Holistic Healing Thought Leader: Carol Lee
The world feels pretty full-on right now. Most weeks something rolls in that stops me in my tracks, overwhelms me, and leaves me feeling weighed down and needing to pause a while.
“online trolling, everyone’s life and photos, it’s all available 24/7.”
News reports that reach us from every corner of the world, the intensity of social media, online trolling, everyone’s life and photos, it’s all available 24/7.
…and just like after a huge, multi-course meal it all needs digesting.
Digestion when related to food is the breaking down of food so our body can use the constituent parts to nourish us. It’s a process of sorting the wheat from the chaff, ‘yes please’, ‘no thank you’. It’s exactly the same mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I like to view life through the lens of the Chinese Five Elements, this beautiful map is a way of understanding health and wellbeing in relation to nature and the seasons.
Small Intestine Energy:
Through this lens, digestion is linked to the small intestine energy, which is one of the Fire element meridians. The Fire element is linked to summertime, the light, longer days, flowers, and the blossoming and maturing of our plans and goals.
The small intestine aspect of Fire in particular gifts us the power of discernment and this is what is happening with digestion. Our body makes nourishing choices and then transforms what we eat into accessible pieces.
“Our body makes nourishing choices and then transforms what we eat into accessible pieces.”
Within the Five-element map, there is no distinction between this function for the body, the mind, the emotions, or the spirit. We are continually sorting on all levels in every aspect of life.
So let’s look at the naturopathic principles of healthy physical digestion and at the same time, apply them to digesting life.
Flow Is Everything:
Physically, good digestion is built on hydration and healthy cell membranes. To support this make sure you drink plenty of plain water and enjoy healthy, omega 3 rich fats every day. These will support the integrity of the gut lining making optimal digestion possible.
On mental, emotional, and spiritual levels create good boundaries for yourself and let the rest flow by. It can be so easy to get fixated on world events and content that we have absolutely no control over especially when we feel fearful. Although I check the news reports most days, it is many years since I have watched a news program.
Make Less Challenging Choices:
Keep your small intestine happy by minimizing gluten and dairy intake. Both of these can create mucus in the body which affects the absorption of nutrients. Choose goat or sheep products as an alternative to cow dairy and spelt or rye products instead of wheat. Avoid hard-to-digest, processed, or chemically-laden food.
On a mental, emotional and spiritual level avoid choices that are hard to digest; here are some…
- Negative people on social media – delete, block, unfriend.
- Violent movies or shows.
- Gossipy or judgmental reality shows.
“On a mental, emotional and spiritual level keep your choices simple…”
Focus On Simple Nourishment:
In the summertime, our digestion is less challenged so enjoy some nutrient-rich, raw food every day. In the winter a small side salad is a lovely complement to the main meal, while in the summer a huge raw salad could make up your whole meal.
On a mental, emotional, and spiritual level keep your choices simple…
- Choose walking or dancing rather than a hyper-fast spin class.
- Sit quietly somewhere in nature rather than seek out a meditation class.
Enjoy A Concentrated Moment Of Something:
Have a small amount of fermented veggies once a day, even 1/2 teaspoon is powerful medicine. I love sauerkraut, it is easy and cheap to make and I start mine fermenting in my airing cupboard/closet.
On a mental, emotional and spiritual level take time out to digest by…
- Meditating, this can be either silently sitting or following a guided visualization
- Punctuating your day with 5-minute pops of movement. I like to put on a dance tune and lose myself in the music.
Pause After Eating:
Take a pause after eating. Then perhaps an hour after your meal, enjoy a herbal tea, something with aniseed, fennel or cardamom will soothe and support digestion.
On a mental, emotional and spiritual level…
- Switch off your devices.
- Indulge in some light reading of a paper book.
- Write a gratitude list reflecting on your day.
Make Empowered Choices:
Digesting life is about making empowered choices. Sometimes life moves so fast it can feel like we are getting dragged along behind it, sucked into all the drama and harshness of the world. The empowered choice is to let go and create our own filters. This is not about burying your head in the sand, this is about making a choice about where we put our attention, where we can be helpful rather than just add to the collective noise.
About the Author:
Carol Lee is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist, Sugar-freedom coach, Creative Kinesiologist, Teacher and Author from the U.K. She has been working in Complementary Health for over 25 years. Her holistic approach to healing and transformation is about listening to, witnessing and working with the body’s ‘knowing’. Carol believes this is where we hold our wisdom, experience and capacity for change, especially as mid-life women. She works with women wanting to kick the sugar habit, those who are navigating health challenges, or who are wanting to up-level their life in some way; helping them to clear the blocks to success and wellbeing. She is currently enjoying her empty nest, and the freedom it brings, with her partner Jon. Carol loves the coast and walking the wild landscape of South West UK, snuggling her sweet rescue cat Stevie, gardening and eating delicious, nutritious food.