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Abstract Leaves
  • Writer's pictureAgathe Lazaro

GATHERING TWO - Nervous System.

Updated: Aug 25, 2023



Your automatic nervous system's only purpose is to make your body survive....but survive WHAT?

There is no way to make this Simple … Trying to pick it up from where I left it….from the former Newsletter!

As I started my practice, I witnessed the effect of the Intuitive Sessions. As each client tapped into a deeper source of knowing, they released clarity and empowerment and unlocked deep energetic knots.

These sessions mirrored my own lingering knot as I was still questioning my own inner language, or as Sir Ken Robinson name it, which was my “element”.

As he explains the state of “being in your element” when time and space are relayed to a background landscape, it came to me as a space of Fluidity, a movement associated to deep SAFETY

But what is SAFETY?

A couple of months into my new practice, Elisha Halpin proposed a new training about the nervous system called Evolution, based on the theory of the neurologist Dr Stephen Porges.

I knew instantly that was my second GATHERING…and so I jumped in and it was like a switched bulb from darkness echoing deep into the cavern inside my heart.

So what is the Polyvagal theory?

Dr Stephen Porges’s theory challenges the traditional fight-or-flight response, where our Autonomic Nervous system would simply switch back and forth from survival/activation & to rest/restore state.

Dr Porges shared an evolutionary timeline that helped me understand the landscape of our nervous system evolution.

  • 500 Million years ago our freeze strategy got wired in.

  • 400 million years ago our fight of flight, came subsequently.

  • 200 million years ago we initiated our safe and social connectedness.

So why are we still freezing, fighting or fleeing?

WHY is the autonomic nervous system still taking over?

Remember, the sole purpose of this extraordinary mechanism is meant to keep our bodies alive.

Dr. Stephen Porges highlights the critical roles of the Vagus Nerves network; How we understand, perceive and translate Safety, and as a consequence how these perceptions enable us to ENGAGE, REGULATE RESPONSES and CONNECT and INTERACT with each other – which he calls our "SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM".

He defines a different State of being - a nervous system state that weaves a tapestry of states from the parasympathetic (collapses) to the sympathetic (freeze flight or flight).

He finally proposed a map to understand and predict the flow of our state of being from engagement, mobilisation or collapses.

According to Porges, the state of safety depends on the STORY we create from the situation we are confronted with. We need to define its CONTEXT, how we feel in control of our CHOICES and we need to EVALUATE how we can be CONNECTED with whoever is there.

The majority of the information shaping these “stories” are read UNCONSCIOUSLY by our system; Porges names this reading network our NEUROCEPTION - “detection without awareness”.

Our neuroception network spreads its web throughout our body.

And although we have a "favourite system we revert to, we go through many nervous "States" shifts within one single day,

Often the same insecurity triggers will send us into the repetition of one particular nervous state.

Once we learn to IDENTIFY more clearly these states, we learn how to CORREGULATE; land within a fluid truth - out of MALADAPTATION - a lifetime process!

We then look at moving with "more" predictability from one state to another aiming to be in safety, and what Porges called SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT where the ventral vagal neuro system is the driver at the wheel!

He described this state of social engagement moment as:

  • Safely embodied

  • co-regulated

  • self-regulated

  • connected to self, other, the world and spirit

  • acknowledge distress

  • explore option

  • reach out for/offer support

  • resourced and resourceful

It is a state where all your 5 cranial nerves are happy, chatty, open curious and available!

How often are you in that State?

So as the month passed by, while I was completely enmeshed in the teaching on our nervous systems, I designed my new office, tucked in the attic of our new home,

  • I whitened the ceiling and each beam

  • and scrubbed, the wooden planks while thanking each fibber to hold all of me.

  • I created light wells with 3 Velux bringing the sky to the tip of my fingers, so I could call in the event and clouds dream storyline in my little private attic.

  • painted a background mural that would always have my back, a unique intimate goddess, the angel mermaid Frida Kahlo.

  • also hand-painted the frames of drawings and prints all emotionally charged, frames that I know would hold the emotions with tenderness.

  • selected the plants that would breathe with me …

  • I create my space focusing on how I could make it a powerful co-regulator for my nervous system swings. Being curious every day about how It would enhance the feeling of safety.

What objects would remind me to breathe deeply?

What fabric would I love to touch and remember what could be a deep comfort or patience, reminding me I could choose time, and not run after it?

What colours would inspire me with new ideas, and let them sprout out bouncing?

Which pattern would remind me of the potentiality of life, displaying creative chaos, bouncing ideas back and forth with my imagination?

If I could create the context, and choose with clarity, I would feel able to engage deeply & truly.

Life's triggers would be first perceived and experienced from a state of deeper safety, where I had taken the time to priorly anchored my system all around me, and with an interior décor that was supporting, me, the work, my client, and the energy I chose to thrive in.

And this is the studio in the attic I write from, where I breathe, do yoga, dance, shake, meditate, laugh and cry, guide and tune, I feel safe and true, free, focused and fluid.

We can all create these nurturing environments, they are sustainable - they enhance focus, well-being and health balance, restoration and creativity.

So let’s go Beyond Interior designs, Beyond Styles and Fashion and look at how to attune the décor and our environment to our unique nervous system tapestry.

With so much love ❣️

Agathe Lazaro

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