I was listening to Wayne Dyer’s series of audio CDs “The Essence of Being in Balance,” which I found in a bargain bin recently. I had seen him on a PBS TV special, and thought he made some good points, so I went ahead, and needing a dose of balance myself, picked up the 6-CD set.

He is half  a “wise man” archetype, and half  “New Age guru.” The latter comes out when he makes emphatic points like, “I know the Universe is here to support us all,” that, even were it so, is a pretty presumptuous statement. But that annoyance aside, I was up, couldn’t sleep, and was listening.

He did make this brilliant point which has been with me for about a week now. He said, “You are not what you eat; you are what you think about what you eat.” If you believe that the foods you eat are unhealthy, then, guess what? You’ll soon become unhealthy. If you believe that your sitting around will cause weight gain, then guess what? It will. If you think you’ll always be overweight, then yep. You will.  His suggestion is to imagine your ideal self (whether it’s related to size, health, body functioning), a bit like Plato’s Theory of Forms, and work backwards.

So imagine your body functioning for its highest good, no matter what fuel it’s being given. Imagine your body eliminating what it needs to for optimum health. Imagine organs, circulation, the endocrine system, and respiration all functioning smoothly. Imagine being the most fit, most in shape couch potato the world has ever seen! From that place, your behaviors will have to change to match the image you have of yourself. There cannot be incongruence!

This is not to condone a diet full of sugar, fat, salt, and a sedentary lifestyle. But rather than starting with the diet – the counting calories, food group eliminations, the gym “shoulds” – which is how many people start to make changes, try starting out with an image of yourself that you like. See if your behaviors follow suit to achieve that vision of yourself.

What I want to acknowledge here is that this idea supports the basic principles of holistic psychotherapy, and that is the idea that you are whole, perfect, and complete just as you are. Healing is the journey from fragmentation back to wholeness. You are not your diagnosis, nor are you your behaviors. There is nothing to add or take away. If anything, healing is a reshuffling and reorganization of what’s already there.

To make an initial appointment with Laura, call 510.594.4300.

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  1. Abe Floerchinger says:

    Thanks a lot for breaking this down for most of individuals. We end up needing the rest of this! Thank you.