Goldilocks and Guts

January 19, 20233 min read

I am a mom of two girls, eight and six and we had a good few years when they were younger and into bedtime fairy tales. That's all been replaced by self-read Daisy Meadows now, and I miss those good old days. 

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks?

A little girl goes into the home of three bears, and she tries the first porridge - "Too Hot !" she said. She tries the mamma bear's porridge " Too cold" she said.

 She tried the little bear's porridge - "Just right !" she said.

 She does the same to their beds - she finds one too hard, one too soft, and the little bear's bed "Just right".

 What does it tell you about our bodies and our nervous systems?

 Our autonomic nervous system operates as a hierarchy.

 Let's start with two aspects of this functioning.

 The first is called the sympathetic nervous system - responsible for activity and mobilization functions.

 The second is called the parasympathetic nervous system - which is responsible for rest, digestion, cell repair, and sleep functions.

 In a resilient and responsive nervous system, these two branches work in tandem as a "flow".

  In other words, contrary to what hustle culture wants you to believe, we are biologically designed to flow between "being" and "doing" throughout the day.

 In order for both these branches to function well, we need a system of nerves called the Ventral Vagal complex - this is responsible for social engagement and signals safety in the body.

 When this system detects danger, then the sympathetic branch gets highly activated, this is the "fight/flight" response.

 When this system detects life-threat, then the parasympathetic (dorsal vagal) branch gets highly activated and we go into dormant "freeze" states.

 What is that window of optimal health and well-being?

 When these states work in tandem when there is a "just right" amount of sympathetic activation with enough safety, or "just right" parasympathetic activation with safety.

 In the Goldilocks window of "just right" we feel

  • I am enough

  • There is enough (food/love/careers)

  • Optimal eating

  • Capable of differentiating between fear vs gut instinct

  • Optimal rest

  • Optimal metabolism

  • Present as parents

  • Able to experience partnered intimacy - emotional and sexual

  • Relaxation is available

  • Embodied leadership

  • Creativity and problem-solving

  • Spontaneous and are able to savor life

Goldilocks and "Just Right"

What is this elusive window and how can we stay in this state? This is exactly what I help my clients within my Foundation nervous system program.

As one client remarked " This work has changed my eating patterns drastically. I usually eat without screens, so I thought of myself as a present eater, but I realized I would either eat way too much or starve myself or forget to eat, sometimes both during the day. Sang's nervous system foundation program has created so much ease in my body, that I don't feel the need to do either."

 The thing is, when we heal one aspect, we see changes in many other aspects - for example, "just right" amounts of a meal, and feeling "good enough" or feeling "enough" ness about ourselves internally or as partners or parents, biologically the same thing.

 Driven action takers welcome - click here to book a 15-minute call with me.

gut instinct feargut healthleadershipneuroscience

Sangheetha Parthasarathy

CEO, Sangparth |Neuroscience| MIT-Harvard Med School Innovation Bootcamp | Ex-Accenture | Top 100 Global HC leaders | Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

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