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The essential Ingredient on the Way back to Health

The air is getting crisp outside. With the coloring of the leaves the transition to the cold season becomes less daunting. I can watch the dancing gold of the the sunlight merge with the shades of ruby red , persimmon, pantone yellow and deer brown on trees and the ground. This kaleidoscopic play of colors is only enhanced by the contrast to the innocent, carolina blue of the autumn sky.

As the trees are giving up their foliage and the sunlight becomes more scarce, I feel the need for slowing down. This whole year felt like someone pressed the fast forward button and I feel I have been on an emotional and mental sprint through this year until now. This was by far my most successful year in personal development, my personal life and my career. And with that success came a lot of overwhelm, stress and nervous system overstimulation . I had to learn how to prioritize this year, so I took a closer look at my values and what matters most to me.

One of my top values in life is health on all levels – physically, emotionally and mentaly. When I went into the professional dance world some years ago, this value clashed a lot with the success I desired in that field. I simply wasn’t willing to compromise on my health just to earn the approval of teachers or others. I will have a deeper dive into this in another post.

A few weeks ago I held my first in person retreat in collaboration with Teresa Ragg. I am still in awe of the profound transformation that took place in just a couple of days. 5 brave people decided to dive deep into the meat of their life’s experience – encountering their deepest pain, exploring their highest joy, daring to get emotionally naked in front of a group of people they didn’t really know before. And even though it seemed like these things were the essential strides of the retreat which caused metmorphoses and awareness – there was a key ingredient that made all of the depth and vulnerability possible in the first place. An element that is often underestimated: SAFETY

I get it – safety doesn’t sell. After all, we are here to expand and constantly stretch the realm of possibility. FASTER.BETTER. STRONGER. Many of us are striving for excellence. The western world values success, results and achievements more than hardly anything. As much progress as it brings us, ths also has some serious downsides to it.

For example: Most people don’t value safety, because they think being safe means, not evolving. Saying no to expansion. Or simply having a boring life. And they connect the term comfort zone with it.

What if I told you, that all of the above mentioned things actually come from a chronic feeling of unsafety?

If you look at a child’s development, you will find that as long as it has a secure attachment to a caregiver that is intact – meaning the child knows, this person is there when it needs her, it always has access to the help, containment and protection of this caregiver – only then will it feel safe enough in itself to start exploring the world around it. It will keep exploring further day by day in its own pace. This level of exploration is only possible to the degree of safety the child feels in relation to its caregiver.

When there is no consistent secure attachment or even none at all, the child develops anxiety and fear of the world around it. It certainly won’t go out to explore its environmnet. It anxiously focuses on the attachment to its caregiver, because it never knows whether that person will still be available for the child if it doesn’t constantly check on it and even then...

When children don’t experience that safe attachement through one or mutliple caregivers, they will turn into adults that feel chronically unsafe in the world. They don’t trust others and life easily or at all, they feel often powerless in creating the circumstances they want in life and they can not easily relax or surrender. There is a plethora of ways on how to cope with that baseline feeling of unsafety in oneself. You can become a successful (over)achiever, you can become controlling of everything or everyone in your life, you can become a people pleaser or you can intellectualize everything – just to name a few. Something even more important to become aware of is that unsafety is the main breeding ground for mental illness.

Still convinced that safety is just a nice little comfort thing? Oh right, the comfort zone – I don’t even like the term, because it is misleading. A comfort zone simply describes a situation or space that we are very familiar with. We are creatures of habit and familiarity in itself creates a sense of safety for us – no matter how UNHEALTHY or UNCOMFORTABLE a situation actually is! Just watch the way people eat. Even though it is proven by many sources that red meat causes cancer and many other health prolems by now – many people won't change thier diet to a healthier one. Having to go through the initial discomfort of change seems harder to bare with then the discomfort of not feeling well on that diet, simply because you are used to it.

It’s the same reason why people stay in abusive relationships – it has not much to do with actual comfort. That familiar state is only maintained because of fear. Fear of loss, of heartbreak of being alone, ect. People that feel a deep sense of safety and trust in the world are not in desperate need of holding on to a comfort zone. They know the they will get what they want through one way or another eventually.

In the last 3 years the level of unsafety people feel in the world has massively increased. And with it the level of suffering, the number of crimes and suicides .

Safety is the missing ingredient to peoples wellbeing and healing. I am a huge advocate for bringing back safety. Many of my clients tell me they have rarely, if ever felt as safe as in my presence. In the beginning I didn’t see the value in that, because it doesn't feel like the most wanted quality when it comes to leading people to what they desire in life. But I've seen repeadetly how the deepest secrets and most hidden wounds come to the surface in people when they are simply contained in an energetic cocoon of safety. It is like a catalyst for transformation. As facilitators and therapists we become that secure attachment that people might have never experienced and therefore we open the door for them to become the adventurous explorer that they are by nature.

After all this talk about the importance of safety you might wonder how we can create safety for us and others again.

The fastest way I witnessed in our retreat again is CONNECTION. Safety and connection come hand in hand. If you connect to someone or something, you start to feel them, understand them and care for them. Which are the building blocks of love. My favourite tool for creating profound and lasting connection between people is the Connection Process by Teal Swan. We used it at our retreat and there are very little things that touch me more than witnessing 2 people deeply connecting through that process. It changes everything. Once you are connected – it is impossible to harm the other person. Because harming him or her would mean you harm yourself. It makes you taking ownership for the wellbeing of the other person and vice versa. A link is between 2 people is being created. A link that makes it seem like they are telepathically connected. They feel each other, they see each other, they understand each other. Like this, harm becomes impossible - because harming something so connected is like harming yourself.

And in the absence of harm, safety is re-born.


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