Imagine this scenario: You wake up in the morning, moving through your usual routine, having a hot tea or coffee, maybe doing a morning centering practice, getting in the shower, and move on to getting dressed for the day.
You shimmy your pants in up a see-saw fashion, and you pause in that dreaded moment…the pants are too tight.
Within mere seconds, reactions can start flooding through the system, often unconsciously, affecting not only your thoughts but also your physiology.
The breath gets sharp and shallow, and then…
The knee-jerk reaction kicks in.
Knee-jerk reactions will often take the general form of one of two shapes in this instance:
Feeling defeated (“ugh, what’s the point?” or “ugh, I feel gross” or “ugh, I’ll never figure this out”) and checking out of the body, rebelling with food, overeating, or giving up on prior self-care commitments.
Feeling panicked (“Oh my god, what if my weight keeps going up?” or “Oh god, I have that wedding in two weeks” or “Oh no you are letting yourself slip”) and anxiously coming up with a highly restrictive plan like cutting out a type of food or entire food group, planning a detox or cleanse, or an committing to an aggressive workout routine.
When observed without judgment, knee-jerk reactions are simply information – something in you got triggered. Usually a young part of us (that is far more reactive than reflective) got scared or overly frustrated. You might imagine, that the common strategy to this predicament is getting rid of these types of reactions. This only leads to an exhausting fight against oneself. What’s the real work? The work isn’t getting rid of knee-jerk reactions, it’s first calling them out AS knee-jerk reactions as they arise. And the next, learning to dialogue with and love these reactive parts, is a skill-set I teach many of my clients that are ready for it. If you really think about it, an entire lifetime can be governed by these impulse reactions to stressors. Decisions are certainly made, but we are not grounded or led by our hearts or own wisdom. My invitation to you if you find yourself in a knee-jerk reaction: Give it some space, see what it is, but do not trust those impulses as the ultimate truth or authority. As usual, with love, Laura And other News: it’s about this time of year I start getting excited. Sure, in a month or so we officially enter the Spring season, but really, each Spring, I offer a program that is very near and dear to my heart (this year for the last time!) Anyways, this is a heads up that you’ll be receiving a video that I am so happy to share with you in our March 1st newsletter. Keep your eyes peeled for that one. I promise it’s a good one. Like this article? You might also like: Food for thought for “Emotional Eaters”