Genealogy – a record of who we are, or not?

family tree4

It is fascinating to trace your family history back through the generations. Millions agree, considering the popularity of TV programs such as Who do you think you are?

I find it amazing that the well-known personalities who delve into the past are quite emotional about the heartbreaks, injustices and challenges experienced by their forebears, who they have only just discovered existed. On the plus side, this has led to healing in families when today’s standards and insights about race, religion, circumstances and nationality have been brought to the table.

Genealogy websites are just as popular. My cousins had traced our family tree back several generations. So, earlier this year we visited a family estate in Ireland and our namesake town in England and felt the warmth of belonging, despite never having visited before.

On the downside, shocking discoveries about forebears, such as a relative who promoted slavery, or great, great-grandparents who included criminals, prisoners, millionaires and paupers, all pepper family histories. Not to mention records of disease and mental illness resurfacing over the generations.

Wherever you live in the world, the conventional wisdom is that you’re stuck with your genetic lucky dip, such as Dad’s big nose or Nana’s stoop. However, you may also be blessed with Grandpa’s glorious head of curls or your mother’s lovely olive skin.

Invariably we brush it off with the comment, “win some, lose some,” although intuitively discerning that we almost certainly have an eternal, spiritual nature that we’d like to investigate, in due course.

Biological scientists have believed for some time that genetic disorders and diseases are inherited and may be unavoidable. However, the new science of epigenetics raises important questions about these beliefs and the possibilities for turning genes on or off.  

There is also medical controversy today whether the growing popularity of whole genome testing, DNA genetic screening, exome sequencing, genetic carrier testing, presymptomatic testing and predictive testing are more beneficial or detrimental to health in the long run. Since clinicians like Dr Damien Finniss, who undertakes placebo research at the University of Sydney Pain Management Research Institute, have found that patient recovery rates are very much related to their positive or negative beliefs about the possibility of a return to health.

“Belief is critical because belief has the ability to trigger part of the overall healing response. In simple terms, belief is part of why we get better,” he explains.

There’s fairly universal acceptance of the Scriptural proverb which declares, “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

So could our beliefs about health be the underlying question to be considered … above all else?

We know very well that mistaken thinking can lead to racism or extremism. It can also lead to anxiety and sickness.

Many people are finding that a higher viewpoint based on an understanding of their spiritual nature, not in the distant future but right now, can actually elicit life-transforming change and physical adjustment. “The conceptions of mortal, erring thought must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal,” instructed health and spirituality reformer, Mary Baker Eddy.

Lisa Grant discovered that ideal for herself. While still a teenager she courageously strove to escape a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, knowing that this autoimmune disease is often considered genetic and incurable.

She avidly explored various forms of alternative medicine and theories on the mind-body connection, as well as spirituality and its link to health. She says that she found her way to total freedom quickly once she began to understand that rather than being a matter-based organism, she reflected only the Divine consciousness.

Grant had replaced the belief in genetic vulnerability with the spiritual understanding that disease was no part of her real being.

Genealogy and genetics can be a fascinating record about our ancestors or the current status of beliefs about health, but it’s important for us each to realise that in no way can they predetermine our life experience, talents or healthy outcomes when our true spiritual nature is understood.

This article was first published on these news sites: Bundaberg News Mail, Mackay Daily Mercury, Tweed Daily News, Stanthorpe Border Post, Surat Basin Online.

The essential ingredients for youth mental health

Time to talk about essential spirituality © Glowimages
Mental Health Week – time to talk about essential spirituality © Glowimages

The years between 15-25 are frequently a time of questioning and great discovery, but like many others I found them difficult. I had to deal with chronic disease, failure in my chosen career, a persistent lack of self-worth along with indecision about an alternative career path, and loneliness.

Although never diagnosed, a psychologist would probably have called me depressed.Continue Reading

Love can rewrite our prognosis

a kinder-hearted society

Out for my afternoon walk I was overtaken by a huge, gangly black puppy dragging along his owner. They brought a smile to my face and jogged a memory of my lovely little fox terrier-corgi cross, Tess. I couldn’t help contrasting the use of a body harness/lead worn by the pup and my use of a traditional collar and lead, which on reflection must have tugged constantly on dear Tess when we went for walks.

Things change for the better. A kinder-hearted society looks for and discovers better solutions.

I’m pleased to see that enlightened thought today is urging us to re-examine and move beyond Darwin’s theory of evolution and survival of the fittest based on an exclusively material view of the world.Continue Reading

Experiencing Health via the Connection

Edwin de Leon

Why don’t you hear more about the revolutionary healthcare options and treatments that take into account the mind-body-spirit connection from your local doctor or hospital?

Here’s one explanation. In Dr Craig Hassed’s keynote address at the 20th Annual International Integrative Medicine Conference in Sydney last week he referred to Thomas Kuhn’s philosophy of the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Continue Reading

Healthier views are springing up amidst the well-meaning daffodils

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Whether you buy a bunch or two of gorgeous yellow daffodils on Daffodil Day to support the Cancer Council’s objectives or not, you might let this explosion of colour in our shops stir you to take charge of how you think about your health.

If you do, you won’t be alone. There are an increasing number of medical voices speaking up for a new view of health and healing, based on the integral nature of our thoughts and beliefs to our state of health.

For instance, Dr Lissa Rankin has reviewed the research, and is vocal in naming some of the fears that make us sick and prevent disease remission, like thinking about sickness all the time, believing that we’re victims of our genes, and adhering to false programming about health and hygiene.Continue Reading

Buying or selling? You don’t have to be stressed

sold moving in

At last I’d found the perfect new home after weeks of searching and it ticked all the boxes!

The thing was, it would cost every dollar we had and more, and my joy in finding it was causing my long-suffering husband to experience horrific stress with the thought that we would be forever chasing our tails in financial hardship.

Tension was escalating between us, as circumstances dictated that a decision had to be made, and that very weekend!Continue Reading

Can a shift in thought boost not only Commonwealth Games success but future wellbeing?


Whats the spirit that makes you successful

If you’re from anywhere in the British Commonwealth, it’s fairly certain that the XX Commonwealth Games are in your thoughts right now as competitors line up with some of the best in the world in Glasgow.

With over 400 athletes hailing from Australia and a swag of medals already in the bag we are again asserting a claim to being the Number One sporting nation in the British Commonwealth.

One of our greatest Commonwealth and Olympic Games swimmers, breaking 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle world records, was Kieren Perkins, O.A.M.

When asked how he achieved such feats he answered, “Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves”.

As personal bests are beaten and world records fall, many thoughtful people admit that health, like sporting success, is about overcoming the barriers we believe — not just about what’s going on physically but what’s happening mentally.Continue Reading

NAIDOC Week 2014: Spirituality linked to better indigenous health

@Glowimages 070617w0003.
A spiritual concept of ‘country’ is linked to health @Glowimages

Beloved Australian ABC gardening show host, Peter Cundall, is now retired. But when interviewed by Scott Stephens on Life’s Big Questions a year or two ago, he equated religious/spiritual teaching on a par with fairy stories.

It’s ironic really, because it seems to me that Peter’s joy for life and gratitude for every tiny evidence of good in his days is what has ensured his perfect health for more than 50 years. To me, this is spirituality in action!

I can see a similarity between Peter’s spirituality and that of aboriginal peoples. Continue Reading

Tune out the downbeat and ‘laugh, love, pray’ for winter wellness

Research says laugh, love, pray for winter wellness  © Glowimages
Research says laugh, love, pray for winter wellness © Glowimages

Are you sometimes mesmerised by the latest medication for the common cold on the TV? Fascinated by the computer graphics used to depict the symptoms and their soothing remedy being promoted? Impressed by the subliminal suggestion that responsible people purchase the latest advertised medication? Influenced by society’s bland acceptance of the assumption that colds and flu are unavoidable at this time of year?

Or are you often repelled by these downward tugs, loaded with obvious big pharmaceutical company backing?

Good thinking!

You’re part of a growing movement of individuals who have become more discerning and are prepared to take responsibility for their thoughts, and ultimately for their health and wellbeing.

“Your health care shouldn’t be all about drugs”, says family physician, Dr Chandra. They are just not the answer for healing and more consistent wellbeing. She points to considerable and repeated research that has found that alternative therapies, which recognise the influence of our thoughts and beliefs on our health, are far superior treatments.Continue Reading

Full recovery from PTSD is possible

PTSD sufferers address spirituality to rebuild lives © Glowimages
PTSD sufferers address spirituality to rebuild lives © Glowimages

Last week’s ANZAC Day commemorations highlighted the best of human conduct – servicemen’s and servicewomen’s courage, mateship, decency and willingness to lay down their lives for country and comrades in battle.

At the same time though, and in a quieter way, there was mention of those suffering from trauma as a result of seeing the devastation and brutality that go hand-in-hand with war. During the panel discussion on ABC Big Ideas ANZAC Day Special: Boys Don’t Cry, it was stated that 8% of serving Australian defence force personnel experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But it was also pointed that that figure indicates only those who have been diagnosed and there could be upwards of 30% of all who have served.

Not only Australian Defence Force personnel but also other first responders like ambulance personnel, fire fighters, police officers and hospital staff are all too often confronted with devastating accidents, natural disasters or and the basest of human behaviours, leaving them with recurring images of the carnage and devastation. It also often leaves them numb and detached, and sometimes suicidal.Continue Reading