The Power of Convenience

 
influencer-4492841.jpg

The phone ringing, a ding from a text message, notice of a snapchat video, hopping in the car to grab something from the store, buying an iTunes gift card, daily rewards on an app, keeping up a streak on using an app every day, checking the news, Facebook, Instagram, how many likes this post gets. All have an element of convenience that can perpetuate a nervous system pattern.

If trauma can be described as a stuck nervous system pattern, convenience could be a component of cultural trauma. 

In his book, “Coming Home to the Pleistocene”, anthropologist Paul Shepard talks about the evolution of human biology over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. How human biology evolved through social connection, living in groups, woven into the fabric of nature and the natural rhythms of the planet. How our biological systems, even today, still operate this way in contrast to what I call the cultural context of convenience and perfectionism. He describes the transition point of biological-centrism as the point at which recorded history became a thing. 

In my work, I’m constantly coding behaviors, actions, beliefs, meanings, experiences into categories of whether it is stress response related or healing response related. This is all in effort to be the change agent that my client’s nervous system’s need when making a shift out of stuck nervous system patterns. Shepards words illuminate how I think about whether something is biologically in tune with how the nervous system functions evolutionarily, or whether something is just part of the unnatural phenomenon of modern culture. I find that incredibly helpful in understanding whether it is helpful or not for how the nervous system functions. 

All that to say, I’m transitioning to life in New Zealand at the moment. It has been a lovely few weeks with surprising challenges here and there.

I find myself settling into more ease by working through the impulses for convenience.

Creating this blog entry has reminded me of a book I once read about simplicity. There is a quote from the book that I remember to this day that for me speaks to the power that convenience has on a nervous system pattern and how liberating it can be to make changes around that. The saying I remember was on a sign in the cabin of a fellow who decided to live in the woods for a year. “If there is something you need that you don’t see in the cabin, let me know what it is and I’ll show you how to live without it.”

For me, this is helpful in so many ways in the contrast between biology and cultural context. 

 

Happy Transitions

I’m excited about settling back into my private practice after a dedicated couple of years in graduate school. I have fallen in love again this summer with my work as a Rolfer after having to set it aside while I completed my yearlong internship at Swain Recovery Center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. 

I finished my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in August and I am awaiting my Licensed Professional Counselor Associate license from the state licensing board. My concentration in graduate school was in Expressive Arts. Here is my definition of Expressive Arts as I experience it:

Expressive Arts is the use of creativity for greater understanding, self-exploration, mediation, and process. So much in this world is defined, mapped, discovered, labeled, pigeon holed, reduced, discriminated against, oppressed, misunderstood, banished, targeted, ignored, etc. Expressive Arts is an alternative to this kind of thinking and being. Expressive Arts is an opportunity for experience, ritual, and meaning making. In this way, it is part of who we are and how we came to be through the evolutionary process. Creativity is part of being human just like breathing, sleeping, eating, and sensing. 

In addition to loving Expressive Arts work, I’m excited by how the use of creativity enhances what is possible when resolving trauma. Experience is such a huge component to both EXA and trauma resolution. Being with the experience that arises is necessary to solve some of the mysteries of how trauma affects day to day living. Most often, good trauma work is understanding the right time to facilitate experience. Expressive Arts is no different.

I am grateful for the skill set I have and I am looking forward to serving those in my community. I am additionally grateful to work with the online communities I help through the work I do as a trauma consultant and program moderator with Irene Lyon and everyone on her team. Irene has created some amazing online programming that has been particularly helpful to so many wanting to know more about nervous system health. You can find out more about her programs at Irenelyon.com. I help moderate on Facebook in the Healthy Nervous System Revolution group, 21-Day Nervous System Reboot group, and the Smart Body Smart Mind group. 

Thanks for reading my blog! I look forward to hearing from you about your questions and what is happening in your experience of the world.