I'm walking through closing doors...
In 2004 on a New York subway, I stood suspended in a defining moment before shifting into autopilot. A man trying to catch the train wasn't fully successful... and not fully unsuccessful either. Like a mouse in a trap, one of his legs got caught in the closing doors and he struggled alone to free himself. But he couldn't.
He started screaming for help and I could see and hear him from the back where we were sitting. People motionless stared at him.. watching his moment unfold.
Trauma elicits responses of fight, flight, freeze and disassociate. Most of the time, we can say what we would do. But it’s in the moment, who we are and where we're at in our journey brings what we would really do into action.
Our body & mind connection chooses between options of familiarity, experiences that have molded us and I believe the sub-verse universe unfolding in our mind over throwing what we're told we're capable of... It's a separate version of ourself owning its ability to course correct our life's path through neural plasticity and choosing options of strength and courage.
I can (now) see and feel my mind shifting, connecting, rewiring itself. I feel it lighting up, shutting down areas not needed in an awaken sleep of mindfulness, meditation, pranayama, yoga nidra and being in the flow.
I can feel in the event of trauma, my mind shifting away from familiar patterns. I couldn't back then... But over twenty years ago, I was in a different place and don't think I knew enough to know I could feel this shift and recognize it.
Are we able to shift gears, tap into hidden places where resiliency lies and chooses to fight... not flight, freeze or dissociate. I believe so. I believe it so much, I've been taking more risks and cutting more ties... forcing myself to feel and force these shifts to happen.
How you move through trauma changes your your life path. It raises your life force energy or reduces it to a numbing hum.
Neural pathways either begin to solidify or rewire. Your thought process may feel hardwired like a cage keeping you confined to repeat the same behaviors and habits... leaving you unable to change directions. Or slowly through uncomfortableness, fear and anxiety, you begin to redirect your actions towards freedom. Your mind, is either soft like quicksand becoming a mental trap or builds bridges through those moments creating a new foundation for growth as you cross over into unfamiliar territory.
Back on the subway, my young daughters looked at me in fear as the man yelled for help. I was already in motion. I jumped from my seat, ran towards him and started pulling on the doors. On leg on one door and my hand on the other. I yelled for people to help and began telling them what to do to free his trapped leg and they did it. I think they just needed direction. I think they wanted to help, but what have they become accustomed to life on the subway in New York.
The struggling doors opened & he fell forward onto the floor clutching his leg.
My boyfriend turned to me and said, "You’re my hero." That day felt no different than any other day for me. I was in survival mode acting out of instinct. When I sat down next to my family, my girls wide eyed and full of fear from what they saw... I shifted back into my life.
My boyfriend at the time was beating me; 2-3 times a week and this lasted over the course of 15 years. He tore up my house, my car, any personal belongings, harassed me at work, doused me in paint, pulled a gun on me... and shot at me. I've been wrapped in blankets, punched, choked, spit on and held down. I've been shoved, thrown and pushed into walls, doors and head bunted. I had black eyes, bruises and swollen from repeated sessions of abuse. But here I was in this moment... his hero.
I was no hero. I was acting out of survival mode. Surviving was what I've been doing my entire life. Looking back I resonate with that man & his caught leg. I felt like a fox in trap.
Almost 20 years later, I find myself stacking small choices one on top of the other like in a game of Jenga... tearing down my beliefs and leading me to huge paradigm shifts. Shifting my responses changes my internal landscape, the wiring of my mind and pushing myself into places I know I have to go.
Small shifts causes avalanches of changes leading to bigger decisions. The bigger the decision the bigger the shifts. But a multitude of smaller decisions still leads to bigger shifts too.
It's important to make these small shifts. It's important to decide to make decisions that won't be popular, that won't feel familiar. It's important to feel into the fear and not need to understand why you're afraid. But instead what will happen if you do the thing you're afraid of doing... but feel called to.
The last 7 months of this year has me closing doors... purging, letting go... and healing at a phenomenal fast pace both internally and externally. Time and life waits for no one. I know taking inventory of my life up to this point and where I want to be... is not a midlife crisis. I'm not wanting more; I just no longer want less... less than what is possible.