Honour your wise immune system with moments of calm and it will thank you with exquisite care.

Firstly, as I write this we are in the midst of a global pandemic ~ I hope you and yours are well and adjusting to this new & temporary ‘normal’.  At the bottom of this blog post you will find resources to support you at this time including an online meditation course.  And please, leave comments or questions.  I love hearing them and always reply.

My family is all well here at the vicarage.  At the beginning of the London lock down I had a persistent cough and was feeling really drained so we self-isolated.  I had no other symptoms, and it’s probably unlikely to be the virus, but we just wanted to be extra careful. 

It has now passed, albiet very slowly, and I am feeling very well, but there has been anxiety work through here and there.  This has required discipline, tools and a surrender to rest on my part. 

I realised that part of health is feeling tired and allowing myself to rest to let my immune system get to work ~ feeling a bit flat, dopey and extremely lazy is not the absence of health, it’s part of it!  Listening to my body and allowing myself to rest, unapologetically ~ that’s holistic, wise health.  We need to stop thinking the go-go-go version of ourselves is the only state worth being in.  Once I settled, I was very peaceful and healed much quicker.

This is a transitional moment.  There is a stripping down, a reveal.  Whether we want it or not, our beliefs and habits are being challenged and we are in a reflective mood.

I feel the striving mentality fuelled by feeling we are not enough, the behaviours that lead us into comparison energy, grasping, stressing, controlling, burning-out ~ toxic ego-centred ways of being that cut us off from each other, our deeper selves, the earth and the present moment are being brought to stark light.  And people, being the essential beautiful creatures they are, are choosing to care for each other, cheer each other on, take care of themselves, slow down a bit, offer help, ask for help, feel together & feel connected in the highs and lows and uncertainty.  We are also learning to take one day at a time.

And this brings me to immunity…and meditation and how they are related.

If you have taken a course with me you will have heard this ~ when we are stressed, our immune system and digestive system are not working optimally, in fact they mostly sort of ‘shut down’.

This is because when in a stressed state, we are entering a ‘fight, flight or freeze’ state. 

This is great for cavemen who are actually being chased by other cavemen or wild animals.  Bodily systems support either running like hell, fighting like hell or curling into a ball.  Blood is pumped differently, our digestion shuts off because it takes a lot of energy and the stressed state wants to put all our energy into survival rather than longevity.  Similar for immunity, when in fight/flight/freeze immunity significantly drops because energy resources are being deployed elsewhere.  We even think differently – very, very short term.  There’s an elevated heartbeat, perspiration and so on.  

So yes, very helpful when we are actually being chased. 

And very unhelpful if we are just going through emails or reading or watching the news. 

Yet that’s very often what is often happening…we read stuff, imagine stuff and //bam// the stressed state kicks in. 

Our stress response does not discern the difference between what we imagine and what is real ~ unless we are very, very conscious about it.  According to your stress response, your sympathetic nervous system, if you are thinking it, then it is happening.  Often, stress responses get hardwired in the brain ~ we only need to see the name of the person the email is from before we get all icky, for instance.

Getting a handle on stress, offsetting it is one of the key things you can do to support your immunity.

Some expert stuff….
I was listening to a podcast this week about a book, An Elegant Defense by Pulitzer Prize wining journalist, Matt Richtel.  The book is about our immune system and how it needs balance rather than ‘boosting’.

Balance.

I have known for years that meditation & prayer is good for chronic inflammation and immunity, it is well documented, but I really appreciated hearing Matt’s perspective in light of the pandemic we are all facing.  He has consulted with the worlds top immunologists and his primary message was there are three key components to keeping our immune system in balance.  They are uncomplicated and widely available:

1.  Rest
2.  Nutrition
3.  Reduce stress with meditation

So we should be grabbing every opportunity we can to rest and sleep well, remembering it takes a few days to catch up from just one bad nights sleep.  Get your sleep, make it a sacred practice.

Eat whole foods, have a balanced diet, no need for trendy super foods, no need to get super neurotic just stick to the real stuff rather than processed stuff that causes inflammation and make sure are getting plenty of veg and protein.

Finally, meditation ~ or some kind of practice to bring in some calm.  He mentioned he is doing 5 mins a day with his family.  It doesn’t have to be much, but it does need to be consistent and daily.

Offsetting stress and building resilience is absolutely key to immunity.

I would recommend, particularly if you have been feeling stressed, you meditate twice a day.  Once first thing in the morning and again either in the afternoon or before bed.

If you don’t have a regular meditation practice, a great way to get started is to get my online course, Meditation Masterclass.  Get it HERE or check out a blog I wrote about it HERE.

I also have lots of free meditations right here on the blog.  Links are below.

{Eventually, I wean students off of any recordings and they just meditate on their own, setting a timer if they wish.}

Daily meditation will serve you in innumerable ways.  Anyone can do it, but some expert guidance is a real help to get you on your way.

Here’t to your holistic health ~ in body, mind and soul.

Love, light, peace,
Meredith

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