Your Nervous System Wants to Feel Safe
When yogi, and personal guru, Ally Bogard told us that our nervous systems want to feel safe during Sakara’s first group meditation, we had to learn more. So, we sat her down, lit some candles, and started to dig deep.
Yesterday might not have been the best day of your life. Maybe you didn’t like how your jeans felt on your body, or how you lost your temper with a co-worker. Or maybe you rushed through dinner, checking your phone every other bite instead of enjoying your partner (or yourself). It might not have been your best day, but you made it through alive.
Our miraculous bodies were built to feel amazing, to float on the energy that surrounds the Earth and sing from the tips of our mitochondria to the tops of our toes. Yet, too often, our bodies just...don’t. Our eating habits, (lack of) exercise, or defeating thoughts land us in less-than-ideal states that create the need for real change.
You tell yourself all the time you need to move more, eat greener, or just breath deeper.
But any change, even a positive one, is hard on your body. A shift in habits can easily freak out our delicate systems, so it's important to make sure your body feels safe. It needs to know it will be able to keep you alive and healthy even as your habits change.
“We cannot underestimate the value of safety,” Ally told us.
“The most important thing to do when you change a pattern is build self-trust.”
When you commit to meditating for 15 minutes a day, taking 4 yoga classes a week or just squatting it out every morning, the most important element is following through. Committing to an action, and then completing it, allows your body to learn what to expect and then feel safe within those parameters.
Now, following through is the hardest part of the equation for many well-intentioned plans. Old, sneaky sabotage patterns come into play. Ally says the key to beating these often unconscious patterns, it to make the want big enough to mitigate these responses. By focusing on what you want, whether it’s more energy or tighter buns, you are more able to overlook the smaller distractions.
Next time you feel a sabotaging emotion come up, try saying: “Thank you. You served me, but I don’t need you any more.” Release the emotion and react with love.
And, the next time you go to create some change in your life, make sure it is gentle, consistent, and sustainable, so that you protect your body along the way.
Your body keeps you safe, it's only fair that you return the favor.