Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you” without cringing?

If not, why not? What are the obstacles to loving and connecting with yourself? Why are so many people at war with themselves?

Emotional self regulation is learned through co-regulating with people who are self-regulated and those people are increasingly rare in our modern culture. Fear, anxiety and depression are at epidemic levels. 

My meditation teacher said we would “catch” the peacefulness of his mind when we meditate with him. His mind field was stronger and more stable. We feel that stillness and we settle. 

We all know how agitated we can become when we are around someone who is anxious. It takes a lot of mindfulness to maintain our own relaxation. We might focus on our breath or softening our shoulders to avoid “catching” their emotional state.

Cortisol and adrenaline flood our system when we feel unsafe. Our brain develops strong neural networks for vigilance for danger when we are on high alert. Our brain literally doesn’t know how to co-regulate for safety. 

We store this fear and overwhelm as energy in our body along with associated memories of helplessness and not being safe. This feels threatening and we try to avoid feeling it. We “leave the scene” by dissociating. We try to figure things out in our head. 

We disconnect from ourselves and other people. We also disconnect from our sense of value. We experience ourselves primarily as thoughts and memories driven by anxiety. 

Safety is a lack of threat AND connection. We need to experience this in our nervous system and pay attention to it to hardwire it in. 

“The brain is like Velcro for negative and Teflon for positive experiences.” Neuropsychologist Dr Rick Hanson 

A daily practice of breathing and relaxation rewires our brain and introduces us to ourselves. We become familiar with the sensations, feelings and energy in our body. We have the direct experience of relaxation. We become more open and welcoming. We realize we have nothing to fear from knowing ourselves. 

Join me live 7 days a week 8am Eastern to relax and breathe http://zoom.us/j/645904638. Join me for weekly classes where we explore and experience safety in a group as we co-regulate together. 

We disconnect in response to our environment and experiences. We can reconnect and heal. This is possible for all of us. 

Velcro and Teflon