I pushed myself fucking hard this month.
I have been living almost 24/7 outside of my comfort zone.
And I paid the price for it. We talk about how important and great it is to “push yourself out of your comfort zone” but we don’t talk about how doing that can very easily trigger a stress response in your nervous system. Yes, it’s important for growth, but there needs to be gentleness to it.
Last week I did a lot, but I didn’t really realize it at the time because it was all good stuff. It wasn’t like I was stressing about taxes, or fighting with my partner.
I was doing personal work, growing my business, & putting myself out there.
But all of that was still activating, and my system didn’t really have an opportunity to regulate in between the activities. So then suddenly I crashed & I spent 2 days in bed when it was all over.
A deep freeze response to balance out the intensity of the weeks before. (AKA “Burn out”)
And what really sucks is that those 2 days in bed didn’t reeaally feel super restful.
The morning after my 2 days rest period I felt scattered and overwhelmed. I felt pressure to do things but I didn’t know where to start. My brain felt really fuzzy, resulting in a lot of thoughts like “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “What is the point of this?” “What am I supposed to do?”
One of my go-to blocker thoughts is “I don’t know what I’m doing.” It is a very well-practiced neuro pathway in my brain. Over the past year, I’ve got a really great handle on it, but it will still come up sometimes when I’m really struggling.
So, I dropped a message in a mastermind that I’m in, and my coach replied
“Annabelle, this is your pattern. It’s here to protect you somehow. How it is serving you?”
I was stumped. And annoyed.
Later that day, I jumped on my Jaguar Class Call. This is a class I signed up for with Kimberly Johnson about somatics, breathwork & trauma. During class, we did a little breathwork exercise that sent me into tears immediately. Because of my work with Jessie, I knew what was happening. The breathing was activating me again in a reeeeeally gentle way and it was helping me “unstick” my nervous system that was stuck in a fight/flight/freeze response.
After the exercise, I felt alert, present, peaceful, awake again.
I felt like me.
The fuzz cleared, and then…
It all came together…
My thoughts of “I don’t know what I’m doing” come up when I am “overwhelmed.” In my case, being overwhelmed is a symptom of a nervous system that is too activated or already in a stress response.
So the pattern of thinking “I don’t know what I’m doing” & the fuzzy brain thing are actually protecting me because my body literally couldn’t handle DOING anymore.
It wasn’t until I could settle the nervous system that I regained my clarity & had a breakthrough.
It's literally happened within 10 min.
It’s sort of like gagging if you put too much food in your mouth. If you’ve ever played the Chubby Bunny game with marshmallows you know what I mean. Overwhelm/fuzzy brain for me is sort of like a physiological gag. (LOL Gross.)
And all of this is a reminder of the importance of being fully present—the importance of being embodied.
It is a reminder that you hold the answers.
And a reminder that your body and your mind are not working against you; they are on your team.
So in what ways is your body trying to speak to you?
In what ways are you giving your body the opportunity to regulate, balance, and come back to center?
How can you re-frame the way you think about what you feel so you can distill the message from it instead of judging?