And so the healing begins.
The idea of therapy or ‘help’ would not come easy to me. Especially therapy offered with such kindness and comapssion. In fact I resist most kinds of help, it’s an awkward streak in me, but i fell so deeply into feeling fully supported, not only by my team of invisible helpers ( my microbes) who have been constantly reminding me that moving as close as possible to healing is the only direction, but also by the skilful compassionate therapy practice of Br. Phap Lai, monk and senior dharma teacher at Plum Village. Clearly a hilarious human being too. Or maybe I was being funnny? Touching joy in that very moment.
You cannot heal parts of yourself in isolation. Once you heal your body, your mind wants the same respect. My mind has felt for some time that my gut has been sending direct messages to alert my mental health that some work was underway. More like coded messages than anything clear amidst the daily grind. When the world went quiet, it became loud and clear.
Gut- Brain Axis
Luckily I am not making this stuff up. There is much scientific evidence to support the brain–gut axis and it is becoming increasingly important as a therapeutic tool for both digestive and psychiatric disorders.
There is a super highway of communication constantly at work. This gut-brain axis, via the vagus nerve, carries an extensive range of signals from our digestive system and organs to our brain and it works the other way too, as beautfully illustrated in this image. A netwrok of nerves all chatting away. Is it any wonder when something stresses our body or our mind we may express it somewhere else?
Keeping our gut bacteria happy have a beneficial effect on mood and anxiety levels and I am convinced that they carried me through, body to mind. The therapeutic practice offered a Polyvagal approach, framing this work in a meditative, mindful and effective way, skilling me up mind to body.
Small acts make a BIG difference.
After continued communication with some of the worlds most contented minds, I have become hugely intrigued with this gut-brain axis. The mind to body and vice versa.
How much do we effect the other?
In gratitude for all that has been offered to me from the Plum Village community, I wish to explore giving back as we all face uncertain times. Plum Village doors are currently closed to all retreatees to guarantee the well-being and safety of its monastic community. Entirely dependant on retreat fees, there is a financial struggle to meet their needs. It is for this reason that I shall be sharing the revenue from THE SECRET OF SAUCE course as a supportive donation to the continued work of the monastic community at Plum Village.
Small acts of kindness can make a big difference.