“I’ve got digestive problems, I think it’s just who I am, my mother also gets it, her mother had it, it’s in our DNA; it’s in our genes!”

It’s a common statement I hear all the time. Whether someone has a physical illness, an emotional challenge, a re-occurring relationship pattern or a sleep issue, it seems to always be referred as being part of their genes or their DNA because where else could it come from?

As one Buddhist monk told me many years ago, ‘when we are born we are like a pure white cloth but by the time we reach our teenage years this cloth has become stained. By the time we realise that our cloth is stained we’re usually around the age of 28 years old’ (In the school of astrology this is known as Saturn Return but that is another story altogether!). It is usually around this age that we decide to make some fairly big life changing decisions and most of us work to clean and restore this this cloth, but as you know not all stains can be removed.

The stains that we get are like impressions left on our sub-conscious mind by parents, siblings, teachers, friends and day-to-day experiences. The stain is nothing more than a memory of a ‘state’ from a particular time in your life. This state creates a mindset or a decision and from that point we live out our lives based on that decision. Eventually this decision creates a habit with which you play out every day.

Habits come in all forms, they can come from fear, joy and sadness but what’s most common is worry. What is it that you do or don’t do today because of the worry that was ingrained into you as a child? Quite often the way you respond to the world is due to the beliefs that were handed down to you and now they are yours to hand on down to someone else. These beliefs create habits. And a habit is doing the same thing over and over again unconsciously. If you have a habit of placing large amounts of salt on your food because you were told it would prevent cramps then this worry of getting cramps can turn into a heart attack, just like your parents and their parents before you. Heart attacks are in our DNA! Or is it really the habit of too much salt on your food to prevent cramps?

The way we stand, the way walk, talk and what we eat, the way we respond to particular discussions and the way our bodies respond to food are all due to habits, not DNA.

Is it possible that your grandmother taught your mother what foods to eat and how to cook them, what to talk about at the dinner table and not talk about, how to respond to certain opinions with body actions and gestures and is it possible you now do exactly the same thing? A family that grows up eating mainly fried food (and you all know what I think about fried foods) generation after generation, did cancer get passed through their DNA or could it simply have been poorly learned eating habits?

I have spoken before on how each of our organs corresponds to and is associated with a particular emotion, for example the liver is associated with anger and stress. Could it be possible that your body physically responds to certain comments in the exact same manner as your grandmother and mother did?

Let me explain. Say, while you were eating dinner, your partner made a comment about money or something that really stirs you up. This emotion stirs the liver; the liver becomes hot and agitated. The liver energy now attacks the stomach energy, the stomach energy reacts and instead of the stomach energy descending, as it should, it shoots upwards and as a result you now have indigestion.

So the question you need to ask is, did that bout of indigestion come about because it’s in your genes because your mother had it, and her mother had it? Could the source of indigestion just be one of the stains in your white cloth that you learned from many years ago? We are creatures of habits and quite often, an illness or situation we have is because we learned to do something exactly the same way our parents did and their parents did and have done so for generations.