Today was a long and very satisfying day.
Starting at nine in the morning, I spent the day giving a training in self-regulation skills to counselors working with children in the Kathmandu area. We started off the day by exploring how resilience and recovery are talked about in Nepali culture, and then continued by making an in-depth exploration of how the human nervous system works – both when we’re doing well, as well as when our internal balance is temporarily knocked offline.
When exploring how the nervous system works, we didn’t only talk about it at a theoretical level – we explored the experience of what it feels like in the body to be in a state of balance, what it feels like to be out of balance, and what kinds of things are that help us return to a state of balance when we come through the other side of a disturbance.
As Laurie points out, just about all people, no matter how challenging their circumstances, have some people, places or things that bring them a sense of comfort and peace. One of the most powerful ways of helping people to return to a state of balance after a disturbance is to help them to connect internally to the people, places and things that bring them a sense of joy or calm or peace. This actually has a direct balancing effect on the nervous system! It was really a pleasure yesterday to see the participants moving into a greater sense of ease and comfort before my eyes.
Beyond the resources that people already have, there are also concrete skills that can be learned in order to help restore balance to the mind and the body. After lunch, the participants in the workshop spent the rest of the afternoon learning techniques to do just this. First we practiced using these skills on ourselves together as a group, and then the participants got into small groups and practiced using these skills in order to support others.
The participants seemed really pleased. There was a sense in the room that the work that we were doing was really relevant to their everyday lives – both professionally and personally. When we said goodbye at the end of the afternoon, there was warmth and smiles on just about everyone’s faces. Needless to say, this felt really nice!!