In my daily routine of work life, the emergency room is my wheelhouse. I see people on the verge of death, surviving a trauma, or making personal drama seem more important than it is because they feel unloved, unhappy in life, or simply bored and starving for attention.
We all will face a trauma or drama in life, regardless of lifestyle or income, that is one outcome life assures us. When you feel that life isn’t fair, a bland routine of a wake up/eat/work/eat/sleep cycle, or you are bogged down by the depressing aspects of the world climate, thinking, “This is the best it will ever get and it isn’t that great,” I have some advice for you.
My advice: Get a little “woo-woo” in your life!
Recently, I was involved in a leadership development class and the instructor talked about the ABC’s of motivation. When my instructor got to E, she said that normally it stands for energy, but that was too “woo-woo” for her. I had to pause for a minute and immediately thought to myself, We need more woo-woo things in life! Patients in my ER come in all the time after using drugs and alcohol, all in an attempt to seek ways to heighten their pleasure centers and decrease their banal and depressed lives. Rather than drugs and alcohol to elevate feelings, what if it was woo-woo things like spirituality, affirmations, and tarot cards?
Lower energies that surround negative information and emotions like hate, greed, shame, and sadness are habitual parts of an ingrained negative bias we are born with as humans. Negative information is typically weighed more heavily when making decisions and people tend to think and reason more about negative events than positive events, making things limited and small. Mundane life becomes the basic building blocks of daily habitual repetition that doesn’t allow for any room for inspiration or magic. We “plug and chug” our way through life, doing the bare minimum to make it through each day. There is little room for mystery, for the “what-ifs” of life that, quite frankly, leave everything much more interesting and open to possibility.
Woo-woo is defined as extraordinary beliefs for which it is felt there is insufficient extraordinary evidence and the people who hold those beliefs. It is considered magical thinking that is unfounded or ludicrous with supernatural or emotion-based beliefs and explanations.
Let’s get woo-woo here!
First, I do want to say that all of us 7.4 billion people and counting are born and die on a planet that rotates around a sun in a galaxy that, itself, is surrounded by an enormous halo of swirling hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light-years. Talk about mind blowing and extraordinary! We may be able to see this through a Hubble telescope and know this reality through the basis of science and NASA, but what does it even mean? Where did all that hot gas come from, where will it go, and what is the point? A lot is based on theory and speculation, but the human mind loves to discover and imagine all the same.
Spirituality is equally woo-woo, for the fact that it comes down to trust and belief in a system we can’t prove, yet according to scientific research, humans are hardwired to search for belief systems. A man named Dr. Michael Shermer states in his book, The Believing Brain, that humans evolved the capacity and the desire to connect the dots of the world into meaningful patterns, and that we consciously and subconsciously extend those chosen patterns and seek out confirming evidence to support what we’ve chosen to believe.
If woo-woo makes us feel better, then who cares? Spirituality and positive affirmations have both been proven to have health benefits. Positive outlooks and meditative contemplation are both associated with better health, stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and a better response to depression treatment. Daily affirmations of words and thoughts that are repeated get stronger by the repetition, and as they sink into the subconscious mind, affect the behavior, actions, and reactions of the person involved. If you say something and start to feel it and imagine it in you, your life will start to change.
Imagination is magical! Are you happier when you think of a dream and tell yourself you can achieve the dream or by knowing that a²+b²=c²? Facts tell us information, which is all good and useful, but what we can co-create with the facts is where I find the woo-woo magic is. Creative thought turns the mundane into a magical experience. For instance, tarot cards are a wonderful way to use creative imagination and turn life into magic. I know my limited scientific mind might see the image on a tarot card and think, “It’s just some art on a paper card,” but my unlimited power of woo-woo will stir my imagination to see beyond the image and more of the symbolism of possibilities of choices I could make in life.
I am both a scientist and a spiritual person. As a scientist, I know that there is such a thing as the placebo effect, where a procedure is prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect. I know that science has also proven that placebos increase the release and uptake of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in reward-motivated behavior and decreased pain sensitivity. Did you know that the word placebo comes from the Latin root of “placere,” to please or to give pleasure or satisfaction? So let’s party with spiritual placebos! Write and create some useful positive daily affirmations for things you want to be different. Sit and be in your body for 5 minutes of meditation. Get woo-woo and buy a deck of tarot cards.
As a spiritual person, I know firsthand the power of meditation, believing in and connecting to my dreams and vivid imagination, and reading tarot. I believe in a higher power in this swirling universe and I trust it. Woo-woo doesn’t take away my free will or my ability to choose what is best for me, but it does add an exciting layer that I may not have thought about without it.