Preparation and Reflection
Watch Deb’s Interview, from 31:42 - 39:32.
Think about neuroception, the ability to tune into your own nervous system. How could/does bringing awareness to neuroception support you in your life?
II. Reflection Questions
What signals does your body send you on a typical day?
How does your body tell you you’re having a feeling?
Journal any insights. Share your reflections on these questions with your partner.
@2018, Charlotte Nuessle
Body Scan: Practice Becoming Self-Aware With Curiosity and Kindness
This is a body scan. You’ll bring attention to various places in the body. Notice where your attention easily goes and where it might take some effort to focus in.
As much as you can, allow yourself to be present for whatever sensations, whatever experiences arise in each moment.
If it helps to bring your attention there, you can always wiggle an area of the body.
Feel the supports that you’re bringing to this experience. Your own curiosity about your experience, is a support.
An especially notice any right/wrong thinking if it comes up, any self-judgment. As best as you can, make room for your experience as you are right now, without making it right or wrong, without judgment.
1:06 Let’s begin!
Take a moment to let yourself settle. Get as comfortable as you can be. Gently close your eyes.
Let's chant the sound of OM together.
Become aware of your body as you sit in the chair or wherever you’re sitting.
Feel your seat on the chair, your feet on the ground.
Feel any other places where your body feels supported.
From this place of feeling a sense of support, notice what else you experience in your body right now.
Start with scanning the face, the sides of the face, the cheeks, around the eyes, the forehead and the scalp.
The back of the head, the top of the head, and the neck.
Notice any sensations of tightness. Any places where your body holds tensions.
Bring an attitude of kindness and curiosity to your experience.
Continue to scan your upper chest and shoulders, your upper back.
Become more aware of the breath now.
Sense how different areas of the body hold different experiences.
Some areas are tighter, some areas are more relaxed.
You might even feel numbness in some places.
Make room for whatever experience you have.
There may be a sense of pressure, of warmth, of ease, of effort.
Notice what you experience in your upper chest and shoulders, in your upper back.
In your arms and hands.
Maybe heaviness, maybe lightness, maybe a combination.
Now shift your awareness into your chest, the area of your ribs, all along your spine and torso.
Notice where your attention goes easily, and where it might take some effort to focus in.
Allow yourself to be as present as you can in this moment for whatever sensations, whatever experiences arise, anywhere in the body.
Now shift your awareness to the belly, the whole region around the navel, below the navel.
Your pelvis, buttocks, and lower back.
Notice what you experience in your body in these areas.
At the same time feel the support of the chair, the support of being present for yourself in this moment.
Your own self-awareness as a support.
Your curiosity about your own experience as a support.
Come back to that place of open curiosity.
Especially if you notice any right/wrong thinking coming up, any judgment.
As much as you can make room for your experience as you are right now, without making it right or wrong.
Bringing awareness into your legs now.
Again noticing where there's support for the legs and how that support feels. All the way down through the thighs, the knees. Lower legs, ankles and feet.
Take a moment or two now in quiet, and just let yourself continue to receive the signals, the sensations from your body.
Take your time.
Over the next several moments, when you’re ready, bring yourself back.
As you prepare to come back, stay connected to the gifts of these signals from your body.
Bring an awareness of your experience back with you.
Please reach out if you have any questions.
@2018, Charlotte Nuessle
Oxytocin Release Practice
This is adapted from the book Bouncing Back, by Linda Graham, MFT.
The hormone oxytocin, is the neurotransmitter of a calm and connect response and it's the brain’s most direct and immediate antidote to the stress hormone, cortisol.
The fastest way to regulate the body’s stress response and return to a sense of calm is to activate the release of oxytocin in the brain.
Begin by placing your own hand on your heart.
Feel the warmth of your own touch.
Alternately you could place your hand on the side of your face, side of your neck, or your arm. Anywhere that feels soothing.
Breathe gently and deeply.
If your hand is on your heart, breathe into your heart, taking in a sense of calm, peace, goodness and safety.
Breathe in a sense of contentment and well-being, kindness for yourself, gratitude for others, self- care and self-love.
You can place your hand on your heart whenever you need to, if you hear bad news on the phone, or you're about to open up an envelope from the IRS, if you're stuck in traffic, or just realized you left your keys at the office.
Practice bringing this exercise into your daily life and just notice what happens.
@2018, Charlotte Nuessle
Come, Come Whoever You Are
This song is from Dances of Universal Peace.
These words are inspired by the writings of Rumi:
Come, come whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
Ours is no caravan of despair.
Come, yet again, come.
Check out the recording below.
Come, Come, Whoever You Are
Sound and Mantra and our NS
We tell ourselves things all the time! Some things are worth repeating over and over, like ancient prayers and wisdom teachings that point us toward qualities that truly are supportive of this life journey.
Chanting and singing are dear to my heart. The songs in this course are offered from the heart. In the yoga tradition, incorporating voice adds another level of integrating and bringing in to ourselves something that nourishes us as deeply as the food we eat or the safe connections we share.
We can meditate on the meaning of the words we sing/chant. If the words come from a tradition we respect or feel a connection with, repeating them is a way to honor and strengthen that connection.
Perhaps the song itself reminds us of a time that was significant or marked an important experience.
When we ourselves give voice to sound, to song, to chant, to music, it's like we are saying, yes, "this is true for me too. This is how I choose to engage my energy, how I choose to express myself, through these words, with this meaning." And like any practice, over time and with caring repetition, the words become us, we become them, we join with them.
In our culture together let's respect each others' voices and make room for the diverse range of experiences - comfortable and uncomfortable - that come when we explore giving voice to what is deep in the heart. And recognize that we each have our own unique voice and music that we respond to.
Sharing our voice with kindness is a way to shift toward the Ventral Vagal state. You might consider how music affects your nervous system state and how certain music speaks to you.
@2018, Charlotte Nuessle
Week Two Bonuses
Engaging Life with Balanced Energy
3 Tips for Self-Care: Shoulders
This video is offered with respect for how much our shoulders do for us. NEVER FORCE YOUR NECK! If this feels uncomfortable, move slowly, gently and avoid going all the way into the movement. In the standing variation, reach up through your elbows, upper arms come toward parallel. Pull the block towards the base of the head as you press the back of your head into the block. Continue to reach up with elbows, chest. Relax the upper shoulder down.
Tuning In - Body Scan Practice