Since returning from vacation a week ago, my brain is not fully engaged but I wanted to share an experience I had which helped connect me with who I am behind my social roles (mom, wife, daughter, career woman), worries, and fears. Before I left, I was re-listening to Martha Beck’s Steering By Starlight in which she discusses how much we’re controlled by our “lizard”/emotional brain, which broadcasts fears of warning and dread constantly. She even suggests you name your “inner lizard” although I haven’t come up with a fitting enough choice yet.
Anyway, I’ve always wanted to visit a shaman and participate in a sweat lodge where you literally sweat out physical and mental stress but never had the opportunity. While on vacation, one of the excursions went to do just that. How lucky can one gal get?
Instead of excitement though, my “lizard”started sounding the alarm. “Danger. Danger. Danger. Don’t go. You won’t last and then you’ll humiliate yourself when you have to leave. Worst than that, you could pass out. Even worse, you could have a heart attack in a remote part of the jungle and not leave alive.” You get the picture.
However, I’ve been practicing meditation for the last five years, and mindfulness more recently, and my “wizard”/observing self was able to recognize that my fearful thoughts were unfounded or at least unproven. So, I decided to go to the sweat lodge with the shaman and discover for myself what would happen. Tune in next Monday to find out what I learned.
This week, be mindful of when your “inner lizard” is running the show and as Beck describes your “Top 10 Tunes” of fear and worry. Write them down on a piece of paper and notice when they occur. Then name your lizard so you can learn to tame it. Let us know what you come up with.