Hello sweet readers ;)
I have been diving deep into the Poly Vagal Theory and the Fascial System to understand more about why we don’t do what we know we need to do. I will share more on both the Vagus Nerve and the Fascial System in my next two blog posts, but for now, just know that these are tangible and physiological systems that bridge the gap between woo-woo magic and factual science. “Your body is so wise” and “Take a deep belly breath to calm your system” - these are two sayings that make a lot more sense when you truly understand how your mind and body works.
Before I get nerdy and dive into what I have been learning and practicing, what I hope for you right now is to give you a bit of insight into why discipline is not simply a matter of will-power or just doing what you say you’re going to do. We are far more complex than that.
Direction is important. Setting goals is necessary. Implementing an accountability system improves your chances of success and a sustainable path for practice and growth. Yet, if it were that simple and easy, everyone would be achieving their goals and living the life they desire.
I have learned from experience that a clear direction is only half of the equation. We also need to understand how our mind and body works so that we can create more space and energy, notice the patterns and habits that get in the way of progress, and work with the complexities of our system. If clear direction and know-how is Top-Down or cognitive, then knowing HOW to calm and soothe your Nervous System, develop new patterns of thoughts and action, and develop the motivation to stay the course towards delayed-gratification is Bottom-Up (or from the subconscious system).
While it is vital to learn and expand by ingesting new experiences and new information, real change sets in when we get our WHOLE system on board so that we can truly see our patterns, love them and include them into our identity and release the grip from which they came from. We can then witness our pain or dis-ease and observe how we cling even when we know the destruction of these habits. Ultimately, we discover that we can be with ourselves during roadblocks, triggers or self-sabotage moments, and when we cultivate space to pause here, we can truly learn and release the “thorns” that keep us shackled to the stunted parts of ourselves.
And you know what it takes to do this work?? Space for self-inquiry and a skillful muscle of being your own Nervous System whisperer. By taking time each day to sit with yourself and notice your thoughts, you begin to build a new habit of cultivating space. That space can then creep in when you notice yourself have an impulsive reaction or get stuck in a mood or state that is not serving you.
It is not enough to have a thinking mind that KNOWS BETTER or that understands that what happened to you as a child was not your fault. It is your BODY that needs to understand this! And the body (fascial system) does not speak in words, it speaks in chemicals and feelings. Over-riding and thinking through the feelings in your body can only take you so far. Body-work, mindful embodiment, and practicing being with sensation, that is the work of truly healing the body and stepping more fully into who you desire to be.
There are so many ways to get access to that kind of healing, and in our day and age there are more and more people getting trained and waking up to this simple truth about the mind-body connection.
If you are curious to learn more and would like support in the process, please reach out. I create personalized coaching programs for individuals, host workshops for small groups and businesses, and have some group coaching programs coming up that will start in the Fall and New Year. Let’s keep growing and healing together xoxo