One of the things that really concerns me right now is how fraught with fear we are becoming. Fear has always been a prominent emotion. After all, our nervous system is wired to look for cues of danger.
For most of us, our ability to rise above this tendency, as well as our resiliency, are reduced. I write this so that we can each be reminded of the importance to keep our nervous systems as calm as possible, even during these incredibly challenging times. Regardless of our faith or ethnicity we have had difficult histories – some more challenging, some during certain times. Even though we did not live through those histories personally, we are affected. This is referred to as ancestral, or generational, trauma. We carry these traumas and wounds within us in addition to the intuitive need to look for danger. No wonder we have such a tendency to be anxious, worried and even fearful.
The current world events are frightening. Yet, we cannot respond most effectively if we do not stay grounded and calm. (Looking for proof of this concept? As examples, reflect on surgeons in the operating room who encounter a medical crisis, or the pilot Sully Sullenberger who landed his plane safely on the Hudson River. If they had responded in panic, the outcome would not likely have been successful.)
I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to calm our panicked nervous systems, but I do encourage you to continue to learn ways to do so. Each time you practice a technique, you are reinforcing your parasympathetic system’s ability to calm yourself down, and each time that offers the potential for it to be a little easier the next time.
Why should you do this practice? Well, it’s really hard on the body to be in fight and flight for long periods of time. Also, it feels really awful!!!
And here is another important reason: The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is fear. [Read more…]