Podcast Part 5
Animals, just like us, crave ease.
Because when at ease, the nervous system is relaxed,
which means the body and mind are calm.
- Nicole Birkholzer
:: When we or our animals feel our life is on the line, we instinctively go into survival mode.
:: What does survival mode look like? We contract. We pull all the energies into our core, rush adrenaline through our veins so we are ready to take flight or fight or freeze. Our mind moves frantically through the option available to get back to safety.
:: Under natural circumstances, fight, flee, freeze episodes are short. As soon as we realize the threat is over, the body takes a deep breath and the mind calms.
For example, the car in front hits the brakes. Reflexively you do too. The adrenaline surge rushes through your body. Once you come to a stop an inch away from the other car’s bumper, your body takes a deep breath. Your extremities tingle as adrenalin recedes. Within moments your system relaxes.
:: Ideally, like a pendulum, the body naturally goes back and forth between arousal and relaxation.
:: In our domestic world, the nervous system is often over-aroused. We are hooked into so many stressors that the nervous system has not enough time and space to go back into a relaxed state.
:: If you feel more uneasy than at ease, if you are stuck in contraction, it is time to heed long-term physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual issues.
:: How does this tie back to your relationship with your animal? Let's go back to the quirky behavior your animal displays by tripping or cheering you up.
Let’s say you carry tension in your neck and shoulders. You might be aware of it, or not. Take a little inventory right now, are you tense anywhere in your body? Are you holding your breath, pulling your shoulders to the ear lopes, clenching your teeth or your toes? I bet you are able to find some unconscious tension. Your animal is always conscious of that tension because s/he is in tune with the five areas. The people … being one. Because there is tension in the people area your animal wants to fix it, a.k.a. Trip you up so you take a deep breath. Remember, animals, just like us, crave ease. Ease means all is well and safe.
:: When your dog trips you up – literally – as you rush to get out of the house, don't push her aside. Instead, stop in mid-stride, take a deep breath, and thank her for looking out for you.
:: And, if your kitten acts really goofy in the most unfitting moment ... take a breath and then observe yourself and the circumstance. Is your kitten alerting you to something about you - are you stressed, concerned, need some cheering up?
:: When you are physically at ease you are more willing and able to engage with your body and be present with it. And that is important because your body is your biggest sensing tool.
:: Animals are keen observers not just with their eyes, but they observe an energetic change with their entire body.
:: When our animals "speak" to us, we are given a choice: we can dismiss them as silly and goofy, or we can choose to stop… and listen.