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  • Writer's picturepippa

Glimmer moments in nature

A fair haired woman walking alongside a canal, with different shades of green in the reeds and trees
Walking along Exeter canal path

I wanted to share a moment from the weekend, which I noted as a glimmer as I felt uplifted, tranquil and connected with nature.

As I walked along the canal path to meet a group of people, some of whom I hadn't met before, I used all my senses to take in the beauty of my surroundings: I listened to the ebb and flow of the river and the chatter of the wildlife, breathed in the all the scents, sights and sounds, felt the warmth of the sun and cooling breeze on my skin.

In a former life, I would have been hurrying to meet my friends, worrying about whether I would fit in and not really paying attention to my surroundings or valuing restorative time on my own. The sympathetic branch of nervous system would be activated, making a flight response inevitable.

With a bit of conscious effort and lot of practice, I can now appreciate having time to myself and finding my own company not just enough, but actually restorative. I've learnt that I need time to recharge my batteries, perhaps reading or curled up watching a film... then I can use that stored energy to be really present and connected with my clients and when meeting new people.

It’s taken a while to reassure my nervous system that it’s safe to be on my own as well as with a group of people, but if I can do it, I believe anyone can.

I love to use Polyvagal theory with my clients; they tell me it can be really empowering to help them to understand how and why their nervous system responds the way it does.

Awareness that these are automatic responses which override our logical, conscious thought processes, can make us feel less confusion and, critically, less shame about why we've reacted to a scenario with a flight, flight, freeze or fawn response.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about working with Polyvagal theory or to book a free phone consultation if you feel ready for counselling.

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