Reading Your Body Believes Every Word You Say by the late Barbara Hoberman Levine (2014) wasn’t easy. After all, I suffer, as you know, from health anxiety. <<< Link to every time I’ve mentioned it in this blog. And yes, it’s a lot, and also yes, it’s a significant issue.
Although, over the last year, I’ve gotten *ever so slightly* better. I give credit to a few things, including my love of all-things Doc Martin, a TV show I would normally skip, given the whole doctor-y thing. I’m very careful about medical shows of any kind, given they might mention symptoms I have, which in turn means I have whatever disease the TV doc is diagnosing.
It’s very simple, really, and also very complex. I’m an enigma. Go figure.
Anyhow, this book…
I would have thought Levine would be a prolific writer but in fact, this is her only book. Possibly because in the world of mind-body-spirit connection… it is …
(twinkling light sparkles) **** THE PERFECT BOOK **** (more twinkling light sparkles)
From the simple premise that your body hears when you tell it “I’m gonna get a cold,” to the complexities of mental projection and expectations… and everything in between… and after!…
Not to mention a whole bunch of healing modalities and exercises… this book has it all!
There are aspects that remind me of the work of Louise Hay and that might be a little off-putting for some.
Let me explain: To me, there is a very fine line between CREATING illness with our words vs. our words manifesting into disease.
For example, I do not for one second believe a 2-year-old created their own cancer. Probably not a 42-year-old, either. To believe this is blaming the victim – and Sheryl-don’t-do-that!
However, saying that someone “pisses you off” and getting a UTI/ bladder infection is totally in the realm of your body listening to what you said and manifesting the disease. There are all sorts of language triggers if you think about it, and I know I’ve said a whole whack of ’em! Here are just a few off the top of my head:
- My feet are killing me!
- I’m carrying such a heavy weight!
- I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders!
- You’re getting on my nerves!
- He’s such a pain in the butt!
- I’m heartbroken.
- My head is gonna explode!
Catastrophic thinking, anyone? My life story. Yoink!
And is it any wonder that I suffer from obesity, migraine, and a pervasive worry that my heart will suddenly stop? (Do I dare mention hemorrhoids or bunions? No? Okey-dokey, then!)
I’m the perfect health anxiety specimen, honestly. Ugh.
Any thought can stimulate us and bring a predictable reaction. Levine calls these, “Seedthoughts”. I bet if you stop and think about it for a moment, you can come up with a few simple words… like death, cancer, Jim… and you’ll say, Jim? What the heck? Well, it could be any name, really… someone who broke your heart or spirit… the very mention of their name brings you to tears, to your knees… or gets your heart racing… raises your blood pressure… makes you want to scream!
You get the drift, yes?
Time to stop and assess. There is a LOT of opportunity throughout the book to do it, too! “Self-help Experience[s]” are peppered throughout the book and are sometimes short but more often go in depth. Big deep dives worthy of a separate journal.
And the entire last half of the book is filled with exercises to determine your core beliefs, writing your own “Operating Manual” for your healthy body, holistic healing techniques and so much more, including a rockin’ (pages long) Recommended Reading section!
Now, to go back to the beginning and also wrap this up (don’t worry, you’ll see!) Levine shares that she had an inoperable brain tumor (in 1970) and it is what propelled her on a personal quest that led to the writing of this book. It was a slow-growing tumor and fifteen years later, she was able to have it removed and obviously survived. Her work is courageous and amazing!
I have always given meaning to things that other folks… well… don’t. This has been discussed at length throughout my blog posts so I won’t linger here. You’re welcome. I’ve often said that everything happens for a reason and while I do believe it to a point… I think Levine says it in a better way:
The main purpose of this life is to learn.
No matter what happens, there is something to learn from it.
The main purpose of this life is to learn. <<< Yep, that’s gonna be my new mantra.