The 5 Principles of EAP
Principle 1 – Your Body is a Symbol of Consciousness
Being conscious means to be mindful. At EAP mindfulness is defined as remembering in each moment there is a more self-loving option. So this principle could read – The body reflects the extent to which we have remembered the more self-loving or better serving options, in just the same way it can reflect the less serving (less self-loving) choices. The Buddha explained it really simply when he taught about the Three Poisons, the three things that could affect the body so much that it could kill us; ignorance, avoidance and attachment. These are three states of consciousness that lead to disease, and if sustained long enough, will result in death.
So if these three aspects of ignorance are what causes the body to become diseased, then becoming ‘not ignorant’ must result in healing. You are no longer ignorant when you have knowledge and wisdom. When you have more knowledge you have become more aware, but all that means is that you are no longer ignorant. Knowledge without mindfulness is called avoidance, which was still one of Buddha’s poisons. These are the people who know smoking is harmful but continue to smoke, or diabetics who know they have to make significant dietary changes, but continue to consume large amounts of high sugar-content foods and beverages, not to mention refined carbohydrates.
Knowledge with the recollection of a more self-loving option (mindfulness) is called wisdom. Attachment is when there is an intrinsic lack of self-worth that makes it impossible to sustain the awareness of the more self-loving alternatives. These are the people who know they have to make changes, want to make changes, do make changes but can’t sustain the changes, because they have resorted to using personal will and discipline to bring about the changes. In the majority of cases people find that too difficult to sustain. These are the dieters (I was one of them) who try diet after diet, and each time they successfully lose the weight, but the challenge of sustaining the discipline becomes too much and ‘fall off the wagon’. The result often being—they end up putting on more weight than when they started.
The bottom line: do you possess enough of a sense of your worth to make self-loving choices?
I was with some friends at an afternoon tea that I recently hosted and my beverage and food choices primarily catered for people who I knew were either vegan and/or sugar and refined carbohydrate free. That’s a far cry from the days of popping over for a cuppa and a scone (laced with jam and cream)! Thankfully today, the healthier option isn’t too difficult. In the course of the conversation, the question was raised about why my friends had made these extreme choices around food. In each case they had watched a video on the relative subjects and having become more knowledgeable, in other words more aware, they were in a position to make choices about how they approached their food. This was also true of how they related to exercise.
Fundamental to creating any sustainable change is a rich sense of self-worth that can only be achieved when you are free of the childhood narrative that has you believe that you have no worth. One of the couples had been through EAP some years ago, which is primarily about establishing a clear understanding and ownership of your worth. The transformation evident in their physical appearance reveals this principle that the body is a symbol of consciousness. In their pre-EAP world, they were both over-weight, unfit, stressed in their work, unfulfilled in their lives and in the case of the husband, drank too much alcohol, was a chain smoker and was repeatedly dogged by depression.
Several years down the track, the husband has left his management job and retrained as a fitness instructor and the wife is now a wellness coach. As a result of being freed from their ‘worth-less’ narrative, they naturally became more self-loving. This change in consciousness literally brought a change to their bodies. Obviously they were and are still dealing with the consequences of a lifetime of self-abuse, but the changes in their lives is undeniable. In the case of the husband, he rarely drinks, is no longer depressed, and even though he still smokes, it’s a far cry from his chain smoking from the past. He loves his work as a fitness instructor, and is fulfilled in his life because of the difference he is making in the lives of the people he works with. The wife has morphed from a ‘cuddly’ unfit secretary and homemaker, to a dedicated athlete (triathlons) and lifestyle consultant who is also making profound shifts to the lives of the people she touches. In both cases their bodies have truely become symbolic of their more self-loving consciousness.
As a health professional through most of my adult life, I was in the position to watch the effects of bodywork (massage, reflexology, Bowen Therapy, etc) on the lives of thousands of people. Bowen Therapy in particular would solicit quite significant changes in people within just a few sessions. I regularly had clients report after two or three sessions that they had made quite radical decisions that saw them leaving long-term employment, relationships and moving residence. These were things they had considered for years, in some cases, but couldn’t change. What I observed was essentially a biofeedback loop, between the state of the body and consciousness. Normally we think that consciousness dictates the state of the body, but my clinical observations showed that changes in the body brought about changes in consciousness. The two were intrinsically linked. Change consciousness and the body changed, change the body and consciousness changed.
When I made the move professionally, from bodywork to mindfulness work, in almost every case I saw people’s physical reality transform as they became more mindful. Not only did their enhanced sense of self-worth make it easier to remember the self-loving alternatives, but they became more aware of the loving options in how they related to others and to the planet. This meant relationships became more loving, people were more fulfilled in their work, their environmental footprint got smaller, and they became healthier. It could really be said that our physical reality is a symbol of our consciousness, not just our bodies. In the case of my friends, they ticked all of those boxes.
This Weeks Video
Read More From This Series on the 5 Principles of EAP
Part 2 – You Can’t Change What You Can’t See
Part 3 – Healing Is Listening
Part 4 – When Something Is Authentically Observed, It Changes
Part 5 - Transformation Happens Like A Ripple Across A Pond