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Zen and the Art of Pooping

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I struggle with writing this because there is a lot of distaste and shame around a bodily function that everyone does, and everyone must do, in order to exist. This feels like the most exposed I’ve allowed myself to be in this blog.

I’ve had some difficulty with the evacuation of my bowels as of late. It feels like I tried just about everything I could think of but nothing made a lasting effect on regularity or comfort. More fiber, more water, walking, a squatty potty (look it up, it’s totally worth it). All would start to make a difference but then the same issue would come back.

Well, suffice it to say, I tried the last thing I could think of and it’s made all the difference so far. I stopped pushing… literally.

Somewhere along the line I guess I had stopped trusting my body to do its job. When the need to empty out would arise, if it didn’t just instantly happen, I would get a little panicky and start pushing. It was like this urgency to get it out as fast as possible. God forbid I was under some kind of time constraint or late for something when the need arose. That just made it all the worse.

Compulsions have no rhyme or reason. We all do things that we instinctually know aren’t correct but sometimes we just can’t stop ourselves. There is often a wide gap between what we know and what we do. I think a lot of those compulsions arise when we stop trusting.

We have become beholden to far too many external stimuli these days. Clocks and calendars rule our world even if they put us completely out of balance. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep during the same hours. Some people get hungry only once or twice a day, while other people feel constantly hungry.

And to keep up in this regimented society, we have to stop trusting ourselves and start relying on other things lest we fall behind. We don’t trust we’ll wake up on time so we have the alarm clock. We don’t trust ourselves with food so we’ve devised so much around that. We don’t trust our natural processes so we supplement and force and control.

I’m not advocating a complete overthrow of civilization but at some point it would probably behoove us to start taking notice of how things actually work rather than focusing on making them work the way we want them to. When your life starts to feel ‘constipated’, perhaps the best thing to do is to stop pushing. Things often have a way of working themselves out if you can just trust the process.

And seriously, get one of these.


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