Resilience Through The Power of Presence, Part 2
As you recall, the primitive brain speaks the language of sensations. The human 5 senses are: sight, touch, taste, smell, sound.
Exercise: Communicating With Your Primitive Brain
Building a new vocabulary
- Quiet: Find a quiet and comfortable place, sit or lie down with no distraction
- Feel: Take 1 minute to notice how your body feels, with no judgement
- Focus: Choose a part of your body to focus on this step. Perhaps somewhere comfortable, not painful. Describe 3 sensations you feel
For example, “as I sit in my favorite chair with the sun shining through the window and onto my forearm, it feels warm, the knit sleeves on the forearm feels bumpy, the armrest my forearm resting on feels soft”.
In the above example, the descriptive sensation used was warm, bumpy and soft. As you feel the sensation in your body, tune into the body experience. Sensation must be experienced to get to the primitive brain. With practice, this could take a minute or less.
What you have just done is to communicate with the your primitive brain that present moment is SAFE. Your primitive brain will then receive the signals and think, “Oh, is that all? You are just feeling warm, bumpy and soft? Okay then, I (primitive brain) will go back to sleep”.
Now that you have hit the snooze button on the primitive brain, your rational brain wakes up automatically and allows for rational thinking and your ability to problem solving is activated. Your ability to come up with creative solutions in challenging times will become easier and sleep will be “allowed”
Practice this exercise as many times as you can over the next 2 days. Remember, it is a new language, the more often you practice, the easier it gets. In the next exercise, you will be shown something called pendulation to help you when you are in the middle of distress.
Questions you can ask yourself:
- How does the surface you are sitting or laying on feel?
- How do your clothes feel on your skin?
- How does the pillow feel with your head resting on it?
- How does the floor / grass / soil feel when you feet are in contact with it?
- hot / warm / cold / cool / icy
- smooth / soft / fuzzy
- rough / bumpy / prickly
- sharp / dull / pokey
- hard / soft / squishy
- light / heavy / strong
- scratchy / silky / slippery
- calm / relax / tight / tense
- empty / full
- flowing / stuck
Here is a list of sensory words to get you started in building your own list: