When it comes to your overall health…

ESPECIALLY a good gut, it’s REALLY important to regulate your nervous system.

That’s because your nervous system and your gut are intimately connected.

The enteric nervous system, located in your gut is a network of nerves, neurons and neurotransmitters that extend along the entire digestive tract.

It’s also referred to as your “second brain.”

The “second brain” in your gut, in communication with the brain in your head, plays a key role in certain diseases in your body and in your overall health.

Here’s an example:

When a person feels danger, the “fight or flight” response of the central nervous system is triggered. At the same time, the enteric nervous system’s response is to slow down or stop digestion. This is done so that more of the body’s energy can be diverted to the situation causing the threat.

This chronic pattern over time depletes your health.

But let’s face it, life brings daily challenges that feel like we’re constantly living in “fight or flight.” Diffusing a “threat” is a helpful way to calm down your nervous system.

Which brings me to this poem. It’s one of my favorites.

I find it helps to reflect on and re-frame the challenges that keep us struggling and our nervous systems stuck in high alert. Healing can not happen is this state.

I hope this poem helps you to look differently at some of the challenges getting in the way of your healing too.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

​A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

​Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

​The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

​Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

​by Rumi
Taken from SELECTED POEMS by Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks (Penguin Classics, 2004).

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