Coming to our senses without getting overwhelmed

(Click on the link to access Diane Sussmans Doorways to the Self interview with me about Cranial Nerve Sequencing. It’s free to view until May 26th!)

Dear Friends,

Does this ever happen to you:

You sit down to meditate. Within 30 seconds you receive messages of distress and discomfort from your body-brain.
Something else is needed, and this isn’t it

What can you do when the practices you rely on don’t produce the calming effect you so desperately need? I’ll answer this question to the best of my ability below.

Obviously, you are a living, constantly changing beings who need different supports moment to moment. I’m not saying that because you don’t know it, but…you may indeed need to switch up your embodiment skills to accept the challenge that presents.

Personally, I’ve found that I need to be secure enough in my knowledge base to improvise as needed for my particular body on this particular day.

Your ongoing, creative participation in your own practice is the secret sauce to success.

A certain level of scientifically grounded information is needed for you to step into this role. Now, you don’t need to know everything about your body. That would be overwhelming and is impossible. You need to know just enough so you can dive deeply in and explore on your own without getting completely lost.

If this resonates for you, I think you will love this upcoming Cranial Nerve Sequencing workshop.

I’ll educate and empower you with experience and knowledge about each cranial nerve and the sense organs that each nerve supplies. You’ll learn about the muscular activity that animates those organs, so that you can be creative and take full ownership of your own exploratory practice.

I’ll guide your practice for each nerve, with just enough specificity to get you going, but plenty of room for you to claim agency and follow your own muse.

Ample time and a little bit of patience is needed to learn and remember all of these nerves, muscles and organs. That’s why it’s a two day workshop. Each day is 4 hours of practice with plenty of short breaks for integration.

I’ve done the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to, and will give you all the visuals and basic fact sheets you need to work on your own. You will learn to engage your nervous system with nuance, depending on what’s needed.

Please note: 15% of the proceeds will go to a small project that’s dear to my heart. This campaign, hosted by Afghans for Progressive Thinking, is helping Afghan women access language education and teaching certifications. Despite the fact that the Taliban government denies them education past the 6th grade, they are organizing themselves to resist.

Sometimes you need to move and allow energy to move through your system before you can calm and center.

Or, if you are exhausted, you might might need to drop into a much more receptive state before energy starts to flow again. There is a wondrous complexity to the interplay between sense receptivity and motor control, and each cranial nerve has something to teach you about it.

For example, every time you breath in, you are smelling. One is a motor activity; one is a sensory activity.  You can enjoy the motion of breathing and be aware of subtle responses to scent. You can choose to breath deeply to inhale a lovely smell. Or, you can let the breath do itself. You will still receive the scent, perhaps with even more nuance and pleasure.

You have so many micro-choices. Those subtle choices express your deepest needs and desires in the moment. Scent itself is so deeply relational for us, it’s an entire world unto itself.

There just is no one size fits all practice. A solid knowledge of your own “body map” is so helpful in being able travel it well. The central nervous system, and in particular the cranial nerves, is one “map” that is neglected in my experience. The vagus nerve is so famous now! But there are 11 more cranial nerves and each one has something to offer.

We need a more bigger toolbox to work with when the going gets tough. And I think it’s safe to say that day has arrived.

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