Survival and Contracting
Survival throws us into a state of contraction. When you are worried about whether you can have a roof over your head and food to eat, the body tenses, the mind worries, and our emotions run riots of fear. If your body gets scared because someone else’s driving puts you in physical danger, your body goes contracted. Energy condenses and you pull inward when you are in survival. Muscles go tight. Thinking gets rigid. Feelings wrap us in strangulation. Everything contracts in survival. This is existing in survival consciousness.
No matter how much you may want to feel positive and optimistic, when your body, mind and feelings are in survival and contracting, it is very difficult to reach for positive thoughts. It is helpful to know about this state of survival, because if you can recognize it, then you do some things to help yourself move.
The first step is Recognition. “Oh. This is a survival state. My body mind and feelings are doing what they do when they are in survival.” This may be fight, or flight or paralysis. If your natural instincts are to fight when you are in survival, you can move easier. When you have anger there is more movement than when you have fear. Anger is actually movement up the emotional scale away from depression, worry and despair. Inventory what your body, mind and feelings do when they get scared so you will know and recognize when you have tipped into survival.
Acceptance is the second step. “Of course my body would tense up, and I would worry if I don’t have enough money for gas to get to work.” “Of course I get scared and angry if someone tailgates me closely. Of course I get scared or angry when I am in survival.”
Reassurance and comfort can be an essential third action step. “I’m OK. Things usually work out. I’m an adult and I can be creative and figure out something here. I can pray. I can ask for help. I can talk to another person. There is always some resource available to me.”
“I can breathe. I can relax. I can soothe my body, mind, and feelings. That part of me feels really small, and reacts in tension, but there is more to me than a scared part, or a child like part. I don’t have to have all the answers now. All I need to do is become aware that I am in contraction. I am in survival. Once I recognize that, I can begin to accept where I am and relax. As I reassure myself and remember that I have gotten out of these places before, my body relaxes, my mind lets go, and my feelings unwind. Then I am available to take even more action steps because I am moving out of contraction. The way becomes easier when I move out of survival awareness, and I can access more of myself.”
This kind of self talk gives your body mind and emotions reassurance. It is a helpful way to move out of survival thinking, feeling and acting.
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