Continuing with our Lessons from the Wild – in Trauma Healing, today we’ll look at a squirrel’s behavior.
When the Inner Turtle feels safe, your creativity can emerge. The first step is to get the Inner Turtle to feel safe (see blog post, Your Inner Turtle), and when you know how to feel safe, your mammalian brain can come out to play!
Meet Mr. Squirrel, showing you how important aspects of the nervous system work to help him to feel safe.
Once he feels safe then he can interact with others.
Please note he is only 3-4 feet away from me and he’s a completely wild squirrel. Clearly he feels safe enough to practice interacting with me.
Note the following movements:
- eye contact
- his ears are pricked up, listening
- his neck moves around as he scans the horizon
- he’s chewing and eating
These head and neck movements all help the nervous system to regulate itself.
Notice that he’s not in sympathetic mode, which is fight or flight.
He’s not in the extreme parasympathetic mode, which is deep freeze or paralysis.
He’s in relaxed alert mode.
Take a look at the photo below. I’m now approximately 2-3 feet away from him.
This is Mr. Squirrel in “Rest and Regenerate” parasympathetic mode. He has checked me out and it’s now time to relax.
He’s watching the world go by, very self contained and peaceful. (And if he needs to shift into Sympathetic mode, he can – in an instant.)
To check out the Inner Turtle patterns click here:
You will also find links to interesting articles from Psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. Stephen Porges, developer of the Polyvagal Theory for healing trauma.
And for more on Susan Lange’s private work with trauma healing contact her at 310-395-9525
Her new book, The PLAY Formula at www.ThePLAYFormula.com is designed to be a gentle introduction, with tools, for Trauma Healing.