How to Find Your Inner Map

by Brooke Campbell, MA, RDT-BCT, LCAT

We are on an unexpected journey at the moment and we each hold the individual map to get us to our destination. Our destination is not to an outward place, but towards the inner landscape of ourselves. As humans, we are quick to want to escape when life becomes hard and
challenging. Yet, we are well-equipped to stay with ourselves during this time and journey inward, which is more about becoming and less about doing more.

Our map consists of becoming more aware and attuned to our mind, body, and heart.

Our Mind Map – Our brains are on a journey. We can experience a roller coaster of being in a primitive freeze, flight, or fight reaction as a response to the collective trauma we are experiencing. If we have a map of our mind, we can be the captain of our ship and observe
lovingly to check in to see where we are at the moment. Are we feeling triggered? If our brains sense a threat of safety and danger, our amygdala becomes fired up and reacts in a freeze, fight, or flight response. This response exists as a way to survive. There may be times our amygdala senses a threat when there is no actual danger. An example of this would be if we are feeling the emotion of fear. Using our awareness, we can check to see if we are feeling triggered and emotionally activated. During a real actual threat, we could go into a tuned out, shutting down state to protect ourselves.

When we feel relaxed and safe, we can stop and acknowledge our fears and then lovingly venture to the part of our brains that are responsible for problem-solving and executive functioning, which is the frontal lobe. Some ways we can access our frontal cortex is through creativity, play, and social engagement. What playful, fun, and creative activities bring you joy? What people light you up that you could connect with? When we are engaged in a playful, free, creative state while remaining social (in a safe, social distancing way) we’ll be able to feel more joy and relaxation. As a result, we are able to problem-solve effectively and make positive decisions for ourselves.

Our Body Map – As trauma informed medical doctor Bessel van der Kolk states, trauma resides in our bodies. It is through our body that we can heal. If given a map of our physical body, what places are we holding stress? Our body stores memories and emotions. How can we be in
touch with our bodies and what it needs on a consistent basis? Basic needs like rest, exercise, movement, eating healthy foods, and staying hydrated are essential at this time. More than ever before, we are needing to care for and not abandon ourselves. Now is the time to fully
care for and listen to our bodies.

Our Heart Map – As a society, we are often given the message that our minds are more important than our hearts. Our hearts hold our insight, our inner knowing, our dreams, hopes, and feelings. What are our hearts telling us? What are we deeply needing at this time? If we get still and quiet, what message is our heart telling us that we need to hear at this time? Is our heart feeling full and connected or alone and needing more love? How can we show ourselves more love and compassion?

Learn more about Brooke at: http://www.creativekinections.com/

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