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The power of the spoken word

We are our words. Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid and people would say "you are what you eat?" My mother tells of wondering how it could be that she was a donut as she was eating the sugary thing walking down her local street! Still, the older you get the more you realise the truth of it, for what we eat does indeed get stored in our cells; changing us, slowing making us who we are (healthy and energised, or unwell and sluggish; the ability to act and move clearly, or not).

Well, it is the same with our words. Scientific studies are increasingly showing that positive and negative words not only affect us on a deep psychological level, but that they have a significant impact on the outcome of our lives. There is multiple ways of understanding this, yet the 'scientific' and the 'spiritual' perspectives are inherently linked when it comes to understanding the self-talk language we use, the words spoken by others around us, and how these both make us who we are.

First to the science! Neuroscience is increasingly proving that words actually generate both a vibration and a belief system within and around us. What this means in simple terms is that positive words and self affirmations infuses us with good energy, whereas and negative words or verbal abuse creates contrary energy within us. This is because we begin to become the energy we are creating, through reinforcement, on the molecular level.

The neuroscience experiment Do Words Hurt? discovered that painful or negative words increase implicit processing of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, meaning that stress and anxiety-inducing hormones were released in the subjects. Another study found increased levels of anxiety in children who had higher rates of negative self-talk. What is more, the book Words Can Change Your Brain, written by neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Newberg and communications expert Mark Robert Waldman, states that, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” What this means is that our words (verbal or mental) have the ability to make us who we are, and thus change our entire selves in current and ongoing time.

These two experts also express that through practicing and using positive thoughts one can actually quite literally change their own reality. “By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity. This area includes specific language centres that connect directly to the motor cortex responsible for moving you into action. And as our research has shown, the longer you concentrate on positive words, the more you begin to affect other areas of the brain.” And so, positive words are like turning on lights within your own mind!

On a practical level, we are the ones feeding and stimulating or brains, thus our perspectives, thus our action, thus how the world responds to us. Like this, we can begin to understand the power of using I Am sentences. Dr. Wayne Dyer illustrates the importance of carefully choosing any words following I Am, for these mere two words are “holy expressions for…the highest aspect of [our]self.” Yet, so often these words are used to diminish ourselves: "I am stupid," "I am lazy," "I am no good at..."

What if instead we said things to ourselves like: "I am worthy," "I am capable," "I am abundant." If one sustains positive thought, then the functions in the parietal lobe start to change. We start to change; and like this the world reflects a positive mirror of our speech and beliefs.

In You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter neuroscientist Joe Dispenza states also that, “your thoughts and feelings come from your past memories. If you think and feel a certain way, you begin to create an attitude. An attitude is a cycle of short-term thoughts and feelings experienced over and over again. Attitudes are shortened states of being. If you string a series of attitudes together, you create a belief. Beliefs are more elongated states of being and tend to become subconscious. When you add beliefs together, you create a perception. Your perceptions have everything to do with the choices you make, the behaviours you exhibit, the relationships you chose, and the realities you create.”

It is obvious that how we carry out our lives through our behaviour and how we think about ourselves dictates what we draw toward ourselves and how we move through the world. What is more, psychiatrist and biobehavioral scientist from UCLA, Dr. Susan Smalley, poignantly describes, “a word is like a living organism, capable of growing, changing, spreading, and influencing the world in many ways, directly and indirectly through others.” Thus these positive affirmations are not just pretentious or silly feel good words. One word can echo through our psyche, a skipping stone creating ripples through our entire body and consciousness.

Now, let us go even deeper; to the more 'esoteric'. Even the mainstream is beginning to pick up on the undeniable fact that there is something to the influence of the mind on our outer world: that Newton and Einstein's 'proven' theories are lacking to answer deeper questions. With its exploration of the effect that human consciousness has on particles and waves (all matter within reality, in fact), quantum physics is progressively showing us just how influential our thoughts truly are.

After some of the first quantum mechanical experiments physicist Pascual Jordan, stated that "observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it… We compel [a quantum particle] to assume a definite position." And then he went on to say, "we ourselves produce the results of measurements."

In the 1970s American physicist John Wheeler even entertained the thought that the presence of living beings who are capable of "noticing" has transformed the evolution of the Universe. Meaning that we now live in a "participatory universe" of co-creation from a point of awareness. Even experiments such as The Double-Slit, first undergone over 200 years ago, prove that observation changes outcomes of how light waves move. And Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner said, "it follows that the quantum description of objects is influenced by impressions entering my consciousness." Thus the mind and the reality around us can be seen to influence one another, altering one another.

But let's take it back to just the brain for a moment. British physicist Roger Penrose suggested that perhaps molecular structures in our brains are able to alter their state in response to consciousness, just like The Double-Slit. With this, his work insinuated that it is through perception that we change the physical and hormonal function of our brains, and thus our thinking.

Yes, the seeming divide between the science and the mysterious Spirit animating the whole of the universe continues to be bridged. Biologist Bruce Lipton even tells of how he eventually came to believe in the existence of something more than simple 'atheism' as he witnessed the interaction of cells and saw the divine consciousness of their behaviour. After decades of studying human cells working together Lipton writes in The Biology of Belief, “We can control our lives by controlling our perceptions.” And in The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth he states that “what quantum physics teaches us is that everything we thought was physical is not physical.” So it is that we are beginning to realise that this is all indeed just a heavenly illusion after all, a magical place creating itself simply for experiential possibilities.

Thus we can begin to bring the two ideologies of 'science' and 'spirituality' together, both empowering further the notion of ourselves. As Florence Yaeger says, "when we declare who and what we are, the loving infinite intelligence inside us is made manifest". Science continues to prove what many mystics have always known. And, science continues to show that the sacred computer of our brains is both feeding reality, and is fed by it. That we are more powerful than we ever imagined transcendent, in fact.

For thousands of years Mantras (originally sacred utterances of a numinous sound, syllable, words or phonemes in Sanskrit believed to have magical or spiritual powers in Hinduism) have been used to penetrate the depths of the unconscious mind. These have been proven to adjust the vibration of all aspects of one's own being, and are becoming increasing popular across the globe.

This is great news! But how about making the entire world a better place? How about world peace? Well, after watching the patterns of snowflakes, Japanese author and scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto spent years studying the effects of intention, prayer, and music on water, and proved that both positive and negative versions effect these delicate crystalline structures. Before he died Emoto said that “the vibration of good words has a positive effect on our world, whereas the vibration from negative words has the power to destroy.”

Through his experiments he found that when classical music, prayers and thoughts of love, kindness, or gratitude were focused on water beautiful crystalline structures were formed. Then, opposingly, heavy metal music, or negative words caused the crystal structures to be fragmented and malformed.

Thus it is seen that it is us who is making the reality of our world further beautiful, or ugly. Just like how we can create positivity in our seen actions that stem from our perceptions of ourselves, we can also generate more goodness in the material reality around us through our intentions and will.

Furthermore, in his book The Hidden Messages in Water Emoto explained that "we start out life being 99% water, as fetuses. When we are born, we are 90% water, and by the time we reach adulthood we are down to 70%. If we die of old age, we will probably be about 50% water. In other words, throughout our lives we exist mostly as water. From a physical perspective, humans are water.” So, if water is effected so greatly by thought and words, then no wonder we are too!

Joe Dispenza sums it up beautifully in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, “to be empowered — to be free, to be unlimited, to be creative, to be genius, to be divine — that is who you are…. Once you feel this way, memorize this feeling; remember this feeling. This is who you really are….”

I cannot say it better myself. You are a miracle; tell yourself this, know this, and then repeat it in the mirror. Continue to create more magic with each word that gushes with the oxygen from your lungs, through your throat, and is uttered from your very lips. Either way, you speak the power, so why not use it for good?

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