By Katherine Brooke-MacKenzie, Jul 1 2019 04:16PM
If you're a regular reader of our newsletters you'll know that I've stopped accepting new clients for a while as I focus on writing content for a gut health workshop, a new book and of course, my exciting adventure into the world of public speaking... it really is the ultimate cure for constipation! This has led to me research information to support what I already believe and have witnessed in the clinic around the complexity of our gut function. It's so much more than a physical pipe of poop.
Recently I was reading up about the gut brain, or the enteric nervous system as it is also known. Back in 2014, I completed a course about a new coaching style called mBIT, which stands for multiple Brain Integration Techniques. This enables the recipient to enjoy the benefits of integrating the wisdom of the head brain, heart brain and gut brain - it was fascinating stuff. You see, each of these brains has a contribution to make that works best when it is in alignment with the others. The highest expression of the head, heart and gut brains is creativity, compassion and courage respectively.
Who among us doesn't have a friend who is full of great ideas about how they're going to change the world, but never actually mobilises to action. I love enthusiasm and as an idealist I'm a sucker for an inspirational notion, but action is what makes the real difference. This is the domain of the gut brain.
I feel strongly that a gut instinct - intuition if you like - is an extraordinary gift that we all possess but that very few use. Let's imagine it is like a Guardian Angel who lives in your tummy and is there to guide, protect and support you through your life. It's not interested in public opinion and cares not for joining the behaviours of the masses. It matters only that it directs you to the fullest expression of your highest self; the person that you have come to be on this planet at this time. It's a powerful thought no? Let's also imagine then, that despite its best efforts to impart its pearls of wisdom to you, you're not listening and it's getting bored trying to get your attention!
How does it feel to be ignored? How does it feel to not be valued for the best you have to offer... yeah.. pretty disappointing right? If you were ignored every time you had something to contribute, over time you'd either get really uppity or just resign yourself and no longer bother to try. What if this is happening to our gut brains? What if this phenomenal resource is screaming to be heard through the symptoms of IBS, anxiety and constipation because it's "sick" of being ignored?
We have around 200 million neurons (nerve cells) in our gut brain. It is the equivalent of an entire cat's brain. That is a whole load of intelligence at our disposal from which we're potentially not benefitting. In our modern society, we have come to favour the head brain which enjoys the illusions of certainty from the tried and tested, the scientifically proven, the evidenced studies... all constructed through the analysis of groups of things, or people. Things or people that are not us, that don't have our experience, our psychology, our purpose and our individual gifts. So when it comes to us making an important decision in our lives that feels risky and scary, instead of trusting our gut instinct that has all that information about us in its arsenal, we defer to an external model which tells us what it has found is best, based on things that happened to other people that were nothing to do with us!
If we can just find the courage to follow our gut instincts, we will enjoy a higher level of engagement in our own life. I find it's like living with magic but it takes some tuning in to and if you've never done it before, it's going to feel really scary at first. When we start getting that gut feedback it actually becomes a physical experience in our body as well as an unshakeable belief in our minds. Of course, when we start to follow our hearts in our own unique direction, we initially receive disapproving looks and discouraging comments from those to whom our actions don't make sense but we must stay true to our course. We all, ultimately, want to be loved and accepted. But being loved and accepted for who we truly are is much more rewarding than being appreciated for being a person that just fits the mould of someone else's belief system.
It actually feels a bit scary for me to offer up my thoughts on this subject, but according to my own gut feelings, these words needed to be shared, so do let me know if the message resonates with you too.