Relaxation welcomes us into warm flowing fields of grassy meadows on mid-summer days.
Stress seems to turn the lights off of summer in an instant. Like a winter wind storm plowing through our coastal vistas knocking over yet another power line for the zillionth time.
These systems work similarily within our bodies. Known as the Parasympthetic (Relaxation) and Sympathetic (Stress) states.
Parasympathetic – Rest and Digest
Sympathetic – Stimulating Activities, Fight or Flight
All a part of the Autonomic Nervous System.
Fight, Flight, or Freeze anchors us in time as a past trauma, trigger, or shame flashes through our body like lightning through the sky. Boom, crash, rumble and the wind blows the trees as we await the power surge flickering lights plunging into darkness where the hollows call our name and all we can think is “Oh please, puhlease not another dark night” and “Let the power come back on”.
Relaxing into these moments looks like taking the storms as they come. If the power is out we light a candle. If the tv is off we play a board game. If no networks are available we make a new one between one another, by… ooh, talking.
Sometimes internally we live in a constant state of lightning storms, pulsing throughout our bodies like the ignition of a night sky. POP! Rumble! Shake!
When this happens, it’s not so easy to feel relaxation until the power goes out. Or something else in our lives makes us STOP our hurried, frantic, pulsing ways.
Or sometimes, we can see the thunder storms continuing to happen, and all we wanna do is stop it, but we can’t. And the stress of wanting to stop it, to turn it into another weather pattern, like palm trees and tropical breezes just creates more stress.
So, how do we engage relaxation (parasympathetic state) amidst the struggles of constant storms (sympathetic state)?
We embed our lives with activities that engage the sympathetic state. We practice the relaxation BEFORE we need it. Self care, Self Love, Self Development, Improvement and Results all winding themselves into our nervous system as engaging relaxation and ultimately Peace.
There is a scenerio that can help one understand the difference between these two states. Let’s say you’re driving a car and you’re constantly pushing on the gas pedal to go, go, go… But, you never stop to fill up with fuel. How far you gonna go? The car will make you stop for a refill.
Or, there is also the constant slamming of gas, then brake, then gas, then brake!!! Yikes, the sound of riding in that car turns my tummy and makes my face feel green.
It is our job to find the BEST way for us to ride (Live Our Lives) between pressing the gas, flowing with momentum, and gently tapping the brakes, or slamming them when we need to.
This very simple image is a way you can get into your very own autonomic nervous system. This is the epitomy of Knowing the Self. Of feeling your feelings. Of engaging in self development.
Our lives can be curved by how we ride in the car of our very own bodies, our energies, our likes/dislikes, and our choices/decisions.
“Exert to Give. Relax to Receive.”