• Alexa de los Reyes

Who else has a case of "the twisties?"

Have you been thinking about your orientation in time and space recently? I have, ever since reading gymnast Simone Biles’s account of getting “the twisties” – a sudden mind/body disconnect and frightening sense of bodily disorientation.

While most people don’t have to navigate their bodies flying through the air, I think a lot of us struggle with a version of the twisties; some form of mind/body or time/space disconnect that can get exacerbated by stress.

Maybe your communication with your body gets disrupted and you get caught off guard by injury or illness. Or you lose your grounding and become physically or mentally unmoored. Some people get tangled in the past, ruminating in circles, not able to notice or process what is in front of them. Others project out into the unknown and suffer imaginary hardships. All of these disorientations can be deeply unsettling and certainly make it hard to be present and functional.

To help counteract these various twisties, I recommend a few practices below. Now is a great time to try them, since time in August tends to move in unpredictable speeds and directions. (It's not just me, right?)

Priority Nudges

We can end up spending so much of our time on auto-pilot, going through the motions, forgetting to look up and take in our surroundings. I've found the app "Mind Jogger" to be useful for programming little nudges that are then sent throughout the day at random times. You might consider "five deep breaths," or "drink water," or "Stop! Look around! Be here now!"

The Heart Knows

Switching into the "relaxation response," activating the parasympathetic nervous system and moving out of fight/flight/freeze, is the first step out of an ungrounded and frazzled energy state. Here are a few ideas for soothing and reconnecting your body, mind, and spirit with some very simple movement and meditation practices.

Find your edges Smooth your flat palms over your whole body like you're smoothing out wrinkles -- over your forehead, skull, neck, shoulders down your arms, across your chest and belly, down your lower back and hips, down your legs and off your toes. Spend extra time anywhere that needs it. Repeat by sweeping your palms a few inches off the body. You might want to finish by rolling around or simply lying on the ground for a few minutes.

Be the time, be the space

Make it a practice to guess what time it is throughout the day. Try to predict how long an action or activity will take. When at home, driving, or walking around, try to point in the direction of a local landmark or identify one of the cardinal directions. Keep track of when you get it right.

Time is in the Eye of the Beholder

If you feel as though time is passing more and more quickly, you're right! This fascinating article explains how our experience and perception of time changes as we age. It also has a few tips for slowing things down.

Align your Hara Line

Connect into your central light channel that fuels your energy body at the level of intention. It's my one sure-fire way to recover a deep sense of balance and presence. If you'd like to learn more and give it a try, join me at my next group healing session!

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