Riding the Waves of Your Nervous System – Finding Restoration, Renewal & Freedom in Your Body.

August 13, 2018

“This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.”   – Marion Woodman

Many of us are more disconnected from our bodies than ever. We may be hiding in isolation, denial or shame – with feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, confusion, anger or pain. We may have rejected parts of ourselves and we are searching for balance, restoration and wholeness in our bodies, hearts and minds.

When you don’t know how to feel better, you must begin again. Find the courage to tell the truth about what you’re feeling, even if you’re feeling nothing – move towards and be with what is present for you – you can find some relief when you do.

Trauma is held in the nervous system. Sometimes, when we feel unexplained emotional or physical pain or body sensations, our body is remembering past traumas that have happened in our lives, that lay dormant in our nervous system.

The body holds what it can’t express and process.
Anxiety, depression and overwhelm are unspoken voices that can be held, seen and transformed.

Working together, somatically, at the level of the nervous system, we can access these old feelings and experiences through the body.

The body does not lie – it holds the truth of our feelings.

Through chronic muscle tension, the body reminds us about repressed feelings and experiences that it could not handle at the time it happened. Those old feelings are still stored in the body, and it takes a lot of effort to hold them in our unconscious. This chronic tension also prevents the breath from flowing freely through the body.

We can restore and renew these deep processes in your body, and allow you to express what has been held in the nervous system, so your nervous system can become more regulated. To allow your body to feel and move through biological patterns and do what it was born to do.

When we don’t pay attention to our body, it shuts down – sensations become cut off and we no longer have an intimate connection with them. When we feel stress and chaos, and we ignore it, we are giving our bodies a signal that we aren’t paying attention and that (maybe) we don’t care.  We need to become aware that sensations and pain are signs to lean into, not to avoid.
 
Nervous system regulation happens when we are able to be with our stressors, instead of numbing out – reacting appropriately and coming back to baseline in our system. Expand your capacity to pay attention to yourself, to listen to what your body is telling you, to notice your adrenaline and shut down processes inside yourself, so you don’t trigger your fight/flight/freeze response again and again and again.
 

We want to subdue our anxiety or lift our feelings of sadness or depression. Some common ways that we consciously or unconsciously attempt to bring regulation into our nervous system, include: addictions of all kinds – to drugs, alcohol, sex, sleeping aids, work, eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia and overeating, and smoking – to name a few.

These behaviours are anxiety and/or depression management strategies that allow us to gear up our system up in the daytime, so we can feel awake, alert and sociable, and to gear our system down in the evening, so we can sleep.

If we don’t start off with a healthy nervous system – for example if our parents were stressed, depressed, neglectful or ill, our nervous systems don’t begin as robust as they might be, and we become more susceptible to chronic illness, chronic anxiety, depression and difficult emotions and pain – over time in our lives. Our system may not be able to integrate what comes our way as well – such as relationship ups and downs, divorce, work concerns, family concerns, and illness.

What is nervous system regulation?

It doesn’t always feel good. It’s healthy for us when we can feel all of our feelings and be able to express what needs to be expressed through the systems in our body. Due to our trauma history, we often shut down this expression before it can be fully expressed, without our awareness.

We need our autonomic nervous system to function well – and we can rewire it, no matter what our age.

Healthy nervous system function starts in the first three years of our lives – if we didn’t feel a sense of safety as a baby and small child, we will shut down and the autonomic nervous system will not work as well as it should – it adapts in a dysregulated way and it becomes less healthy.

We learn to manage with a false sense of calm. Underneath this calmness, we aren’t able to process the chaos that lies beneath, and ultimately, we have a greater capacity to feel chaos in our system.
 
How can we become more biologically embodied?

By noticing our biological impulses and allowing emotions to be felt when you are feeling them. Notice when you are pushing feelings down or ignoring feelings. Notice your connection with your body in your physical space, and become very aware of your physiology.

Trauma happens for us not in the event that has taken place, it happens in the way we’ve processed the event in our nervous system – and when our nervous system is dysregulated, we may experience more symptoms in our body and mind. We begin to have a faulty sense of what is safe inside of ourselves and in our bodies.

We have an unconscious survival response that may manifest itself as chronic tension, holding and tightness in your body – and we work at the level of the primitive nervous system – which is slower – and takes more time, care and understanding than may seem necessary.
 
Taking time to be with, rewire and build our nervous system now, to move from dysregulation to regulation, and this will set the tone for our lives going forward – healing from a deep nervous system level.
 
We want more than a feeling of calmness in our nervous system – our system moves from hyperarousal to hypoarousal – hypervigilance, anxiety, overwhelm or panic to numbness in the system and everything in between. We want to go deeper, to understand what is really happening in your nervous system and help to heal it’s dysregulation – so that there is more capacity, regulation and resilience in your system for what comes your way in life.
 
We want to teach your nervous system to be with, and surf the big and small waves that come it’s way – so it can begin to ride them on it’s own.
 
Our survival instincts – and a cascade of elements in our nervous system, are there to preserve and protect ourselves – and they are perpetuating the holding of trauma in our nervous system.

I wonder what – in your nervous system – needs to be noticed and expressed?
 
Perhaps you have unresolved fight or flight or freeze patterns that need to be expressed – so that you can wake the system up again to have more regulated responses.
 
High arousal in your nervous system / fight/flight patterns = poor digestion, chronically tight feelings in the body, poor boundaries, overwhelm, lack of sleep.
 
Become more connected to your body, know your body and tell the truth about the feelings in your body – including shame, fear, disgust or hatred.

Move from shame in the body to honouring the body for all that it does for you.  

Own your own feminine potential, understand shame in your body, embrace your wild feminine and somatic sexuality. Shame is related to trauma – sometimes it’s our own and sometimes it has been passed down to us.

Without our awareness, we treat ourselves in life the way we were treated as children. We ignore,  don’t pay attention to our bodies, feelings, thoughts, complaints or observations and don’t take ourselves, our bodies or our feelings seriously.

We feel that we must meet conditions and standards before we deserve to be loved and nurtured. We defend parts of ourselves – the parts of ourselves that don’t feel loved, and we isolate ourselves in certain ways so that we don’t let others see these parts of us.

Beneath our defenses and conditioning, we each possess an instinctive loyalty and love for ourselves, we just need to be reminded.

The time has come to pay attention to yourself. To turn towards what is painful and find true, deep, body-based resolution and healing.

The truth of you is fluid and free.
 

If you feel like you’ve lost part of who you are, take time for yourself.
If you want to feel grounded, awake and alive, take time for yourself.
You, whole and here, is worth all the time it takes.

I wish you ease on your path of awareness and understanding.

with love & kindness, Kim, xoxo

www.kimcochrane.ca / hello@kimcochrane.ca

Offerings – Sessions for Individuals & Couples – an invitation to feel present in your body, to unwind patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, hopelessness, chronic stress & pain, to cultivate trust in your moment-to-moment experience, your naturally wise heart, and your capacity to connect to yourself, those you love and the love that surrounds us.

Somatic Body Learning & Practice and Somatic Experiencing sessions are available for you now. Waking you up to the innate wisdom of your body, to feel yourself below the level of thought, and to access your full beingness in flowing, fluid motion. 

When we can feel ourselves, we are able to detect and understand the sensations and emotions our bodies signal to us – and we can connect with ourselves and others from a place of felt honesty and sensitivity, set better boundaries, and make clearer decisions about our interactions.

I am scheduling sessions for clients beginning on September 4th – I look forward to being with you.

Get in touch to learn more about individual sessions – and to set up a time to work together:   hello@kimcochrane.ca

With our willingness to turn toward our suffering, we slowly acknowledge, integrate, and accept the truth of our challenges and losses. In so doing, we open our hearts and experience deep connection to the most precious parts of our lives.

hello@kimcochrane.ca / www.kimcochrane.ca

Creating Well-Being Through Nervous System Regulation.
Nurturing Connection, Restoration & Building Resilience.
Easing the Body ~ Calming the Mind ~ Opening the Heart.
Somatic Experiencing ~ Somatic Practices ~ Breathwork ~ Movement.

“Choosing authenticity means…nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.”~ Brene Brown

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