Our minds have been on what feels quite like the decathlon, and election day is like the last big mountain until we...start again. We've all been through a lot already in 2020, to be sure. Realistically, we don't have any direct control over what will come this day, or tomorrow or the next. But if we move forward in a wiser way than simply flip-flopping between hope and fear, we can use this time as a way to make a collective "dent" in what seems like the never-ending marathon of "what's next?" Let me explain.
I'd actually like to begin with the practice of intermittent fasting, but with a twist. Many people are trying out this ancient way to heal and improve physical digestion. It is a way to help the body release toxins, extra weight or in general, heal. Ayurveda says that a thriving digestion is the secret to good health. I believe that 100%. And many of us look on this practice as something we might welcome into our lives at one point or another to support our physical health. But what if we actually used this very powerful action on another level of our being, say, the mind? What if just as many people would consider doing an intermittent fasting technique when it comes to what we take in to our minds, and not just our bellies? The news is very compelling (and many other adjectives) at this time, I admit it does seem to be a type of disaster where you just can't "look away." I get it. That said, we all would certainly benefit by having a sense of how much we can actually take in or digest without causing detrimental effects to ourselves.
On the off chance that you have been taking in "a 7-course meal" of news each day, I can only imagine the adrenal fatigue you may be experiencing. Have you ever noticed that when you are taking a lot of heavy-duty information in through your mind, that you tend to also mirror that in terms of your food intake? Ever heard of stress-eating? This is an example of "as above, so below." When minds are full, often our bellies are too. We may take in so much fear-based information that it starts to feel like it's too much; so much that we just can't digest it. Yet, we often feel the need for more and more and more. What I might offer, is if you are going to take in the news, which is definitely more fear-based information, that you look upon it--in terms of consumption--as a "condiment" rather than the main course. Regardless of how much news you take in, you will still need to digest it. If we allow our fearful thoughts to "get stuck" inside, then we may actually manifest that same stuck-ness in our bodies in another ways...even constipation.
I encourage you to consider spending a few periods today and everyday doing one or more of these: getting outside, breathing fresh air, moving your body, shutting off your screens, laughing and letting those shoulders down from arounds your ears, singing, going to bed before 11, meditating or praying. Why? Because each one of these actions is an "emptying" action. They empty negative thoughts, stressful energies, release us from our patterns or relax us. As we empty out, we give our minds and bodies alike, a chance for spaciousness, which leads to clarity and reorganization. This is in great support of our digestion, both mental and physical. If you are a yogi, you also may have some additional tools, like asana, agni sara, pranayama, meditation and yoga nidra to even further help you digest on multiple levels. If you have the tools folks, NOW is the time to use them.
The mind/body connection cannot be separated. What the mind goes through, the body is aware of, and when the mind overflows, the body steps up to take it. Although this might sound like a sweet partnering, neither the body or the mind benefit long term. This is because what has been taken in as "food" requires digestion. Think of stagnant food, a stale rotting energy in an intestine and then review the adage, "as above, so below" You get the idea. The mind can suffer this same stale experience. Stagnancy is a stoppage, which may not be quite so intimately experienced in other areas of life, but when it happens in the energy of our minds and bodies, stopping the natural flow of energy brings an unnatural state of dis-ease. This is because mind and body require a flow to sustain vibrant health and wholeness. When we decide to take action to reinstate our digestion, and hence, flow, there are even greater benefits beyond our own.
The power of using all the tools you know to digest your mental fear is, when we all do, we experience the magic of collective digestion. What does that mean? When we ALL use our tools to digest our personal fears, we organically lower the collective levels of fear. As we "digest" the negative aspects of fear, and raise our own vibrations into a space of greater positivity, that energy is shared by those we live with, work with and manifests as a more collective experience. I love this idea. Unity through digestion! Hey, it's a good start! One other rule I have learned to cherish in Ayurveda is the 80-20 rule. This means, when 80% is in place, we can overcome the other 20% and attain our goal of health, and thrive. Our country is starving for healing, health and thriving, and by doing something good for ourselves, we are also doing something good for our world. Please, be a part of the 80%. Blessings to all.