In his latest book, The Future of God, Deepak Chopra asks, Can God be revived in a skeptical age? What would it take to give people a spiritual life more powerful than anything in the past? He tackles these issues with eloquence and insight and proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore, any person can find the God within that transforms everyday life.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re thrilled to share a series of spiritual practices from The Future of God. We’ll feature one exercise a week from November 11, 2014 to December 23, 2014. Be sure to come back every Tuesday for the next exercise!]
From The Future of God by Deepak Chopra
Below are seven strategies for processing the subtle world. Each one focuses on a different exercise to make you feel comfortable with your inner world. Be easy with each exercise, repeat them over a period of time, and you will witness a genuine and lasting change in your consciousness.
Day 1: Be Generous of Spirit
Day 2: Be Loving and Lovable
Day 3: Let Go
Day 4: Find Your Fulfillment
Day 5: Enable Your Healing (below)
Day 6: Raise Your Expectations (available on December 16, 2014)
Day 7: Let It Be (available on December 23, 2014)
Day 5: ENABLE YOUR HEALING
Old pathway: Passive Neglect
New pathway: Active well-being
Exercise: Today your goal is to help your body’s healing system. Healing system is a relatively new term medically, in that it brings together several of the body’s systems. The immune system may be central to healing a wound or infection, but emotional healing involves the brain, exercise involves the muscles and cardiovascular system, diet involves the digestive system, and so on. People pop vitamin pills thinking that they are helping to fend of disease, but the benefit is minimal and mostly unnecessary given a healthy balanced diet. When the same person refuses to address damaging stress in their life or long-held anger and resentment, the result isn’t passive; the healing system is meeting a serious obstacle.
Today, break through your passive neglect. When you brush your teeth, think about the whole issue of your dental health. When you eat breakfast, consider how to nurture your body. When you take the elevator instead of the stairs, consider how good it is to be active. As you do these things, check in on how you feel. The reason you neglect yourself always has an underlying feeling attached to it.
You are tuned to the world, including the subtle world, through body awareness as much as mental awareness. Are you happy to tune in to yourself physically? Many women, indoctrinated to have a poor body image, don’t want to tune in at all. They use worry and self-judgment instead. They accuse their bodies for not being perfect, a form of rejection that carries a hidden price: They are rejecting the body’s healing system at the same time. Thus it becomes an annoyance when the body signals discomfort, and if the discomfort is actual pain, their only response is anxiety and panic.
You can avert all this by tuning in, not out of anxiety, but as your body’s ally. In turn, your body will become your ally. The most positive signal you can send every day is to be aligned with balance in all things. Your body is constantly in a state of dynamic equilibrium called homeostasis. This is the same as a car idling at the stoplight or setting a thermostat and walking away. Homeostasis is meant to be disturbed, to be thrown off its set point. The reason is that a body at rest also needs to move at a moments’ notice. If you decide to run after a cab, rush to the phone, or enter a marathon, homeostasis gives you the flexibility to do so.
Passive neglect reinforces the body at rest; it chooses inertia over dynamism. What helps homeostasis to remain dynamic, flexible, and available at the touch of intention? All kinds of things, as long as they are the opposite of inertia. Exercise wards off physical inertia. Taking an interest in life wards of mental inertia. Best of all, self-awareness enables the whole mind-body system to be dynamic, because self-awareness makes room for spontaneity. The best kind of freedom is unexpected, because it renders you open to surprise, passion, and the unknown. So see if you can trigger those things in your daily life. Surprise yourself; take an interest; find something to be passionate about. Those are all deep forms of healing, and when you pursue them, you are truly finding your healing.
Excerpted from The Future of God by Deepak Chopra. Copyright © 2014 by Deepak Chopra. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.