Stilling your hub

As human beings, we often trigger back to previous experiences. We can think, feel and behave as we did in the past. This is not unique to humans – animals also have this ability. Under stress, some animals will revert back to earlier behaviour patterns. Presumably this has some survival function for us.

We can trigger back to both positive and negative past experiences. This morning I lay in bed and watched the dawn through my bedroom window. As I watched the colours melt and transform. I was reminded of other sun rises I have seen in the past. I felt warm and stimulated. This was not just my present experience, but a combination of the joy of the moment, with that of past moments.

Last year my daughter was travelling in South America. She has been writing up her experiences and giving them to me to read. They are inspiring, scary, funny, illuminating and brilliant.

The one I read yesterday was about a dangerous boat trip in Nicaragua when she was scared she would not survive.

I prayed to a god that I don’t believe in.  I bargained with him.  If I can just get off this boat – I will go home.  I hold my partners outstretched hand.  I think how lucky I have been. I’m consumed with the absolute realisation and clarity of everything that is important, and everything that is not.

As I read this piece I cried and cried – I felt terrified. This was not my experience, it was hers. However, I realised that for me, this encapsulated all my fears of her travelling – I was triggering back to the months of her being away (she has been on two long trips) and all my fears and fantasies, which at the time, I had tried to contain.

I recently attended a poetry evening. The range of poems was broad and they were really interesting to listen to – theme, passion and the writer’s personality all shown through their words. Two members cried as they read their poems.  I realised that they were not only triggering back to what the poem meant to them, but also to the times in which they wrote their poetry.

Positive triggering back can enhance our lives as we re-experience blissful moments. The more negative experiences however, are not always useful or pleasant.

Dan Siegel, who wrote ‘The Mindful Therapist’, talks about ‘our hub’. If you think about two circles, one within the other – the centre circle is our hub. I think of this as our core sense of self. The outer circle is our world. Often our world is spinning around, it varies in speed, but we have all sorts of things to deal with each day. If our core self is also spinning, stressed, or out of control,  we can find this challenging and often we will trigger back to all sorts of unhelpful experiences in our life.

If we calm our hub, and keep ourselves grounded, then we will be calm and deal with the here and now.

Yesterday I had to visit a hospital. I was aware as I approached the hospital that this had all sorts of implications for me – there were many experiences I could trigger back to, that would shift me into feeling scared. I calmed myself; I stilled my hub and dealt with the job at hand. It worked, and I was able to deal with the experience without any problem.

I invite you to take a moment now – to think about your core self – and to breathe and be still.

By Leilani Mitchell

These are my random ramblings today; tomorrow I might change my mind.

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