Leaning in V Stepping out

Hi my name is Zoie and I’m a runner.  Not like the marathon man kind of runner – these boobs DO NOT run and any large breasted women out there will understand what I mean.  No I mean the stepping out, splitting off and running away as a protection method kind of runner.  As a child with sexual and mental abuse trauma its been my coping and protective mechanism. 

The fight flight freeze response is an innate response in all of us, but for me, its been stuck in overdrive for more than 40 years, and has been seriously triggered for the last couple of years.  So I step out (flight).  My brain goes into overwhelm and shuts down, my ability to think clearly, make decisions, plan, focus and take action diminishes to a point where I can’t even make a decision on what to cook for dinner (freeze).  Its really not fun, but it’s been the only tools I’ve had for most of my life.

My Kinesiology journey has bought me a long way as I’ve learnt skills, techniques and different modalities; learnt from my clients on the table; had balances with trusted colleagues; balanced myself where I’ve been able to; and recently been making friends with my Australian Bush Flower Essences to support myself to try and stay present.  Sundew and me have become very good friends, along with the occasional squirt of Waratah.  Stepping out, splitting off and running away, I’ve got that down pat and I have to work really hard at staying present.  Even as I write this I am witnessing myself splitting off and getting distracted and I have to pull myself back on line.

What I’ve been working on over the past few months is not just staying present, but leaning in.  I grew up in a household that didn’t talk about feelings or emotions, so I never learnt language or skills around that or how to lean in, feel it, deal with it and heal it.  So shoving it down, stick a bin lid on it, splitting off and disconnecting from myself and reality was how I dealt with/survived my difficult environment.  My head would say it kind of works, in the short term, but my body disagrees.  Leaning in on the other hand is more uncomfortable in the short term, but allows me to honour what’s going on in my head and body, feel it, acknowledge it and make better choices about what to do next.  Then I can move through it rather than stay stuck in it or avoid it.

Leaning in is tough but what I’m learning is shame and judgement has no place in the processing of how we feel about things, there are no bad emotions, there are bad reactions to emotions, but we feel what we feel and that’s ok.  The important thing is to honour and acknowledge them.    What I’ve noticed for myself is that when I feel it and pay attention early, it doesn’t need to escalate and scream at me to get my attention.  I can feel the emotion without being the emotion.  So, witnessing and observing myself is my new challenge to self,  leaning in and working through – all part of the journey. 

Uurgh being human is tough, but being kind to yourself makes it easier.

So this is me leaning in.  If you’re a runner, welcome to the club.  If you need help leaning in, we can do it together.

Be kind to yourself.  Xx

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