Ever thought about why you haven't heard of heart cancer?
Oh... it's never crossed your mind before? That's weird.
On average there is 1 primary cardiac cancer case per year.
Why is the heart less prone to cancer than any other organ in our body? What makes it "immune"?
Cell division is what makes us prone to cancerous growth. It's during this time that mutations can enter the cell line and be passed along to daughter cells.
But heart cells stop dividing after utero. They become larger over time but don't replicate. This is great for preventing cancer, but because heart cells don't replicate it can be catastrophic when there is injury. In cases where there is heart injury (like a heart attack) the damaged tissue typically doesn't recover.
The same function that makes our heart immune to cancer in one setting is it's downfall in another. This lack of adaptability is simultaneously protective and dangerous.
What's the takeaway?
You might have thought this was a post on how to prevent cancer, or have a heart healthy lifestyle, or maybe learn about the biggest breakthrough in cancer research.
Well, I gotcha.
This is actually a post about mindsight and the mental and physical health benefits that come from creating a balanced and compassionate life. It's about learning how to increase our level of functioning so we have more endurance for when life gets hard.
This is a metaphor about speaking from the mind, instead of the heart. Whoa. You're deep. That's a great analogy. Thanks, I thought so too.
What is mindsight?
Mindsight is our ability to focus our attention and see the inner workings of our own minds. It increases our awareness of our mental thoughts without getting stuck or being swept away by them.
It allows us to be both stable and adaptive.
Mindsight gives us the ability to reshape our neural pathways, stimulating growth in areas that are crucial to mental and physical health.
The heart is limited in its function, but the mind is capable of being both stable, flexible and adaptive if we are willing to put focused attention on understanding and observing our thoughts.
Mindsight activates the circuits that create resilience and well-being; it increases our ability to practice self and other compassion, which improves our overall health and resistance to chronic disease. It helps the body and brain achieve balance, which is the core of health.
Mental and physical integration allows us to be flexible, stable and adaptive instead of rigid or chaotic. It gifts us with multiple ways of responding to life instead of seeing it through a fixed mindset.
Here are 3 ways to practice mindsight this week:
Meditate. It's brain hygiene!
Be spontaneous this week. Try something you haven't done before and pay attention to how you respond to this new activity.
Connect with others in person. Being with others helps build our relational circuitry.