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I have been living with digestive issues most of my living life, it’s one of the many side effects of being a highly sensitive human, and of being quite an unwell asthmatic and allergy sufferer as a child (in the 90’s when antibiotics was the answer for everything!)
I was recently on an incredible run with my digestion, in fact I felt the best I had felt in a very long time! Something I became very aware of in that time, was how much better I am at making good choices for myself and my life when my digestion is working correctly!
When my digestion is working efficiently, I eat without deliberating on what choice is less likely to upset my gut, I simply listen and connect with my body better and know what it needs and doesn’t! I can rest better, and exercise with more vigour, and there is so much more space in my head to allow for creative and fun things to give my energy to, rather then being bogged down by the discomfort I live in when my gut health is out of balance.
When my gut is out, I find it hard to make decisions… any decision! I am indecisive, foggy, and can’t seem to feel in to my intuition! I exercise less, purely based on the discomfort of bloating, and tend to want to eat to pacify the anxiety that is usually paired with my digestive upsets. I also find it hard to feel my worth and connect to my self esteem due to the above, instead I feel a little upside down and off kilter!
Science has been talking of the gut brain connection for years now, so it makes sense that when our gut is out, our mental health will be affected also. I could go further down the biochemical path but I will leave that to the experts… today I wanted to share my own unconventional journey with my gut, in all it’s glorious woo woo’ness!
What I learned through psychology and spirituality – is that the stomach is the third chakra, otherwise known as our solar plexus. It governs our sense of will and power, it’s element is “fire” (we need a good fire to metabolise the food we eat) and it’s purpose is transformation – transforming food in to energy and digesting our emotional world so we can speak our truth and exercise a sense of autonomy in the world.
It is now the key modality I use to bring my digestive issues back in to balance! No amount of probiotics or vitamins (though they help) balances my gut the way working through my emotional and spiritual world does…
It’s no quick fix, but it’s personally been the lasting answer to better health.
It has meant going in to the dark places, those shut down nooks we are oh so good at avoiding and numbing out from… and as a result it has been transformative, liberating, and well worth the time and energy spent learning the workings of my inner world.
It’s always an opportunity to delve deeper inward and get to know myself more, in my becomingness, gently teasing new dimensions of myself out to play and have a say. It can feel pretty counter-intuitive at times, but the results speak for themselves.
The following helps to heal my digestive issues exponentially:
Yoga – I practice a combination of power yoga and yin.
I see my psychologist and metaphysical counsellor regularly.
Journal and self inquiry practice – e.g what realities am I having trouble digesting in my life?
Working on my core strength – strengthens will and self esteem.
Taking risks – I start the things I am holding back on – surfing, work risks, new skills etc.
Speaking up in difficult situations with truth instead of avoiding them.
Taking responsibility for my words, actions and life.
I eat warming soups/root vegetables – I find them grounding and soothing.
I pull back on alcohol and coffee during stressful times
I have infrared saunas to detox and reduce inflammation
I spend more time naked… odd fix I know, but it is a thing – get super comfy with yourself naked, when your 5kg heavier or lighter, love it all!
I do yoga nidra (Tanis Fishman has a great one on Youtube) this helps restore my body by switching off it’s stress response.
I basically need to spend less time in my head and more time in my body and I remind myself often when working on myself, “The answers are not in your head!”
For intellectual/heady types this will feel so un-trustable at times, but when you let go of the need to control, some amazing solutions often unfold.
When my gut is out, it’s a reminder I need to trust in the natural unfolding of my life, by listening to and trusting my gut. It’s an invitation to check in and act from a place of integrity – to myself and to others, and to believe in my ability to pave my own path.
“It is not the power we seek so much as the overcoming of victimisation – the ability to determine our own lives. For what greater responsibility than to allow the divine within, the freedom of it’s unique unfoldment!” ~ Anodea Judith
You may also find this overview of the Solar Plexus interesting – From the book based on Western Psychology and the Eastern Chakra System ~ “Eastern Body, Western Mind”
Physical Malfunctions of Third Chakra:
Disorders of the stomach, pancreas, gall bladder and liver.
To act and be an individual in the world.
Symptoms When out of Balance:
Weak will – easily manipulated
Low self esteem
Cold – emotionally and physically
Attracted to stimulants and sedatives
Victim mentality – blaming others
None of this is a diagnoses. I am not a doctor and I always encourage and advise you to approach your own health in the way that best serves you. This has been an important part of my own physical healing and treatment for my health and I share it as an invitation to get curious and stay open if a conventional (or otherwise) approach is not getting you results.
I myself still use both, however I always err on the side of looking to emotions and energetics when dealing with the root cause of my health imbalances, rather then filling myself up with medication, or spending loads of money trying to get rid of symptoms. I will always respect and use a conventional approach when necessary, and I do use vitamin therapy at the prescription of an integrative doctor to re-balance my biochemistry!
With love, Candice x