“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” -Anne Lamott
Everyday the technological world is charging at us with stories and updates and the happenings around the globe. The more “advanced” we become the greater the pressure to achieve something more than what we are currently giving. For me personally, I find myself waking up everyday and wondering when the feeling of enough comes. When am I able to take in the right amount of updates, digest the information, and feel that what I have to offer was enough?
This month our focus is Digestion. On a physical level, our bodies are working hard to digest and gather nutrients from the food we consume. Our intestines and guts never stop working. During times of high stress our emotional state has the ability to hijack our digestive system. When we get nervous or anxious—we get gassy, bloated, and bathroom urgency; or the opposite happens and our intestines freeze up and we get constipated. The nervous/anxious state signals our sympathetic nervous system to fire up as we experience this fight or flight response. For our primitive ancestors this was a great tool when your life was on the line; however, we no longer face the threat of tigers eating us everyday. Nonetheless, in our modern lives the fight or flight response still occurs signaling our bodies to relieve or contract our bodily fluids.
The outside world is likely to keep moving at a fast-paced rate, meaning our digestion may continue to be hijacked. It is important for us to create lifestyle practices that keep our body and digestive system feeling safe enough to do its job. Here are my personal practices on disengaging from “over-digesting” news, media, and the ongoing chaos of the outside world:
Move – When I notice myself starting to go down the spiral of fight or flight, I take this as a cue to change up my body position. That means swinging my arms, jumping up and down, doing a full body shake, or going upside down. Shaking is a way for our bodies to release the pressure of energy that is building up inside of us. Going upside down not only reverses your blood flow but it also forces you to shift your focus on balancing.
Shut off Devices – It is amazing the instant disconnect I feel when I completely turn off my phone and computer. When I keep my phone on and put it away, I can still feel a pull to it; by powering it down it gives me a sense of empowerment and control. I get to decide when I take in what my phone gives me, not the other way around!
Community – I am hungry for this in my everyday life. Offering one another’s intimate presence is healing because it reminds us that we are not alone. We don’t always know the right things to say to one another when life gets difficult; often what we are aching for is for someone to acknowledge our pain and to say, “me too.”
Comforting Herbs – Let plants comfort you and surround you with healing energy. Rose petals and Hawthorne Berries are tender for the heart. Borage can remind you of your personal power and provide you with courage. If your belly is taking a beating from stress and overstimulation, herbs like lemon verbena and chamomile can gently sooth or try the tea of the month: Stomach Soother.
Play Outside – Stand under a tree and admire it’s strength and magnanimity. Feel the rain and wind on your skin. Remember that you are nature, not separate from it.
Remember friends that you are not alone. You are a being living on a massive ball of iron, hypnotized by a fiery ball of energy, floating in space. We’re in outer space!!
Keep on Kerp’n,
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