The God Gene:The DNA Link between Spirituality and Happiness
By Debbie Mandel
Once again spirituality is validated by the media! The cover of Time Magazine depicts a woman in prayer; in the middle of her forehead, where the mystical third eye is believed to exist, is an embedded DNA ladder held in place by two golden hands. The accompanying article presents a lively debate about our genetic predisposition towards the Divine. The assertion is that we are all programmed with a God gene. Scientists claim that we have this spiritual gene to help take away the sting of our mortality through belief in the upbeat story of a higher power and an afterlife. They say that God is a neuro-chemical byproduct of the brain. Theologians smile knowingly and respond that this explanation is limited, for spiritual genes are part of the Divine scheme of things - our individual journey to unite with God.
I say, “Good! Both are right!” Either way spirituality generates health and happiness. Why debate the tangible benefits to our immune system, relaxation response and creative inspiration?
However, we need to distinguish between organized religion and spirituality. Organized religion has positives and negatives. Great cruelty, divisiveness and individual suppression have been perpetrated in the name of organized religion. Spirituality, on the other hand, triggers unity, flashes of insight, serenity, passion, creativity, positivism and hope. So let’s get spiritual!
- Synchronize with nature and its energy. This means slow down and ease on down the road. Absorb the beauty and train your eyes to observe the changes and the little inhabitants. Listen to the sounds of the wind, the birds, the rain and the leaves. Guess what? You are meditating!
- Leave your head and get into your heart. Trust your feelings more than your rationalizations. Your mind can play tricks on you.
- Be receptive to revelations in the simple words that are said to you, what you dream about, or what your eye is drawn to. Decode the clues.
- Develop your five senses to reach your sixth. Believe in your intuition and act on it.
- See the ordinary with extraordinary eyes- as though you were seeing it for the first time experiencing original delight.
- Discover your creativity and implement it. Act on what fills the ache in your heart and makes it sing. Delight in your self-expression and show it to the world.
- See the humor inherent even in dark situations and conflicts- you laugh to release your inner light realizing that suffering can make you better. Find the way out, the open door- by the way it’s right next to that closed dark one!
- Enjoy helping others, saying a kind word to brighten someone’s day and smiling when you make eye contact. Instead of complaining about the bad things people do or say, try complimenting the good things to generate good energy.
- Cut others some slack. Cultivate empathy and compassion
- Heighten the connection between mind and body through exercise and healthy eating. Living foods make you feel more alive.
- Don’t beat yourself up with guilt or regret. Let go of your worries and give it up to the universe. Redirect your awareness to what makes you happy.
- Create time and space for yourself. Believe that you are worth it!
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB 1240AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com