All of us have reasons we don’t take care of ourselves, why we don’t love ourselves enough to live inspired lives. As valid as they may sound as they roll off the tongue, they are nothing more than obstacles we have accepted and perpetuated for a long time.
Life gets in the way, doesn’t it? Every day there is a litany of excuses not to exercise (I’m too tired), not to eat right (I’m craving sugar), not to forgive the unforgivable (Nobody’s gonna treat me like a doormat), not to leave a profession that keeps us from shining (I need the money), not to begin healing from addiction and enter a substance abuse rehab (I can’t afford it), and the list goes on and on.
The late (and rather great) Wayne Dyer, whose birthday was May 10, wrote a book called “Excuses Begone,” designed to help us break free from stunted growth and from being held back by the things we not only believe are holding us back, but what we obediently stand behind for no good reason.
Known as “the father of motivation,” Dyer set out to help as many people as possible understand the power to change anything about ourselves that is not in harmony with our vision of whom we’d like to be.
Dyer, who was abandoned at different times by both his father and mother, cites “The Biology of Belief” by Dr. Bruce Lipton, in which Dr. Lipton claims the mind can be trained to overcome genetic predispositions, memes and mind viruses that direct us. These elements of behavior cause anxiety, stress, depression, and affect our mental health. While it might make sense to simply accept aspects of our genetics, it’s often harmful to cling to certain beliefs rather than challenge them. A perfect example is alcoholism, which is in part, genetic. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than one-half of all children of alcoholics do not become alcoholic. What makes the difference is often sheer will. We can choose to be nurturing rather than abusive. We can decide to use mindfulness as a tool to let go of the notion that alcoholism is in our genes so we might as well embrace it.
In 2009, Dyer was given the gift of leukemia, which most people would consider to be more of a crisis. But he called it a gift as soon as he recognized it as an opportunity to employ his own teachings and test his own beliefs, or as he said, to hammer his points home and live fully in a place with no room for excuses. You may wonder exactly how he rejected facts doctors assured him were firmly in place in the form of a diagnosis concluded according to medical statistics. There were actual steps he took on a regular basis to help him push past the pain, see past the limitations, and create a new reality. Keep in mind, Dyer’s life on Earth ended in 2015 of a heart attack, at which time there was no trace of leukemia in his body. These principles can apply to anything from physical health or mental health to changing any kind of worldly status, such as addiction, depression, etc.
- Banish all doubt. To do this, you create an internal “knowing” that erases the element of doubt as if it was written in chalk on a chalkboard. In other words, believe what you hope to be true. He asked himself if the “cancer excuse” was true. He wrote, “I can never be 100 percent certain the leukemia has to slow me down or get worse. Thus, the excuse may or may not be true. So I decide not to believe something that is just as likely to be false as to be true.”
- Live from your highest self. Dyer had regular conversations with himself in order to stop when he was tempted to use the “leukemia excuse.” Instead, he substituted a more conscious response in full alignment with his commitment to live a healthy life.
- Keep your mind clear and calm. Dyer used contemplation and spent more time by the ocean and in natural settings to reduce the noise level of his life. Fear, worry, anxiety, and other negative emotions qualify as noise that interrupts the process of living from the highest self that makes it possible to create a life worth living.