Where would you begin, if you were tackling such an large endeavor? I think my brain would fog up and I'd crawl into bed and watch bad Goldie Hawn movies on TBS, personally. And secretly pray for a reason not to do it. Like mono.
I've been reading The Fire Starter Sessions, as I mentioned in an earlier post, and Danielle (we're totally on a first name basis in my head now) writes about this very same thing. YOUR BODY KNOWS. It's there, just like that, in the book. In giant bold type. Glaring at me. (Oh shit, it KNOWS.) She relays a story about a Japanese businessman who lets his stomach tell him whether or not a deal is good. He eats a meal, and if his digestive system works smoothly, so does the deal. If the food doesn't sit well with his stomach, the deal doesn't either. There's a very solid reason why we "trust our guts" or refer to "gut instinct."
I was going to paraphrase, but I'm not a doctor so I'm going to liberally quote Dr. Northrup instead:
(yes, for the record, I do consider her a valuable natural resource. Like clean water. Or trees.)
• Research done in recent years proves there is a real connection between the digestive tract and the nervous system. (To learn more read Michael Gershon, M.D.’s book The Second Brain.) In addition to the nervous system in the spine, there is a nervous system in the gut called the enteric nervous system, which sends signals to the brain and vice versa. If you are anxious, depressed, or stressed, you may notice that your desire for food is different or your digestion is off. Stress hormones can shut down digestion (which results in constipation) or speed it up (which results in diarrhea).
• The digestive system actually produces more neurotransmitters than the brain does. I suspect that many women could avoid antidepressants altogether just by supporting their digestive system. How many of us reach for a sugary treat when stressed? This is a short-term (and unhealthy) way to make the neurotransmitters your body needs to restore your emotional equilibrium.
• The phrases “Rely on your gut” and “Gut instinct” make more sense than you may realize! As a second brain, it may be more effective. It doesn’t have to contend with the judgmental “committee,” which lives in your left brain and will often try to talk you out of what you know in your gut to be true.
• As an energy system, the digestive system is part of the third chakra. This area has to do with self-esteem, self-expression, an appropriate sense of responsibility, and having the confidence to “go with your gut.”
(If you want to read her entire post about a healthy gut it's here: http://www.drnorthrup.com/blog/2012/07/your-gut-a-delicate-garden)
So I'm looking at this beautiful brilliant woman who is sad about abandoning this great big idea, and it just flies out of my mouth: Do what's in front of you. Instead of tackling life from your left brain and beating it into submission to fit into someone else's idea of what it should look like... live life from the gut! I challenged her to look at every decision for a month by asking: Is it fun? __ YES or __ NO.
Paying bills might not be fun, but it takes ten minutes and is far more fun than running around worrying about what happens after the third late notice. Fun is definitely on a spectrum. Responsibilities might not always be fun (no, really, I LOVE being a human taxi service for my children!), but I can choose to play dance music in the car, or share a silly joke, or think of all the words that rhyme with "ambulance" (that one requires a little ingenuity).
If you see me today around the neighborhood and I have 10 different colors of nail polish on, I'm drinking a giant green tea and singing a hopelessly catchy pop song that I learned from Just Dance 4, you are welcome to laugh at me. My gut made me do it.