Our digestion is governed by many factors. Previously, I have written about my experimentation with fermented foods (see archived blogs - Beet Kvass and Kombucha). Apparently, the naturally produced probiotics in these foods help keep our gut bacteria nourished properly which is key for many systems in our body – production of serotonin, dopamine, immune system and yes, the digestive system also to name a few.
But what about the negative thought patterns that we allow to express as emotions in our bodies? Last night I ate dinner rather unmindfully and quickly, having just read something that upset me. I had taken my digestive enzyme before the meal, I had combined my foods in a way that usually works for me. And yet, I still ended up with some… hmm discomfort. What did I do wrong? Nothing except that maybe I should have calmed myself down before I ate my dinner! I was trying to appease myself; I was upset because I had read something and immediately interpreted it as a negative to me. The key word here being ‘interpreted’.
Subsequently, I had bad indigestion. My internal community of microbiome was impacted, I believe, by how I was feeling. They perceived my emotional response and acted on it. They are at our mercy you know – they don’t have a way of defending themselves from the foods and emotions that we feed them, so to speak. I'm sure there is not anyone who hasn't suffered as a result of eating when they are stressed out! I believe the gut bacteria act on the vibrations they receive – in this case, some distress from me. It felt as if they were having a boxing match in my intestinal tract – duking it out amongst themselves.
The fact of the matter is that we can do ‘all the right things’ in terms of feeding ourselves properly, taking the right supplements, and drinking all these different potions. Don’t get me wrong, I am keenly interested in doing all of the above. But for me, the most important factor is the self-love that I give to myself. A lot of this is fueled by the negative thoughts and subsequent emotional reactions that occur, making me feel less than, not worthy, or that I have done something wrong or been wronged. Bla bla bla! These are all the stories that my mind creates; sometimes it is based on history. Or maybe it is just out and out fear that is triggered. There is no shortage of fearful possibilities in our world. But we have a choice as to whether or not we let it in and make it our truth by how we translate it. Fear triggers stress which triggers default habits of trying to defend ourselves from what we are feeling.
At the core of all this is a very basic message that I have to constantly remind myself of – the opposite of fear is love. Love is all that we have; it’s the basis of this universe; it’s why we are all here with human bodies. It is the healing balm for everything that we think is wrong. And yes, there are seemingly alot of situations that feel wrong, scary, negative, etc. But what good does it do to allow myself to get stressed out? Last night I ended up with indigestion; over time stress begets stress.
I have a choice the next time this happens (likely there will be lots of opportunities still ahead)! I can choose to take a moment to breathe. It is actually so simple its embarrasing! There is no shortage of love; I just have to tune into it in myself. It is the pulse that keeps me breathing. I just have to breathe in deeply and feel the warmth that starts to circulate in my body. That is love you know! It's living proof that each one of us is and has love to offer.
Going back to the indigestion, the microbiome, I am the first person in this particular food chain if you want to look at it in this way. Based on the foods I ingest and the thoughts and reactions that I allow, then there is a chain reaction within my own microbiome, never mind the other people that I interact with in my life.
So the next time I get stressed, I will remind myself to breathe deeply and feel that love. And then I will eat my dinner!