Remember Me?

Remember Me?

Hello!  Remember me?  You haven’t heard much from me lately. For me, like the rest of you, life has been very busy.  Trying to balance family, work and education, with opportunities for fun and rest is a challenge in normal times but with our son’s upcoming wedding and my current enrollment in a very intense 200 hour training program, the scales are tipping.  Rest, fun, and engagement on social media have been on the losing end.  So, I thought I’d touch base to let you know I’m still here, still seeing clients, still teaching and still trying to find some peace in a society that just begs us to go-go-go!

The Somatics training, although intense, is actually helping me with that.  Finding some space to breathe in my physical body is helping me to find, or at least seek, some space to breathe in my life off the mat.  Learning to recognize my default patterns on a physical level is assisting me in recognizing my default patterns on an emotional and mental level.  And once I see those patterns I can consciously make a different choice.  

I can choose to purposefully release my back muscles so that I’m moving forward from a place of relaxation, rather than tightness.  That alone is life-altering and it sets up a chain reaction.  It helps me to allow my shoulders to relax before I take on a task, which means I can breathe better.  Breathing better benefits my cardiovascular system, my ability to think clearly, my skin, and my ability to move–whether it’s walking, running, climbing stairs or practicing yoga.  I feel those physical benefits but I also feel something more.

Somatics has taught me that I’m more than a machine that moves through life accomplishing things and doing things for others.  I am a whole Soma – and you are too–we are not just physical beings, we are also our minds and emotions.  So if the story we tell ourselves is that we need to keep pushing–to make more money, to have the perfect house, to be the perfect mom, to have a successful business, to still look like we’re 20–that shows up in the body.  It shows up as conditions like tight back muscles, neck pain, shoulder pain, herniated discs, sciatica, poor sleep and an inability to be still and rest.  It might feel like you’re always running to catch the train and you never get to sit on the train and enjoy the scenery.  This I know from personal experience.

We call this the Green Light Reflex and it’s one of the three stress responses that we learn to habituate as an adaptation to the stresses of life.   It’s something we reflexively do to get through the list of activities for the day.  Get up early, exercise, make the lunches, get everyone off to school, feed and walk the pets, go to work, take on an extra project, register for a workshop, buy the groceries, make the food, clean it up, help with homework, work on the home reno and the garden, throw in a load of laundry, run the vacuum around, book appointments, answer emails, order product, do your own homework, try to think of a social media post, have a conversation with your spouse, go to  bed with a book, fall asleep reading it, wake up enough to put the book away and turn out the light, only to lay awake going through the mental list of things that you didn’t get done that you need to do tomorrow, hoping that your kids are happy and healthy, your marriage is happy and healthy and wondering if you are happy and healthy because you don’t really feel that way, getting a few hours of sleep and then repeating it all again the next day.  This has been my life for a long time.

I’m not complaining.  I made those choices.  And, to be clear, I am totally in love with my husband and my kids–no regrets there.  But I’m tired, really tired.  And I’ve been in pain.  Now that I recognize my default response to the stresses of life, which is to just put my back into it and mindlessly forge ahead, taking on more and more, now I can make conscious choices.  Sometimes I might forge ahead, but I am starting from a different place.  If I start from a place of more ease, a place of awareness, then I can make a conscious choice to get the thing done and then stop and return to that grounded awareness before I do the next thing.  And I’ll be choosier about the things I’m going to do instead of trying do everything.  I’m not Superwoman; I’m a Soma.  Now I can choose to let that back relax, allow those shoulders to settle and take a few breaths.  Now, instead of constantly running just behind the train, I can run beside it, jump on, and enjoy the ride for a bit, before I take the next train.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I don’t think I’m the only Green Light Reflex person out there.  And if Somatics can help me to relax a little more, to enjoy life a little more, and to have less pain, then I’m betting it can help you too.  You don’t need to be an athlete, a yogi, young, perfect, strong, flexible or even particularly coordinated.  This is not exercise.  This is not yoga.  This is a practice of small movements that have the ability to help you have less pain and discomfort in your physical body and in your life.  

My training as an Essential Somatics Movement Teacher will be finished this summer.  I am super excited about it and more than that, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn and embody the practice.  Of course, I am thrilled that I will be able to share the practices with you in both group and private sessions.  And I am absolutely ecstatic to finally feel like I’ve caught up to the train.  Watch for more about that in upcoming blogs and on social media, but I won’t be posting every day because I’ll be taking some time to enjoy the scenery from my seat on the train.  ☺️

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