Let’s return to our story..
Let us return twenty years into the past, back to the tree where you find me shivering, watching the mama bear and her cubs prance off into the distance. As I start climbing down the tree, let us look at a different scenario. Everything returns to normal, I recover beautifully and no subluxation is created. My pulse rate is calm and steady. My blood pressure and adrenal function return to normal resting levels. My pupils contract and my digestion turns back on. I pass Step Three: I recover.
I now look around the vale in which I stumbled and notice scratch marks on the tree and a unique pile of feces on the trail that I had previously not noticed. I observe a distinct smell in the air and notice some paw prints and a few hairs scattered across the ground. I take careful note of all these things.
Let us again jump twenty years into the future, but instead of an overweight couch potato, the experience has driven me to become a fit naturalist backpacking in the mountains of North Carolina. Walking down the path, I suddenly notice a strange smell in the air. It is vaguely familiar, but I just can’t place it. I continue further and notice a pile of fecal matter on the side of the trail. It also looks familiar, but it can be from any number of creatures. Suddenly, I begin to notice some scratch marks on the tree, and I perceive an all too familiar change in the environment. I immediately, and consciously, hold my breath, turn around, and very quietly, tip toe the other direction.
Notice the difference between this event and my experience twenty years ago. I have learned and evolved. I am now able to adapt to the same stress with far less energy and far less internal change, making the recovery much easier and effortless. The next time I will need only to notice the smell in the distance and I will adapt very easily to the situation. This is how we, both as individuals, and as a species, evolve and grow. I passed Step Four: I evolved.
Stay tuned as we continue to explore the 7 response abilities through the “Mama Bear” Incident in the next entry.
We will continue exploring the 7 response abilities with our “Mama Bear Incident” story in the next entry.
Adapted from an excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg
With Love and Appreciation,