Some of the people I interview on the Radical Recovery Summit have a very similar understanding and approach to mine. Irene Lyon is one of those people. She synthesized her training and experience into her program SmartMind SmartBody where she helps people heal their nervous system. Here are a few highlights from her interview.
If you are brought up experiencing the world as a dangerous place, you don’t feel safe enough to be yourself. You can’t express your emotions. This creates toxicity in the system and infects your body on a deep, cellular level.
As adults, we may know theoretically that we are safe. It takes time and consistent experiences of safety for our nervous system to catch up and for us to have a felt sense of safety. In Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing work the approach is a slow rebuilding. We are literally creating a map of safety and secure attachment that we didn’t have when we were young.
Early wiring for safety and self-regulation and connection didn’t happen when we were children. There is a process to reliably create that wiring and rewrite your safety map over time.
This is my experience too. Healing happens over time. That can feel frustrating to us. We want to feel better now! The truth is we do begin to feel a bit better early on and that can inspire us to continue with healing practices.
My inspiration for offering a free, daily online relaxation practice is to provide an ongoing, consistent setting where we can experience safety. This heals our nervous system over time. People begin to experience moments of feeling at home in their body. Tension in the neck and shoulders lets go. Tension in the gut releases and we stop holding our breath. Our mind begins to settle and we have fewer catastrophic thoughts.
Yes, the nervous system takes time to heal yet we don’t have to wait until we’ve reached some far off point in our healing journey. In every moment we can relax our body and breathe more deeply. We can reduce stressors to our system and add supports. We can remember to be kind and patient with ourselves. Ahhh…