“When we are anchored, we have a sense of being safely held so we can venture out without becoming adrift. We are connected to a state of regulation and have room to explore the world around us.”– Deb Dana
In this episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I talk about the themes and topics we will explore on the podcast and in The Haven during Autumn 2023.
Drifting Into Another Wake-Up Call
I look at the clock. It’s too early to be called tomorrow but too late to describe it as last night. A swirling limbo. The moment that catches me off guard. Drifting between worlds. It is sprung by the alarm bells ringing in my head. I’m mobilised yet unanchored, unable to stem or redirect the flow of thoughts that begin to flood my body.
What am I ready for? What could my nervous system be preparing me to react to at this hour?
I pause to observe the feelings accompanying this shift in state. They’re hard to decipher. Flitting all over the place. I can’t keep up. As I try to shut this down, I sense my breath quicken, and my heart beat faster. Checking behind and beneath every rock of thought I encounter, I frantically search for the source of this mobilised state. There’s nothing obvious.
Eventually, it becomes clear. It’s…EVERYTHING. An undecipherable swirl of all the stuff my body holds as some threat. All the news stories, open loops, regrets, worries, intentions, expectations, unresolved requests, things I shouldn’t have said, something I should have said, replies I need to send, relationships I have neglected, opportunities I’ve missed, things I forgot to do.
Whoa! You have found everything…thanks, brain! No, wait, you probably haven’t. This is only the surface. Imagine what else is lurking beneath that you haven’t yet dredged up. Can we do that another time?
Anchoring in Uncertain Times
“When the inner workings of our biology are a mystery, we feel as if we’re at the mercy of unknown, unexplainable, and unpredictable experiences. Once we know how our nervous system works, we can work with it. As we learn the art of befriending our nervous system, we learn to become active operators of this essential system.”– Deb Dana
We live in unpredictable times. So many aspects of the world feel uncertain and like they are rapidly drifting, leaving our bodies in a perpetual underlying state of stress. We’re regularly sleepwalking through the motions, trying to control/dominate each other (and ourselves), and attempting to maintain business as usual in highly unusual circumstances.
The way we react to unprecedented situations can create a domino effect. If we are not responding from a state of safety and connection, we can often worsen the problem (or create new ones altogether).
If you’ve ever panicked about being late for something, you might be familiar with this problem. As you rush to get ready to leave the house, you become more clumsy, forgetful, and unable to perform simple tasks effectively. You take the stressed feeling on your journey with you and arrive at the destination flustered and unable to focus.
I don’t know about you, but parts of the world feel like this to me right now. And we could benefit from taking a moment to re-anchor ourselves.
There were similar responses to the Autumn survey, with people sharing their struggles with slowing down, letting go, and focusing on what they know is the healthiest path to follow.
One thing is clear. Anchoring is essential right now. It can help us feel “safe enough to fall in love with life and take the risks of living”.
Befriending The Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system can be the root of life’s challenges for many highly sensitive people. It can get frazzled by the overload of information through the widened sensory aperture and deep processing of everything that pours in.
In Anchored: How To Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory, Deb Dana helps us recognise and name the sounds, signs, and feelings associated with different states of our autonomic landscape. She provides a range of practical exercises to help us map our way through the states, with a pathway home to connection and safety.
These playful prompts give us the creative tools to reroute from adaptive protection patterns onto a pathway home to connection. We will be reading Anchored in The Haven Book Club this season. Find out more here.
“The role of the autonomic nervous system is to store, conserve, and release energy to help us safely move through our daily lives.”– Deb Dana
Try The Haven
In addition to exploring Anchored in the Haven Book Club, we will creatively build on the exercises in our forums and other live happenings. By developing personal anchors, we can connect with the world in healthy, meaningful, and sustainable ways. This gives us the energy, calm, and perspective to focus on what matters most.
The new season kicks off in September. Come and look around The Haven Village with a free 7-day trial. Join us here.
Check out the upcoming Sound Anchor dates in The Harbour.