In the moment of mobilization will you expand into higher consciousness or contract into survival mode?
The Body IS The Mind #3: STRESS OR REST?
In the moment of mobilization does your embodied response lead to a story of contraction and disconnect or expansion and connection? Fight or Flight? No response is better than another. Alternating between these two autonomic embodiments is necessary for self-regulation and well-being. After a few hours of engaging with the world I am ready to rest and recharge back in the privacy my apartment. Then sometimes I start out in the opposite direction. Friday mornings I disconnect and contract into yoga and walking meditation on a relatively quiet beach and then a few minutes later I expand and engage at the supermarket.
Reprocessing our systems
“With an understanding of the ways our autonomic nervous systems work and the beginning ability to program them, we can now learn new ways of constructively reprocessing our systems. Without awareness of out automatic systems, our old patterns of behavior run by default in the background as we move unconsciously through the world. Even when our patterns are properly regulating between expansion and contraction and bring well-being, if we don’t reach out and engage with them, we do not benefit in the most constructive way possible. With attention and intention, we can shape our system in ways that resource the neural pathways to peak performance.
The moment the fantasy changes from negative to positive
Our pathways sometimes take us into old images and stories, often pre-verbal in nature. Our survival states play stories of self-criticism and self-blame, in order to reinforce the survival pattern. Even a brief experience of a protective story exerts a powerful pull. Without interrupting the pattern in the moment of mobilization, we cannot reprocess our systems. For example, a story I often find myself sucked into is that I am an outsider, I don’t belong in this society. I am a ghost. This comes from contraction and disconnection. Once I start playing these movies, the gravitational pull gets stronger. It becomes harder to find my way to expansion and connection or even remembering that it is a possibility.
Collapse into disconnect, rest and relaxation or reach out and touch someone?
Take some time to explore your own story loops. Start by looking at a moment of mobilization. Feel your embodied response and then hear the thought that starts this particular story. Watch how your thoughts and story loops get stronger and then begin to magnify the experience. Continue by looking at a loop that ends in collapse. Notice your embodied response, listen to how this story begins, and feel how you are pulled into the experience, falling deeper into disconnection. Complete the embodied experience by looking at a story that creates an upward spiral of connection. Feel how the neural connection is alive and active in your system and takes you into a loop that brings well-being. Follow the thoughts that anchor you in your story of safety.” –Anchored, Chapter 8, pages 105 & 106.