“Chance throws peculiar conditions in everyone’s way.
If we apply intelligence, patience, and special vision, we are rewarded with new creative breakthroughs.”
– Walter B. Cannon, author of “The Wisdom of the Body”
The human body is wise and intelligent beyond common comprehension.
It’s always striving for a dynamic equilibrium.
This balance isn’t stagnant and non-moving.
On the contrary – it’s ever-fluid and shifting.
This process is known as homeostasis when it pertains to the human body.
If we understand this concept we’ll be able to better handle whatever challenges, setbacks, and sh*tstorms come our way – no matter what form they present themselves in be it health issues, relationship issues, financial issues, work issues, or even mental issues.
It’s been said that human beings are a microcosm of the macrocosm, which includes Mother Nature.
There are certain patterns and dynamics present throughout nature, and two of them are the principles of dynamic equilibrium and even-exchange…
Learning from nature can lead to a more meaningful, fulfilling, and inspiring life:
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the Universe, to match your nature with Nature.”
– Joseph Campbell
Biomimicry, or Biomimetics, is the study of how Nature operates, so we can match our nature with hers.
There’s an innate intelligence and wisdom in all living things.
Ironically, we as the smartest species on this planet are the ones that have lost touch with this truth the most.
But if we can reconnect with Nature and find ourselves living life in her flow, we will most certainly experience our lives and whatever challenges and curveballs we face differently.
By studying and honoring the intelligent cycles and patterns of Nature we can upgrade ourselves and our world.
Through biomimicry, we learn to maneuver through life emulating Nature: achieving mental, emotional, and physical efficiency by creating the maximum output with the minimum, or most optimal use of resources.
Our bodies are as much a part of nature as are trees, and ponds, and ecosystems.
So the more we understand the inner workings of our bodies, the better we’ll be able to navigate the at times bumpy terrain of our minds.
“As within, so without”
Ancient Yogis believed that our internal environment creates and influences our external environment.
To them, it was more important to observe internal conditions rather than be swept away by external conditions.
This is known as the yogic practice of Pratyahara – withdrawing the senses away from the external world to go inwards in order to elevate consciousness and transformation.
A stable internal environment creates a strong foundation to be able to face whatever comes in our external world.
As we have learned from human physiology (the study of how the body functions), the body is wired to be able to withstand a small amount of short-term stress.
It’s wired to be able to recover and bounce back from short-term stress.
However, the problem and imbalances in mind and body occur when the short-term become chronic, unmanaged, and long-term.
Most of us are used to dealing with chronic stress, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, and chronic anxiety day in and day out.
This creates further chaos and instability in our outer world – starting with our own bodies.
The Principle of Dynamic Equilibrium states that everything in nature is in constant fluid motion in order to maintain a balance that leads to growth.
We can see how this principle applies to our own bodies.
Like the thermostat of your home air conditioning and heating unit, the body has specific set points and a range of “wiggle room” (dynamic range) with which to achieve that sweet spot in which all organ systems function optimally in order to grow and thrive.
Your heart is always pumping and blood pressure varies slightly.
Blood glucose levels (aka blood sugar levels) rise and fall in response to what you feed your body.
If you’re female you’re likely very aware of how much body fluids fluctuate in just one month.
Looking further into homeostatic processes
Your body and mind are always seeking this dynamic equilibrium via homeostatic mechanisms.
Your body is wise and knows what to do to correct itself and initiate healing.
The problem often lies in that we don’t know how to allow this correction to take place; we don’t know how to get out of the way.
The concept of homeostasis aims to correct both excess or deficiencies in order to achieve balance and equilibrium in the body.
It’s a negative feedback system, which means that a reaction caused a decrease in function as a response to some kind of stimulus.
It causes the output of a system to be reduced in an attempt to stabilize the entire system (the body)
An example of a bodily negative feedback mechanism has to do with your body temperature.
This process is called thermoregulation and kicks in when there’s a drastic change in core body temperature in order to restore back to normal levels.
The nervous system also plays a vital role in keeping your body balanced.
The central nervous system, consisting of your brain and spinal cord, acts like a control center working with other systems such as:
- the immune system
- the respiratory system, especially when high carbon dioxide levels are detecting mechanisms kick in to increase oxygenation.
Can you see just how many astounding bodily processes are happening at any given moment in your inner environment?
Your body works round the clock to make sure you’re functioning so that you don’t consciously have to.
Have you ever had to consciously make sure your heartbeats?
Your body’s homeostatic controls (balance-ensuring negative feedback loops have that covered).
The Principle of Even-Exchange
This principle states that in order for growth and harmony to occur even-exchange must take place first.
Even-exchange means a balance of taking and giving.
We can see the principle of even exchange in relationship dynamics.
If both people in the relationship feel seen, appreciated, understood, and cared for, the relationship deepens and flourishes, and there is growth.
If one or both people in the relationship feel neglected, not seen, not understood, not cared for by the other resentment ensues and festers until eventually the exchange of energy between both parties is so uneven that things implode or explode and the relationship decays and dies.
You and your body are in an intimate, sacred relationship – for your entire life.
If you’re disconnected from it, forsake it, take it for granted, or mistreat it in any way, especially for a prolonged period of time, you’ll be out of even exchange and imbalance will ripple across every layer of your body and being.
When you’re out of even exchange with your body, she lets you know.
It’s wise of you to listen to its messages, promptings, and feedback.
Like with any strong, equitable relationship and partnership, it’s essential to the wellbeing of the unit to get to know the other party – get to know what they value, what they respond well to, ask them questions, observe their reactions…
The more you do this with your own body, the more insight you’ll have about what it specifically needs to maintain homeostasis and vitality for life.
Examples of even exchange include caring for it by feeding it the right mix of micro and macronutrients it needs to thrive, getting enough sleep so she can regenerate, hydrating enough so that your body has fuel to expel toxins and other harmful agents and move your body mindfully and regularly.
Examples of uneven exchange include smoking cigarettes, overindulging in recreational drugs, drinking in excess and regularly, not hydrating or replenishing after drinking, having a regular diet of processed foods, fried foods, processed sugars, and carbohydrates, not sleeping enough, and having a sedentary lifestyle.