Are you ready for Stingray?
Think water element – flow.
Think water element – outpouring.
What is it that you create and have a desire to share? It could be anything you make: food, music, humor, craftsmanship, sweet treats, Art, ideas.
Are you ready for an outpouring of creativity? YOUR creativity. What would that look like, feel like, sound like, taste like, smell like? How would it take up space? Does it feel right? – not too much, not too little. Comfortable? Is the experience authentic to you and how you desire to show up and express yourself?
I really like this card deck. As mentioned, I originally bought it to have available for students who were living in extreme life circumstances outside of their control. In the time spent with the kids living the situations, there was no ‘skill’ to teach and reinforce – their intelligent nervous systems were protecting them. This presented differently for each of them and who was I to say how they were experiencing their inside world, but I knew they were human and able to navigate the ‘shipwreck’ as Dr Bruce Perry (author of What Happened to You) described trauma. He observed in his lifetime experience working with children living horrific life experiences that the pieces of the wreck are put back one at a time.
The wild unknown.
The animal deck is named The Wild Unknown.
I believed wholeheartedly that the kids had what they needed to not only get through the circumstances, but to ‘crush’ their existence. One child’s circumstances were more horrible than the next, but it didn’t lessen who they were as humans and what was available within.
The drawings of the animal cards are cool. That’s the main thing. If the kids were interested I would read to them about the elements and the powers. Truthfully, in the time period I am referencing I only had the deck available for them to look at if it interested them, and kept it on the table.
I have been using the deck more recently to make connections to inner strengths. I draw out the essence of the animals that are easy to use in yoga poses. At the bottom of the card it shares what strengths show up when the animal is in balance, and what shows up when out of balance. The language I use is connected to the emotional regulation tool named Zones of Regulation. Green Zone is in balance, Yellow Zone is when we notice the indicators our body is sharing that suggest something is needing our attention.
As it relates to general social-emotional strategies I share that are often linked to school age curriculums, I have had persons in my age range tell me a version of ‘I wish I had this when I was a kid’.
We (my age range – I’m 51) may not have had access to and an understanding of social and emotional skills as children, but we have access to it now.
How does one know what skills to teach and reinforce with the younger generation if they were not taught and reinforced the beneficial skills when they were that age?
There is a split energy. It’s evident in the external polarized environment that is most visible in certain media channels. What is familiar information does not mean it is good and nourishing, it’s just familiar. There is comfort in familiarity even if it sucks, is cruel, and perpetuates being stuck and spinning in a version of the same limiting outcomes. The split is wanting one thing, but pushing against its possibility by focusing on the problem and who is to blame; rather than imagining, validating, reinforcing, nourishing that which is good and available within – a belief in what is possible.
The wild unknown.
Part II of Story I Tell is based on my experience with ‘wild’. Asking the question, ‘What does wild mean to you?’
What is happening in my sessions with the cards is to evoke one’s natural sense of wonder and possibility. When things suck and feel impossible, a sense of wonder and possibility might be all we have.
Here is where one blog ends and another begins…
checking IN to the social environment.
When I first was eager to ‘teach’ (facilitate) mindfulness, it was difficult for me to understand what a sensation actually was in order to teach it. I could say ‘tune into sensations in the body’, but it didn’t mean anything to me if I didn’t understand what I was actually suggesting for the students to do. I could understand the sensations of tired, hungry, thirsty, bathroom, etc. but it didn’t seem to capture the understanding I wanted to have. When I broke down the words and began to think of one’s senses and the bodies response to sensory input, that’s when I began to have an experiential understanding of not only sensations, but also of sensory processing. Understanding the inner senses is what makes it all come together for me: proprioceptive (where am I in space and time), vestibular (too much, not enough, just right), tactile (comfortable or uncomfortable), and interoceptive (mine or yours).
When one works with others who are considered to have social and emotional differences that land on a school determination of an autism spectrum, one becomes curious about sensory processing and social awareness.
As mentioned in the beginning of the post, regardless of what is considered a difference (different to what?), it’s my belief that humans have what they need. This belief drives a desire to have a better understanding as to what lies within. Each of us has a way of showing up and expressing our authentic self.
Navigating the social world can feel like torture to some. In my experience, I include plants and animals to be part of life and its social relationships. Connecting to plants and animals can be easier onboarding for some when it comes to navigating a social world as to how one relates to self and other. (Have you ever watched Temple Grandin and the scene where she is made to socialize and present herself as ‘typical’ to a peer group. It’s torture.)
When one has a desire to connect to their authentic self and orient to the physical world of external conditions from the inner space of knowing and possibility, the experience of existence feels hopeful.
Here are the few posts I shared this week on sallysifer FB page:
March 29, 2023
checkIN – Social Environment