As I got out of bed this morning, my head spun. I leaned back and held the edge of the bed for support – grounding myself before moving forward. I went through my rhythms, grabbed breakfast and my coffee. I sat down and continued to feel the world spinning around me.
Anytime I got up, tried to focus on work, walked around…the spinning got louder. I took a bath, drank water, took a remedy – the spinning persisted.
When it didn’t pass by mid-morning, I thought, “okay, I’m listening. Let’s talk, body” and took out my journal.
I went through my mind-body connection framework, the same one I use with clients. I brought awareness to my symptom and explored it from all angles. I dug deep into “dizzy” and wrote until nothing else came out.
Dizzy in my head
My head thinks, plans, holds my brain, gets things in action, creates, does
Feels unstable, out of control, disorienting
Don’t know how to move forward
Feels better when I rest, or don’t do anything
Worse when I try to do stuff, or get up, or move forward
It makes me feel small and sad and out of control. I want to stop, hide, protect myself, I’m vulnerable. It’s taking over m, preventing me from moving into action.
The awareness brought forward the battle happening within me – the two parts. One wants to move forward, act, do. The other: No. Stop. Rest. Hide.
I still had no idea (see: was ignoring) what this dizziness was rooted in, so I moved onto my favourite prompt:
If this was resolved, what could I do…then what? It looks like this:
· I could go about my day with ease. Then what?
· I could let go of the little things. Then what?
· I’d really go after my dreams. Then what?
· I would be successful. Then what?
· I would be seen. Then what?
· I might fail…visibly. Then what?
· I’ll be rejected. Then what?
· I’ll never get another chance.
All of a sudden it wasn’t about whether I was dehydrated or tired…it was about something more and that more was right in front of me. See, last night I had my fifth Coming Home session, and I had zero people signed up.
I knew the day would come, I anticipated it and made a plan for when it did. I committed to myself I would keep going, even if some weeks came up short, because the weeks that people did show up we’re magical. My fear of failure was going to be challenged, but I was prepared.
My inner child was not. She was terrified and as I went through that last prompt, I was reminded of the simple truth: our body is always protecting us.
· After weeks of wonderful sessions, one week no one signed up.
· My inner child screamed, “SEE! OUR WORST FEAR! IT HAPPENED!! ABORT!”
· So my body went into protection mode = dizzy, can’t move forward.
Despite the last four weeks of Coming Home going so well, despite feeling so good about the offering, despite consciously knowing that sometimes no one shows up and it’s not personal – my inner world took the first glimpse of failure and ran with it. Because that’s it’s job.
Our body and mind work together to keep us safe and protected. Our beliefs ultimately form to protect us (if I fail, I will be rejected) so when we push up against those beliefs, even just slightly, our inner world does anything it can to protect us.
If you’re attacked by a dog, your inner world will probably caution you against every dog even though you know not every dog will attack you. If you are in a car accident, your brain might globalize that every car is unsafe. It’s not rational, but when it comes to survival, rational doesn’t matter.
Reality is, we outgrow the beliefs that once kept us safe and then those beliefs turn into the things that keep us safe. It’s a sticky adjustment to move beyond those beliefs, to upgrade them. But we do it all the time, we’re built for it.
The best thing you can do for the parts of you that are holding on dearly to those fears, is love them. We do this with compassion, with love, like a parent. We remind our little Paula that she is safe now, we’ve grown up, we have tools to keep us safe even if no one signs up. We can rest, reflect, and try again even if we feel like it didn’t go great last time.
Are you dizzy?
Your body has it's own unique reason for expressing this symptom and medical reasons should always be ruled out, but a spinning head often relates to your perception of something in life. Often times, this perception is rooted in fear, in childhood. Below are some prompts to explore if you're feeling dizzy.
What am I refusing to see in my life?
What am I trying to escape?
What was said/what happened just prior to the onset of dizziness?
Is your perception being distorted surrounding something in your life?
If this dizziness was resolved, what could you do? If you could do that, then what?
The next time physical symptoms come up, dive in. Bring awareness to the sensation, give it a voice. Try the “then what?” question and see what your mind brings forward. There are healing opportunities in every ailment, and more often than not – your healing plan involves something completely different than anticipated.