Fight, Flight, Freeze…
We all have these moments and it can be how we deal with it that shapes the way we ‘turn-up’ in our next moment.
As a teacher of young children and those with special needs; I am experienced in dealing with others panic attacks, anxiety, dread and fear; but not so much my own – as it turned out!
Over the years I had discovered how ‘water’ soothed a disturbed child and I employed its healing therapy frequently.
Within minutes the distressed child would be focussed, quiet and sometimes even beginning to play!
How did I work this magic with these kids? With water.
A disressed child often needs you to get down to their eye level – physically so you are eyeball-to-eyeball and they can see you see them; they need to be held not tightly but firmly enough that they know you have ‘got them’, and they need soothing sounds coos and ummms; ommms and humms –
the soft almost inaudible sounds coupled with the vibration speak to their heart, and mind and communicate more clearly than words.
Then water…take the child to a tap, a pool, a fountain any where there is accessible water (i.e. you can easily touch it); make sure the temperature is OK and hold their hands under the water, spread their fingers out so it runs between them, turn the hands over and over so palm and back of hand are wetted equally,
in moments the fridgid ridigity of their little body will soften,
their fingers will move and wriggle, the feel and sound and possibly the ions from the water are taking effect. It is worth staying there for ‘longer’ than you think necessary; this therapy is soothing them and you too.
Being responsible for a seriously or even mildly distresssed child wrenches your heart and torments your mind – so you need this too!
At some point you can relax and move away a little; the child may continue to engage with the water or they may move away with you – either way they will be calmer.
So back to an adult in distress!
My partner ‘sent’ me to have a shower – a very wise move! However the adrenaline pumping through my system meant I was moving at warp speed – so three minutes later scrubbed and pink I stepped out of the shower, briskly dried myself and marched out of the bathroom to continue to do ‘war’ with the stimulus of my distress…
He was on the right track and we both learned something! What I have since learned and applied that worked better would have been to have been told (if you don’t have a loving other or someone who ‘knows’ how to advise you – you need to do this for yourself – maybe make a note and place it prominantly to the place you hang while raging to remind you while you are in the rage); to
“Go and have a shower for at least ten minutes; and don’t get out until I tell you;” tagged on might have met with some scowling but would have been an effective ‘management strategy’.
Now, along with candles (lighter) and aromatherapy oils and epsom salts we have a timer in the bathroom – specifically for moments of distress.
You see I am ‘parenting-parents’ and like the parent of a child or teenager I expect there could be more stressful days!
But whatever you are doing there is always that unexpected day that throws the whole book at you … and it is better to prepare in advance for dealing with these days.
So back to the bathroom – if possible light the candles, get the aromatherapy mister going with a suitable calming oil – cammomile is good, dim or turn off lights and turn the timer on 10-20 mins at least. I usually have ‘short’ showers so 10 mins is long for me but you figure what works for you.
Strip off – step into the shower and stand there, (Note: you are not ‘washing’ yourself at least not in the soap and loofah kind of way)…
breathe the moist air in taking longer, slower breaths each time … and just feel the water, then start to move the water over and on you, use your hands to massage the water from the face to the feet and back up at least three times, play the water on your back directly warming the spine and stretch up, then bend forward, arch back a little –
get the spine doing a little series of tiny but perceptable undulations – the spine is a prime mover in carrying all our bodies messages in every direction.
Cry and cry and cry if you want bury your face in the water splash it on your face, let it rain on top of your head – feel it cascading around and down from the Crown Chakra…see your grief, pain, anger, frustration – ‘suffering’, sloughing off and disappearing in the drain pipe to be composted into new energies by a loving ‘Mother Earth – Gaia’.
Start watching the water, catch its crystalline sparkles, imagine each drop as a prism full of healing rainbows the spectrum of energy from every colour healing you.
Taste the water, swill it around in your mouth and spurt it out, dribble it out, spit it out or drink the water; feel it enter your body trace its journey.
Once you start to become still sit on the bath or shower floor directly under the cascading water and meditate, let feelings up and out…give thanks…don’t have any expectation of ‘knowing’ or ‘figuring the crap’ out just observe what arises and how you feel – like really feel – in the body and name that stuff and see it washing down the drainpipe, composting away, freed and renewed into beauty by Gaia.
When you feel ready to step out of the shower Don’t!!!
Hint here: just as with a child in distress take another few minutes maybe 5 after you first feel the urge to step out, chances are if you have done all the above your timer will have already gone off – but that is OK –
80% of healing has a lot to do with ‘showing up’ and ‘sitting with’ and that is what you are doing in this wonderful watery healing environment.
After that final 5 minutes step out and simply wrap a big towel, fluffy if you have one; around your body, wrap your head in a turban, dry the feet and wrap legs in another towel like a sarong…
keep the warmth in and again sit, and breathe – don’t dry yourself.
Move slowly, if it is possible go to your bed and lay on top of it or crawl in if the urge strikes you. Rest; follow the breath and gift any thoughts to the Universe for now always returning to the breath.
If you feel like it, drink some warm herbal tea or a chai, or soup.
Now is the time to do ‘nothing’ just be.
When you are ready – start to re-engage with life. Maybe tomorrow after a sleep or the restful lowered night energies bathe you; (if you are having difficulty sleeping just bathe in the night energy the ‘prana’). Or later – it doesn’t matter when; take your time, life and its entourage will be there – there is no rush –
seriously there is no r-u-s-h…no r—u—s—h at all.
Susan Pryor; Wild Woman Alchemist, Holistic Medicine Mother, teacher, professor, therapist in holistic healing arts.
Photos: Pixabay & Susan Pryor
“In fact, every home has a built in natural ionizer — the shower” (Web MD)
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