Hey Moon dancer,
I hope this full moon solar eclipse is treating you kind 🙂 For me it’s been like a wild wolf got inside my skin and roughed up my insides. I even found myself jumping up and down under the moon wanting to run somewhere reallyfast or Ravish SOMETHING! Instead I parented, got frustrated and did the dishes (not very well).
So, although these times have been expanding, connecting and sometimes-wild, I see that many of us are also facing disconnection, pushing and stress and our wounds and triggers are popping up in our faces. And they can be very strong and tricky to deal with.
So with a bow to your strength, your capacity and your Love, I give you these embodiment tools to help you stay even more present and Here for life.
A bit of background first:
I use words like “activation” to describe what is happening in your nervous system when old wounds or patterns are triggered. This just means that your physiology, your body, is responding to a real or patterned-in-you threat, by getting ready to run, fight or freeze and that it may be very hard to be “rational” in responding to these situations. These tools below are specifically aimed at calming your nervous system, so that racing thoughts, fears, disassociation (feeling “out of your body”), rage or anxiety are dealt with via the body where they “originate”, rather than the intellectual mind.
So here are some ways to calm your nervous system when you are highly activated.
As always, the earlier you can catch the activation (or notice you are feeling triggered), the easier it is to work with, and the less you’ll experience exhaustion once you have calmed down or the situation has passed.
S-L-O-W-L-Y Moving Finger and Toe joints:
If you are feeling activated, triggered, or disassociated, bring your attention into your hands or feet to start. Moving the joints very slowly, breathing as you do so. Just moving them slowly in and out. If you think you’re moving them slowly, slow it down to half that speed. Give yourself more than 3 minutes to do this (so it’s not just having a quick go then moving on to something else). Moving the ankles and wrists also can help.
Notice if your breathing changes when you do this, notice if you feel calmer; what shifts or stays the same.
In my experience this has an effect like “releasing steam” from a kettle. The build up of highly activated energy in your nervous system has somewhere to go. And agitation, anxiety, fear, uncomfortable tingling in the legs or arms tends to subside or lessen a lot.
The “Vooo” Sound*:
It’s best if you can drop anything else you are doing to be present in this moment. But if you are doing the dishes, haven’t found any other times and want to give it a go, I’m sure it will still help!
When you make the Vooo sound, imagine you are a ship in a foggy harbour. You’re making a “Vooo” like a fog horn, low in the belly. See where you can feel that sound vibrating. If you can get a low sound it will vibrate in the lower belly which is great for creating more space and movement in the viscera or organs where a lot of our activation tends to stay locked up. Do this 3 -5 times, then rest and notice what has stayed the same or changed in your body.
If you have a history of strong trauma, just take it slow and do the Vooo only once, then check out what has shifted or stayed the same. Only do a second Vooo if you feel up to it. This is because a nervous system that generally has higher activation needs less stimulation and input from the external world. Taking it little and slow is always better.
*This is a tool that Peter Levine, who created this work, often uses with highly traumatised people to help them develop more capacity. By capacity I mean, more ability to stay present to what is happening in the body, and therefore allow the body to complete its healing processes. But whether you have trauma or have just lead a human and bumpy life, this tool will build your capacity to Be here for it.
Gathering Calm, Safe people around you:
When you’re activated, sometimes all you need is some retreat time in a clam, safe persons’ energy. I advise you to write a list of folk who you feel safe and calmed by.. it may not be your best friend, and it may change at different times. Check this out as honestly as you can.
If you have the kind of relationship with this person or people where you can share your needs and feelings, I recommend asking them if you could contact them when you are triggered and how they might be available to support you in those times.
It could sound like:
You: “Hello Safe-Calm-Person, do you have a moment?
You: “I am looking for some support for the times when I get really activated (use your own words here: triggered/overwhelmed/angry/scared). I feel really safe with you and I wonder if you would be open to me calling you, asking to come over or emailing you (Whatever feels appropriate for this connection with this person) when something comes up?”
Safe-Calm-Person: “I’m touched, sure let’s set something up”
You: “Oh, fantastic!”
Setting this up can be really relaxing for your nervous system because then you know someone will be there for you, and you know the steps to take to get yourself support when things are more intense. In this way the thought of becoming triggered becomes less scary.
Let me say that again.. the Thought of becoming triggered becomes less scary.
This is a big thing, because big waves of activation can be very scary to even contemplate when they have taken over your life at different times. We tend to tighten up and brace against our triggered-ness. So this can help a Lot in setting us up to relax and respond, rather than react.
If you don’t yet feel you have a relationship where you can make this request, I invite you to start looking around and being curious about what and who makes you feel safe. And then, being curious about what it might be like to ask for support like that.
I do so hope these tools come in handy as you grow and open. If you’d like to join me for a discounted 70min Intro Session, (valid for folk who haven’t worked with me yet) you can find out about the sessions here or:
With wild love,