Archive | September, 2015

The Silence

We all carry it. The silence within. Often we fear it and keep it a bay. Sometimes we struggle to touch it through meditation and breath. I want to cultivate my silence, grow with it, radiate from it.

Waking by Matthew SanfordMatthew Sanford was thrown into his silence with great force. A car accident killed his father and sister, and Matthew woke up in the hospital a paraplegic at 13. His body, his mind, his spirit became silent.

It was a long, long time before he made friends with his silence. But he learned to listen more deeply than I am capable of doing. He learned that yoga happens from the inside out.

His book Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence is a journey through his silence. It is a courageous affirmation of life, growth, acceptance, and flourishing through the energy of yoga.

His work now is teaching us through yoga to embrace our silence and to find the courage to listen, the wisdom to understand, and the strength to act.

I encourage you to explore your own silence.

And you might want to get to know Matthew Sanford:

Visualize your Vagus Nerve

Your vagus nerve is the commander-in-chief when it comes to having grace under pressure.
Christopher Bergland, Psychology Today

Do you know about your vagus nerve? Know its characteristics?

I didn’t even know I had one until a few weeks ago. Wow, this one is major and perhaps you’ll join me on this inquiry about a fascinating part of us.

Vagus nerveHere’s an early anatomical illustration of the nerve, borrowed from an article in Psychology Today by Christopher Bergland. This should give you an idea of its importance.

Rooted in the cerebellum and brainstem, the nerve branches to both sides of the body and feeds information to and from most of our organs, all the way to the lowest area of our abdomen.

Mr. Bergland’s article is well written, informative, and easy to understand. I suggest you check it out. And then breathe deeply as you visualize your vagus.

The sympathetic nervous system is geared to rev you up like the gas pedal in an automobile – it thrives on adrenaline and cortisol and is part of the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system is the polar opposite. The vagus nerve is command central for the function of your parasympathetic nervous system. It is geared to slow you down like the brakes on your car and uses neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and GABA to literally lower heart rate, blood pressure, and help your heart and organs slow down.

Christopher Bergland, Psychology Today