Y’know how the ruffled ridges of the brain look like the folds of the small intestine? They have a similar appearance because both maximize their surface area for good processing. The brain processes information; the small intestine processes food. Hmm — both are digesting.
Many refer to the belly as a second brain. Sometimes we know things in our gut. We have an awareness, a knowing that is not brain-logical, and yet it is true.
So I’m fascinated with these two “brains.”
Remember when we were little kids, and anxiety cropped up with a tummy ache? In the moment something felt harsh, then wham, my belly hurt. As I remember, whenever a big adult yelled, or a loud siren screamed, or anything threatened me, my little head could not handle it, and my belly knotted up.
After we grow up, we may have fewer of these bellyaches.
But isn’t it intriguing, how tension sits in our shoulders? Isn’t it curious, the way the small intestine meridian energy path flows through our neck and shoulders, zigzagging across the trapezius muscles, which get so tight under stress?
To me it appears that, as we grew up, we managed to push our anxiety deeper underneath the surface, in order to control it and manage it somehow. But it is still there. Anxiety cramps the energy flow in our shoulders.
Of course, even as adults, we may continue with belly symptoms in response to stress. Our digestive systems are extremely sensitive, reacting to changes in the environment, changes in our thoughts and emotions. (During massage or energy work, the sound of a gurgling intestine – borborygmus – is a sign that energy is flowing well and the body is happy.)
Often life is a hassle. Stressors abound. Everything from my personal life, to my work, to my community, to the violence on the nightly news. How can I possibly digest it all? How can my brain cope with it? How can my belly even begin to process it? Both organs (all organs) have a hard time, and this impacts our health.
Almost all disease stems from stress.
Our challenge is to find peace within all this chaos, to find signs of a benevolent universe. It’s still here. When you take a hike under the open sky, listening to the birds and the silent trees, you can feel it. Stress dissipates. If we were not so caught in our man-made world, we could relax better.
Many years ago in a tropical place I met a retired newspaper editor who had escaped his former life. He said he now stayed far away from any news. It just wasn’t worth it.
The media is yanking our chain, pulling us into discontent and despair.
I feel the only benefits of negative news stories are: we are reminded to open our hearts and send compassion, and in some cases we can assist those who are suffering. But at the same time, bad news overwhelms and makes us feel powerless. And you know it’s virtually all bad news. It bumps up the ratings. They know they can hook us.
In the natural world, when the lion rips the head off the zebra, do all the animals stop and stare? Do they carry the news over the next hill, print it, post it, so everyone will know what a terrible lion he is? No, they don’t, because everything is in right order.
These may be tough words, but it is the broad view. Like Byron Katie says, when you argue with reality, you lose, 100% of the time.
Consider that when our own vibration is peaceful and content, this uplifts many people around us. This does make a difference in the world. It has been said that one aligned person can vibrationally soothe hundreds, even thousands.
How to make peace with difficult things and people?
- Breathe into your belly (this brings Chi down deep 😉
- Meditate (or even Sing, to lift your mood)
- Tap on it (EFT meridian tapping)
- Take a walk (your swinging limbs relax, reintegrate, your brain and your digestion)
- Look for the positive aspects of the situation
- Ask yourself: In my dying moment, is this really going to matter?
- Intentionally release all stressors, perhaps sending them out from your palms into the earth, to reset your energy field. Especially before bedtime.
We try too hard to digest everything. If you cannot stomach it, let it go.