I am a student of my nervous system. I have found profound healing through engaging with my nervous system and I enjoy supporting clients in learning how to engage with theirs. As a somatic practitioner, I‘ve spent time in practice to understand my patterned reactions and learned ways to support my body in moving energy through so I can return to a state of regulation. As a student, I am always learning.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned these last few years of radical disruption and change is how important space is for clarity. When I am hit with information or an experience that is too much too soon, too much for too long, or not enough for too long, my trauma response kicks into high gear and things go fast. Today, I am more clear about what my fight/flight response looks like and what survival instincts might become activated. My body responds before my mind even has a thought.
Enter the information that was leaked from the Supreme Court this past week. As I listened to news clips, read headlines, and scrolled social media, my body alerted me of significant danger (before even forming my own thought process around what I was reading) and the cascade of chemicals associated with survival flooded my body in protection. In the moment I feel my racing heart, muscles tensing, and gut gripping. Throughout the week, I notice how hard it feels to take a deep breath and how my mind races with thoughts and questions of unknown territory.
My first reaction is to jump in and fight. Of course. When messages I am receiving tell me that someone or something is going to determine what I can or cannot do with my body, or what kind of choices my daughters may or may not have (hello mama bear) my animal instincts take over- the inner tiger roars.
This tiger energy serves a vital purpose and engaging it with awareness is something we can learn how to do. If we don’t, we remain in our trauma patterns, unconsciously getting triggered over and over again until our energy is depleted and we enter conservation mode, or freeze/shutdown (not a place from which we can mobilize and use our gifting).
So I chose to meet my physiological response with support this week. After a few days, I was able to return to a place of curiosity. I felt safe and grounded enough to begin to listen and read about what is on the table. Finding news sources that aren’t riddled with dramatic headlines and overarching statements of half truths designed to activate these exact response systems in our body is hard. One I find extremely helpful is @smarthernews with Jenna Lee. Receiving a non-partisan review of what we know as of now helps me take time to formulate my thoughts and opinions and move forward. At the end of her most recent podcast she names that “curiosity is the ultimate expression of freedom.” No matter what the gut reaction might be, may we continue on as students of our body, learning to support the nervous system in order to return to a place of curiosity within self and alongside others.