Integration Journaling Questions:
Perhaps remember the day you started this series. What were your hopes, fears & dreams?
Recalling your journey over the past few months, what stands out? What have you learned? What insights or skills have you gained?
What questions remain? What feels most alive about this practice now?
How are you going to integrate this learning into your life from here?
Building the practice into your life
Mindfulness Cues - Cultivate a short practice that you can do throughout your day. You can choose one small, do-able thing like noticing your feet or taking one inhale and exhale on purpose. Then, set up cues you are likely to see on a daily basis to remind you to do this practice. For example “whenever I see a red light, I take a deep breath” or “each morning when I brush my teeth I notice my feet”. The idea is that the more you practice interoception when you are not in crisis mode, the more well paved that pathway will be.
The Pomodoro Method - This is a great work hack especially if you work on a computer. If you look up the pomodoro method online and find a timer you can use on your computer. The timer will let you work for 25 minutes then a timer will go off and you get a 5 minute break. You can use that break to stand up, get a snack, use the restroom, or notice your body. This ensures you are checking in with your physical needs throughout the day.
Developing Distress Tolerance - Anticipate times when you can practice interoception and choice with a little strain, but not too much. For example, if you know you are going into a situation that will be a stretch for you and may cause some mild stress, perhaps choose to do a short practice before doing that thing. For example, before going to the grocery store at rush hour, spend 5 breaths noticing your hands.
Ask for Help - You can recruit people in your life to remind you to notice your body! If there is someone who you regularly experience distress near (often it can be the people closest to us like our family or therapists) you can ask them to help you. Often our family members want to know how to be supportive but might not know the best way. You can make specific requests from them. For example, I have asked my partner to ask me “Are you feeling your feet?” if we begin to fight or if I am getting anxious.
Developing a Home Practice
On Purpose - It is a skill to learn how to do things that prioritize yourself. Lack of self trust can be one form of a trauma response. One way to build self-trust and self reliance is by practicing consistency and follow through with yourself. To practice this, you might choose a time that you will practice at home ahead of time. Choosing a start and end time that is specific, realistic and do-able will help. For example: I practice for 10 minutes every Monday morning at 9am. You can practice ending when you say you will even if you have more energy and feel like doing more. Keeping to your word will build self trust.
Choose a Space - What do you need to feel safe and at ease? You may want to consider the space for your practice ahead of time so that it does not become a barrier in the moment. Perhaps choose a space where you can close the door, have privacy, adjust the lighting the way you want. You don’t need much room or any fancy props. Choosing and creating intention around your space is what counts.
Guidance- You are welcome to use any of the videos in online course library for guidance. There are 9 hour long practices in the online course portal. As a bonus, these videos can be done separately for a 10 minute practice or combined for a 20 minute practice:
Sitting Practice (10 mins)
Standing Practice (10 mins)
It doesn’t need to be Perfect - Any small practice is a huge win. I recommend setting yourself up to experience wins instead of failures. Setting your goals within reaching distance at first can help motivate you to continue. Remember, you can always grow and change the practice at any point!
In person practice
There is no replacement for practicing in person with other people! The level of support available in group classes is special in it’s own way. Some options for in-person classes:
Making Requests at Public Studios- I recommend honoring any level of sensitivity you feel and taking seriously your boundaries when coming into a public studio setting. You can call ahead of time or talk to the teacher before class and let them know that you will be modifying the postures and request no hands on assists. You are always welcome to modify these requests as you grow trust with the studio and/or teacher.
Privates - If none of these times work for you and you would like in person support, we can set up some private practice times that work for your schedule. This is the most high level support I offer and can be one of the fastest ways to create huge shifts in your relationship with your body.
As this journey ends, another begins. May we move gracefully with time and transition.