The Importance of Personal Renewal
By Deepak Chopra™ MD
Renewal holds an immediate appeal. In marketing it is the magic word motivating buyers of vitamins, diets, skin creams, and exercise machines. But in reality your existence depends on every cell in your body knowing with perfect precision how to renew itself. There are hardly any cells in your body today that were there when you were born, and certain types of cells (skin, stomach lining, and red blood corpuscles) renew themselves very quickly, in a matter of weeks.
These well-known medical facts point to a hidden secret, for it isn’t physical renewal that holds the key. Imagine a house where the bricks fly in and out of the walls, yet the building is always standing. Its blueprint remains intact even as physical objects constantly change. Your body’s blueprint remains intact thanks to the invisible intelligence contained in every cell.
Instead of looking to DNA for the source of this intelligence — DNA is just another piece of the physical picture — the secret lies with how your body uses its intelligence. You can renew yourself by consciously using the same principles that keep your body in a natural state of renewal.
Here are the principles:
1. Cells live in the present.
2. Cells cooperate with each other.
3. Cells understand that the whole is greater than the parts, and they live for the whole.
4. Cells are not afraid of death.
5. Cells accept life as a process that never ends, and they do not resist the flow.
These principles come from the same source in pure awareness that governs everything in Nature. Whatever the physical benefits, meditation is a more powerful tool for consciousness, because in meditation we come closer to the source, and this strengthens the flow of intelligence without doing anything else. But every day is filled with activity, and you can cooperate with your body’s creative intelligence by adopting the five principles.
1. Living in the present. By now everyone has heard these words, but they need to be carried out. Cells have no choice but to live in the present. It comes naturally to them, and it does to you and me, too, unless our minds pull us out of the present. The simplest way to be present is to notice when you aren’t. In a moment of distraction, stress, anger, anxiety, or boredom, take a few deep breaths, center yourself, and wait quietly until you feel calm and centered. That’s what it feels like to be in the present moment without effort or strain.
2. Cooperation. The value of cooperation is that you gain the support of others while in turn you support them. Research has shown that adding each new support group, system, or person adds to your lifespan. Happiness is correlated with being in communication every day with someone you personally value. So look upon cooperation as bonding. When you bond, you renew a relationship that nurtures both people in the relationship.
3. Wholeness. You cannot make yourself whole, because you are already whole. You are merged into the stream of life, and everything that happens in collective consciousness includes you. This is why it is important to identify with a higher consciousness, in order to realize that there is a field of infinite possibilities from which you draw life, love, imagination, creativity, and personal growth. In wholeness you are constantly renewed, because the field of infinite possibilities has something new to offer you every day, if you are open, alert, and ready to receive.
4. Immortality. Fear of death is a human creation, and it comes from the ego. “I” is committed to self-preservation, but there is the undeniable fact that the physical body will one day pass away. This makes the ego’s search for immortality fear-based. When we stop identifying with the limited, separate, isolated “I,” fear of death ends. Consciousness and existence are immortal. They are the real source of immortality. In meditation the mind settles down to experience the silence and peace of pure awareness. Simply by being here, you are merged into the field of immortality, as you have always been and always will be. Know that this is true, and let your experience of inner silence become established. As this happens, the fact of your freedom form death will dawn on its own, as naturally as knowing that you exist.
5. Flow. This is another term that almost everyone has heard by now. To translate it into reality can be reduced to a few simple things. Don’t resist. Pause before you say no. Witness and appreciate what is going on around you. The opposite of flow is resistance and it is rooted in the need to defend yourself. Yet almost always the mind’s reaction of self-defense is pointless and unnecessary. Know this, and put into practice the habit of seeing what happens next without putting up anger, fear, worn-out reactions, and resistance.
It creates a real breakthrough when you look at these five principles and realize that they say the same thing: You are connected to renewal naturally and effortlessly. All you need to do is to let the process of renewal become part of your outlook on life. The bodymind is one thing, an expression of consciousness. You are the conscious agent at the center of the whole project of being here now. See this as your main role in life. In reality every moment in your life has been merged into the eternal now. Once you accept that as your vision, renewal will be yours to celebrate. Consider the humble life of trillions of cells whose only mission is to serve you. They have much to teach.
DEEPAK CHOPRA™ MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a whole health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 90th book and national bestseller, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential (Harmony Books), unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution and his latest book, Total Meditation (Harmony Books) will help to achieve new dimensions of stress-free living and joyful living. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” www.deepakchopra.com