The Adeptist is all about increasing adaptability in order to build capacity and create space for all of us to expand. That is the mission + intent behind everything that is channeled through this platform. But why and what does that actually mean?
I, Elizabeth, have a background in Holistic Nutrition + Functional Medicine, and though these modalities have provided tools that I will use for the rest of my life, something about them still felt incomplete to me. Or, perhaps the more accurate way to describe it is that a lot of what I was taught seemed futile.
In school we learned about all of the toxins/stress that are pervading our lives. Though I do not believe that ignorance is bliss, I understand where this phrase comes from. It is overwhelming to realize what we’re up against when you begin to learn about the toxic world we have created. And then, to follow, you learn about what those toxins have the potential to do in the body. It’s scary.
Though learning about these things is empowering in so many ways, it can also instill a sense of fear and therefor, a need to control. It’s a fine line because knowledge is power and when we have an understanding of what we’re really up against, we can take proper measures to remove the various toxicities and stressors in our lives. But then what? What about the things that are entirely out of our control? Or the things that we might be able to control, but at what cost? There was a time in my life when I really missed out because I was living in a way to control and limit my exposure to various things that might throw me out of balance. Yet, in doing this, I began to form a belief system that said, “if I do that, this will follow and that will result in x,y,z.” Of course, that belief system informed my reality and reinforced my need to be rigid about my routines.
There came a point, however, that no matter how clean I ate, went to yoga, was in bed before 10pm, didn’t consume substances, had my air purifier, took my supplements, purified my water, made sure I balanced my blood sugar and followed all of the rules, I still didn’t feel amazing. It was discouraging to say the least. Sometimes I did feel amazing, but one or 2 slip ups and I was completely rocked. I observed the same behavior in so many of my colleagues and clients.
Around this time, I began to dive deep into adaptogens and how they work within the body. I also began a meditation practice, that to this day, 3 and a half years later, has stuck with me. What did both of these things have in common? They worked on the most foundational part of what we are: the nervous system. I began to become fascinated by the nervous system and how it is the underlying control center that informs every other system and function within our bodies. As we strengthen the nervous system (a.k.a increase our adaptability), we optimize mind, body and spiritual health in truly integrated way. THIS was the ultimate root-cause-care and anything that didn’t begin on this level, was still only treating symptoms.
When I began to deepen my understanding of this principle, it was revolutionary. Rather than obsessing about my environment and the various stressors I was certain to come in contact with, I could strengthen my nervous system to be able to adapt when contact was made. I could actually optimize my nervous system to become the perfect self-regulating defense mechanism.
The more I explored this topic, I learned that this is actually what the nervous system is meant to do. However, the issue we face in our modern world is that technology and our environments have evolved rapidly, while most of our nervous system’s are not at that same level. As a result, we see levels of anxiety, depression, food sensitivities/allergies and hormone imbalances at an all time high. Why? Because our nervous systems are having a hard time processing everything that we’re taking in. From the food on our plates to the information we’re taking in through social media, everything has become a threat to our system because the majority of the population has maxed out their capacity.
So what? Do we just accept that reality and do our best to control + cope?
The fact of the matter is is that stress is only going to increase. Technology will advance and the amount of information that we take in will continue to rise. Are we just doomed? I don’t believe we are. What I do believe is that there is a strong need for people to take ownership of their health and realize that we have to be proactive and preventative in optimizing our relationship to stress. Again, stress isn’t going anywhere. And in fact, stress isn’t actually the issue! The issue is our incapacity to deal with it.
What is revolutionary about this is that we can stop giving so much energy to the fact that most of us encounter extreme amounts of toxicity on a day to day basis. This isn’t to say that we stop eating well, moving our bodies and sleeping 8 hours a night. Rather, we can take the initiative to first understand and fully except the reality that we all face, despite a lot of our efforts, and then empower ourselves to rewire our relationship to the stress we encounter.
Stress isn’t bad until it accumulates (due to the nervous system’s inability to process it) and becomes distress.
Stress is actually important for us to accept and healthfully embrace, as it is what gives us the bandwidth to overcome and accomplish anything big in life. And I don’t know about you, but the life I am creating is not small. A full life requires a high capacity for stress AND, an efficient system to process it.
This is why I am so passionate about adaptogens and creating more resilience to stress. I believe in human potential and a world where we’re not merely living in response to what’s outside of us, but instead, have the capacity to create what we desire, from within.
We have so much coming to The Adeptist this year that will support you in deepening your understanding of this AND give you the tools to address your health + wellbeing from this level. I can’t wait to share more! If you’re not signed up for our newsletter, make sure to get on the list, as we have amazing content and resources coming your way!