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Unconditional Giving

Have you told your heart to beat yet today? How about your liver, have you given it the strategies on how to best metabolize and store fats? No? Well you are not alone. In fact, unless we are one of the unfortunate people with organ failure, our organs carry on as they do, without us even having to worry about them.

This sense of duty is so unconditional that our organs aim to be the best that they can be. They want to function in the best possible way. And while we have no say in the process, we can show gratitude to our organs for keeping us alive, functioning, and present.

One of the ways we can show gratitude is to eat well. "How DARE you say that the day before Thanksgiving, Irene!" I know, we all want to consider these next few days to be our "cheat days." But you see, what we are really doing is anchoring a behavior. In NLP, the term "anchoring" means that your are creating deep roots for behavior and belief. The deeper the roots, or the more anchored a behavior and belief, the harder it is to stop and change. When you look at all the times you eat foods that cause more stress on your organs, i.e. sweet, fried, full of unhealthy fats, do you find that you are normally with friends and family? When you think of indulgent foods, do you mostly remember consuming them in a social setting? What you have done is attach your emotional neurons of acknowledgement, belonging, bliss, love to the neurons that identify those foods. Let's take cake, for example. Since you were a year old, the birthday cake has been a symbol of being celebrated, being surrounded by people who love you. Every year, that pattern has been set for you. And within every year, how many birthday parties did you go to where you ate someone else's cake? So now, in the pattern-seeking machinations of your brain, the neurons for all those uplifting emotions light up whenever you see a cake. Fast forward to a breakup. You feel the loss of compassion, companionship, belonging. Your brain then says, "You know what, cake is attached to those emotions, so maybe a slice can make you feel better."

Somewhere in your body's system, though, your large intestine, pancreas, and liver are all screaming: "NOOOOOOOO!" The sugar causes fermentation in your system, which causes bloating and cramps. Your pancreas has to crank out excess insulin in order to process all that sugar, and your liver has to store the sugar you don't use for fuel as fat. Now you have created an environment in your body in which the organs can't perform their functions at their best because they are busy managing the excess sugar and fats. But you still have no idea, because you have now planted yourself in front of the TV to binge in a different way.

I am not saying stop celebrating with special meals on special holidays. I am only asking that you replace some of the more insidiously fatty, salty, and sweet dishes with ones that are kinder to your organs. That way, all the feel good emotions of connecting (hopefully with only your household members) can also be anchored to those foods. Then perhaps take a socially-distanced walk afterwards to help your body utilize all those extra calories. Trust me, your organs will feel extremely grateful.

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