Linda Graham: Bouncing Back; Somatic threshold

  
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“He suggests that when confronted with anything new, our responses range from the survival reactions of fight-flight-freeze, which halt any positive activation, all the way to adaptive activation and the free-flowing expression of creativity.
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Somewhere on that continuum there is a somatic threshold that we feel viscerally, where our body and brain chemistry stops us from going forward even though consciously — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually — we are ready to dive in.
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It can take the form of writer’s block; cold feet on the morning of the wedding; or the last-minute justification of “I don’t know anybody at the party, and I’m to tired anyway.
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This somatic marker is the disruption of the dopamine circuit, which is telling us, “Uh-oh, this is not what was expected.”
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That’s true: it’s not. It’s new.
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But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should stop abruptly.
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When we deliberately face our fear of doing something new or risky, or confront deep doubts about ourselves as human beings, we come to the somatic threshold that might block us from moving forward.
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As the meditation teacher Jack Kornfield says, we can read that anxiety not as a warning to retreat to the familiar and comfortable but as a signal that means “About to grow!”
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By facing the fear and intentionally crossing the threshold into action, we are deliberately choosing to evoke new experiences that recondition the anxiety in our nervous system.
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By pairing an old pattern of fear or block with a new, more positive pattern of courage and action, we contradict the old and rewire it.
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This is reconditioning at its finest.”
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