All things seek balance, or as Aristotle called it: The Golden Mean; the balance between all things yin and yang, that sweet spot where the stillness of equilibrium resides.Within all aspects of our Universe, we continually see a dance between opposite forces.
The Universe is a macrocosm of all the microcosmic elements within it. Nature's rules apply on all levels in the macro and the micro. As above, so below !
Matter itself exists because negatively charged electrons spin around positively charged protons; this is the basis of an atom, this is the basis of what we are made of!
On the micro scale, an atom is stable when the electron charge and the proton charge are equal. On a macro scale, we can see that balance between flexibility and strength is what brings stability and health to our body.
It's when we judge one value over another that we promote imbalance.
Let me ask you; do you favor the + side of a magnet over the - ?
Do you think one side of the electrical outlet is better than the other ?
No, of course not. Equal and opposite forces are NEEDED for the resulting energy to exist.
When thinking of other things in life, we sometimes confuse the terms “positive” with “something good” and “negative” with “something bad”. The sooner we can come to accept the need for opposite sides to create the whole, the sooner we will experience reality wholistically, in balance, in strength and in health. The more we find equilibrium, the more stable we are.
Denying “negative” feelings or obsessing over achieving “positive” ones is imbalance. When it comes to our health, imbalance eventually exporesses in disease.
Let's look at what we can learn from yoga: we practice balance between flexibility and strength. This is what brings stability and health.
In Digestive Psychology we look at balancing opposites within our relationship to eating:
On one far side of the spectrum is not paying enough attention to food; ignorance.
This is the side of slack.
This is the side of not being aware that it's not good to live on convenience store hotdogs and cola.
This path leads to a low level of health. On this side we see obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular disease to name a few.
This is the side of EXternal chemicals (foods, food addtitives, hormones etc) negatively impacting our health.
On the other far side of the same spectrum is paying too much attention to food; obsession.
(This can take clinical forms such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa, orthorexia nervosa.)
This is the the side of tension.
This is the side of obsessing over new nutrition philosophies, elimination diets, cleanses and so forth. This path also leads to low levels of health and often negatively affects joy. On this side we see low iron levels, hyperthyroidism, adrenal fatigue, food allergies etc.
This is the side of INternal chemicals (stress hormones, T cells, high blood pressure, cortisol etc)
negatively impacting our health.
Yes, we should think about making sure we eat some vegetables with every meal, that we have variety, that we don't overeat AND we should also allow room for pleasure, fun, good taste and an occasional treat!
Yes, kale is healthy.
But, there's no amount of kale you can possbly eat
to off-set the damage you do to your health stressing over what amount of kale to eat !
It is no longer a controversial idea within western medicine that too much sugar, too much red meat and too many perservatives lead to illness. It is also no longer a controversial idea that too much chronic stress has a negative effect on heart and arteries. It is widely accepted that stress is a major contributing factor to scores of problems ranging from diabetes to a deregulated immune system.
In our society today, depression and anxiety are rampant.
These are the Fight/Flight expressions of similar societal ails!
People who are prone to push themselves to try to solve them, are in Fight mode (anxiety/thyroid/adrenal issues) and those who are overwhelmed and want to retreat are in Flight mode (depression/cortisol/weight gain issues).
More about this in a future blog !
In my workshops, and on retreats around the world, we use many modalities to practice a balanced relationship to eating, to thinking about food, to feeling about food.
We do this not through the resentment (flight) or obsession (fight) of rigorous dieting but instead we focus on restoring our relationship with self, with reframing and accepting the realities of life, with gratitude with joy, happiness and health. It's rare that What Makes You Eat is appetite. How, what and why we eat is a reflection of a need or fear of psycho-spiritual nourishment.
CREATOR OF DIGESTIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Caspar is well-known in the yoga community as an organic food chef from Ojai, California. Internationally he is a recognized teacher, speaker and retreat facilitator of Digestive Psychology and, partnered up with yoga teachers: “Yoga of Eating” workshops. These are taught in The United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Europe. He is also a regular speaker at transformational festivals in the US and abroad. Caspar is a proud facilitator for the Foundation for Living Beauty, supporting women with cancer and a teacher at Spirare in The Netherlands, an institute for highly gifted youth.
Emotions express in eating behavior and translate to the body through the Autonomic Nervous System into digestive issues, food allergies, constipation, reflux, IBS and so much more. Digestive Psychology understands that trauma, chronic negative emotions and obsessively held beliefs and resulting obsessions do more harm to our health than diets or nutrition can ever fix.
“Yes, kale is healthy but there is no amount of kale you can possibly eat to heal the damage you do stressing over kale” Caspar is also available to be your chef for retreats in California.