- Patti Norris
Keep it Simple!
Life can feel complicated at times, can't it?
Like really complicated.
There are bills to pay, dishes in the sink, and don't even get me started on the dust-bunnies...at this point they are more like dust-elephants, but that is a conversation for another day.
In addition to all of the relatively small challenges that can present in our day-to-day lives, most of us carry some degree of trauma from our past.
In fact, some of us are still carrying around a lot of very heavy emotional baggage.
To understand the impact of this a bit better, let's talk a little bit more about trauma.
The word trauma means a lot of different things to different people. Many of us think of trauma as physical abuse, accidents, or big-ticket losses.
But the reality is that sometimes trauma can be something as seemingly innocuous as not having our emotional needs met as a child.
I want you to notice that I put seemingly in boldface there, because not having our emotional needs met as a child IS a form of trauma, and it ends up creating the blueprint for how our nervous system functions for the rest of our lives.
When we are born, our brains and nervous systems essentially act like a computer that is not programmed yet...pure potential, but a blank slate.
We then become programmed by the experiences and relationships that we experience as children. Our brains, in their predominantly delta and theta wave states that are present in early and later childhood, are highly suggestible, and take on everything that happens around us in an unfiltered manner. We learn who we are, how we fit into the world around us, and how the world is. We take it all in, and this becomes our operating system...our beliefs, cyclical thought patterns and conditioned behaviours.
Have you ever noticed that when someone says or does something that hurts you, it can feel like a very child-like part of you takes over? Maybe you get that feeling in your stomach...like someone punched you, and then you feel your eyes well up?
Or maybe you feel yourself shut down, and want to hightail it out of there. Both of these responses are a result of something that you learned earlier in your life...most likely during your childhood.
Maybe your eyes well up because the comment in your present day life feels remarkably similar to when your mom suggested to you that if you were just a little bit thinner, that dress would look really nice on you.
Or maybe you want to run away because the tone of voice your partner just used feels just like when dad got angry when you were a child, and it felt like you weren't safe.
The things we learn in childhood just keep getting recycled, over and over, regardless of whether they are accurate representations of the situation in our present day lives or not, and regardless of whether they help us to live better lives!
The good news here is that it is now possible to use the process of memory reconsolidation to update the neural networking in your brain, and essentially "rewire" yourself to feel better, more of the time.
You can learn to go back and change what your brain does with all of your traumas...the big ones, and the ones that maybe you thought of as being not so big.
You can learn to give your inner child-like parts everything that they needed back then, and in doing so, change your behaviour now, in your current life!
How cool is that?
And the even cooler thing is that when you do this, your default nervous system state changes from one of stress and anxiety to calm, cool and collected.
And after all, who doesn't want and need more of that in their lives?
So go ahead now and imagine what it would be life if you felt, calm, centred and curious more of the time.
From that place do you think it would be easier for you to remember that you are sitting on a rock that is spinning through space? On the only planet that we know of that can support life as we know it?
The chances of any of us being here are so infinitesimally small...every one of us is a miracle!
So, keep it simple.
The next time you have a chance, go outside and look up at the starry night sky.
Even if you don't really feel like it at this moment, you are a beautiful miracle. And you are getting to have the amazing experience of human life...against all odds.
If you would like to learn more about how to use memory reconsolidation to create better health and more joy and fulfillment in your life, please reach out to me at pattinorris.com
I would be honoured to be of service to you as you upgrade your nervous system, and create the best possible version of your life!