being human,  embodiment

My Journey to Healing

This journey to heal myself has been a winding road indeed. I’m not done yet, but a great many things are making a lot of sense. Becoming sober curious has shed light on things I couldn’t see, as has counseling and all of the embodiment work I’ve done in the last year. But learning about my brain throughout the last month has been the most eye-opening of all.

The results of my quantitative EEG were telling, though not surprising. Overactive beta waves as well as underactive delta, theta, alpha and high beta waves revealed what I’d suspected, an overactive limbic system. I’m working with a naturopath to eliminate high blood pressure medicine from daily life, but doing so will require other supplements because of dietary and environmental deficiencies that are inherent in America. It will also require a complete lifestyle shift. I’ve made lots of changes over the last few months, why not a few more?

I met with a neurologist on Friday; he wanted to prescribe me a ‘full brain treatment package.’ It occurred to me that I could do it all, or I could choose to take even more matters into my own hands. I elected to combine a portion of his protocol with a few commonsense changes of my own.

Essentially my overactive limbic system is a result of faulty cross wiring in my brain. The good news is that this cross wiring is not permanent, because neuroplasticity, y’all. This week’s big ‘a ha’ was that trauma is at the root of my current wiring, and that the longer it’s run the more it’s become an ingrained pattern. I can and need to break this pattern.

I’ve compartmentalized life for the longest time now; I couldn’t figure out how to flip the switch. I became a yoga teacher in 2007 so I could flip that switch and it worked for a while but I still felt the angst when working with clients in the digital media space. (Teaching yoga and performing digital media tasks require two completely different skill sets — and two completely different parts of my brain.)

Fast forward to the last year, I began to feel the way I did way back when, when I decided to mostly teach yoga, but I no longer wanted to teach yoga that much. I like my job. I like my life, but I knew that something about the stress had to give.

Further investigation uncovered the fact that my stress is almost entirely self-made. At times it comes from the outside, but almost always it’s rising from within. A need to accomplish, do well, be seen, to feel worthy is at the root of it — and all of that comes from past trauma and a rut/groove in my brain or samskara that I’ve never been able to break free from.

I’ve told my Synchronicity Coach, Cynthia, about the ways I sabotage myself for the last year. It’s true. I have. We’ve done work together to outsmart my saboteur but it turns out my brain is at the root of her.

Long story short, brain rehabilitation has begun and I’m adding additional simple self-healing modalities to every day life to work my way through it.

What do those consist of?

  1. Hiking (physical exercise and being in nature)
  2. Affirmations
  3. Gratitude journaling
  4. Everyday embodiment exercises and somatic meditations
  5. Smiling, even at the sake of looking stupid or crazy, lol
  6. Chanting
  7. Stroop Effect exercises & coloring with my non-dominant hand (to shift brain circuitry)
  8. Eating healthy foods every day
  9. Laughter yoga
  10. DNRS exercises
  11. Limiting screen time (including social media!)
  12. Brain health supplements

I am also pretty clear on the ways I’ll begin to combine my passions … writing, poetry, embodiment, flowers, being in nature … and it goes back to a seed I planted several years ago that never knew how to grow. I believe now it does. More to come on that in a later post.