Finding and Building a Foundation
I am new to stability.
What does that even mean?
It means that to me chaos was stability. It means that my life has never really made much sense to me and I was raised in a way that left me zero programming for stability. I am excited to share that I have it. I have found pieces of stability inward and outward. I am now building a strong foundation upon which I can lay a stable character of self and life ahead.
No, I do not suddenly think that I am going to have an easy life. No, I do not think trauma will stop and death will never come in any form be it job or loved one. It is simply that I will no longer identify as the things outside of me. I will use my outward life to go inward and resource. I will use my inward life to allow an over flow of love and support for humanity to abound by knowing my boundaries, my limits, and forgiving myself when I make mistakes. I will operate under grace and slow down.
I love to talk and therefore I love to write. I love to read and therefore I love to write. That is not the case for everyone, but for me, I write myself into healing. For me I write myself into a new world, a new life, an integrated holistic approach to living. So in my writing I will share things that have assisted me. When building stability it all starts with the body.
There are four things I do everyday (for the most part) I want to encourage you to experiment with. They all include befriending your body.
1. Hug yourself.
You may not like that. It may sound weird. But physical contact is one of the most basic and primal needs from birth. Think about how babies grab their parents faces, fingers, and stop crying often when held (trust me I know that isn't always the case). But safe hugs are proven to slow down the nervous system. Bring connection and reassurance. So hug yourself. Go to the restroom at work and close the door. Or when you go to bed at night, or when you turn off the car before going in somewhere. If you need to; hang a post-it on your steering wheel to remind or prompt you. I used to be famous for those.
2. Shake it out.
I teach yoga and in my class I often say shake it out! And that just means to literally shake your whole body however feels good for you, not for your neighbor or what looks cool, but for you. Dogs are said to be ever in the present and one of the primary things they do is stand up and shake. If you have a dog take note of this through the week. Our lymphatic systems need movement to survive and not militant or choreographed movement, but the kind that wakes you, shakes you up and lets it all fall back where it needs to. Check out Peter Levine's work on somatic therapy and reconnecting to the body. One of my favorite books by him is "Healing Trauma". Maybe a good visual is when Denise Richards shakes her hair out in that Friends episode where she plays Ross and Monica's cousin. Her hair just all falls exactly where it needs to after she shakes it out of a towel, hair tie or clip. Let your body be how it needs to be. I love to shake it out. It is a great way to release trauma and stress and laugh with myself. I do this a lot at work in the bathroom.
3. Feel your feet.
This is so simple it might be the very hardest. Where-ever you are, all day, as often feels okay to you, check in with your feet. Shoes, no shoes, it does not matter. For example: at work I wear tennis shoes and I am very busy all day. I feel much more centered when I check in with my feet and I do it like this in my head and body. I say "I feel my feet in these shoes." And then I feel my feet in the shoes, feel the soft cushion in my shoes, the way my toes feel at the top, and while I do this I breathe in and out once deeply. I have been doing this one for five years now, so it is a reflex, but it took a large amount of mental space to get to where I am. It took a lot of work and play to integrate this one.
Writing calms my mind, brings to life my hands and connects emotions to fluidly move through my body into the universe. I keep a notepad on my phone and I write poetry ALL. THE. TIME. Again, this can be done on your bathroom break at work or after dinner too!!! Haha, lots of great things happen in my life while I am in the bathroom. Mundane life is where the magic is. Find whatever space and time you have to connect to yourself. A good place is often.....Yep, you guessed it, in the bathroom.
Once you play with these things you might find that you are having hard or difficult feelings come up. Please seek support and community and connect slowly with your body. Sometimes we carry trauma stories that need to be told. We spend so much time stuck in our minds that connecting to our body can actually frighten us and wake up the hard stuff before/during building that inner stability.
Go ahead and explore with curiosity what stability feels like in your body, in your life, in your relationships. Try to have fun and openness with this. For a long time stability in my world was long hikes barefoot, I would close my eyes and guess which tree I walked to. Then I would smile and bow to the tree introducing myself. It felt whimsical and yet steady. It felt like reclaiming my right to play and feel, knowing that who I am is what matters. Not what I do.
Thank you for reading! Cant wait to chat soon!
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