Welcome! We are continuing on with last weeks' introduction to the Axis of Healing and Success. This week we are covering the nervous system(s).
This is a very detailed breakdown of the nervous system's role in healing and creating success. I cover the role of early development and the Nervous System, Polyvagal Theory, Mental Conditioning, and Role our parents and caregiver's play in shaping how our nervous system(s) function.
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So today we are focusing on the top left corner on the axis of healing that I introduced last week. So you will want to go to the previous episode and listen to that and get the image of the axis so that you understand what this is all about.
Because it’s a diagram with a horizontal line and a vertical line that cross each other just like an axis.
And this is based on the fact that there is more to you than your intellectual or cognitive or conscious intelligence.
And so there’s four squares - nervous system, psyche and mental systems, emotional systems and spiritual systems. These are separate and yet interconnected systems that really have to be in alignment in order for us to integrate and heal our internal world and manage our internal state. Not perfection, just a state of healing, a lifestyle of healing.
So you’ll want to go to the show notes if you’re not driving or cleaning or doing something that requires your undivided attention and take a look at the axis of healing.
And today we are talking about the nervous system. And we can look at the nervous system as a coding system - an imprinting system. And the nervous system is the place where we experience on a physiological level, right the level of the body - this is the place we experience and embody the changes we are making and the healing we are experience. Okay - healing is not just mental and it’s not just spiritual. It involves our very beautiful and divine nervous system.
So, quite simply - at the base level - the nervous system is the body’s regulatory system. And this is both conscious and unconscious - different nervous systems we are conscious of and others we are not and thank God we’re not - like we don’t have to think about breathing or metabolizing. That’s a process that’s happening whether we’re conscious of it or not.
So - the nervous system is the body’s own internal adaptor. And our nervous system is connected to every part of our body. Our brains, our eyes, our organs, our metabolism, our blood flow. It’s all connected to the nervous system.
Now - remember we are a system within systems. So - we have our central nervous system, our peripheral nervous system - our peripheral system is where our autonomic nervous system is and within our autonomic nervous system we have multiple branches (parasympathetic and sympathetic systems )
It’s really important to have a base level understanding of this for healing because we’ve been so focused on the brain - but we also have to understand that the brain is receiving signals from the nervous system it is not just sending signals.
A few key things about the nervous system:
1) We are not born with mature nervous systems. Our nervous system borrows from our parents/caregivers' nervous systems and it will develop from there. Our nervous system is literally primed by our caregivers. Therefore it is coded in before we are verbal and before we are conscious.
2) Much of our responses are unconsciously driven by the level of safety or danger we feel inside this system.
3) Healing the nervous system is restoring a state of healthy flow to the system
4) Mental Conditioning often inhibits the natural healing flow of our nervous system
5) Our nervous system is not meant to be under stress at all times. It helps us survive, but we are designed to release the survival stress and come back into a state of rest and digest
6) Polyvagal theory discusses the fact that there is more than one system
7) Ventral Vagal vs Dorsal Vagal (two tones)
8) We don’t want to use the mind to control our nervous system. We want to use our mind to understand and explore it.
So what we want to understand when we’re stuck in this state that many high performers are in is really, What it means to be living in fear. When we are living in fear we are living in these survival states that are happening at the physiological level. That is why we don’t just rely on the mind for healing - the mind is a part of it. But it needs to be in balance. It needs to be in alignment. When we’re talking about our emotional selves right - we need to understand the emotional connection to the nervous system and where some of these intense emotions are coming from when we get waves of them. And really - I believe the nervous system is the way we have grounded spirituality - protecting us from ideologies and spiritual stuff that is not truly grounded. Because remember the body is the container. Right we are living in these bodies walking around with sweat and blood running through our veins and breath in our lungs for a reason. It’s not coincidental that we are here in these bodies - they have a role - our physiology has a role. And when we can reverence that, we can have a much more well-rounded and balanced feel-good approach to healing and personal development. You know we’re not here trying to sanitize our humanity away. We’re not here to become you know spiritual angels. We are human beings. And that - the physiology of that. The immense beauty and complexity of that is divine in and of itself.
Okay - so we’ll end the week here guys - next week we will talk about the psyche and mental systems.