2 – Attunement – learning the interface

Attunement - the dance of life

The key take-away here is: We begin learning our key beliefs about how safe we are, how valuable we are, and which strategies and communication techniques alleviate and manage fear from the moment sensations begin. Feelings of pain and fear strengthen the sensation of self as seperate and in danger. Feelings of acceptance and curiosity strengthen the sensation of self as connected, safe and valuable. Which do you suppose feels more playful and creative? Events in our lives tilt us more towards fear or towards expansiveness. Healing is about learning to create a lifestyle that reinforces safe connections. Attunement is a life-long quest to communicate without fear and neediness.

 

In the first blog I talked about aliveness, connection and worthiness. In this post I briefly discuss trauma and how processing sub-optimal experiences affects the way we communicate and the choices we make.

Over time, resistance to the feelings in our own bodies alters our body language, our posture, and our faces. Apart from driving how we spend our income and much of the free time we do get, I suspect it is the most overlooked cause of inflammation and disease. Which makes it worth understanding.

When we are less “reactive” it is easier to remain focused on the things that we are good at. Those things that make us feel alive, valuable and included. Our behavior is affected by the signals we receive from each other. We begin learning how to send and interpret those signals from when we are in the womb. Without a healing practice, we tend to become less receptive yet more “touchy” as we get older. Out most creative work is often done in our younger years.
I suspect that we store resistance to life, (fear covered by opinions) as tension in our bodies, which is why a practice of conscious un-winding, like Yoga, helps us to remain kind and effective members of our families and communities.
My personal favorite is SUP and animal type movements with body weight exercises. Eat right and repetitive motion such as “cardio” is un-nessecary.

 Getting with the program

Attunement is the name that arose from the work of the psychiatrist John Bowlby and his contemporary Donald Winnicot in the 1940’s. It describes a process that happens between newborns and their primary caretaker.

Newborns begin learning about safe and appropriate action and communication by making sounds; actions and gestures, building neural connections that mirror their caretaker. It is also when the baby begins building a “felt sense” of self. Attunement begins in the womb, and when it happens “normally”, forms the foundations for an adult who will grow up to feel safe and be well integrated into their community.

Attunement is where we begin to build our sense of self as being part of a group or tribe. It is where our nervous system first starts creating the automated responses that will shape our lives.

As we grow from baby, to child through our teenage years and into adult hood, the chances of us integrating healthily decrease with each exposure to a traumatic experience.

Contrary to popular belief, (part of the John Wayne legacy) it is not something we can tough out, instead we tend to suppress or avoid the triggers. Suppressing causes us to loose the higher emotions along with the low ones. This tends to kill our feelings of aliveness and effect our on going attunement.

Being Defensive

Automatic responses can save us from injury or death. Fight and flight reactions are given priority over other bodily functions. When something happens that over-loads our ability to understand and assimilate, when we are overwhelmed by an experience, we experience trauma and it becomes wired into our future.

Trauma’s from the past, when re-triggered, create physical reactions that range from subtle uneasiness to complete shutdown.
The key thing here, is that the experience of trauma changes both our internal and external communications. Experiencing trauma is part of ordinary life, we usually only address it when the dysfunction it creates becomes unbearable for those around us.

Healing Trauma with Focused Movement

Traumas may trigger thoughts, images and even flashbacks; but they are stored in the body. They exist because they have become part of our autonomic nervous system, below and before our prefrontal cortex. It seems that focusing on movement can reset those pathways and re-map how we are wired. There are many modalities for re-attuning ourselves. If we can understand their core principles, we may be able to develop extremely powerful, yet simple routines for returning to full aliveness.

Simply exercising has benefits. What really empowers movement, is focus in a state of acceptance, especially in situations that require balance and reward optimal posture. I will be exploring this in depth, these early blogs are background information so that we understand the challenges to freedom.

 

Waxing lyrical

The ocean can never replace your mother, but she is moving to the heat of our sun, and the beat of our moon. From the gravity of heavenly bodies to a passing cloud, myriad forces form coherent lines. To be cancelled in turbulence against the constraints of distant shores. Both oxygenating the sea and allowing the possibility of stillness and serenity to return.

Research notes:
Trauma is a vast subject and a rather intimate one to discuss. I can not do it justice in a few paragraphs, nor am I qualified to. Bessel van der Kolt MD, in his book, “The body Keeps the Score” presents the most comprehensive overview that I have read so far. Peter Levine also has an understanding built on a wealth of experience. Both of these doctors continue to study, try new things and publish their findings. Freemocean is not about trauma, it is about receiving clean data from nature, so that we may use energy more effectively.

1 – Aliveness – we can’t think happy, but we can feel it.

Freemocean - focused high quality movements that challenge our balance and our opinions

Happiness, Aliveness and Connection

The key take-away here is: The main drive of a human is to feel safe, the way we feel safe is to feel valuable, attention from others alleviates the fear of not being safe by making us feel valuable, but it is short lived. When we do feel safe, then we may notice the startling beauty of the world in the unique way that only you can experience. Expressing your unique perspective fearlessly is what you are here for, doing so allows others to relax. You see where this goes?

The greater part of our happiness revolves around feeling valuable and worthy of connection to our tribes, (families, social groups, co-workers etc.)
The quest for worthiness, lead’s us to try and, do more, have more, be more, produce and sell more. This may leave us  feeling ashamed when we fail, smug when we succeed, but rarely contented.

While watching our daughter when, she was a toddler, I wondered what our natural state was, before we tried to improve it.  She could dance, skip, jump and twirl, but had way too much energy, to simply walk. She was not always happy, but she was fully alive.

As we go through life, we experience rude shocks and gather strong opinions about all sorts of things. Both of which give rise to uncomfortable emotions. In suppressing or avoiding these inner sensations, we loose our aliveness. I will explore this briefly over the next posts.

We seek connection to our families, friends and co-workers, to be appreciated for who we are and what we do. Being able to offer value helps us to find acceptance mirrored back to us, in the words, faces and body language of those we respect. We may experience this sense of worthiness; to the degree we believe we deserve it.

I have caught myself, and I have seen others seeking attention, so many times, but what is it we are looking for? Impressive deeds, tireless work, service to others or simple obedience, may win the respect of the tribe. Even then, we still may not allow ourselves to relax and feel worthy of receiving validation and the connection that seams to go with it.

Perhaps the experience of connection is the feeling of aliveness? (Notice I said feeling? “thinkings” can never be validated experientially)  Maybe it has less to do with our achievements, of what other people think, and everything to do with the way we allow ourselves to feel and accept what is happening in and around us. The way we receive, perceive and respond to the signals from our environment determines how free we are to feel alive. It is hard to feel anything when we are tense. Could it be, that we experience aliveness to the degree that we allow connection, to feel the good, the great the not so hot.

To avoid inflammation, accept information

We are organisms comprised of trillions of interacting cells, all operating in a richly bio-diverse environment. Our nervous systems require accurate and timely information from our environment to keep us functioning effectively. That information comes to us through our 5 senses; our stories about what that information may give rise to emotions. These emotions send signals outwards to those around us and inwards to the automatic parts of our nervous systems. This communication determines how both other people and our own bodies respond. Not only to what is happening, but also to the meanings we make about what is happening.

I used to think that diet and environmental toxins were the dominant factors causing inflammation. Now I am starting to wonder it if it is in fact the stories we carry, that create and maintain habitual levels of restriction in our bodies.

The internal communication, (between our cells, organs and organs systems) and our external communication, between individuals, families, cultures and economies, determines our health. When looked at through the lens of nature, processing information healthily, may bridge the gaps between ecology and economy. Exploring the way we perceive and how that makes us feel, is a journey, not so much to improve ourselves, but rather in coming to know ourselves as we are.

Freemocean is not so much about acquiring, but more about letting go of that which is stopping flow, creating inflammation and blocking our aliveness.

Focusing on movements that challenge our balance and test our posture allows us to revisit and release some of this sub-optimal base-line tension. Thankfully it is a subtractive process, it is an allowing. For in accepting what is, we begin releasing our stories and our tensions. The less there is to defend, the more aliveness returns.