Listen to Deepak Chopra speak and your ears will prick up when he mentions certain topics.
“You can slow down the aging process and reverse some of the biological markers of aging,” he says.
Let Chopra explain it to you in detail himself when he’s in town next month, but the synopsis of that idea is this: your emotional state can change your genetics.
“Any time you feel loved, compassion, joy, peace, the genes in your body that control what is called homeostasis, or self-regulation, get activated,” Chopra says.
“The good genes get unregulated, which means they get more active. Any time you feel fear, anger, hostility, guilt, shame, depression or any emotion that threatens your well-being, then the genes that control or influence inflammation get active. To make it simple, the bad genes get more active.”
Surround yourself with love and compassion. Get restful sleep, without the help of medication. Practise stress-management, move your body and lean towards a plant-based diet. Above all, try meditating, which Chopra says will make the biggest difference.
“Meditation takes you to a place that is beyond time,” he explains. “It takes you to a place which is very quiet and still, and when your mind gets quiet and still, your body gets quiet and still. That’s the best moment for self-repair mechanisms to kick in.”
Chopra is a physician, former chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital and founder of the Chopra Centre for Wellbeing in California. He’s also the author of more than 75 books, many of them New York Times bestsellers. He’s known for combining the principles of ayurveda — Hindu traditional medicine — and mainstream medicine, and incorporates ideas about the relationship between mind and body.
Some have criticized his work, saying his treatments rely on the placebo effect. His message to those critics is simple.
“I say go fly a kite,” he tells The Telegram, laughing. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years.”
His courses, he points out, are recognized by the American Medical Association.
On Aug. 2, Chopra will speak at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay. “The Future of Well-being” is his topic, and he says he’ll touch on everything.
“The meaning of existence, the nature of our universe and what our connection is with it. I’ll start with simple things like what are the basics of well-being and how our body learns to self-regulate if you allow it to. I’ll talk about basic things like sleep and exercise and meditation and diet and emotions, but also social, community, career and financial well-being. After that, we’ll talk about spiritual well-being and what it means; how we go beyond our fear of aging and death and so on.
“(Audience members) will, I think, be inspired to make at least a couple of changes in their life which will make them happier and healthier.”
Chopra’s talk is being presented by the I Am Genie Foundation,
a wish-granting organization focused on inspiring people to do a good deed. Genie, a.k.a. Joshua Dawson, and his team have granted more than $1 million worth of wishes in more than 60 cities since 2009.
Last month, the foundation surprised Bay Bulls native Bradley Walsh, who is battling brain cancer, with a dream day, including the rental of a Ford Mustang GT convertible, a recording session with former Great Big Sea member Darrell Power, a massage and overnight stay at Monastery Spa and Suites, and a five-course dinner at Raymonds.
The Chopra event will be a fundraiser for the organization to continue its work.
“Deepak Chopra was at the top of our list to bring to Newfoundland,” Dawson says.
“It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to expose your home province to the message of a man that Time magazine considers to be one of the Top 100 heroes and icons of the 20th century.
“The response has been amazing. A lot of people were in disbelief he was coming at first.”
This will be the foundation’s largest event to date, and Dawson is expecting it to sell out.
For now, tickets are available by calling 1-888-311-9090 or visiting www.iamgenie.org.