February 1, 2010
What Is Your Four Minute Mile?
Neil F. Neimark, MD
One of the greatest discoveries of the human potential movement is that as new realities are demonstrated, new capacities come into being. How many of you remember Roger Bannister? He was an Oxford medical student who was the first person to run the mile in under four minutes. He broke the four-minute barrier.
Until that time, it was believed that no human could break that barrier. No such reality was ever demonstrated. Now the most fascinating part of the story is that within 46 days of Bannister's breakthrough, John Landing broke the four-minute mile. And now, at this time, literally thousands of runners have broken the four-minute barrier. So we see that as new realities are demonstrated, new capacities come into being.
The challenge for all of us is to open ourselves to the new realities that have been demonstrated through recent advances in how the power of the mind - our ideas, beliefs and feelings - can dramatically improve our health and well-being. The fundamental principle at play is that ideas have consequences. Ideas, especially about what is possible, can radically improve our well-being or diminish it.
By altering the thoughts we think, addressing our unresolved feelings and choosing empowering beliefs, we can begin to develop new capacities for health, healing and greater well-being. These new capacities can often improve our physical health and emotional well-being without the need for dangerous drugs and unnecessary treatments.
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, physician, healer and author of Kitchen Table Wisdom, tells a delightful story about an acorn. She says, "for one moment, imagine an acorn trying to make sense of itself, trying to understand itself, by describing itself." It might say "I'm about 1 inch long, flat on one side, pointed on the other, brown in color, hard to the touch, etc. etc."
But this description fails to capture the true essence of the acorn. "It's important to realize," Dr. Remen says, "that an acorn cannot make sense of itself without knowing about the oak tree and without knowing that deep inside of itself, there is a mechanism waiting to unfold which knows exactly how to become that fullness of expression" of the oak tree.
She says "there is an impulse, a yearning in each one of us, towards our own wholeness", our own fullness of expression. It is this impulse, this yearning towards our own wholeness which leads us into the healing process.
So what is your four minute mile? Are you living the life of an acorn or the mighty oak that lies within you? What seeds of greatness lie untapped within you?
If you were to follow your deep inner yearning towards your own wholeness, where would it lead you? How would your life be different than it is now? What will it take to start moving towards your own fullness of expression, your own wholeness, your own healing? Why not begin now?
Till next time, be well. In body and soul,
Neil F. Neimark, MD