The most important guideline for good digestion

There are 3 major guidelines for good digestion: The What, the When, and the How.

Did you know that the most important of the 3 is the HOW?

Digestability depends most importantly on your body’s ability to move the blood flow to the stomach to do it’s job of breaking down the food, mining it for nutrients, and effectively getting rid of the rest. When the HOW puts us in stress, which includes stress over eating and anything else that invites an unsettling emotion, it takes the energy it needs to break down the foods elsewhere so that it can deal with the flight or fight that’s been triggered.

Turn off the news. Take a moment to bless the food for its sustenance, take a few deep breaths, enjoy the colors, textures and aroma of the food. Take it in through gratitude before taking it in through the mouth. Chew your food. Feel that your food has found its way down the esophagus before picking your fork back up for the next bite. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it.

This one important practice will slow down your eating and amplify the flavors of the bounty in front of you. It will make you more productive afterwards, more able to digest life, and bring you closer to your essential nature.

Trust your intuition

Take a chance. You are guaranteed to make mistakes, and that’s okay.

Imagine if we got disappointed in our little toddler who is learning to walk every time she falls… or even had her not take the risk because she will most certainly fall. Ridiculous, right?

The more you practice trusting yourself, the stronger your intuition will become.

The more you practice not trusting yourself, the better you’ll get at it (not trusting yourself, that is).

[Spiritual] community care is the new self care

What often gets overlooked in self care is the importance of a spiritual community.

We were meant to bond with each other. Not to commiserate, dump or distract, but to humbly share the hard stuff and celebrate the good stuff, and to serve and be served, as a regular part of our lives; to be in the discomfort and in the silence with each other as well as to laugh. This is the healing space.

This is a lot to put on just one person. It takes a community of highly intentioned and courageous people desirous of elevating and supporting each other’s spiritual development, which is to align with one’s essential nature that they may feel deeply comfortable in their own skin. Comfortable enough to be alone and also to be together without the mask.

We need this now. Depression and feelings of isolation and loneliness have become an epidemic. Famous people who are successful in their work and who are surrounded by friends have not been immune.

If you are prone to depression, strongly consider cultivating the habit of regularly connecting with a spiritual community before it hits, because once it does, the tendency to isolate activates like a light switch. Within an active community, those tendencies lower tremendously, because serving each other, and being served, fulfills the soul,.. and a fulfilled soul is a complete soul.

Your #1 ally

…is your breath. And it’s the easiest thing to make your daily practice because you don’t necessarily need to set aside extra time or money for it.

Taking full breaths stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, which supports relaxation and digestion, and it also connects you to the important tools and wisdom you already have. Without the breath, the access point feels bolted shut.

With the breath, we gain a broader perspective, we have a better chance at remembering the impermanence of things, we are better equipped to remember who we are, and we can access the depth and courage we need to live life better.

Without it, we can get lost in despair or anger, enroll others in our drama, isolate and disparage ourselves and others, or run people over, hide, or come out sideways (passive aggressive).

With conscious breath, we gain greater command over our mental and emotional bodies, and we can begin to discern and act accordingly. Without it, we rely on sheer will to win the internal tug-of-war.

Habitualizing checking in with your breath throughout the day can massively and positively impact quality of life.

If you are aware that you forget to breathe during the day, start here:

Upon waking up, and before getting out of bed, lie on your back, place one hand on your solar plexus and breathe into it slowly and deeply, expanding your belly. At the top of your inhale, exhale out slowly and completely, bringing the navel center down towards your spine. Make your breath long and deep, focusing your attention on your breath and nothing else. You might want to count, inhaling for 4 to 8 counts, then exhaling for 4 to 8 counts, making your inhale and exhale equal counts. Continue this for 5 minutes.

You might add a gratitude and say “thank you for my life,” before going about your day. 😇

Do this again at the end of the day upon laying down for bed; a better alternative to turning on social media…

For bonus points, practice conscious breathing while you are cooking, folding laundry, or when you feel uncomfortable in your body (inhale love into that space, exhale out the pain), and so on. There are many opportunities to bring breath into your day.