Let’s continue our travels on the rainbow journey of discovery, of our Whole Selves. We have so far traversed the ROOT, the FLOW, the FIRE and the LOVE. We will now venture higher up and into what within the 7 Systems of Health™ is called the TRUTH. This Aspect of ourselves is the part where we express ourselves as who we truly are. Something that often takes courage, openness and a willingness to show up and be vulnerable.
The master hormonal gland of the TRUTH System is the thyroid gland, a gland that is deeply involved in our body’s metabolism. If this gland is out of whack, it will affect your whole body. This little butterfly look-alike gland, located in the throat area governs not just our body temperature but practically every cell in the body needs the stimulation of thyroid hormone to convert oxygen and calories into energy.
Some of the signs of a dysfunctioning thyroid gland are:
Overactive thyroid symptoms:
- Increased heart rate / tachycardia
- Increase in free circulating T3 & T4 hormones
- Swollen goiter
The most common reason for hyperthyroidism is the autoimmune condition Grave’s Disease, which can be brought on by a stressful event such as loss of a partner.
Underactive thyroid symptoms:
- Depression / low moods
- Difficulty in losing weight
- Dry skin
- Lethargy/ fatigue which seems unexplained and hard to shift
- Memory problems
- Sensitivity to cold
This is by far more common than an overactive thyroid, and many people go un-diagnosed. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and still struggling to figure out what might be causing it, getting your thyroid function checked may be worth looking into.
(Source; Textbook of Natural Medicine by Joseph Pizzorno & Michael Murray; 2006 ed.)
But it’s not just the thyroid gland that is part of this System of Health. Our mouth, throat, neck, nose and ears also belong to the TRUTH system. Which makes sense if we dive into the symbolical meaning of “truth”. Because it is with these faculties we can express who we are and what our perception of our world looks like.
I think we sometimes forget the power that is held in words. Both how we communicate with others and the words we choose when we do, as well as becoming aware of how our internal dialogue goes. When we tune into that inner conversation, we often become amazed how negative and degrading it can be… That constant chatter that goes on inside our heads, which we may not even be consciously aware of, yet is there.
You may have experienced the power of words for yourself, like when someone gives you a compliment, or shared words of affection for you, with you. And likewise that harshness and hurt that comes from a negative comment, or even a misunderstanding because how you read or picked up someone else’s words triggered something in you, yet it may not have been the intention of the person who said it.
What particular words we choose to use can change the entire connotation of a sentence, which is why I think we should be as mindful as we can, when we communicate with each other. Or at least have the awareness that what I say may not always be received the way I intended, as it may also depend on what current experience the recipient is having. So how they respond may not actually have anything to do with me per se.
Within the TRUTH System we speak about Authenticity, Choice and Voice. Basically how we show up in this world, being true to ourselves and who we are. It sounds so simple and obvious, yet it can be so so difficult.
Most of the time, I think the reason for not showing up as who we are, standing in our personal truth with integrity is because we don’t believe it is safe to do so. Instead we might tell lies (to ourselves as well as others), perfect, people please or just stay quiet and say nothing at all. To be able to stand in our own TRUTH, we need to first define what that looks like, what our values are, those that we cannot compromise and bend on if we are to stay within our integrity.
And then we need to have the courage to be vulnerable and not compromise on them, which may mean having difficult conversations at times.
I also believe that in order to feel safe to show up and be vulnerable and true, we need to hold space for each other with non judgment, curiosity and compassion.
One of the current leading teachers on Courage and Vulnerability is Brené Brown. She has written a good few books on the topic, of which both Daring Greatly and Rising Strong are excellent reads and will help you realise that if you want to live a braver life, then you will fall, but that is also possible to get back up. And most of all, we need to discern who are the critics that actually count!
And if you haven’t already watched her excellent and funny TED talk on the subject, I suggest that you do so!
One interesting observation on this System of Health is; Can not speaking our Truth, and living a life true to who we are, affect the physical areas of this system? Maybe… Maybe not. Our personal TRUTHs may look different for everybody – only you can know what living your authentic life looks like)
But one thing I do know for sure is that it is definitely one questions that is worth exploring.
Your answers may come through looking at some of the other Aspects though, but being true to who we are and having the safe space to express that, is very healing indeed.
So what then can we do to support our TRUTH through means of foods, eating and lifestyle? Well here are some of my favourites:
1. Food – Any type of food that will moisturise your throat will support your TRUTH. So basically we are talking about soups, broths smoothies and other liquids like herbal teas. The one particular food that also belongs here is seaweed as it contain the all important mineral of iodine, which is integral for optimal functioning of the thyroid gland. We are lucky here in Ireland that we can get good clean sources of seaweed, however they question is, How do you incorporate it into your diet?
One way is to add some as sprinkle of seasoning to soups and salads. Or add strands of kombu seaweed to your soups and casseroles when cooking. The other option is to use Chlorella or Spirulina which are both micro algea and can be bought conveniently in powder or tablet form.y
A word of warning here is that, A. They are pretty potent so a little goes a long way, and B. The flavour is very green, so until you get use to the flavour and want to use it, I suggest getting tablets rather than destroying your smoothies with it…
2. Eating – How do we eat in a way that supports our TRUTH? How can we actually eat in such away that is congruent with who we are? Well the best way, is to cultivate awareness and become more mindful. Mindful about your food choices. Do they serve your needs and your health? Mindful when you eat; let all your senses be fully present and engaged in the experience. This will allow you to enjoy your meal in a whole different way, giving you more pleasure and satisfaction which can translate to eating less overall.
Choice is also about variety. So get curious and try new things and aim for a wide variety of different types of foods. Remember about eating the Rainbow?
And lastly, don’t forget to chew! This simple tips can have revolutionary effect on both the amount of food you eat as well as your digestive system. Digestion actually starts in the mouth (well even before that as our stomachs even get prepared from the smells of food. Ever been salivating when you’ve smelt something you find delicious?) So please use your teeth. They are there for a reason.
3. Lifestyle – Try to define your non negotiable values. What are these? What does it look like when you are living in your TRUTH / integrity? What are the triggers (situations, people, foods, choices, thought, beliefs) which may keep you living outside your integrity? What may standing in the way of you living and expressing your whole self? Journal on these questions.
Words hold power – create some positive affirmations to write on post-it notes, and stick them in strategic place where you can see them daily. I know have a whole bunch of word and affirmations around my office, as gentle reminders and as a way of programming my subconscious mind. If you are struggling to come up with your own, then go and check out Louise Hay, the queen of affirmations!
One thing to note with affirmations is to pick ones that feels true. If they are not congruent with how you feel, if it is too far of a stretch from where you are, and saying the words feel forced or false, then go and find another one. If it is feeling false or forced, then it is not aligned with your truth.
Lastly, singing, humming and / or chanting can also be a supportive vehicle to get your TRUTH System more balanced. Have fun with it!
If you want a recap of the other Systems of Health that I’ve already covered you’ll find them here: