short story about stress, the body, and how to overcome challenges in this time.

Our current personal and global situation is uncertain.
Uncertainty can easily arouse the nervous system.
Arousal of the nervous system uses energy and can be taxing on the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the individual.

Arousal is another term for stress. Arousal is a good neutral term. Because stress is not always deleterious. There are beneficial stressors that create growth. Just as in weight-lifting we need resistant to build muscle. Stress becomes noxious when it is too severe, too prolonged, and unmanageable.

Stress effects every system of the body differently, and it is important to be able to identify where stress is affecting your body.

Let’s divide the body into 6 major zones:

  1. Legs
  2. Pelvis
  3. Core
  4. Chest + arms
  5. Neck
  6. Head/face

Let’s also consider the holistic view of the individual as a being composed of 4 parts: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.

The optimal condition of our body is when we are balanced among these 4 parts, and when there is health and good energy flow between the 6 major zones.

Energy flow is a great way to think about health.
When your life has flow, you live in a good way.
When the body is in motion, and when all the 6 major zones have circulation and energy flowing through them, you feel well.

Conversely, when we feel stressed, we contract and hold tension.
The question is….
Which zone is holding tension? Perhaps all of them….

Because the body and the mind are one, one of the fasted ways to a healthy mind is a healthy body.

So then, therapeutic movements can be applied to create energy flow among these 6 major zones which will benefit the whole system. I’m sure you can think of a time when you were stressed and you went for a walk, run, or played a sport and you felt better after.

Simply becoming aware of where you hold tension and intuitively moving, stretching, or dancing can often create a shift.

but, consider this… The mind is the body, and emotions also live in the body.
These 6 major zones all hold a wealth of mental content (beliefs and stories), and stored emotion. As a quick example, say you are in traffic in the morning…and you become frustrated for the next 6 hours. The traffic was the stimulus that caused the emotional stessor that was created within you…though you left the traffic (stimulus) the emotional charge remained held in you (holding unprocessed emotion).

It is possible to hold emotions for days, weeks, and a lifetime. Much of who we are is a result of the early emotional experiences we had when we were children.
So then, emotions are also held in each of these major zones… so it’s not just about moving the body..but expressing and releasing emotions and attachment to stories, beliefs, and investing in what you want, over what is real.

Let me share a story now…

Caz is a movement and breath teacher.
He has just received notification that his government is mandating a mandatory ruling that all individuals are to be vaccinated if they are to enter non-essential places of business and gathering. He is shocked and confused as to how they can simply place such a order….he is worried about his future which is now uncertain and he is concerned with his community, who will all be effected.

When we experience stress related to safety, the 1st zone and our legs + adrenals begin to dysregulate and increase cortisol (stress hormones). So long as the stressor is unmanaged, cortisol will constantly drip and become like a poison to the body and mind. This may show up as an inability to experience calm, and wobbliness in our legs.

When Caz goes into his community he encounters a range of individuals…some are welcoming of discourse and discussion, others are quick to express emotion and prevent discourse. This incoming emotional energy may cause him to not speak his truth. Speaking our truth is related to our 5th zone, which is the throat and thyroid gland. When we hold our tongue back we constrict our throat and prevent energy flow and health here. This may prevent the connection between head and heart (thought and feeling).

By stepping out of our truth we give away our power. Our power is related to our 3rd zone, our stomach and our digestion. When we give away our power by making disempowering choices, like not standing up for our truth, we dissociate from this part of the body and it becomes prone to unconsciousness. When the stomach becomes unconscious we detach from our enteric nervous system which helps us make intuitive decisions, and will often lead individuals to over-eat to tranquilize the unprocessed emotion in the stomach.

When an individual over-eats they often create stagnation in the digestive system which effects zone 2, the pelvis and lower digestive tract. This area has a lot to do with our 1 on 1 relationships, emotional expression, our creative expression, and sexuality. In the above scenario…Caz has become stressed for his security, out of his power, distanced from his truth…so motivated to be present in his relationships do you think he is?

This is just an example of a series of events that can quickly cause dysregulation in every major zone and endocrine gland in the body. This can all happens in a short amount of time, even if you exercise, eat well, and do yoga and meditation regularly.

A way forward…

We can heal our body by finding balance. In the above scenario, if Caz was able to find a way to accept his situation, he may relieve some of the external pressures. To accept a situation does not require we fix the external problems…it’s an internal shift.

We can make internal shifts in our thinking, in our body, and the way energy moves through us…this is known as self-regulation. The practices of breathwork, yoga, dance, etc are self-doctoring techniques to teach people how to heal themselves, empower themselves, and become resilient.

If Caz chooses to feel all the emotions associated with his stress and then release them….they are gone. Just as you can be in traffic and not become stressed, so too we can change our perception and overcome our environment…it’s why humans have evolved to where we are today.

If Caz can move his body and create energy flow again, he can restore his energy. It can be hard to do this alone, and community is important. Having someone to hold the space creates safety and if they are well-trained they can guide you into your body to places you may not be aware are holding tension.

It begins with a commitment to overcome. It requires following through and being willing to heal and move forward without needing it to look a certain way. It often involves overcoming the comfort zone. Surrendering the avoidance patterns we all have. Putting in the effort to get the body moving even when it becomes frozen.

But, your not alone. We are ALL in this together. And we heal together because we are one.

There is no limitation as to what the body can heal. There is no challenge we cannot overcome. There is no night so dark, the sun won’t rise again.
So then, these words are an offering and a call for you to bring into greater awareness where stress may be held in your body. It is an encouragement to begin to empower your decisions and become resilient. It is a call to come together in your community.

I will be putting on weekly by donation healing circles to help support in this time.

I don’t have the answers. No one person does… no one government knows best. My way forward in within. So I turn to love and connection and my community, and I do what I do best, I offer my service and share my truth.

Please reach out if you need support, if your looking for online or in-person healing, or if you’d like more information about the weekly circles.

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