Luckily, the new science of epigenetics is here to dispel these myths. Epigenetics is the study of how genes are activated in our DNA. We may be born with a certain set of genes, but some will be completely inactive within us at any given time. Here, it is the immediate environment that controls who we are. Radical changes and adaptations to an environment don’t happen gradually over countless generations, but happen within one, two or three generations. When looking at centenarians (people who live to be more than 100), scientists have found that these people do indeed have certain genes that increase disease risk and early death. What allows these people to live so long is that those negative genes are turned off and rendered inactive
A great example of the power of epigenetics in humans comes from a study of 200 years of harvest records from a town in Sweden. There was a distinct correlation between the food abundance during one generation and the incidence of disease in following generations. In other words, if a grandfather experienced famine before they went through puberty, his children and grandchildren were less likely to develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The theory is that if the grandfather experienced an abundance of food during childhood and overate, this would activate certain genetic markers that would then be passed down to his children and grandchildren.
New findings in epigenetics suggest that our genes can be switched on or off on minute a minute to minute basis. Every part of our environment can affect them, whether it’s the constant, low-level stress of modern life, the genetically-modified foods that make up the bulk of the American food system, or the excessive electromagnetic frequencies being emitted from our cell phones and wifi routers. The concept of epigenetics is relevant to all living things, but humans have a unique characteristic that makes epigenetics particularly important for us to recognize.
Humans have to ability to form complex thoughts. Many people don’t realize that these thoughts are also part of our environment. Your body can’t tell the difference between a stressful morning in traffic and the threat of a tiger lurking nearby. It only feels the reverberations of your thoughts. While this may be a surprising or overwhelming initially, this is ultimately the key to freedom:
A thought can change your DNA.
What this means is we have to take responsibility for the world we create, not only externally but internally. Most of what we experience is a result of how we have lived our lives up until this point. If for some reason, your experience is not what you would like it to be, it is no one’s fault but your own, and you have all the power in the world to do something about it.
Change is inevitable, what we do have influence over is the direction of that change. This influence isn’t optional, but inherent to the way our body functions. If you choose to ignore your power, you will create a life of ignorance and powerlessness. However, when you take control of how you think, feel and act, there are no limits for the abundance you can create in this world.