None of us can predict what's lurking around the corner. We only can hope and do the best we can to fulfill our dream. Our dream job, dream family, dream of living in our wildest dream as a reflections of our existence.
The nature of human, is we thrive to grow. As the essence of evolution we carry in our genetics is to be better than we were before. The questions is what we consider as "better". Some of us seeing it as conformity to do linearly as it present naturally around us. Getting the same ladder as everyone around us, of carrier advancement, sufficient income, family, or other tangible things. We attach this attributes to our happiness, contentment. But is it really? Have we ever questioned ourselves in each step of our journey how these things really related to our wellbeing, contentment, happiness?
As we walk through our path, or - I see it in my head as swimming in the ocean of life-, have we drifted into what conformity is around us, have we modified by our surrounding, have we been able to make our very own choices and decision, or have we drifted into these conformity or even self sacrifice for the sake of some idealistic idea in our head? Have we really find our true contentment, our true calling, our true yearning? That it feel like some familiar sound of those dear in your heart from a distance that calling you in such intensity and care and love to come and be, yourself.
It is much easier to be in confromity, to be the same than the rest of the people around us. And not all people around us can accept the difference we have, we carry. The expectations to be just others wanted, at some extend doesnt suit everyone. This is when intrinsic motivations kicks in. Do we pursue our dreams, our passions, our life as we always wanted listening from that intuitive calling from inside us, or do we do it just because we can, and must, and have to, or because that'swhat we had been told, and because thats what everyone does?
Back to the metaphor of walking in our path, when an unxpected changes that so extreme lurking on the corner and strike as we did not see nor expected, the body response in fight and flight mode .In those moment, the common pathway of thinking dissapears. Our body navigate itself into autopilot through survivals.
Personally, first thing I realised in what it means of being in "fight or flight" mode were that feeling of the world shut down and your body take control over it. That silver line appears, you reach your point of limit that you would not and want not to turn back to that situation anymore, not even in your dream. In those survival mode, the body in a blink of an eye making decision without you even notice. May May you biking and slip on your bike your body automatically choose the safest and most plausible way to retain your survivals post traumatic experiences, beyond that moment in time.
The ability of human to take control over their own survival is such high in the hierarchy of our own survivals that when its under threat, our body remember it. Once I had talk to a friend who just diagnosed of severe illness, and how he explained the words of what the doctor said were just blurry, become just noise in the background. No meaning. I had experience the same.
That 'shut down' moments take times to reopen. Our brain protecting ourselves from remember it or response to it. Our brain and body in that particular moment had already had enough and could not possibly process any stimulus anymore.
Gradually those shut down moments will pass. Some friends I spoke to before I experienced the moment of fight and flight myself said it took a while to come out from this zone. I remember once the shut down moment passes, I started remembering things but its all like broken plates, broken jigsaw, that I dont know how to put things together, how things link together, how each events connected to the other, how the time frame of it.
I found meditation help. Just to count my breath. Music. Art. If you have not try meditation before, try it. Its much harder than it said, as your brain never have a stop button. It keep whirling, but you can always start with back to your breath. Counting it. And diligently back to the breath whenever you mind start taking you away from it.
Brain in trauma some people said is like navigating a ship in a turbulence weather with great fogs and mist in the dark without lighthouse in your view. The fog feels like walking in the darkest forest with no light. Like walking in a frozen eyes under your feet and some of the ices cracking under your feet and you are trying so
much to balance in it while keep moving forward. Trying working things out with your feet stumble which way to go. there is a tendency to run, to stop drop and give up, to get frustrated because decision making taking longer time than its normally does. That is when the meditation and skill to breath deeply come handy. At least for me. To just close your eyes and breath deeply. Slowly.
I learn by talking to friends who experienced the same things, this foggy brain is the hardest first step to get through. Its tiring, its needed super vigilant to catch the fog arriving before its clouding the mind. And when you can, there the gateway. Find a friend, a teacher, a family, anyone you could trust to talk it through. Some traumas can not be said easily even to the professional help unless the trust had been build. Some people it need massive amount to build trust from zero.
Some friends went through super tired moments when the foggy brain too hazy to keep up and needing so much energy. Me, it raised the trigger of fight or flight moment that made me wants to move, use my body so my brain can send different signal of positive neurotransmitter so I feel much better after. There were time that what i did were just practising yoga for hours a day, bike ride on top of that, and just doing physical things around the house. Luckily I have small children that keep me on my toes and keep me active and sharp. Sitting become the most challenging activities.
As I watch this fogs and thoughts coming in and out and catching me at the most unpredictable moments, I realised it work as a ripple in the lake as if you throw water on it. First the ripple were shaking and breaking the surface, then its slowly come down. As its reached the edges where the lake hit the cliff or more blunt surfaces, the ripple came back. Not as severe, but I can start seeing it come. There were I can slowly giving myself warning. To sit. To fulfil what I needed to fill.
So the lessons number one, as I ending this first blog of the series of overcoming trauma and injuries, is back to your breath. And committed to it. To just breath. And slowly you will see the pattern when we do things in certain way habitually, including the triggers of the past that keep leading you to do the same things. Those moments of breath, even if you finally decide to do the same habitually as what you do normally, you know you make that decision conciously and mindfully (in oppose of autopilot and mindlessly). There you will see the fog coming in and slowly easing out.