Activating the Gut-Brain-Spirit Connection for Higher Consciousness

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Activating the Gut-Brain-Spirit Connection for Higher Consciousness”
  • Live Broadcast: August 7th, 2018 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Replays: Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Pacific Time / 12:00 am Eastern Time, Saturdays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Sundays at 4:00 pm Pacific Time / 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

You’ve heard of the gut-brain connection, but did you know that a part of the nervous system connecting your gut and brain is part of a pathway to higher consciousness? Tiffany Barsotti, Masters of Theology in Energy Medicine with special emphasis in Medical and Spiritual Counseling, joins Heather to reveal how to access higher consciousness. Discover tips to activate pathways to balance brain hormones to achieve greater wellbeing.  Learn to deepen your body-mind-spirit connection.

Special Guest: Tiffany Barsotti

Rev. Tiffany Barsotti, M.Th., C.Ht., M.C.P.L.T, CCT, is an ordained minister in the All Faiths Church of Spirituality and Health, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a Master Clinical Past Life Therapist and a Certified Clinical Thermographer.

Tiffany is a clinician and researcher of subtle energy, biofield therapies,  and energy psychology.  With her wide use of various subtle energy devices along with her spiritual and intuitive guidance, she serves as an integrative practitioner working alongside medical doctors, naturopaths, osteopaths and allied professionals.

She received her Masters of Theology in Energy Medicine with special emphasis in Medical and Spiritual Counseling from Holos University Graduate Seminary and was personally mentored by the school’s founders, Drs. C. Norman Shealy and Caroline Myss.

Her novel thesis topic earned her honors and recognition amongst peers and scholars who equally desire the reunion of Science and Spirit.

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A Proposed Spiritual Axis of the Bodymind: How the Reticular Activating System (RAS), Vagus Nerve and the Alta Major Chakra Axis May Be the Nexus of Bodymind/Spirit Consciousness.

What is Consciousness?

Tiffany Barsotti has an interesting way of looking at consciousness. She describes it as “little c” consciousness and “big C” consciousness. Little c consciousness is where your energy is focused on a day-to-day basis. It’s essentially your higher self. She describes big C consciousness as God, Source, divine masculine/feminine or Creator energy. In order to have balance between little c (being grounded) and big C (being spiritual), Tiffany suggests that we must find a way to balance how we move through life. Where are you on the spectrum between flexibility and rigidity? How can you surrender in ways that allow you to feel grounded and expand awareness to connect with Creator-energy?

The Gateway to Consciousness

When studying Pilates, Tiffany learned that your body will move where your eyes are focused. And that your eyes are connected to your brain by the optic nerve and fascia (collagenous connective tissue which surrounds every cell, organ, and tissue in your body). Interestingly, there are 4,000 different types of fascia in the body and the body often stores emotions in your fascia.

Tiffany began asking herself questions about the eyes, nerves, fascia and connective tissue…how did these structures influence the brain and consciousness? Are they a kind of web of communication? This inquiry led her to recognizing and proposing a new pathway to consciousness: The Reticular Activating System (RAS)-Vagus Nerve-Alta Major Chakra Axis.

The Reticular Activating System and Awareness

Tiffany explains that neuroscience frames the Reticular Formation (RF) (which contains the Reticular Activating System) as the gateway to conscious awareness. The RAS is located in your brainstem (the back of your neck under the occipital ridge, where the base of your skull meets your spine) and is directly connected to your eyes. This is where you have alert consciousness.

If the RAS becomes damaged in the brain, the body has a comatose reaction, where physical movement stops, but your brain still has awareness. Almost as if the mind and body are no longer in synch. Your RAS responds to stimulus from your body-mind and influences your nervous system, sleep cycles, alertness, physical movement, behavior, and pain modulation.

So how does this play out in your life? Tiffany gives an example of seeing a red skirt in a store window. If you want that skirt, you may start seeing it wherever you go. It’s kind of like when you’re shopping online and that product ends up everywhere you look as you surf Facebook and other websites. This is exactly how your RAS works! However, we don’t want the RAS to send us down the wrong path, like the internet marketers who want to influence you to buy something you don’t really need by putting it in front of you everywhere you look.

How do you make sure your RAS is honing in on what you want to create instead of wasting time on things that limit you?

Tiffany recommends asking yourself these questions to heighten awareness around what you want to create:
  • What does my body want right now?
  • What do I want right now?
  • What am I letting in? Is this programming that I want?

When you ask yourself these questions, you invite awareness in so that your RAS can connect to what you want to create. You may also find out where you were focused on limiting thoughts, beliefs or goals, so that you can shift your thinking.

The Vagus Nerve – The Gut-Brain Connection and Your Body’s Information Superhighway

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in your body that comes out of your brainstem, connects your gut and brain, and innervates every organ in your body. Signals are sent back and forth from gut to brain and you’ve likely felt this when you get butterflies in your stomach or a gut feeling. Your vagus nerve regulates your parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (action and astral/emotional body) nervous systems. What this means is that your vagus nerve regulates when it’s time to take action or time to take a break. Think of this as your regulator for balance.

The Alta Major Chakra Axis: The Mouth of God

The alta major center is a nerve center sitting in the subtle energy biofield at the top of the spine (in the same region as the RAS) and has a powerful link to the cerebellum, medulla oblongata, spine, and vagus nerve.

Taught mostly in ancient systems of the chakras, the alta major chakra is considered the mouth of God. Tiffany has spoken to Cherokee practitioners who have healing ceremonies for this area of the body. In acupuncture, this area of the brainstem is called Du 15 and is never needled because it’s considered a protected area.

Tiffany’s well-reserched theory is that together, the RAS-Vagus Nerve-Alta Major Chakra Axis combine as a spiritual axis of the bodymind and higher consciousness. As you recognize what each of these systems do and how they work together, you can begin to create a lifestyle that allows your bodymind to heal and reconnect.

Important Practices to Access Higher Consciousness

Here are some practices Tiffany suggests to become more connected, aware, and conscious:

#1 – Pay Attention

Notice what your eyes are seeing and remind yourself that your body-mind moves toward where your eyes go.

#2 – Identify Subconscious Programming

Since the RAS will attune to what you notice, check in and ask yourself the questions above in the RAS section. Do this often throughout your day.

#3 – Meditate

Meditating slows your thoughts and allows you to become conscious of limiting thinking.

#4 – Engage in Self-Care

Taking time for yourself, even if you get busy and especially if you are a caretaker for others, is important. Tiffany suggests you make this time sacred and ensure that you aren’t tempted to cancel this time.

#5 – Eat Mindfully

Remember your vagus nerve connects your brain and gut, so taking time to focus on your meal as you eat is critical. Focusing on your meal allows you to remember to chew thoroughly and supports your vagus nerve to go into rest and digest (parasympathetic) mode, where it needs to be for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

#6 – Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a form of self-love and reminds your bodymind what matters most to you. If you aren’t setting healthy boundaries, you may be falling into programming that is not aligned with who you are and where you want to go.

#7 – Ask for Help

If things get really challenging, reach out to your community and ask for help. This reminds you that you are connected to a greater whole and allows you to receive love and support.

#8 – Practice Balance

Think about how much you are in action and how much you’re pausing to rest. How much you’re in little c consciousness and big c consciousness. Where you fall in a spectrum of flexibility and rigidity. How much are you planning or controlling vs. how much are you surrendering and trusting the process of life? Find out what balance means to you and how it feels in your body, mind and spirit.

Join us to learn more about raising your consciousness with meditation, mindfulness and visualization to silence fear and support your healing journey!

In How to Heal with Meditation, Story, and Visualization, Dr. April Wilder will take us on a journey to heal the mind-body-spirit, including:

  • Identifying and Changing the Stories We Tell Ourselves – It’s natural to feel emotions like fear, anger, frustration, worry, doubt, anxiety, and depression when faced with a chronic health condition. Illness and injury are real. What isn’t real—or necessary—is the additional mind-made suffering that piles on when a frightened mind is allowed to run amok. Dr. Wilder will reveal how to spot and check patterns of negative thinking so you can minimize stress and meet your physical challenges with your strongest mind. She will also outline creative techniques for changing your story to one that promotes inspiration, motivation, joy, and healing.
  • Using Mindfulness, Meditation and Visualization – Find out how the mind works, including how chronic illness can affect your immune system, gut, and brain to create difficult emotions. Learn how to spot them, honor them, and work with them so that you can shift your mindset and feel more open to healing. Studies show that mindfulness, meditation, and visualization have real healing benefits. We’ll find out how to harness these capabilities in our own lives.
  • Q&A – It’s normal to have “yeah, but’s” or other questions that arise in this process. We’ll honestly address the real challenges and opportunities for applying these principles when dealing with chronic health issues. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive coaching during this class.

Learn More and Register

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Tune in Next Week

Tune in next week to 21st Century Medicine Woman, when Functional and Family Medical Doctor, Dr. Dawn DeSylvia, joins Heather to discuss the real root cause behind disordered eating and how to balance this mind-body-spirit imbalance.


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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!