Day 26 - What if Our Feet Were Ears?
Sometimes I go off the rails. My nervous system is sensitive, and so I have to be mindful not to throw it a curveball. I have never, ever poured orange juice into my car’s gas tank and expected everything to be fine. Yet, time and time again I have poured sugar or caffeine into my system and thought, this time will be different.
Quitting coffee is challenging for me. I said I would do it, and then I didn’t. I started drinking espresso as if that would be different. Espresso slid into, this morning, Bulletproof coffee (https://blog.bulletproof.com), and soon I was out of my mind. And not in a cool way.
A dysregulated nervous system is serious business. It's a lot more than a coffee buzz. If you want to know what a dysregulated nervous system is so you can better understand yourself and, this could be so helpful!, so you can understand your children, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfKt4KAvm6U. To know what if feels like to have a dysregulated nervous system, stand in the path of on-coming traffic, have three cups of coffee or however much it takes to give you the spins, and then look at your page-long to-do list. Want to cry and kill yourself and others. Want to dig a hole and put your head in it until the spinning stops. Feel hopeless. Want to turn off all the lights and lie down until you feel normal again. Now go to work and get through the day.
When I taught writing at the girls' juvenile hall, the girls told me they had been taught to cross their arms over their chest and take three deep breaths when they felt triggered and upset. It’s dirty business, smiling at people and trying to act like a regular person when you want to spin out of control. It's easier to steal a car or punch someone in the face when you are dysregulated, and in the moment that behavior may well feel right and good, but there's all the tornado damage to deal with when the storm passes.
I called my coach Katie Peuvrelle and asked for a hypnosis session to help me handle the coffee cravings, and then I went to see Dr. Mark Lucas for a pelvic adjustment I will write about in the next few days. I told him about the coffee and he picked up his phone and turned on All My Life by the Foo Fighters. “In the morning, listen to this on repeat,” he said, as we stood there like two head bangers listening to the wild music. “This is better than coffee.” The coffee habit goes deep with me. I have said before in my life that that I’d rather die than give up coffee. Sounds stupid when I type it, but there it is. Addiction. I need a team to help me deal with the question of who would I be if I couldn’t get even a little high once a day?
I walked out of his office feeling so much better. My lower body had no more pain and I was humming along the music that was now in my head. I thought about a yoga video I had done on Yogaglo taught by Tara Judelle where she had us imagine our feet had ears. It was a way for us to connect to the earth, to listen to our mother.
I loved this idea. Taking off my shoes and walking around the house in my bare feet, listening to the earth below, took my mind off any circling thoughts. I could feel my nervous system settling as I jumped out of story and into sensation.
What do you hear when you listen through your feet? In my world, the world of adoption, there is so much talk about mothers, mothers leaving, mothers disappearing. What if there has always been a mother beneath me? What if I am held up, even when I am high, by the mother of us all, this spinning, miraculous planet.
If we listen with our feet, what is our mother telling us? What is she telling me over and over again. You are home. You are safe. Stay.
See you tomorrow.