When I was 17-years-old, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver. His car split in three pieces; his body was not strapped in by a seatbelt and he flew through the windshield. His lifeless body skid along the road, discarded like a cigarette butt on the freeway. I was lucky; my car flipped over and spun around for a while before it stopped. I crawled out of my window to safety and the only injuries I suffered were a bump over my right eyebrow and a slight section of my tongue sliced off by my teeth on impact. The other driver was killed instantly. I was transported to the hospital, examined, and discharged within the hour. My parents came to retrieve and take care of me at home. My mother stocked up on ice, popsicles, and Keanu Reeves movies. This might sound ridiculous, but my mother knew Keanu Reeves made me happy and with each film we watched, I smiled, I laughed and my body rapidly healed. In fact, the section of my tongue bitten off in the accident regenerated and grew back. The pleasure of Keanu Reeves’ humor and levity, in whatever its wizardry, heals. So, to under this shroud of mystique, I took a closer look.
Masaru Emoto is a researcher and author of, The Messages of Water: Volume 1-3 and The Hidden Messages of Water. His work suggests that human thought and feeling can radically alter the structure of water and his research combines a series of photographs examining frozen water after its exposure to written and spoken words varying in emotion (love, gratitude, anger) as well as specific samples of music (Beethoven’s Pastorale, Kawachi Folk Dance, heavy metal). His findings suggest that the vibration of music, human thought, and emotion can transform water on a structural level. Water crystals exposed to more positive thoughts appear like pure, white snowflakes – intricate, symmetrical, and more aesthetically pleasing. The crystals exposed to negative thoughts such as “you make me sick” or “Adolph Hitler” appear murky, brown, and yellow in color and more distorted. Not only is the foundation of the water crystal transformed, but they are significantly modified from one structure to the other by human thought alone. Therefore, Emoto’s research suggests that human beings can psychically alter water. According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, of Allegheny University, human babies are born composed of 78% water while adults are composed of 60% water. Additionally, the brain is 70% water and the earth itself is 70% water. If the human mind can transform water on a cellular level, think of the global impact.
So, what does this have to do with Keanu Reeves – his almond shaped eyes, his hair the color of black steam pounding out of a locomotive, and his smile … sweet Jesus, that smile? The positive feelings inspired by Keanu worked in my benefit, and if Keanu can aid in my physical health, think of what Cat Stevens can do for someone stuck in rush hour traffic, or what a compliment from a total stranger can do for someone on a bad day. I will never forget the homeless man, curled up on the sidewalk, who stopped me just to tell me I was pretty. On the flip end, what is the impact of a Mother’s snarky cell phone conversation on her quiet child in the baby stroller, or that of a morning show left on during breakfast that criticizes the Valentino gown Jennifer Aniston wore to the Oscars? Our culture thrives on negativity and criticism; we are bombarded with it. Our media is focused on dissecting every flaw of media idols, on terrifying us, on morbidly fascinating us all the while provoking thoughts of fear and inadequacy so we can feed ourselves into the monster. As I log on to Yahoo news these are the headlines I find on first click: U.S. News, “Witnesses describe sex acts in Ohio football rape trial”; World News, “U.S. to bolster missile defenses to counter North Korea threat”; Entertainment News, “‘Basketball Wives’ Star Tami Roman Opens Up About Depression, Weight Loss”.
If Emoto is right and our minds, thoughts, and emotions carve out our physical matter based on positivity and negativity, we are in big trouble. Think of what your negative thoughts are doing to your face, your organs, your family, your country. Am I saying that your late night obsession with Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber’s Instagram war is influencing global turmoil? Yeah, I kind of am. Am I saying Keanu Reeves helps? That mug of his certainly doesn’t hurt.
The Smiling Hospital Research Team (“SHoRT”), led by Dr. András Béres and Dr. Tamás Majo, researches the medical benefits of smiling with sick children. The Smiling Hospital Foundation sends magicians, musicians, puppeteers and handicraft artists directly to sick children’s bedsides and what they found was that the majority of children visited by positive artists benefited from an increase in lymphocyte cells which creates an immune stimulating effect. “Even with the children showing a decrease in lymphocyte cell count, they felt a better change than with those who showed no change in lymphocyte cell count … In other words: the artists’ subjective feeling does also suggest that decrease in the number of lymphocyte cells can sometimes be better, than if we aggressively try to stimulate an otherwise physiological healing process.” Simply put, even children with a dipping cell count benefited physically after visits from artists.
The advantages of smiles, laughter, and positivity are not limited to the sick. We are all struggling to maintain some level of mental health and balance. We have all been thrown in a world where we often feel a lack of control. Whether we are fighting to keep a job that makes us miserable because it pays the bills, or whether we are fighting to pay the bills so we can keep a job that makes us happy– we are all at war to keep our heads above water. We want the best for our children, our friends, our lovers, our pets. Americans especially, work, work, work to no end, trying to keep the house, keep the car, keep the cable. The strain on our mind and spirit weighs us down and turns us against each other; it is easy to get lost in the darkness.
My ex-boyfriend invented a motto saved for cloudy days. He would mention it in times of despair whether it was because my unemployment checks were misfiled and delayed, or because my cat just died. His eyes were strikingly blue, glowing under the shadow of severe eyebrow and he would touch my knee and say, “look to the light” staring upward at the sky. I would follow his gaze and see the sun; the darkness broke apart and we were suddenly warm. We are as much a part of the planet as the ocean, the weather patterns, the sand and the birds. There is no need to fight the world when we are, in fact, the world. I ask you, as fellow human beings, stop the griping and complaining, the insults and the criticisms; lift your heads and look to the light.