Bruce Lipton gave me a book 15 years ago that has forever changed the way I look at my life. It was a gift to celebrate the birth of my daughter, and the book is called The Passage of Change. This book illustrates how I live my life – my environment creates my biology, so I should construct my environment to support the life that I want to live.
In addition to writing books, Bruce is also a prominent cellular biologist, and a pioneer in the field of Epigenetics. His work examines how the organism interprets the environment, and modifies itself according to the environment where it lives.
So many of our faults and foibles are attributed to our genetic heritage. Many people believe they have just inherited their biology, but Bruce’s work has conclusively proved that our very DNA can be modified by the environment we live in.
The Epigenesis Experiment
Stem cells are embryonic cells, which means they can become any kind of cell.
Bruce once put a single stem cell in a petri dish, let it sit for 2 weeks, and wound up with 50,000 cells, all genetically identical.
He then split these cells into 3 groups, and changed the environment slightly for each group. One group of cells became muscle cells, one group became bone cells, and one became fat cells.
Since they were all genetically the same, the only factor that could have changed their destiny was the environments wherein they lived.
The same scientists that ridiculed Bruce 15 years ago, back when he gave me his wonderful book, are now saying, “Oh, yeah, that’s nothing new.” His message has finally become well known and integrated into the common lexicon of how we interact with the world.
You Change By Your Environment
When you walk out the door and it is cold outside, your brain reads this condition of the environment, and changes your chemistry. Your body heats up, as a response to your environment. If you walk out the door and it’s hot outside, your body says to perspire, and it cools off. Your genes don’t control that. It’s only your environment.
“The human being is a skin-covered petrie dish.” – Bruce Lipton
We are made up of about 50 trillion cells. Each one of these cells is affected by their environment. But you, the entire organism, you are affected differently.
Between the real environment, and the cells that make up your body, we have interpretation – something the cells don’t have. The cells in the organism are going to respond, not to the real world, they are going to respond to your interpretation of the real world.
This is the basis of Bruce’s epigenetic work – how the organism interprets the environment affects the fate of the organism. The wonderful thing about being a human being is: our environment is created by our thoughts.
When you see a person you love, your brain releases dopamine, oxytocin, and a growth hormone. Looking at a person you love changes your blood, the medium of this skin-covered petrie dish you live in, because it releases happiness chemicals, and a growth hormone to amplify it. This is what makes people that are in love so healthy and energized – they’ve got a great life, and they love being in it. Their body is continually rewarding them for feeling this way.
If you were thinking of that person you love, and then you looked at a graphic image of something disturbing, then your body would release inflammatory agents and stress hormones. This suppresses the immune system, and can make the exact same situation be interpreted completely differently by your body.
“It’s not based on the real world, it’s based on your interpretation of the world. If you change your interpretation, you change your chemistry.” – Bruce Lipton
You could be in the most wonderful, beautiful life, but if you believe there is a threat, you’re not going to release those happy hormones. You’re going to release protection hormones and activate your stress response.
We hear stress is the leading cause of disease, but according to psychologist Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk last year, how we think about stress is much more important than how much stress we experience.
The biggest take away from this talk is: how we think about stress matters.
The Subconscious Mind and You
“If you live in fear, then you’re not going to see the roses. You’re going to see the scary shadows.” – Bruce Lipton
Your mind is continually interpreting your environment, but there are two minds at work here: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind, according to Bruce, has learning tapes that record things to replay automatically. It is the mind of habit. Whatever your subconscious mind learns, it just repeats.
The conscious mind is a more recent development in our evolution. You can run your life by the conscious mind, because it can think.
This doesn’t mean the conscious mind is the better place to be, however. “The moment you’re thinking, you’re not paying attention,” he says. You are no longer IN what you are doing, you are up in your head.
We now know that 95-99% of the time the conscious mind is actively engaged in thinking.
So this means that less than 6% of the time you are alive, you are allowing your mind to be guided by your creative mind, using wishes and visualization. The rest of the time you are playing out your ‘subconscious programming.’
The Subconscious Mind Programming
You don’t see the behavior you play with the programs, it’s just “the way you do things.” These are the habits that are your natural way of interacting with the world. These habits, we now know, are mostly learned, and mostly by the age of seven.
A child under 7 is not consciously processing their reactions to things. A child under 7 is recording.
During the first seven years of your life, you learn how to respond to the world by observing your teachers. Their behaviors are downloaded into your mind’s subconscious programming as behavior.
Unfortunately, around 70% of the programs we are subconsciously running are negative or disempowering.
“I shouldn’t do that.” “I can’t do that.” “That’s not safe.” “I’m not allowed to.” Your mind is structured by the rules and boundaries that were imprinted on you as a child, and most people don’t even realize that this is what is running their life.
Bruce brought up the example of the Jesuits, who have said for five hundred years: give me a child before he is 7 years old, and they will be a member of the church for their whole life. What was it they knew? They knew you can program someone in the early years of their life.
The Power of Positive Subconscious Programming
We already know about the effectiveness of placebo drugs. A placebo is a drug that works because you believe that it will work.
Let’s just recognize belief as the primary reason that this works, shall we?
You could be having a honeymoon your entire life if you have good programs! Bruce goes over how to live in that state in his book The Honeymoon Effect, which is part of the very generous offer he has put together for Aware Show listeners.
When you set your mind to living in joy, you manifest more joy around you. When you are that love, and you are that joy, then you begin to see more things and react to more things that support your belief.
When people are feeling that love experience, they keep their mind in the present moment, because what you want is right there. You no longer default to the subconscious, you no longer run your programs.
If you are anticipating negative outcomes, your behaviors will support things that fulfill your anticipation. A disempowering program keeps you from changing anything in your life, that’s why it is so difficult to get out of.
“Awareness is 80% of any solution” – Lisa Garr
If you have negative subconscious programming, bruce tells us that there are 3 possible solutions:
1 – Hypnosis
2 – Repetition
3 – Belief change modification
There is a process for hypnosis, and a process for repetition, and a process for Bruce’s specialty, Belief Change Modification. He goes into how to change your beliefs in-depth in his books and audiocourses, which you can review through the link below: