Does any of this ring a bell for you? The alarm goes off in the morning and before your brain fully registers that a new day has begun, you pick up your phone and check your email, Twitter and Instagram. As you’re getting dressed you feel the weight of the day ahead already pressing down. Getting the kids ready and off to school feels like corralling a flock of wild chickens. At work, your task list seems to only grow longer, no matter how many items you’re able to check off. You’re irritable and grumpy and you’ve drunk enough coffee to fuel a rocket to Mars. The work day comes to an end but that doesn’t mean your work is over. You still need to conjure up dinner for the family, run the kids through a shower, make sure they’ve done their homework, and hopefully have a little time to snuggle up with your spouse or partner and watch your latest Netflix binge. As you finally climb into bed, you think through the events of the day and the feelings attached to them, and you find a disconnect there. The truth is, you have the career you always wanted, a family you love more than life itself, the dream home you worked so hard to afford, yet you spend your days inside this constant vibration of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. You can’t make sense of it all but you’re sure there must be something that can make you feel better. A trip to Hawaii? That new suit you’ve been eyeing? Maybe a new exercise routine? Well, you’re right about one thing. There is something that can make you feel better. But you’re not going to find it on the outside.
As a kid, I was surrounded by people who seemed to live in a state of anger, resentment and suffering. My parents, my teachers, all of the adults in my life seemed disconnected, frustrated and unhappy. There was no passion and no inspiration. I wanted more. I was sure there was a way to live a fulfilled life; I just didn’t know how to do it. And there was certainly no one in my life capable of showing me the way. So I set out on a journey of self exploration. Over and over I asked myself: What is my purpose? Who am I? Why am I here? I sought out people who could help me find the answers to those questions. One after another, I encountered experts and masters in a variety of disciplines from psychology and neuroscience to martial arts and meditation. With each teacher, I engaged in an immersive experience, turning the methods and ideas they shared with me into my lifestyle. I lived what I was learning. And as I continued to grow, I gathered together the tools and strategies and the knowledge I had accumulated and put them together into a program of inner training that, in part, you’re reading about right now. So let’s dive into it: Why are you stuck in that state of stress and anxiety even though, on the outside, you’ve checked all the right boxes?
Let’s start by dipping our toes into the pool of science. (Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end.) All of the emotions we experience, from elation and joy, to anger and resentment, live inside our nervous system. And our nervous system operates in one of two states: the sympathetic or the parasympathetic. (Why do they have to sound so similar? I don’t know, ask the science nerds.) The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for our “fight or flight” response. It’s activated when our brain senses we are in danger. Our heart rate increases, we start breathing more rapidly, our senses go on high alert for any present threat. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “rest and digest” or “feed and breed” mode. This is when we feel relaxed, our heartbeat slows, and body functions return to “business as usual”. Both of these systems evolved over millions of years to ensure the two most basic human needs: survival and reproduction. As far as Mother Nature is concerned, as long as we stay alive and we produce offspring, then we’re hitting it out of the park. And that was great for the hundred thousand years or so that we lived in the grasses of the African savannah. But life as modern humans gets a little more complicated. We don’t have to worry about long-toothed predators sneaking up on us at the watering hole, but our brain doesn’t seem to know that. It’s always looking for danger, and finds it in the stressors of everyday life.
When the sympathetic nervous system is engaged, fear based emotions like anger, resentment, and anxiety are activated. It’s meant to only last for short periods of time, until we’ve managed to escape the enemy tribe. Then the parasympathetic response comes back online and love based emotions like joy, peace, and passion are activated. This love based state is where we were designed to spend most of our lives. It’s the place where we can access our higher self and our greatest potential. Sadly, some people, maybe most, are living with the sympathetic nervous system stuck in the “on” position. If we spend too long with the sympathetic response engaged, it becomes normalized, and we end up living inside a fear-based state without even realizing it. Not only is it damaging to the body physically, it can be devastating to our mental and emotional well being. It’s crucial to get back to the other side.
If we were to imagine the range of human emotions on a spectrum, the exact middle is what I call the inflection point. On one side are love based emotions like calm, happiness, and serenity, and on the other are fear based emotions like sadness, guilt, and shame. At any given time we are either on one side of the inflection point or the other. You can’t have a foot in both camps. The good news is, we can learn to recognize when we’ve slipped across into the fear-based sympathetic response and we can take action to get back to the other side. We can learn to recognize what in our lives is triggering the fear response and train the nervous system to respond differently.
This is at the heart of what we do at Inner Matrix Systems. Our Power Series curriculum is designed to teach you how to train your emotions and thoughts to align with the vision of life you’ve created. Through the training you will first learn to recognize and acknowledge the emotional state in which you are operating. Once you become aware of the emotions that are present, you will begin to map out the thoughts that are associated with them. Emotions drive the mind and the mind fuels the emotion. This is what I call an emotion loop. Using our tools, techniques and strategies, you will learn to recognize when you’re caught in an emotion loop that doesn’t align with your vision, and gain the capacity to stop that loop and shift into an emotion loop of your own design—one that aligns with the outcome you’d like to create. Essentially we train the ability to recognize which side of the inflection point we’re on, and to switch sides as desired.
If you’re already engaging with our Power Series curriculum, and are ready to take your training to the next level, I invite you to join us for an IM Reset weekend intensive. Reset is designed to increase your access to the range and intensity of emotions on the love-based side of the spectrum—a deeper experience of peace, perhaps a brand new experience like elation! We also train to increase your ability to stay on that love-based side, putting the parasympathetic response in the driver’s seat, which supports and aligns you with vibrant health!
One of our long time clients, Renee, recently attended IM Reset. Here’s what she had to say: “I have a very full schedule with managing a career and I have five daughters and I’m married…a lot of times I’m inside a lot of pressure to get things done and going from thing to thing, and that is not peaceful by any means, so when I’m able to access peace I can help lead from a place of clarity instead of making decisions from a place of fear…I start my day with the inner training and the internal energy practices so that I’m really activating peace, I’m activating love, I’m activating confidence and I’m actually managing my day versus my day managing me.”
You’re doing the work to create the life you want, now it’s time to do the work that will allow you to actually enjoy it. Click HERE to learn more about our IM Reset weekend intensives. These events sell out fast so book your spot today!
Just getting started? Click HERE to check out the Power Series and start building your foundation now!