One evening on a Thursday not too long ago, my partner was at the office until about 9pm. I had no clients scheduled that particular evening.
After I made myself a very simple meal for one: leftover sweet potatoes with tahini, some organic turkey slices wrapped around avocado, a few cucumber slices, and some dark chocolate, a familiar restlessness arose.
When this type of restlessness hooks, it’s instinctual for a part of me to seek to fill time.
But really, something is usually lurking under the surface that makes it difficult for my system to fully relax.
I had no desire to be productive, no desire to be with anything tech-related.
Some lingering feeling was keeping my nervous system amped up.
With growing restlessness in my body, I grabbed Michael’s hand-made drum, put my shoes and rain jacket on and slowly strolled the wooded property around my home, steadily and rhythmically drumming, altering my state, as I took in the damp fragrance of the earth in the Spring evening and the beautiful dogwoods in full bloom.
I shifted enough to re-regulate my system and eventually identify what was going on in my world that was keeping my nervous system amped up.
In order to care for anything we need to be in relationship with it.
Today I want to stress the importance of developing a relationship with your own nervous system.
You’ve got to know how it’s wired and what regulates it.
If you resonate with the regulating quality of Nature, but may not have it available near-by, fear not!
I’ve had countless instances simply laying on the living room carpet in my apartment on my back with my eyes closed while listening to music that moved me. Anything from Radiohead to Bon Iver. Chopin to Deva Premal.
Without practices and skills to tend to the nervous system, it’s not unusual to self-regulate by way of eating, drinking, lighting a cigarette, going numb in social media perusal, overly tending to a loved ones needs, or something else (usually in unconscious efforts to ground the energy down).
This can usually show up during “downtime” especially if the pace of the day has been demanding, or if there’s been something going in the interior world that is troubling (worry, anxiety, self-criticism)
As women, we must learn how to care for our nervous systems
Having our bare feet on earth, taking breaks from technology, somatic practices of all kinds, breathing, yoga, dance, and music, soothing touch, massage, sex/orgasm, body work, sincere connection with women, silence, simplifying, and minimizing stimulus all are helpful practices.
Also, depending on the person, working with the wounded or polarized aspects of our psyches that may keep the nervous system in a hyper-aroused state can be a powerful place to tend to consistently over time.
The love and attunement of a skilled healer helps. Healthy relationships help regulate us in a profound way.
These are some things I track during client sessions.
As you can see, there’s a multiplicity of ways to “get in there.’ I find clients respond different ways to different things.
A teeny practice: Before you move on to the next thing in your day, take a few moments right now to drop your shoulders, relax the skin around your face and jaw, and take a few deep breaths deeply into your lungs and belly, hovering at the top of the inhale and slowly releasing.
I hope you’ve found this helpful!