Energetically, each one of our energy systems are involved with keeping us alive and allowing us to live our most balanced, vital experience. They hold the balance between our ability to survive and our ability to thrive, a balance that is dynamic and changes with every thought or situation.
Whatever your cosmological view, I hope we can all agree on the fact that we are not here only to survive, we are capable of far more than that. When we are in survival mode then we are living the most constricted existence we are capable of. Surviving is hand to mouth existence. It is having to fight for your place. It is having to continually effort to be heard or respected. Surviving is feeling joyless. Surviving is that feeling you get some days when you wake up and the only thing you look forward to is being able to go back to bed at the end of the day. Surviving is stress.
When someone is in this survival state, then there are several things going on simultaneously in their energy systems. The hind brain, or reptilian brain, is running the show sending a cascade of stress hormones through the body and shutting down your neo-cortex capacity for logic and creativity. At this point you are operating within a vastly reduced capacity. Your fight/flight/freeze system (known in Chinese medical philosophy as the Triple Warmer system) is also in high alert, meaning that there is vigilance through all of the meridian system, the aura, the chakras and your entire biofield of information. For many people this triggers a lack of groundedness, the heart energy sinks either internally for protection, or it literally bottoms out so that it looks like the heart energy is sagging and defeated. A highly defensive, well-armoured hopelessness would be the best way to describe the effect that being in survival mode long term has on your energy systems. How your energy fields react to all of this superstructure patterning will be specific to you, and that is why stress is so very difficult for the bio-medical approach to effectively treat.
At this point, we should emphasis that there are sometimes in our life when it is very relevant for us to move into a survival mode and we are perfectly created in order to do so. Perhaps we need to cross a busy road and we need our hyper vigilance in order to do so safely. Perhaps we are in a traumatic situation such as a car crash and need our whole body system to go into survival in order to deeply heal and repair injuries etc. We can always trust that there are times when we truly do have use of the incredible ability of our whole body system to keep us alive, just as a zebra does when it runs from a predator. But the essential difference is that when our energy systems were becoming so finely tuned such survival threats were short lived. Stress came into the system, (a sabre toothed tiger), emergency responses get activated (we get ready to run or hide), the situation changes (the tiger goes away), our energetic and physical state assesses the situation has passed (blood starts to flow between the hind brain, the limbic brain and the neo-cortex) and we return to a peaceful, balanced equilibrium (adrenaline is no longer produced and can be processed out of the body).
The huge difference in our modern existence is that for most people, we are living within survival hyper-arousal every waking minute. And if this is your energy pattern in your waking minutes then it won’t change when you are asleep, meaning at best, sleep that isn’t restorative and at worst, an inability to sleep.
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help change your energy patterns from that of survival to that of thriving. So what does it feel like to thrive?
Thriving is living the most expansive existence you are capable of. It is that feeling that nothing is insurmountable, even if it is challenging. It is seeing the magnificence in all of creation. Thriving is when you know that you are swimming downstream in your life. Thriving is being able to burst out laughing with no hesitation. It is being able to live from your heart centre with trust and openness. Thriving is being able to say, ‘I love myself. I love all of creation’.
For a simple and powerful way to re-pattern the fight/flight/freeze response use this great exercise as you move more and more along your journey of health and vitality.
With love, Prune