We all know about Falling In Love, Falling Apart, Falling Over, Falling to Pieces, Falling Down but we're less familiar with Falling Still and that's probably because we're just not programmed to fall and we're definitely not very good at staying, doing, sitting or being still, let alone falling still.
Like a child who just can't stop wiggling, even as grown-ups we never really master the art of being still. We're human. We're made to move but these days, most of us move too much and it goes waaay beyond a wiggly kid.
On a deep cellular level we are in constant motion - even when we think we're just sitting there - watching t.v., talking on the phone, sending emails, checking social media - our systems are firing away, constantly sending out messages from one part of the body to another...so much so, that we're losing our ability to switch off and it's wreaking havoc on our biological imperatives.
Our bodies need a chance to rest and recover so that bio-chemical signals won’t get screwed up, but we’re not slowing down and we’re losing our ability to recharge. Our collective balance is now more diminished than it is fortified. As a result, many of us are developing chronic illness in the shape of freaky aches and pains, mood swings, anxiety and apathy and deeper systemic issues.
As part of an effort to make the biology of self-care a little easier to understand, Mark illustrates how the social and cultural context in which we now live has moved forward at lightning speed. Our genetic endowment and the survival edge it brings with it are still primitive, which means that our human design has maintained many of the Stone Age imperatives - but life in the fast lane has not. Our bodies are not well adapted for this disconnect and eventually break down.
In his lecture on Allostasis and Mind Body Balance, Mark further explains that Thoughts ["lost at sea"]; Behaviors [away from healthy choices]; and Emotions and Feelings [fear, sadness, anxiety] are all manifestations of fight:flight that increase blood pressure, insulin, sugar, and a fatty mid-section, while decreasing memory and resilience. But wait, there’s more…
We humans are driven by another neurobiological system - the reward-motivation response. We can’t get through life without experiences that inspire, motivate and reward us with meaning and feelings of optimism, hope and joy. Resilient individuals have cultivated a reward system that is resistant to setbacks, whether catastrophic or chronic. Life's difficulties do not diminish these individual's capacity to experience positive emotions.
The opposite holds true for individuals whose reward response is dampened. They are less likely to experience pleasure in their lives and are more prone to states of anxiety and depression and poor health. They are less resilient…and this is why Falling Still matters.
Falling Still is quite simply, a process. In order to re-capture our balance, we need to fine-tune our ability to switch off and allow our bodies to rest and recover. In order for us to enjoy healthy, vibrant lives, we must surrender – fall still. Falling Still permits our breath and all the power it holds to course through our bodies and nourish and strengthen every part of us. As we regain balance, the signals that were once muddled become clear and strong again.
Falling Still is more than a poetic way of saying CHILL THE HECK OUT. It’s an effective and essential part of Self-Care. We all need to learn and incorporate daily practices that allow our bodies to rest and to heal. If you’re at all like me, you probably need some help learning ways to create the space and time and indeed, - the breathing room - in your life and that’s just what Laura Jarvis does.
Laura [pictured here] started Pure Possibilities LLC so that she could offer services that nourish body, mind and spirit. She is a Certified Integrative Coach and RTA-Certified Facilitator and conducts workshops and retreats for women, women's groups and circles, children's yoga, mindfulness classes for adults and youth and personal life coaching.
On Sunday, September 25th Laura conducts Falling Still: A Women's Retreat. The day-long retreat takes place from 9am-4pm at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, CT and focuses on techniques that strengthen our daily practice and teach us to pause, breathe and re-connect with our inner balance. Snack and Lunch are provided. Cost is $95. To Register for Falling Still: Contact Laura: Pure Possibilities / 203-804-3129.