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Is Imposter Syndrome only a Mental Issue?

I had my biggest AHA MOMENT in 1986 at age 25. I was zoning out while trying to listen to a lecture on acid-base balance and thinking “Why on earth are we having to go over acidosis and alkalosis, yet again?” when suddenly my attention focused on what my tutor had drawn on the blackboard. She had boxes with severe acidosis and alkalosis written in them and in between those boxes, she had written the word DEATH!

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All of a sudden, I felt like I was being pulled out of my body and out into the cosmos. It was surreal! there I was suspended there amongst the heavenly bodies, just watching and I was being show how the universe worked. A bit dramatic but I saw the universe as a matrix or network that connected all the heavenly bodies which were held together like by what seemed to be a gravitational force. The system was working together and should one heavenly body be displace the whole system would immediately take action, to realign so that everything went back into balance. That moment changed my life!

Immediately I understood that every cell in our body is connected to the whole and that when we tip the balance, the whole body is affected. Suddenly, I could also see the immediate downstream effects of many conditions that I had been studying or when I was nursing patients. I could see why in cases such as long-term uncontrolled diabetes, patients would get symptoms such as cataracts, high cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease, leg ulcers, etc. Insulin helps to push food into the cells for us to utilise so we can build and repair our body. But if there is no food in cells to work with the cell will die.

What I didn’t do was to make the connection to stress caused by mental and emotional issues that lead to cell-death. Maybe it was because my recent research project on stress in cardiac ICU hadn’t given me the picture I expected. My participants had be given hypnogogic drugs just prior their surgery they couldn’t remember for 3-4 days afterwards. But now we are aware that childhood traumas set up patterns for stress related illness to occur. Moreover, that stress can be inherited trans-generationally i.e. if you grand parents have been badly stressed then it can be passed to you. 

I am a lot wiser now and the science since has caught with what I knew then but there is one pet issue, we need to change and that is the notion that

We need “good stress” to be healthy. This is NOT true! What we need is a healthy & robust ADAPTIVE REGULATOTY SYSTEM.

Stress happens because the body cannot regulate itself back to its normal resting state. When you receive signalling cues from your body, it is trying to tell you that something is wrong and that you need to take action to bring your body back into balance. Running when you haven’t exercised is not bad for you as such. You are only feeling really puffed because your body isn’t used to – you are not stressed because if you were to stop your body would very quickly self-regulate. But if you continued and kept pushing yourself too hard, especially with no build up before hand, then the damage that may occur might get in the way of your ability to self-regulate, and so your body may experience stress? And should this continue continues long-term, your body will eventually become DISTRESSED.

How does this apply to Imposter Syndrome (I.S.)?

‘NO-BODY’ is an Island and your body is a multi-organ-multi-organism system. Each is aspect depends on each other to create harmony within the body. You might ask why it is that we have a biofilm? The answer is simple your physical body evolved over millennia and as you became more complex, your body outsourced some of its prime functions to other organisms, much like a company does when they expand.

This relationship between your body and those bacteria and viruses is symbiotic one meaning; each organism benefits from the transaction.

Your body offers these bacteria a place to stay, safety, food and territory and in turn your gets essential vitamins, energy and protection.

For example, the bacteria in your colon are involved with the manufacturing of vitamins, other bacteria in other parts of your gut protect your gut lining, the mitochondria which live in your muscle cells give you your energy and we even have pseudopodia cells as part of our immune system. In fact, we have more ‘foreigners’ living inside our body than own personal cells and they play a huge part on all aspects of our wellbeing, and especially our mental health.

People suffering with Imposter Syndrome generally have experienced childhood trauma it often means that their gut bacteria is out of kilter. In my book, I tell the story of eating sand at every opportunity I got, as a child and literally was ‘pooping’ sand. Somehow, I instinctively knew something in the sand that would help heal my gut. Today soil microbiomes have been shown to protect and rebuild the gut-lining. 

So, the bottom line is: If you can’t produce the vitamins, or break down foods correctly in your gut your mind won’t work well. All vitamins are important and Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is super important in for nerve tissue, your brain is almost completely made up of nervous tissue. I have nursed a Korsakoff patient that came into casualty comatose and walk out of the hospital after a few hours of intravenous Vitamin B replacement. So I know just how important vitamins are.

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Another good reason to protect your gut is because your gut produces most of the neurochemical Serotonin in your body. Most of us have heard of Serotonin being used for depression but Serotonin is much more. Serotonin is pivotal for the brain to work well. Serotonin helps to increase your cognitive flexibility, sleeping and memory although there are other cognitive functions too. People with low Serotonin have been shown to have difficulties disengaging. They seemingly are ‘locked’ into a cyclical pattern of thinking which it very challenging to shift attention and respond appropriately to the world around them.

I have recently had two coaching clients who were unable to move forward easily until we really focused on addressing their gut issues. Once they started to corrected their gut their progress quickly movd forward.

‘NO-BODY’ is an Island. You live in tandem with your biofilm & it is important that you work with your whole body; that is YOUR job!

Things to do that can help bring your gut inline are to:

  1. See a a person that works holistically, mind, body, emotionally and spiritually.
  2. Start taking foods like supergreens which will supply you with the right amount of Vitamins in which your body can properly absorb them. Vitamin D helps to activates the production of Serotonin as well as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin Bs, especially Vit B1 helps with your nervous tissue. This should help you sleep better, have better mood and generally think clearer all of which helps to reduce anxiety and encourage resilience and bravery.
  3. For your gut protection you can use products like aloe vera, sea gels and slippery elm which can be extremely useful in healing and re-establishing your gut bacteria.
  4. Refrain from sugars and high processed foods.
  5. Try to keep the stress down – Do compassion and loving kindness meditations, calming exercises, needlework. some people need to focus intently before they can calm down.
  6. Have walks in nature, eat organic foods as they still have the living biomes around the roots which feed the vegetable.
  7. Drink water and herbal teas 

If you would like to find out more about how I work you can contact me at sherine@sherinelovegrove.com or on link for a chat

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