ANCHORED: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory by Deb Dana

Please click through the links and buy this book: Anchored by Deb Dana so that she will make a buck and Amazon will donate part of your purchase to my favorite charity, the California Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons. My copy of Anchored is a digital check-out from the Los Angeles Public Library and since I will be re-printing large portions without permission from the author, I would like you to compensate Ms. Dana by purchasing her book.

Say Hello to Your Vagus Nerve

This book is revolutionizing my awareness and transforming my life by becoming aware of my vagus nerve. The author presents a convincing thesis of the rage response in what she terms, ‘polyvagal theory.’ This is a very clinical work detailing the Vagus nerve, highway of the human emotional response both primitive and modern. Vagus means ‘the wanderer’ because this large nerve covers a very large portion of the human anatomy.

Map of my infantile rage

Now I know it is the vagus nerve that is transmitting the energy of my anger. I have felt this pathway and now I have a diagram of it! When I get stressed out and act out my childhood trauma, my rage travels along my vagus nerve. From the brainstem, the vagus moves down the side of the neck and around to the front of my body and then travels down through the throat, lungs, and heart to the abdomen and digestive system. Imagine energy moving up and down this pathway. The information carried along this vagal pathway travels in two directions, with 80 percent of the information going from the body to the brain and 20 percent from the brain to the body.

anchored by deb dana
The vagus nerve
The Body IS The Mind

When I am disconnected from my body I am disconnected from an important source of information. Body awareness is key to total awareness. Now I meditate with my whole body and mind.

Adverse childhood experiences can disconnect us from out bodies

Yoga teachers and other healers have always been trying to put me back inside my body and this book has been integral in my achieving of this goal. When I was five years old I got hit in the head with a rock and knocked unconscious. I left my body and never returned until very recently. For most of my life I have been ‘beside myself.’ Now it is finally all coming together for me by taking the longest and most important journey of my life. I have finally achieved that longest distance from my head to my heart. I am finally inside my body.

anchored by deb dana
Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory by Deb Dana. Here is a screenshot of the chart on page 28 that explains Polyvagal Theory. I love this idea so much that I have included the author’s time frames for development and added my own annotations in red. Each of these stages of the human brain came into being one after the other and are layered on top of each other, 1, 2, and 3. But don’t take my word for it. The next time you bash someone’s brains in, examine said grey matter closely. You may be able to identify the three distinct layers of evolution for yourself and then you will be practicing real science!

By Dean McAdams

Born a poor peckerwood in a Tujunga holler, Dean practiced secrets of the ancient & modern masters to end up liberated in the coastal paradise of West L.A.