A couple of weeks ago I returned from a meditation course in Dharmasala, India, a trip I will never forget and I will be blogging about this soon, I promise! It was my first ever solo trip and the longest my husband and I have been apart, since we first met. With all the emotions felt and all the experiences had—honestly I have never felt so physically well whilst being in India. I definitely prepared myself for the worst, and was quite sure I’d fall ill with some kind of tummy bug. I packed a medical kit I purchased from my GP with all the things—antibiotics, anti-emetics, hydrating powders, you name it I had it. I also had my supplements from my naturopath on hand too; a good combination of western meets eastern medicine. But, fortunately, I didn’t need any antibiotics and only took a probiotic and immune powder in the end and that was it.
Within the first couple of days after returning home, my stomach began to feel as it did before I went away, the odd bloat, with some increasing discomfort at times—common gut issues I’ve had on and off for some time. Only once did I feel this discomfort whilst in India and I’m pretty sure its cos I may have accidentally had some not so clean water. Anyway, this really got me thinking, and something my naturopath brought to my attention is that there was or perhaps still is something that I’m not ‘digesting’ in my life here, metaphorically speaking. I have to admit; my days in India were full of meditation practice, pranayama and yoga, along with being surrounded by the lushness of the Himalayas and its fresh, crisp, clean and serenity filled air. I have never in my life eaten so much Indian food, all of it so beautifully fresh however, usually dhal and legumes full stop would make me bloated and gassy, this my friend barely even happened.
There is so much emphasis on our physical health, with good reason however, we often inundate our diets with the latest trend to follow, foods we shouldn’t consume, Gut-Healing protocols and labels upon labels are placed on us and our inability to digest, process, or absorb certain foods. I have definitely allowed all of this to take place in my life; I have been very inquisitive and sought out help to find answers to my physical ailments—forgetting one important piece of the whole pie. That piece being my mental and emotional health—which I feel a little embarrassed about because, from my own personal and professional experience this I know is of upmost importance when it comes to creating a solid foundation for holistic wellness. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are things that some of us just can’t eat or foods that don’t feel good or fit with our constitution, which is to be expected—insert bio-individuality. But, when so much attention and energy is given to the physical, in the end there isn’t much left for awareness and attention of what our mental and emotional ‘bodies’ need. This became incredibly evident to me whilst in India, and the fact that my nervous system felt so much more at ease (better digestion), technology was minimal (spoke to my husband and some family, but no social media) and life was just so much simpler. To me this speaks volumes and for someone that never used to be able to tolerate Indian cuisine, to having eaten it every day with very little to no discomfort, one can only assume there was more at play.
I am extremely happy to be back home, in my own bed and with my love, but life here is different and with my renewed awareness of self and the world I live in, it is now up to me to cultivate a life and lifestyle that in some way resembles what I lived in India, a way of life that I can ‘digest’ and one that is conducive to a more easeful and calm state.
Perhaps next time you search for all that is physically wrong with your digestive system, before you look at Dr. Google for answers to your aching body or gut troubles, ask yourself, “what in my life am I not digesting?” “What is it that perhaps I’m not accepting or coping with?” These questions can help lead you to a place that goes beyond the physical, beyond the food and beyond what others may be telling you. This is my own personal observation and what I have come to believe is true for me, without a consistent mediation practice, I believe I would not have come to realize certain truths and answers within myself.
Mediation in my opinion is the way to help not only your mental and emotional health; it’s a way of recalibrating your physical health because when we have a relaxed mind our body will follow. The connection between our mind and body is real and something to be aware of, respected and attended to.
I’ll leave you to ponder this and would love to hear your thoughts.