After over a year of living in a world inundated with messages of fear, in a city of constant on again/off again lockdowns, and now the Covid variants spreading everywhere, the dominant and most valuable lesson that I’ve gleaned from this whole situation is that of my need to take full ownership of and responsibility for the health and well being of my body. Time has run out on conventional and unexceptional ways of being within our own bodies; it is now time to realize a friendship with it, one that is alive and vibrant, recognizing that the quality of this relationship can either create within us health or induce malaise and even disease. It is clear to me that I do not have to sit helplessly by, waiting for something or someone outside of myself to come to my rescue, to save me from sickness, or to provide me safety within my own body; I need only serve and support this magnificent and responsive physical expression, that is my body, with the same zest and vigour with which it delights to serve and support me, and in doing so, I will not only survive this pandemic, I will thrive right on through it and beyond!
We erect barriers to health and thriving as we release more and more responsibility for our health and well being into the hands of a medical system that depends almost solely upon seeking out and managing disease. I must say, Western medicine is excellent when it comes to acute care, however, it commits little of its focus to the prevention of disease or the creation of true health. If we become complacent with the medical status quo, a mindset of mediocrity can take us over, where we come to equate not being sick, with optimal health. If this happens it is then easy to lose touch with the body’s intuitive knowing and feeling, separating us a little further from its intelligence and wisdom. Yet, no matter the case, know that you can always find your way back to your body’s truest intentions, for you always have opportunity to awaken to its never ending call to vibrance… to Life, even within a pandemic!
Your body is an expression of the extraordinary, it is a powerhouse of energy and Life, always fervent to woo you with its magnificence. As for me, my natural response to such a celebration of hope is to recommit daily to the friendship that I have been forging with my body. I build upon this relationship by seeking to discover, learn about, and honour the needs and capabilities of my body. Acquiring such knowledge deepens the respect and wonder I feel for this multifaceted ecosystem of which I am a humble and grateful part. It also gives me the practical information I need in order to be able to offer to my body the optimal physical support it needs of me. My ever increasing knowledge enables a dynamic relationship that strengthens my trust and confidence in my body, opening my mind and heart to its invitation to peacefully, lovingly, and vibrantly commune.
Friendship is synonymous with love, trust, communion, and appreciation, so I set aside time to commune with my body, giving it my attention, an intuitive ear, and an open heart. During these times of quiet, I speak, not only of my intentions towards my body and of my joy in serving it, but also of my extreme gratitude for each and every aspect of all that makes up this – my living living community of Consciousness. To each of its constituents, from my organs and tissues, muscle and bone and everything in between, to the microbiome, the cells, the atoms from which they are all comprised, and the 99.9999999% of empty space that occupies each of those atoms, I thank all for everything they do for me, for themselves, and for each other.
I am learning to listen to and trust my body more than I ever have before. No longer do I turn a deaf ear to it, and no more do I blindly accept assessments of what’s best for me given by anyone outside of myself, especially when the messages from my body seem contrary to what I’m being told. Instead, I set my intentions towards cooperation, doing my best to work together with all of the elements of my body towards a perpetual re-creation and maintenance of a healthy and vital ecosystem for me, as well as for each member of my bodily community, to bask in.
In case you were wondering, I also take a very pragmatic approach in supporting my body. In a very proactive way, I joyfully serve the interests of my gut microbiome. Since the microbiome, (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses), is an integral part of the body and foundational to its health, I build upon my health from the microbiome up. You can’t separate the gut microbiota from the immune system; seventy percent of the immune system lives in the gut, separated from our gut microbiota by a single layer of cells. A strong microbiome empowers those neighbouring immune cells for optimal function to protect us from infection. So, by supporting and making strong your microbiota, you support and make strong your immune system. The more balanced and healthy your microbiome is, the far less chance opportunistic microorganisms and pathogens have to take advantage of conditions that would be created by poor diet, stress, and intoxicants. My experience has definitely proven to me the power of supporting my microbiome and the health and strength this creates within my body.
Along side the synergy created by the peace I’ve made with my body, the other optimal path I’ve found to a strengthened immune system is to serve and support my beloved microbiome and hands down, the best way to do that is to hyper nourish it. I do this by not just providing my microbiome with lots of fiber, but with a diverse array of fiber. Fiber is as manna to the microbiome and the more diversity of fiber it receives, the happier, healthier, and more robust it gets! It is as Dr. Will Bulsiewicz stresses in his illuminating and life altering book, Fiber Fueled, “… by choosing plant diversity, you fuel your microbiome with the scientifically proven, number one determinant of a healthy gut…” So, now that we know how, let’s all start revving up our immune systems by serving and supporting our microbiome; after all, as Dr. Will so wisely and reassuringly puts it, “when we take care of our microbes, they take care of us.”
I’m loving the opportunity to write this particular paragraph because I get to gush about how I care for my microbiome. I fuel and nourish my microbes with a lot of diversity now, I get such satisfaction from counting the number of different fiber foods I eat in a day, not to mention the joy I feel from ingesting such vast vibrations of colours. Along with all my old favourites, I’ve also been adding such interesting new plant foods to my repertoire. Each time I discover a new fiber source I’ve yet to try, whether it be fruit, vegetable, bean, grain, nut, seed, green or mushroom, I give myself and my microbiome the pleasure of incorporating it into a meal. Sometimes I’ll try something new and decide that I won’t ever be eating that again, but mostly I’m loving the adventure into new foods, even the ones that I would never before have considered tasting, and, most of which, find myself really enjoying. I’ve embarked upon a marvellous journey into a world of delicious, colourful, alive, and life-giving foods, filling my microbes with such delight, and they, in turn, reward my efforts by zealously serving me and filling me with health and vibrance!
In the midst of all the pandemonium that exists in these times we are in right now, a most valuable lesson is here to be had – an opportunity at hand: to seize responsibility for your own health and to own it. This is your time to let go of unexceptional ways of being in your body, to rid your mindset of mediocrity, and to reconnect with your body’s intuitive knowing, feeling, and wisdom. It is your moment to heed its call to vibrance and come to know true health. Reach out in friendship to this extraordinary powerhouse of energy and Life that you inhabit and accept its invitation to peacefully and lovingly commune; open your heart in appreciation, receptivity, and cooperation, joining with every member of your bodily community in motion towards perpetual re-creation of your health and vitality. And enjoy the adventure along the way as your body’s wisdom and delight guides you to high vibrations and delectable delicacies, this magnificent body serving and supporting you with such zeal that you will thrive right on through this pandemic and reap your rewards of vibrance, health, and knowing!