An Imaginary Fight
The other day I was having a fight in my head with my man. In retrospect he didn’t really deserve the amount of anger and frustration I was throwing at him. In my state of humanness, something about a recent interaction triggered a core wound inside of me and I came out fighting (and crying.)
That morning I was scheduled to create a slideshow for a presentation on Resourcing (a fundamental practice I learned in my trauma training.) And in my frustrated headspace I thought, “Damn it! How can I create a presentation on Resourcing when I’m all triggered and preoccupied?” At which point I said, “Duuuhhh! Resource. Practice what you are about to preach Lorina. Time to focus on the goodness.”
The Path of Resourcing
So I did.
I dropped the fight in my head and started looking around for something pleasant to look at. I was driving in Marin at the time and saw all sorts of beautiful green on the side of the road. I noticed the way the yellow light was flickering on the leaves as they were moved by the wind. My breath started to grow deeper as I took in the dance of nature. Then I noticed the striking open expanse of the Bay as I approached the Golden Gate bridge. The front half of my body opened up some. My eyes landed on the light rippling off the water. I smiled. Then I tuned into the feeling of warmth of the sun as it touched my left arm. Again, my lungs took in a deeper breath and the tension in my jaw started to soften.
In this more calm space I revisited the conversation I had earlier with my partner and was able to recall a number of things he said that were actually quite loving and beautiful. I took time to let his love touch me inside. Another deeper breath and a sense of warmth in my heart space appeared.
Then it became clear on how my reaction was about 15 times the volume and heat appropriate for the actual grievance. I knew what I had to do to make things right. Peace. I felt grounded, my heart was back online, I felt connected to myself and my man and within the next 10 minutes I constructed the hour long presentation on “Resourcing” in my head. I got to where I was going and put together the first draft of the slideshow in about 30 minutes.
Now, if you are wondering what the heck exactly I mean by Resourcing, I’m referring to the
Somatic Experiencing practice of intentionally directing one’s curiosity and awareness on something positive and pleasurable until it soothes your nervous system. That something could be real or imaginary and it could be internal or external. It could be a person, place, thing, sensation, movement, memory, action or personal capacity.
Resourcing is an essential practice for healing old traumas I learned from my Somatic Experiencing training. It's vital for cultivating the resilience to manage the stresses of love and life. I highly recommend consciously doing it to your heart’s content.
Here’s a couple practices you can do on your own to help you Resource.
Visual Resourcing (aka Orienting):
Let your eyes wander until they find something attractive.
Notice and enjoy the details of it.
Bring awareness to the pleasant subtle shifts inside.
Name the positive sensations and shifts (eg. warmth, relaxation)
Redirect your attention when something uncomfortable surfaces in your awareness.
Repeat until satiated.
Resourcing on a Memory:
1. Recall a time within the past week or month when you felt really good.
2. Bring alive the details of that memory:
What were you doing?
Who were you with, if anybody?
Where were you?
What about that time felt so good?
What were you saying, if anything?
What images come to mind as you recall the time?
3. Start to direct your attention to what is happening inside your body as you bring that memory alive.
What is your breath doing?
What does your body want to do?
What pleasant sensations start to wake up?
Let your attention bask in the positive sensations for a while.
Notice what happens next.
There you have it. There are so many ways to resource. Feel free to get creative.
I hope your Resourcing practice brings you all sorts of treasures including more love, more presence, more joy and more connection.