Self-Regulation with Nature Connection & Somatic Therapies
Anxiety and Depression became such a debilitating experience for me it called for self medicating with drugs and alcohol. The price was great and eventually I had to find a more natural and somatic way to assist in my own self regulation, strengthening my ability to tolerate greater discomfort, working with my autonomic nervous system directly.
Slowing down, I walk like a fox with my bare feet landing mindfully, eyes softly gazing in what’s known as owl or wide angle vision. All this causing my ripple of disturbance to withdraw and bubble of awareness to expand. I am beginning to drop into the baseline of nature. Birds are singing and calling, winds through the hemlocks and pines are making themselves known and the light is highlighting spiderwebs and landscapes normally shadowed and hidden. I can feel my heart rate slowing and blood pressure changing. As my mind unwinds I am able to receive more data and information regarding this landscape both outward and inwardly. My nervous system feels able to handle this with greater ease. I am now a welcomed guest in the more than human world and life goes on as if I were not there. I am one with it.
With no true destination I eventually land at my Sit Spot location by a vibrant waterfall and begin to invite the symphony of sounds in, as well as the mist softening my skin like silky pearls of cool moisture. My arrival is calming and exhilarating in tandem with one another. When my mind wanders, it seeks answers and curiously questions my safety. I draw my nervous curiosity back again and again to the current of information passing through my senses. The sounds, sights and textures allow me to enter liminal time or space between ordinary moments of not knowing where I’m going. This is the journey of daily recovery and returning home to the nature of my being and surroundings. I settle in gently.
Among the tools of Nature walks, paddle board meditations and kayak sit spots, I also enter the body and it’s field of sensational messages whenever I choose to receive the work of TRE or Tension/Trauma-Releasing Exercises to greatly reduce anxiety, back pain and insomnia. This technique can be done in roughly an hour from beginning to end and has been a go-to for me in times of need. I use what I know about nature, nurture and healing to be present inside my yoga flow practice. I attempt to stay within my window of tolerance so that I don’t dissociate from my body and potentially hurt myself or practice suffering.
My Daily Dose of Wellness comprises of small, realistic techniques or changes that don’t take much time and don’t overwhelm. The Japanese term I learned for it is Kaizen, or a “small good change”.
Allow me to introduce you to some of these techniques if you struggle with anxiety, depression, pain management and sleeplessness as I did. These sessions can be in person at a studio, or in Nature.
I use Zoom for the more somatic therapies like TRE and Yoga for distance learning sessions.