June 4, 2009

“Cellular Wisdom” is in us all…

Posted in Between Us column, Spirituality, Women at 4:11 am by dinaheng

For every woman who tries to achieve anything, there’s always a challenge she must confront in order to succeed.

Sometimes that challenge is a familiar one, giving us a sinking feeling in our gut as we approach it. Sometimes the challenge is unanticipated, and hits us out of the blue. Unless we understand and resolve those roadblocks, we may sideline ourselves with our own fears.

A new book, “Cellular Wisdom for Women: An Inner Work Book” by Joan C. King, Ph.D. (Word Keepers, Inc. $20), offers women tools to explore the inner self and change the outer behaviors that prevent us from living the lives we want.dinah-eng-21

A former professor and department chair at Tufts University School of Medicine, King was also a Dominican nun for nearly a decade before leaving the convent to enter academia. She has merged scientific research with spiritual principles in her book, showing how cells in the body can model our beliefs.

“We are hybrids of spirit and matter,” says King, a chemist with a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology. “Cells took a billion years for DNA to come together and evolve, learning how to become a functioning cell. It took another billion years before cells learned to specialize, and we became multi-cellular organisms.

“I believe that cells contain the wisdom that’s embedded in the life force of ourselves. When beliefs tell us, ‘No, I can’t do that,’ it shuts down the life force and restricts what cells can take in. We shut ourselves down in many ways because of our beliefs.”

For King, the self-exploration that led to writing her book, began with a sabbatical from Tufts in 1997. She found herself facing the fear of not knowing who she was without an academic title.

“I took a lot of writing classes, and began to write about cellular wisdom,” King says. “What if I’d been looking through a lens to study cells, but had missed a major reality — that the cells were not just a vehicle for moving around physically, but also contained the teachings of how to live exuberantly? ”

So what did King do? The author, who has a fear of heights and water, jumped off a mountain and went parasailing.

Joan C. King

Joan C. King

“The feeling of elation when those sails filled the air was amazing,” King says. “I knew I’d be fine because I’d let a belief go. We know we’ve escaped a (limiting) belief when our cells feel the elation and vitality physically. It’s a sense of expansion, and we gain confidence.  We begin to see options that we could have never seen before because our beliefs are like the lens of a camera, and can shut down the possibilities we see.”

The book gives exercises to identify feelings and beliefs, and suggestions for action steps to address limiting ideas. King explores beliefs like “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t (do or have something), until…” and “Why am I so emotional?”

King, now a life coach based in Loveland, Colo., is writing a series of books on several aspects of “Cellular Wisdom.” (www.cellular-wisdom.com)

“Most of the time, it’s not until people have met a tragedy or problem that they explore these things,” King says. “Or they have met a certain level of success and ask, is that all there is? It’s a crisis of meaning. Many of us have gone down a road and there’s a moment of recognizing we’ve outgrown it, or it’s not enough. It’s the yearning of the spirit that leads us to these searches.”

So when you reach out to be more than you think you are, don’t worry about hitting that wall of resistance and fear.

As King says, “That’s the challenge — to go through it — and meet the greatness of who we are.”

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