all very good qualities to have in my profession. Although, one of our pitfalls is our strong response to stress: we literally combust in the face of stress. My combustion was isolating, I’d experience crippling stomach pain for days. I remember in high school, before I sought naturopathic healthcare, I would miss days of school because I was in so much pain.
Our gastrointestinal tracts are so important. It’s gained the reputation of being the king of our immune system due to it’s complex lymphatic system known as the GALT (Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue). It’s also considered our second brain because of the amount of neurotransmitters produced in our gut, all the nervous tissue that lives inside our GI organs, and the intimate relationship our gastrointestinal tract has with our brain. To increase the complexity, the Chakra (Indian energy medicine) of our gastrointestinal tract houses our emotions. Think about it, when we get bad news where do we feel it first? In our gut, we feel nauseous and incapable of processing any new information. My gut instinct tells me.., I felt butterflies in my stomach.., My stomach is churning.. I thought I was going to vomit.., these are ways people experience various destructive emotions in their guts.
This past week, I had an experience where I became extremely bored and wanted time to move quicker. I then started thinking about what I was going to have for dinner, started to feel excited to go home and eat, and proceeded to think about whether I should go out with my fiance for dinner and what we would eat. As soon as I caught myself, I realized it was all happening not because I was hungry -or- stressed, but because I was discontented with my present situation. I immediately reminded myself of how valuable life is, even when we’re in less than ideal situations. I wish Friday would come quicker, there’s only 2 hours left in this work day and they feel so long, I just want this exam to be done and over with, etc.
The question hit me today: how often do people eat in order to put our that fire of discontentment? That same fire that helps you transform and move ahead. It must be hard to admit to being discontented, because that would mean assuming action to move into a contented place. But the second you eat, and eat, and eat, that fire is quenched, until next time. For the most part, I’m very content, but when I’m bored I lose my ability to sit still, I want to move on yet in a 9-5 life of seeing patients that’s just impossible. Now that I’ve identified this as a trigger though, I’m able to acknowledge when it happens and remind myself of how precious every moment of life is and fully embrace the beauty in meeting people, exploring our world, and fully actualizing my true and higher calling.