking about what starts off as those subtle nigglings that something isn’t right….I don’t like that…that doesn’t feel OK. Unfortunately for me, I very early on, learned to squelch my inner voices, so that my body could only get my attention by screaming at me with painful body sensations. As a result, after numerous surgeries and medications, I began to pay attention to those more subtle voices instead of waiting for the “clue by four” between the eyeballs…”So you gonna pay attention NOW?”

An acquaintance once asked me why people couldn’t just part ways as friends, instead of going through the painful, spiteful brawls of separation and divorce. My take is that people of good intentions, instead of listening to those inner voices early on that were telling them that the relationship wasn’t right, pile on often years of connections and then get hurt and angry when they’re not honored. My invitation to you is to cultivate an active connection with your inner voice, listen to it as your own best mentor, and quit over-riding your early warning detection system.