A Conversation with Wayne Dyer about Mind Viruses - June 2012
By Ellen Mahoney
Mahoney: What common excuses do people use in grappling with their conscience?
Dyer: Excuses are the explanations we use for hanging on to behaviors we don’t like about ourselves; they are self-defeating behaviors we don’t know how to change. In Excuses Begone! I review 18 of the most common excuses people use, such as “I’m too busy, too old, too fat, too scared or it’s going to take too long or be too difficult.”
We spend a big hunk of our lifetimes contemplating what we can’t have, what we don’t want and what’s missing in our lives. What we have to learn is to put our attention and focus on contemplating what it is we would like to attract, and not on what is missing.
Mahoney: You talk about mind viruses. What are these?
Dyer: A virus has three purposes: to duplicate, to infiltrate and to spread from one host to the next. Ultimately, even a single virus can shut down an entire system.
A mind virus is different in that there is no form to it; these are ideas placed in our heads when we are little. We get programmed by well-meaning people like our parents and their parents, our culture, religions and schools. We get conditioned to believe in our limitations and what’s not possible.
After a while, we start really believing these things are true. People who have had self-defeating behaviors for a long time, such as people who have been overweight since they were children or people with longtime addictions, actually believe there is no other alternative.
Mahoney: What’s the payoff for living a life filled with excuses?
Dyer: There’s a payoff for everyone. The reason we hang on to self-defeating behaviors is because it’s easier not to take responsibility. If you’re blaming something or someone else for the way you are, then that person, those people, those circumstances or those energies, are going to have to change in order for you to get better; that’s most likely never going to happen. It’s also a way to manipulate other people.
Usually, making excuses is just something we can get away with, rather than challenging or changing ourselves. If you want to change and you want your life to work at a level you’ve never had before, then take responsibility for it.
I’m not saying that a child who was abused or beaten or abandoned made that happen, but your reaction to it is always yours. While you were four, you didn’t know anything other than being terrified and scared; you’re not four any longer. Now [as an adult] you have to make a choice and recognize that even the abuse that came into your life offers you an opportunity to transcend it, to become a better person and even more significantly, to help someone else not go through what you did.
Mahoney: What is your seven-question paradigm to help people change long-established habits of negative thinking?
Dyer: The paradigm helps a person identify the thought system, which is almost always false, that is behind the rationale for the continuation of excuses. It helps them really look at excuses from an objective point of view and realize that everything they’ve been thinking is just as likely to be not true as it is to be true.
I believe if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Mahoney: When we look at our own lives and think about the lives of loved ones, what is key to living a healthy, happy, love-based life?
Dyer: The key is to trust in your own divinity, to know that you are a piece of God, and that you are like what you came from. As a spiritual being, you have Divinity within. When Albert Einstein was asked about the impact of quantum physics, he said, “It’s just all details, I just want to think like God thinks.” And God thinks in terms of creating, kindness, beauty and goodness.
Ellen Mahoney is a freelance writer who teaches writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Contact
Wayne's Bio: WAYNE W. DYER, PH.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self development. He is the author of more than 30 books, has created numerous audio and video programs, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. Dr. Wayne Dyer is affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans. Despite his childhood spent in orphanages and foster homes, Dr. Dyer has overcome many obstacles to make his dreams come true. Today he spends much of his time showing others how to do the same. When he's not traveling the globe delivering his uplifting message, Wayne is writing from his home in Maui.
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Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.