Energetically, each one of your energy systems is involved with keeping you alive and allowing you to live your most balanced, vital experience. They hold the balance between your ability to survive and your ability to thrive, a balance that is dynamic and changes with every thought or situation.
Whatever your cosmological view, I hope you can agree that we are not here only to survive, we are capable of far more than that. When you are in survival mode then you are living the most constricted existence you 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 you are in this survival state, then there are several things going on simultaneously in your energy systems. The hind brain, or reptilian brain, is running the show sending a cascade of stress hormones through your body and shutting down the neo-cortex capacity for logic and creativity. At this point you are operating within a vastly reduced capacity. Your fight/flight/freeze system is also in high alert, meaning that there is vigilance through all energy systems. 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 longterm 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, I should emphasis that there are times in your life when it is very relevant for you to move into survival mode and you are perfectly created in order to do so. Perhaps you need to cross a busy road and you need your hyper vigilance in order to do so safely. Perhaps you are in a traumatic situation such as a car crash and need your whole body system to go into survival in order to deeply heal and repair injuries etc. You can always trust that there are times when you truly do have use of the incredible ability of your whole body system to keep you alive, just as a zebra does when it runs from a predator. But the essential difference is that when the energy systems were learning to become so finely tuned, such survival threats were short lived. Stress came into the system, (a sabre toothed tiger), emergency responses were activated (run or hide), the situation changed (the tiger went away), the energetic and physical bodies assessed that the situation had passed (blood started to flow between the hind brain, the limbic brain and the neo-cortex) and peaceful, balanced equilibrium returned (adrenaline was no longer produced and could be processed out of the body).
The huge difference in modern existence is that most people 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 surviving 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