Have you ever looked a flower and wondered how does it know when to become more, when to erupt and display its wondrous beauty? What’s the trigger for its emergence? It’s all inside, all that potential, in their cells, and given the right environment, there is no choice for them; the outcome of their natural, beautiful expression is inevitable.

So what about us? How aligned are we with our natural expressions? What if we come here on this planet with the blueprint of something inside us, just as unique and beautiful as every daffodil or rose or snowdrop you see around you? Does the tulip find its path from a bulb to a flower so perfectly because it knows exactly what it is and what it has to do?

Do you have that kind of certainty about your own path, or are you constantly feeling like something is wrong or something needs to change? Does your life feel mostly effortless or is every single day a struggle?

I’m not suggesting that we have an entitlement to perfect bliss in every moment (although I like the idea of that!), as I appreciate life moves and ease flows in and out, but even in the dark and difficult moments, you can still feel like it is a part of your path; part of your bigger picture. I believe the more ease you experience, the more you are in alignment with your true self; your soul expression if you like.

It is my belief that the greatest responsibility we have in our life time is to know ourselves as fully as possible, and to constantly create an environment in our lives which allows for and supports our truest, most natural expression.

One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they never lived a life true to themselves. Self awareness isn’t a subject that can be covered in a couple of sentences I know, but we must surely question our lives and our broader choices from time to time, especially if we are not enjoying relatively good health.

Gut Health Symptoms are not the Disease

Symptoms are signposts and rather than being the actual problem, they can be indications that you are not living your life right for you, especially sensations from the gut. Your body is hard wired to heal and it knows just how to do it. All you have to do is provide the right environment. So when your guts kick off with bloating, constipation, cramping, acid reflux and lord knows what else, it’s trying to tell you something.

We tend to focus on the “what have I eaten?” question, and whilst that is often valid, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper. How aware are you of your own needs as an individual? How often do you question that and adjust your life accordingly to support yourself?

Something came into my awareness several years ago in the form of a great book. It is called The Highly Sensitive Person written by Elaine Aron. In my ignorance, I read the word sensitive as meaning precious, suggesting that I’m easily offended and likely to flounce off in a huff if someone does or says the wrong thing… but that’s not what it’s about at all.

What I learned is that about 20% of our population has a highly sensitive nervous system which kind of means they take in a lot more information a lot more quickly than others. This results in those people feeling overwhelmed, stressed, over-stimulated and they can get anxious very quickly. As I read through the book I resonated so much with the words. It brought me great comfort and a new level of self acceptance as I realised I was in this 20%.

Prior to this awareness, I’d gone through most of my life feeling like a feeble person. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t seem able to cope with new situations like other people did. I’d force myself to undertake tasks or experience new things but often times I’d come away feeling like I’d let myself down again. Rather than feeling stretched and accomplished, I’d feel overwhelmed and incompetent, which reinforced my self image in a negative way. I compared myself with others jetting off here and there, enjoying one social engagement after the next, and I wondered what was wrong with me.

Had I’d been attuned enough to my own body then, I’d have realised that this hectic life path was not meant for me. My gut gave me regular messages in the form of either diarrhoea or constipation, or maybe a bit of both. I had no inner peace, was prone to bouts of spontaneous weeping and I did not feel well. Often I didn’t want to eat because I was so stressed, and if I did eat, I couldn’t assimilate any nutrition anyway because in order to digest, your body has to be in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Mine was the opposite, in sympathetic fight or flight mode permanently.

Sensitivity may sound like a curse presented like this, but it actually isn’t. It only becomes a problem when experienced in the wrong context. Once I understood this about myself, I created an environment that supported this gift by working one to one as a therapist, and I honour myself now with big spaces in between activities, not over booking myself or trying to do too many things in one day.

I have mostly stopped behaving the way I think other people want me to behave. I don’t join things I don’t want to join and I’ve nearly got comfortable with being thought of as a bit of a party pooper! Sometimes I actually book time out to stare out of a window or just sit alone with myself to nurture my soul. And in my work environment, my sensitivity is a real blessing, as my ability to absorb lots of information quickly lends itself to extra depth and context in my colonic hydrotherapy practise.

So really this is a question about you and your environment. A sensitive gut pattern could just be a warning for you about more than your breakfast cereal. Are you thriving or withering in your environment? What changes can you make to honour yourself more fully? What is your gut feeling about your life and are your symptoms trying to tell you something?

My mistake was comparing myself to everyone else and thinking I wasn’t good enough, but as Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid.” And he was a clever chap by all accounts!