by Megan Caper | Happiness, health, Neurology
It’s a common belief that our brains are the sole creators of our thoughts, which we then become conscious of and act upon. However, recent research on neuroplasticity has revealed a far more fascinating reality – not only do our brains generate thoughts, but our thoughts also play a role in shaping our brains. The previously held notion that our brains were akin to computer hardware, and our thoughts to output, no longer holds true. The lines between them are much more blurred than we initially thought.
Indeed, our brains create thoughts that govern our body systems, but it doesn’t end there. The thoughts and emotions we consciously focus on can also alter the structure and function of our brains. This relationship is cyclical, not linear – more like an ongoing dialogue than a one-way street.
This discovery aligns with what we know about psychoneuroimmunology – the study of how our thoughts influence our body’s cellular functions. The old mechanical model of disease saw our bodies as machines, similar to cars, with diseases as the result of breakdowns. Now, we understand that our bodies are far more complex. In fact, how we utilize our bodies can impact their overall functioning. Imagine complimenting your car every morning and witnessing it perform better and suffer fewer breakdowns as a result!
So, how can you harness this knowledge to improve your health? There are two main strategies to consider:
- Monitor the thoughts and emotions you’re feeding your brain. Be mindful of the content you consume, from the media you watch to the people you interact with. Consistently exposing your brain to fear, anxiety, anger, or sadness may rewire it to be more prone to those feelings. As Louise Hay once replied when someone at one of her talks suggested killing two birds with one stone, “Why would I want to kill two birds? That sounds terrible!” Be conscious that the information, emotions, and thoughts in your environment can alter your brain, influencing the thoughts and emotions that emerge.
- Mess with your brain to alter the hardware in a positive way. Our brains struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Research on mental practice has shown that when we vividly imagine scenarios, our brains process them as if they’re genuinely occurring. Why not use this to your advantage? Spend time each day visualizing situations that evoke happiness, laughter, connection, and gratitude. Committing to this practice for six to twelve months can reshape your brain, leading it to generate more positive thoughts and notice experiences that align with these emotions.
Now that you’re aware of the two-way street between your brain and thoughts, how will you choose to positively reshape your brain today? Embrace this newfound understanding, and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more fulfilling life, guided by the power of your thoughts.
by Megan Caper | Happiness, healing, health, wellness
If you’re someone who struggles with depression, anxiety or mood swings, I’ve got some news for you.
Your struggles aren’t all in your head, in fact they’re most likely in your gut.
Recent research shows that 95% of our serotonin (the happy mood regulating chemical) is made by bacteria in our digestive system. Surprisingly, our gut microbiome is responsible for much of our mood cognition and mental health.
It turns out that the state of our intestines and the health of the critters that live in them (our bacterial and fungal microbiome) can affect everything from hormone regulation to our immune system and most notably, our mood and cognition. Research shows that fluctuations in our microbiome cause changes in all of these systems and severe fluctuations can even cause disease in the long term.
There have been multiple studies that show that chronic depression and anxiety are linked to what’s called “gut dysbiosis” or an imbalance in the type, number, and location of various microbiome species. When researchers provided treatment that balanced the microbiome, levels of anxiety and depression decreased.
What does this mean for you? If you’re someone that tends towards anxiety or depression, the cause may not be all in your head. Of course, our past experiences and daily lives can affect our mental health, but it appears that even those experiences and trauma reactions affect our gut microbiome as well. Our head brains and gut brains work as one system when it comes to mood and cognition. Changes in our mood or stress level alter the makeup of our microbiome, and those alterations can in turn affect our mood and stress levels. Like much of our physiology, it’s not so much cause and effect but rather homeostasis (or balance) that’s important.
How do I keep my gut critters happy?
Here are 4 ways to keep your microbiome’s critters happy and healthy:
- Eat lots of plants. Our gut critters need to eat, too, and their favorite foods are what are called “prebiotics” found in vegetables, grains, and fruits. Make sure you’re eating a variety of these foods so your microbiome will have plenty to chow down on.
- Eat or drink fermented or cultured foods. There are plenty of foods that contain the healthy bacteria and fungi/yeast we need. Things like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kiefer, yogurt and miso are all good sources of bacteria that our guts love.
- Avoid preservatives, artificial sweeteners and food coloring. All of these have been shown to decimate our microbiome. When possible, avoid these additives in your food. Some common food preservatives to look out for on nutrition labels are: nitrates/nitrites, sulfites, parabens, cellulose, and MSG.
- Meditate regularly. The list of health benefits from meditation keeps growing! There’s a study that recently came out which shows that the gut microbiome of Buddhist monks was healthier than that of neighboring residents in the same town. (I want it noted that the study states that, “All samples were collected and measured by professionals,” meaning that someone had the job title of “monk poop collector” for the duration of this study.)
If you suspect that your mood issues are gut related and you’ve tried all of the above without success, you can always reach out to me. I’m always happy to answer questions, and energy healing is another great way to address microbiome issues. I have many happy clients who have balanced their gut health through our sessions.
by Megan Caper | Happiness
It’s that time of year again, when we all decide that we need new year’s resolutions to overhaul our lives, our exercise plans, or our eating habits. I always had a love/hate relationship with new year’s resolutions until I realized why they rub me the wrong way.
New year’s resolutions are positioned as a way to “fix” or “improve” something that you’re not doing well enough. They are rooted in self-improvement, productivity, and perfectionism ideology.
Let me tell you two things:
- You don’t need improving. You shouldn’t be anywhere other than where you are in your life, and you are perfect at every moment, growing and evolving in the perfect way for your unique soul.
- Guilt, shame and perfectionism has never healed or improved anything.
Let’s look at another way to do new years resolutions that isn’t rooted in shame, guilt or compare and despair. I want you to use the following journaling prompts to find out what will truly make you healthy and happy.
- The type of support, love and emotional nutrients I need are … (this could be emotional, practical, spiritual)
- When I think about the good I want to do in the world, I want to (do, start, make, help)….
- When I think of the moments when I feel cared for, safe, resourced and relaxed, I think of…
Once you’ve identified one or more things from these prompts, I want your resolution to be to manifest more of this in your daily life. Manifestation is one part action and one part magic. If you put yourself in situations where you can find those things you identified (or you ask people around you to help) AND you sit in the feelings of how good these things feel to you, then you’ll find the world softens in a way where these show up in your life more and more.
If you try this method, let me know what you think! And as always, reach out if you have any questions or comments, my virtual door is always open for you.
by Megan Caper | Happiness, healing, health, illness, physical, wellness
One of the most common questions I get from potential clients is “Can you help me with X condition?” and the answer is most often, “Yes, I can!” The medical intuitive healing system that I’ve created works with your body’s own healing systems on all three levels of body, mind and soul. I meet you at the healing edge of what you’re ready to balance, release or heal next on any of those three levels, and we move forward from there.
Over the next few months, I want to share some case studies with you so that you can understand the power of medical intuitive healing. I’ve changed the names and identifying details of these clients for privacy purposes, but the symptoms, treatment and results are all directly from my client notes.
Julia came to me with severe food and environmental allergies. For years, she’d become increasingly unable to eat any foods without breaking out in a rash or having shortness of breath. When we first started working together, she was down to only being able to eat 5 foods. She couldn’t eat out or to a friend’s house for dinner without bringing her own food. She also was suffering from environmental allergies and sensitivities that made it difficult to be in many public places without developing shortness of breath and headaches.
When I asked what she most wanted from our sessions, Julia said that she wanted to be able to go to her daughter’s house and babysit her young granddaughter. In the past, Julia had been her granddaughter’s regular afternoon babysitter, picking her up from daycare and spending the afternoons with her while her daughter and son-in-law were still at work. In the last 12 months or so, Julia’s environmental and food allergies had become so severe that she hadn’t been able to be in her daughter’s house or prepare the foods her granddaughter liked to eat for afternoon snacks.
Julia and I worked together for about 4 months, slowly bringing her digestive and immune systems back into balance and addressing trauma held in her body from both her own experience of childhood emotional neglect and her contentious divorce 10 years earlier. We worked on everything from her gut microbiome to past life karma, and even epigenetic changes that were causing her allergies.
Slowly, she began to eat more foods. Slowly, she began to be able to go to shops and restaurants without allergic reactions to the chemicals in the environment.
By the end of four months she was ecstatic — she could order food off of a menu and eat without fear! And she was able to prepare snacks for her granddaughter without getting a rash.
And best of all, Julia was back to babysitting again several times per week. I could hear the absolute joy in her voice when she told me about the games she and her granddaughter had played together that week. Julia was finally able once again to do the thing she loved the most, those things that brought so much meaning and satisfaction to her life.
I’ve had so many clients like this, who have suffered for years with unexplained allergies or sensitivities, which really can keep you from doing the things that bring you meaning and joy. If this sounds like you or someone you know, don’t give up hope! Energy healing can bring about healing that sounds miraculous, but is really just your body tapping into its own natural desire to be balanced and joyfully whole.
by Megan Caper | energetic body, Happiness, healing, life lessons
A few weeks ago I finally got on the bread baking train. I know, I know — I’m late to the game, most people started in mid-2020 at the height of the pandemic, but I was living in a warm climate at the time and the idea of baking bread just wasn’t that appealing. Now that I’m living in the cool Pacific Northwest of the US, the idea of warm bread out of the oven sounds amazing.
I’ve been a baker for most of my life (My chocolate chip cookies will Change. Your. Life.) but I’d never ventured into breads, until now. I found a beginner bread recipe, gathered the ingredients, and found a dutch oven on the clearance shelf at HomeGoods. I was ready to BAKE.
I filled a bowl with water, measured out the yeast, added the four, plunged my hands into the dough, and started to mix.
And then the magic happened.
One of the weird things about being an empath and an intuitive is that I am finely attuned to life forces. I can sense the life force in people, animals, plants and even bacteria and viruses. Over the years as I’ve practiced this skill, I’ve grown to not only sense it but I can communicate with it as well, sending and receiving information and emotions.
You guys, do you know why you love making bread? Do you know why we all started baking bread during the pandemic and not cookies or casseroles or quiches? It’s the YEAST.
As soon as I started mixing the dough with my hands and gave the yeast some water to drink and carbs to munch on, I could feel it — the life force of the yeast coming back “online” after being in dormant form for so long. I could feel that pure joy, excitement and love that is at the core of all of our life force, bubbling up in my hands as I massaged the dough and gave the yeast life, once again.
I’ve felt this before when I’ve leaned against a big tree, or sat in front of another human being looking deeply into their eyes as we traded Tonglen, or freed the roots of a plant as I repotted it. It’s the feeling of the pure joy of life, the bliss of existence. And it’s healing AF.
During the pandemic, we lost so many opportunities for connection. We spent most of our time indoors, without the opportunities for interaction and interdependence that we normally have. No wonder everyone took to baking bread, that resurgence of the life force of yeast was a way to feel connection in a time of great isolation.
Here’s one thing I know, we’re part of a living system and because of that, we’re wired for connection and care on all three levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. When we are connected to people, animals, plants or any other living thing, we are healthier in mind, body and spirit. Numerous studies show that without connection, our physical and mental health starts to deteriorate very quickly. But the opposite is true as well, when we feel connected, we start to heal. In one study, people who had survived a heart attack and owned a dog were 600% more likely to still be alive one year later than non-dog owners, even when other factors like exercise and nutrition were taken into account.
The experience of connection is healing.
Nurturing, compassion, and care are healing.
Helping the little yeasties come alive again is healing.
As I sat and communed with my ball of flour, yeast and water, I knew one thing. This is what healing feels like. When we break down the walls we’ve put up to protect ourselves from being hurt or ashamed, and can simply feel the life force of another being, what we’re left with is connection and compassion. And that’s at the core of healing — feeling connected, loved, whole and worthy.
My first attempt at baking bread
by Megan Caper | Happiness, intuition
Welcome back to this continuing series on your four intuitive brains. Today we’re going to look at your heart brain and how to tune into intuitive information coming through your heart complex.
Last time, we looked at your gut brain and how it can give you information on whether something is right or wrong for you and your life path. This time, we’re going to take a look at your heart brain which gives you information on whether a decision will bring more joy, love and peace into your life.
Your heart is the epicenter of the emotion of love and all its ancillary emotions — joy, acceptance, belonging, etc. When we tune into the intuitive info of what our heart wants, we head down the path of what will bring us these emotions in our lives. Whereas our gut brain looks at, “Is this right for me?” our heart brain looks at, “Will this make me happy?”
Heart intuition speaks to us of fulfillment, excitement, and connection. Just like with intuitive information from our gut brain, information from our heart brain is often not logical. Think of the saying “the heart wants what the heart wants” — this implies that the decision isn’t logical but is compelling and fulfilling.
Our heart brain gives us information on what would help us feel happy, connected and loved, which may not be the most logical or well reasoned-out decision. In fact, heart brains are notorious for telling us to follow our passion, which can sometimes mean a radical and sudden departure from the path you were on.
Here’s an example — the first time I visited Italy I knew I had to go back and live there. I came back from my trip, changed my major in college from chemistry to Italian Studies, and started taking Italian language and culture classes. Two years later, I was living in Rome, studying film, art and history and I could feel the joy, love and connection in my heart the whole time I was there. It was the first time I’d fallen in love with a place. This sort of love affair can happen with places, people, careers, creative endeavors and more.
When looking at day-to-day decisions (that don’t involve picking up and moving halfway around the world) here’s how you can tune into your heart brain intuitive energy:
- Bring your attention to your heart brain complex. If you have trouble tuning into that energy, think of something or someone that makes you feel all loved and/or connected. This could be a person, animal, or even a place.
- Bring to mind all of the options you’re considering. One by one, tune into each option and notice how you feel about them.
- Which one brings more of that heart brain emotion? Which one feels in alignment with bringing more love, joy and connection into your life? Which one are you drawn to with a sense of emotional excitement, longing and fulfillment?
Your heart brain gives you valuable information on what will make you fulfilled. This can be such powerful information as we make our way through life and attempt to find a way of living that will bring us the most happiness. I’d love to hear some examples of when you followed your heart — what was the intuitive hit and how did you follow it?
If you liked this post, I’m teaching a class in September about your “Four Intuitive Brains” and I’d be happy to put you on the list to get more info about it. Message me or reply to this post and I’ll make sure to get you that info as the date gets closer.
Now go forth and follow your heart!