(aka 11 Ways to Soothe Your Nervous System)
Times are a little cray cray right now. Here is a list of my favorite ways to soothe my nervous system when I find myself going into panic, anxiety, shut down, freaking out, seething anger, total numbness or a concoction of all the above.
You probably do a few of these items already but I figured, hey, we all could use a little reminder right about now! Plus, there’s a few I bet you haven’t tried yet which might come in handy right about now.
(Also I’m not an affiliate for any of these suggestions.)
1) FUZZY THINGS
Yes, this is #1 on my list. There is nothing like the solace of a soft, warm, fuzzy blanket or sweater to cocoon. The warmth signals safety to your body which is precisely what we want your reptilian brain to register. My favorite fuzzy luxury item is Plum & Bow Faux Fur Throw in Ivory from Urban Outfitters. I swear I live under this at least 50% of my day.
2) ESSENTIAL OILS
Lavender is a particularly relaxing and soothing essential oil which you can rub into your palms, wrists, inside elbows and temples. Other soothing oils include frankincense, chamomile and rose. I like Doterra but I hear Young Living is great as well.
3) BACH’S RESCUE REMEDY
If you have not used this before, get on it. You can buy it at most health food stores or online. Rescue Remedy is a blend of different flower essences that capture a specific vibration. I know, sounds crazy. But I swear this was the only thing that worked nearly as good as shots of whiskey when I was having full blown panic attacks in my teens & 20s. $13 on Amazon.
4) THE EMBODIMENT STARTER KIT
This is a few simple soothing feminine moving meditations that I offer as a gift on my site. It includes a sensual meditation, videos & some playlists to help you sink into your feminine and recalibrate your system. Free at www.bit.ly/embodygift
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Hugs are the best. When we hug our bodies release oxytocin and lower cortisol. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that our collective cortisol is off the charts this week and if you’re anything like me, you spent half of yesterday daydreaming about pizza, donuts and more pizza. I ended up trying to make vegan, gluten free brownies which was a total disaster but I digress. Point is, hug so you can feel better and not add on unwanted weight. Free at your nearest human.
I know. It’s genius.
No but for realz, slowing down your breath by simply counting to 5 (or 10) with each inhale and exhale doesn’t look like you’re doing much but inside your nervous system is regulating back to a place where you are not operating in fight/flight mode but from your neocortex instead.
That shit works. I don’t get it. I don’t care. I don’t even know the names of half the crystals I have. But when I feel that knot in my solar plexus, I usually lay down and plop whatever crystal feels right on that area. I’m someone who needs science and fact to get on board any idea so so the way my brain accepts all of this is I think about physics. I think about crystals like magnetic sponges that can suck up my excess energy. And like magic, it’s gone. Where to buy these guys? Just follow the incense.
8) ETS TINCTURE
This stuff is what I’ve been taking all week, thanks to Rachael Maddox who suggested it to me. It feels similar in my system to Rescue Remedy but it’s basically a tincture of 135 vibrations from different natural elements – so not just flowers. A small bottle is like $8.
9) STUFFED ANIMALS
Dave, my stuffed elephant featured in the photo, who some of you know is half-Colombian and half-NY Jew is by my side every time I feel my inner little girl start to freak out. I think it takes a lot of courage to admit as an adult that you need a stuffed animal. But when you take that leap, you never go back. Who’s with me? Lol. (Find some at Toysrus.com or ideally, a local store kid’s store.)
Must I explain why?
11) A BATH
Add epsom salts and you are officially the closest to recreating the feeling of being in your mom’s womb. Where everything was safe and you just could BE. No care in the world. No agendas being pushed on you. No gold stars you had to work towards. No borders or walls. And definitely no sense of THE OTHER.
Which one are you going to try first? What are your favorite ways to soothe your nervous system that are not on this list? Share with us below or in the Facebook group.
I’ve been feeling SO blessed to have been chosen to do this work RIGHT now. What a potent time. Wow.
What will save us now is INDIVIDUAL, CONSISTENT AND DAILY EMBODIMENT OF THE FEMININE (in addition to our already beautifully-cultivated masculine.)
More love embodied.
More surrender embodied.
More compassion embodied.
More flow embodied.
More peace embodied.
More giggling embodied.
More heart embodied.
More expansiveness embodied.
When I was speaking to my father yesterday about isolationism/protectionism vs. globalization (he’s an economist and we geek out on that stuff a lot), I pointed out that after such a HUGE period of expansion (globalization), it seems like a normal, natural part of the ebb & flow for us to now receive leaders who are putting policies in place that contract, that close up border, that isolate countries, as a way to “protect” and “solve” (think brexit/withdrawal of trans-pacific partnership withdrawal/the “wall” etc….)
Even in economics, even in global patterns, we can see the inhale & the exhale. The expansion & the contraction. And it’s a reminder that we need to trust.
And by trust, I don’t mean sit around and wait for 4 years to pass. By trust, i don’t mean sit around and hope our bodies heal themselves. By trust, I don’t mean sit around and hope that money & pleasure will come flowing in.
We must pair it with action, structure and systems. But the actions must be in service of the feminine values of wholeness, expansion, beauty & love.
And so our work now is integration. Integration of masculine hustle & feminine flow. Our work is leading in a new paradigm that embraces your unique flavor of leadership – no more push through bullshit.
No more letting the mean girl run the meeting,
No more letting your scared inner child lead your life.
No more letting your rebel teenager stop you from putting on your queen crown.
It’s time for us to take radical responsibility for our own fear. Our own sense of safety. Our own inner child. So we can show up for our children and take radical responsibility for the world around us.
We can talk about all the little things you can do from more recycling to writing your reps.
But the foundation must first be built. The foundation of safety and inner peace. Or else you’ll be motivated by fear instead of motivated from a place of love, trust and safety.
And this is where we have been operating from so far. And, well, it didn’t work.
So let’s try it a different way, shall we?
(ARTWORK: Someone tell me who created this magical piece… I couldn’t find credit anywhere online.)
I’ve personally been feeling SUPER juiced up because I’ve been spending my days connecting with women interested in Your Embodied Life – the 4-month group program we begin in February – and let me tell you, there is nothing I value more in life than connection. So for me, a chance to meet a new woman in my community always nourishes me.
As I continue to connect with more women going into next week, I’m realizing there might be a few of you who have been eyeing this program but have a bunch of noisy mind chatter that’s overwhelming you. I get it. I used to be the queen of pros & cons lists.
I’m here to help you get rid of the noise and the mind chatter that might be stopping you from hearing your body’s voice.
Here are some of the questions that have come up from women in the community:
(….and if you this is the first time you’re hearing of this program, you can read about it here)
Nadia, who is this program for?
Why let me tell you, darling… This program is for the rockstar, driven woman (and anyone who identifies as a woman) who has been taught to lead using her masculine energy. As a result her body, her sensuality & her femininity have suffered and she’s finally ready to tap back into her embodied feminine so she can achieve a sense of balance in life. I usually work with women on their embodiment journey in layers. We start with the physical body and move our way out into the energetic/emotional. I do this through sustainable healthy eating, embodiment practices, meditations and dance.
Ooooh ooooh that’s me!!!! I might be interested. What do I do next?
Awesome. All you need to do is book a no-pressure, no-commitment call with me where we’ll connect and explore your desires. If this program will best serve your desires, we’ll talk about what it looks like to join the group.
When does the program start?
First week of February so book your call ASAP cuz my calendar is already close to full with eager women… I did mention I serve rockstar, driven women right? 😉
I want to Nadia, but the budget, Nadia, the budget…
Listen, I get it. I had a full year where my monthly coaching payment was double my rent and guess where it was all going? Credit card cuz I was barely making rent being a first year entrepreneur. Do I regret the decision? Absolutely not. It completely pivoted my entire life journey. So yes, for me, it was worth it.
Now, I NEVER advocate choosing coaching over the basic necessities like food & shelter because that be cray! Your nervous system needs to have some baseline security in order for us to do this work of deep surrender and exploration. But many times, our anxiety around money is also connected to our lack of trust and our inability to feel safe. And usually we don’t feel safe because of something that happened WAY before we were adults budgeting. So I’m not saying there aren’t times, when yes, money is in fact, an issue. But more often than not, the issue is more about trust (in me, in yourself, in the coaching process) than it is about anything else.
Here’s my process, and women who’ve already spoken to me can attest to this. Once we both establish your body is a YES!, you are giving me the greenlight to champion your desires and speak to your mind chatter. I have zero desire, under any circumstances, to pressure you into making a fear-based decision. That is the masculine paradigm we are trying to shed here. I address your love-based desire and THEN we address fears that may come up.
Do I NEED coaching?
Nope. No one needs coaching. Everyone has everything inside of them. You are not broken. Nothing needs to be fixed. Your body is a beautifully designed system capable of complete balance and healing on her own. Coaching is simply a modality that can help expedite your journey into finding your own unique blueprint for this. Coaching is like pressing fast forward on the program of your life. Coaching is about helping you go deeper quicker with a group of women who reflect back to you what you can’t see – your epic potential.
Why should I invest in this over a business coaching program?
Well, I won’t know the answer to that until we chat.
You may totally be best served with a business program but my guess is if you have been feeling the pull to this program, your body is probably intuitively guiding you into a place of balance. You’ve probably tried the formulas and the strategies and the courses and you still have a hard time motivating, prioritizing yourself and choosing YOU.
Here, we are learning to sustainable source our motivation from a place of pleasure and of balance. Here, we are learning to integrate our masculine hustle & feminine flow so we can ally with your body and achieve our full potential. Here, we are choosing to shed the “no pain, no gain” paradigm and create from a place of deep soulful alignment and embodiment.
I hope I answered some of your questions here. If not, I’ll be doing a facebook live this afternoon (Friday 4pm ET) in The Embody Tribe where I’ll be sharing my favorite ritual that helps me feel safe, connected and nourished AND I’ll happily stay on and answer any Qs you may have!
What I’m about to tell you makes me SUPER NERVOUS!
…But I’m going ahead anyway, because many women who seek my support have trouble trusting themselves. They come to me wanting to erase their self-doubt, eliminate their lack of confidence and connect to their inner voice. And this story is going to help.
A few days ago, I was listening to an interview between Elizabeth DiAlto and Terri Cole (who was actually my first coach!) talking about “gaslighting”, which is essentially when one person tries to overwrite another person’s reality.
Here’s an example:
You have a conversation with your mom (who doesn’t believe in therapy) about going to therapy for the first time. Next time you connect with her and you refer to the therapy session, she swears you never mentioned it to her. You remind her. She denies it completely. In this scenario, she is gaslighting you by making you believe that you never said it even when you 100% did.
This is manipulative behavior that, over time, results in you questioning your own sanity & reality. And many times it’s unconscious…and not always intended to be malicious.
I noticed this phrase starting to trend a few years ago and never fully grasped the extent of what it means. I always thought of gaslighting as something done by an abusive slightly psychotic partner. Or some recent politicians…. “What? I never said that!” <– Sound familiar?
What I didn’t realize was that the denial doesn’t have to be OUTRIGHTLY EXPRESSED. It can be subtle & passive. Sometimes, this appears in the form of a family that likes to conveniently sweep things under a rug and pretend it just didn’t happen. Who here knows what I’m talking about?
Terri used this example:
An awful traumatic episode occurs with an alcoholic family member in the evening. The next day, no one mentions a single thing about it. Instead, everyone seems cheerful and goes about their day never to mention it again. And there you are, sipping on your coffee, and thinking you’ve lost your mind because you’re totes traumatized… and yet no one else seems phased by this.
Now this hit me HARD. Not only did I realize in that moment that – holy shit – I was gaslit too. But it gave me a HUGE a-ha moment.
When I finally mustered up the courage to tell my mother that my grandfather had sexually-molested me, I was gaslit by the family.
When I reported, less than six months later, that a male nurse had touched me in numerous inappropriate places, it happened again.
And I‘ll explain how in a minute. But first, this…
I always thought these violating incidents made it hard for me to trust OTHER PEOPLE.
Understanding the dynamic of gaslighting, I now realize that these incidents actually ERADICATED trust in MYSELF.
When it all went down with my gramps, from one day to the next…my caretaker…my second dad…went from living with us to disappearing. No one addressed it.
When he died from cancer soon after (in an apartment… all alone…because of what I deemed to be my fault), still nothing was addressed. I had no one to share my mixed emotions of guilt, anger, relief, shame and deep sorrow. I felt like I had just made it all up. I recognize my family was 100% trying to protect me. Everyone was doing what they thought was best. But it wasn’t. And it had its consequences.
Or how about the time when I reported the nurse RIGHT after it happened, and I was told a report would be filed and it would be investigated and by the next day, it was NEVER mentioned it. And I was too embarrassed and uncomfortable to bring it up either.
Or how about when my two male colleagues made passes at me which I politely declined (Ps. I wasn’t even single) and I ended up being humiliated by both of them because of their bruised egos.
They didn’t have the authority to kick me off the project but they spent the rest of our time pretending it never happened and texting each other hateful things about me.
How do I know this? Because mid-meeting while I was speaking to them, I got a text exchange between them that was mistakenly sent to me describing how they wanted to “punch that bitch (me) in the uterus”.
Yep. That happened.
And when I addressed it, it was DENIED. And because the project was a huge career move, I didn’t quit and kept working with those a-holes for the rest of the project.
This is the sort of stuff I let slide. I never demanded what I needed. I never addressed my true feelings. Because it’s hard when you’re not sure what’s real and what isn’t anymore. It’s hard when one incident after another is denied by the world around you.
When that guy attacked me on the street, not a single person on the street came to my rescue. It was broad daylight. I had to push him off and run my ass off all the way to my friend’s place. Like it never happened…
I question myself a lot. I am often times foggy-headed and unclear. I find myself unable to remember the details of any stressful interaction. Sometimes, I totally black out. I feel like I’m floating through thoughts, unable to latch on to one for long enough to taste it, feel it, process it. I have an awful memory and many times, I distrust my recollection of monumental events such as these I shared with you today. Sometimes, I’m convinced I made that shit up.
Why am I telling you all of this? It’s super uncomfortable to share. My skin is crawling. My belly is nauseous. In fact, I feel foggy-headed just writing this and I can feel my nervous system trying so desperately to disassociate from those moments.
I’m talking to you about this today because this concept is KEY when we are talking about stepping UP and INTO the embodied feminine leader we want to be. I want you to know that it’s possible that your lack of trust in yourself and your potential could be because someone at some point denied your reality and stripped you of your own self-trust.
And when we speak about connecting to our inner voice and using our body compass, which I’m doing all the time in this embodiment work, it is essential that we feel solid in our experience, in our reality. And if we had a chapter in our lives where that was taken away from us, well, then our trust might be real difficult to embody.
So today, or whenever you feel ready beauty, I want you to take a few minutes to close your eyes with one hand to your heart and one to your belly and check in with yourself… Have you been gaslit? Have you been denied your reality?
I know it can be scary to admit. I had and HAVE lots of fear around admitting this:
I don’t want to feel like a victim.
I don’t want to sound like a whiny, angry, overly-PC feminist.
I don’t want to come off as weak.
That’s why I didn’t speak up then and demand that my reality be acknowledged.
But today, I am championing my voice, my potential and my leadership and I’m championing your voice, your potential and your leadership. Because this is not only about my experience. It is the experience of so many women (and minorities in general!). It is a way to silence you. To silence us. And we’re done taking the bullshit.
And so I say this to myself as much as I say this to you:
You’re only a victim when you stay in that same spot, replaying and looping the same pattern.
When you recognize that this happened, the control is shattered.
When you speak up, the pattern is broken.
When you slowly start to demand your reality back, you empower yourself.
That’s when you create space for your desire. Your devotion. Your dreams.
Don’t let them dim your light.
P.S. Are you ready to step UP and INTO a way of life & leadership that weaves together feminine flow, sensuality, embodied ecstasy and radical responsibility? I’m currently curating an intimate group of women for “Your Embodied Life”, a 4-month program starting end of January. If you’re feeling a pull to learn more, book a time for us to connect HERE. I’ll tell you about the program deets & we’ll explore if you are a good fit!)
P.P.S. (You can listen to the Untame Yourself podcast with Elizabeth & Terri here.)