More than a year ago, at the annual Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology conference, Katie Hendricks was one of the keynote speakers. Her presentation was brief, yet profound, because she talked not only about the 4 major fear responses (YES, there are more than "fight or flight"!) BUT ALSO how to counter-act (key word is ACT!) the PHYSICAL response that comes with each.
I LOVED it!
So I've shared it again and again, with demonstrations, too, of the body positions that I learned during the presentation.
There's a video recording on the Hendricks website. Hendricks speaks about "moving from fear to flow", which allows us to move into more creative ways to express ourselves -- even when we've been triggered or are under stress.
When we’re in fear, it’s difficult for us to be completely present. Our brains often shut down or go into an automatic reaction that doesn’t help complex situations. When we can move from fear to “flow”, we are better able to understand and work with what is going on around us. We can create new patterns of being with ourselves and in relationship with others.
The main fear responses – expressions of few – are below. If we can recognize fear at the body level, we can better move into a physical response that counters the fear. The “melter” or antidote to managing fear is through our bodies so we can become present to what is really happening. Our next step naturally evolves and more readily becomes available as we shift from fear into presence.
It’s possible to have one or more fear modes.
As you may know, fear begins with a PHYSICAL response, so why not have a PHYSICAL counter -action that allows the fear to flow instead of becoming locked in our bodies? (Brilliant, isn't it!?!?)
The 4 primary fear modes are:
And so, there are also corresponding "fear melters".
Fight: fists up
Ooze: allow your body to wave and slowly move, starting with arms and allowing the movement to spread throughout your body.
Flight: either through action or through escaping through thoughts.
Sumo: spread your legs wide and get low in your body, allowing you to become like a mountain. Imagine your feet rooted to the ground.
Freeze: all muscles tighten and a deep, short breath; or startled response.
Wiggle fingers and toes, sending the motion through the rest of you, “thawing” the body through the movements.
Faint: drained of energy, complete confusion (“going stupid”).
Scoops: let yourself welcome it, scoop your hands and arms outward then inward toward your body. Scoop the energy of welcome into your heart and body.
What's important now that you know this is that you PRACTICE moving from fear to flow by moving your body from your default fear response into the "Melter Action".
Practice, practice, practice.
Let me know how it goes!