Building capacity is a lifelong skill.
Our capacity is infinite and building it takes practice and challenging ourselves in healthy ways so our system can grow (this is called neuro-stimulation which we will cover on Day 7).
Today the main teachings are within the video above.
IMPORTANT: If you have a QUESTION for this lesson, please start your comment below with the word: Question. This way we can easily find the questions ?.
For all other comments, shares, observations, and the like, simply share below!
Thank you in advance, Irene & Team Lyon.
Question: I am becoming more aware of the fact that when I’m trying to watch the videos, my attention will go elsewhere to various ruminations. This feels related to my capacity and my nervous system, but I’m not sure in what sense – I sometimes start ruminating about my rumination. Could I have some guidance on where this might be coming from?
Question: Irene says to wait until we feel safe and okay to do capacity-growing exercises. What if we are in a space where we are experiencing dysregulation often? For example, my recent diagnosis of central sensitization that I’m waiting to see a pain specialist about gives me flares up. I’m also doing a benzodiazepine taper that adds to my nervous system stress. I am looking to heal my nervous system in the mean time. Is it safe to do capacity growing exercises when dealing with this? Should I wait til most of my flare up symptoms are gone to do any work?
Question: I find as I have with many other course practices that I don’t remember to do the exercises/practices throughout the day. I’m good at starting the day with a morning routine where I’ll do orienting but as the day goes on I forget! I wonder if it’s a form of self sabotage and unconscious belief of not detserving to be well? It’s scary that I do so many courses with different modalities – meditation, Breathwork, NLP but I don’t do the practices and give up and move on to the next course. I have very positive beliefs and intentions when I start but I never seem to finish a course or keep up with the practices. How can I get over this ?
Question: I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with my partner. We met when I have already been in traditional therapy for a couple of years, doing mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga. I was feeling really good about myself and for the first time in my life I truly wanted to share it with someone special. Then we met and I really appreciated the closeness, direct communication, the intimacy I always wanted. But then around that time my health problems started showing up like a snowball effect, and really bad too. I started feeling less deserving, very stressed, lonely. I also needed more attention and reassurance from my partner. It became evident he had troubles in meeting my needs even with guidance. His inability to voice out feelings and words of encuragement left me feeling like in my childhood – not seen, not heard. This continues or fluctuates to this day.
It is a chicken and egg problem trying to figure out whether this would have been the path to healing either way, and I get triggered because I have not truly healed beforehand or whether this relationship is bad for me and halted or disturbed my healing. Is there any way to tell?
Question: I’m really struggling with The ‘deserve to heal’, The ‘being worthy’. I checked out a lot of Irenes resources online, but I cannot seem to find something to help me get on The track towards those feelings. Do you know where to look? I get lost in the amount of resources and then lose my focus… Thanking you in advance
I think I wrote here, but somewhat it got cancelled.
I am easily overwhelmed and activated. It seems that nothing is helpful.
Even we I try to bring simple practices (i.e. walking, orienting, pendulation, etc) I get super intense feelings in my body.
I have little capacity to stay with strong sensations. I know maybe this is too generic maybe, but I would appreciate suggestions on what to do if this happens again. How can I break the steps down? What to do when there is too much activation and overwhelm? Any practice to replace pendulation?
How to build more capacity or widen window of tolerance?
Question: So, when someone tells us that we can use a tool for ns regulation ( butterfly hug, deep belly breath, etc), that tool just helps us to calm ourselves down, but that is not true regulation? We are only masking the real thing in some kind of way? I hope that you understand my question. 🙂
I’m feeling completely deflated by this days lesson. It feels like an impossible, never ending task of climbing mountains that were put there by other people, other circumstances, Things that happened in my early childhood and even before I was born. Why is it all up to me To do The work? How in the world am I supposed to believe, have intention and feel deserving of getting better? And how do I communicate and explain this to other people?
I scrolled a bit through The comments and came upon one by Carol, posted only a few hours earlier. Something in there gave me a spark of hope. Don’t look at the whole mountain(s), look at what a small first step I can maybe take today. Notice that I feel wronged, angry at everything and everyone. Notice that I don’t believe, that I resist to set intention, that I don’t feel deserving. And holding on to what Irene says about finding spaces where you feel more at ease and what Carol writes about The one percent. The being curious.
don’t think about The big mountain, focus on The step I can take today
This ideas of the one that are able to heal, and those not, is very confusing for me. A psychiatrist once told me: no one on this globe has ever healed from this disorder (dis nos). This sentence ripped the essence of my life away. Now, it is quite a challenge, to disgard this (very mean!) remark. It is the best way to not ‘notice’ it, but I was so depressed it engraved itself in my system. The psychiatrist, well known in Holland, made a full package of ‘diagnosis’ leaving me without a single tool. But… in retrospect left me in the world with a narcissistic mom, that was on me like an octopus, reactivating the early childhood trauma, again and again. I ‘broke’ again, and again. Until I slowly understood, that I am some sort of ‘food’ she is needy to gain. Disgusting, and deeply tragic at the same time. Anybody being around her, would sooner or later collapse… She has chased and haunted me for the last 20 years…. I have given up on this. I sort of broke with my whole family actually. Now many years later I still sometimes go back to this psychiatrist’s statement… and I do give effort not to let her into my system too deeply.
Like so many others here, hearing about deservability as a precursor for healing, made my heart sink.
I find it a challenging conscious belief, never mind what else is buried in my subconscious!
But as I was thinking about it today, noticing my thoughts, I came to see that process is part of changing the belief!
Noticing is part of our practice here!
And then I decided to change the thought by one degree, infusing it with some curiousity and interest, like we’re being taught to do!
So this is what it looks like now…..
“I really don’t believe that I deserve to heal! I think it’s a nice concept and it happens for other people. But I’m pretty sure it can’t really happen for me! It’s definitely not in my bones!
But Irene says to get curious and interested! It’s part of the “mantra” we learned in the first lesson – LOOK AROUND, FEEL THE GROUND, and I changed the last line to – ACT LIKE A HOUND! (They are curious and interested!)
So I wonder…..? I wonder if one percent of me believes I deserve to heal? One percent is pretty small, but if a spark can create a fire, I wonder if one percent of me believing that I deserve to heal, could spread to 5%? I wonder…..?
I noticed the last couple days or so I wake up with some kind of slight vibration in the whole body, it’s not strong enough to be described as trembling, it’s more of a vibration/weakness in the muscles kind of feeling. I did not do any strenuous exercises in the last days, so it’s not from that. And there’s some sensation in the mouth/throat, the whole thing seems a bit similar to some flu symptom but it’s unlikely I have flu :/ of course when I search online it tells me it might be neurosis etc. But I’m wondering if that can be a sign of coming out of the freeze state?
I do have some anxiety with those symptoms but in general I had much more anxiety on waking up before I started the program. Is it something I should be worried about or it’s normal and maybe a good sign?
I noticed myself procrastinating to really stay with the course every day. one of the reasons is that I packed my last days so full of work and activities (exactly like you mention it in the video).
and I strongly resonated with the following part in the recommended article (trauma tip #3): “and they’re definitely not worthy and deserving of healing, health and vitality (enter the constant cycle resistance to doing the work, fleeing from healthy behaviours and supportive situations).”
I really feel that I am in some way fleeing from doing the work (while every single cell in my body knows that this class, this approach, everything here is exactly what I need and want to heal)
What can you recommend to overcome this challenge to stay with it? So that I actually build the capacity to engage with the material every day?
I am also writing this to make the pattern explicit to myself, and not run away from me noticing it.
I will really appreciate any kind of tip or inspiration, or insights from previous students.
Thanks a lot !🌱
Question: sitting here nursing pain from a loose wisdom tooth (dentist tomorrow) overall I’m doing ok, however I have noticed that I am getting old memories pop up from my late teens when I suffered from abscesses in my mouth often.. very interesting…Am I on the right track to acknowledge the memory for a bit, tune into my body noticing what needs softening via
/scanning, orient to come back into the now & have a cry if/when intensity arises? TIA
Question: for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, what does the disregulation chart look like? Is it a crash that stays down? Why does it never come back up?
Question: Is it possible to also download a ‘slide deck’ of today’s (day 4) video? This is possible for the video of day 2 and helps me to ‘let go’ of the urge to write all the notes down and draw all the visuals in the video, which are VERY helpful for me to understand the theory.
In response to the you tube ‘tips’ video posted in the attached article, would you say that is better to be surrounded by less but reliable people or even perhaps be alone that spend time with people who are not understanding or supportive. It’s harder to eliminate those that are more traumatising/toxic especially since for me it’s my parents with whom I still want to maintain a relationship with
Question: This section of the program mentions that as you build capacity you may start to remember things. I am concerned that by doing the 21 day program I may bring up memories that I currently don’t have the ability to safely process due to the environment that I live in and my current life situation. Let’s say for example that I remember a sexual abuse I may have experienced in childhood, in my current life situation this would probably traumatize me so much that I might go into psychosis and would not be able to move forward in getting myself out of my current unsafe living environment and unstable life situation. Thus, should I hold off in continuing to do the program until I am in a safe living environment and stable life situation or should I continue with the program as you only remember what you can handle in the moment when doing this program…..Thanks…..
Question ~ I have experienced no shortage of shock, early, and chronic trauma. I have been living in survival mode for years for various reasons. While I have created a much safer/healthier overall life environment for myself over the past year and a half, my body seems to be continuing to operate in survival mode despite the positive changes and various healing efforts up to this point. I feel like there are parts of me that haven’t necessarily been dulled/lost through this survival period, such as following my intuition and feeling in tune with my body in an athletic type of way, but at the same time my body definitely feels like it is not fully balanced/alive and able to easily feel the joy I desire and deserve. It’s not that I never feel emotions deeply or a range of emotions, it’s almost as though there is a fog/weight over the ones like joy/vitality that would typically feel light and bright in my body and being. Is this normal for someone who has been in freeze for so long? I recognize change is not instantaneous, and I am doing so much better, but it has been so long I honestly cannot remember what thriving even feels like. I am so looking forward to getting there again.
Question: I have noticed, that sometimes I can‘t hear, what Irene is saying in the video. Like I hear her talking, but I‘m not able to understand or make sense of her words. Is that due to certain topics that my body recognises as a threat? And should I try to understand it, or rather wait until I‘m ready? Like first building more capacity and then come back to it again?
at the moment i’m on medication due to an auto-immune disease that flared up a few months ago. Its prednison, which is a corticosteroid. My understanding of this medicine is that it influences Some hormones like cortisol (amongst other things).
I am wondering whether this is a bad timing to do this program? Since my body reacts differently, it feels like i can not really “trust” my sensations because they might be a bit over the top due to the meds. Hope you can shed some light on this!
I’m finding the deeper I go into this work, the more layers that come to the surface.
I’ve felt much pain and other feelings like regret and guilt come up in relation to things I’ve done in the past that have hurt people I love very much… and yet, at the same time I’m also feeling this gentleness and kindness toward myself and a deeper love and acceptance of those people.
I guess this is all part of it. There’s an intense bittersweetness to it all.
Question: How do you get to the point where you truly believe that you deserve to heal? On a cognitive level, I know that I can heal and that – just like everyone else – I deserve to do so, but there’s a deeply rooted sense of „I really don’t deserve it“, and that doesn’t go away just because I know that it was created by developmental trauma. It scares me that Irene stresses how important it is that you believe you deserve it, but doesn’t give any clues how to learn to believe it (or I overlooked the clues?). Does that belief grow once you start building capacity?
Question: I am very sensitive and have claustrophobia/agoraphobia.
Whenever I am in a crowded bus / train or ski lift, they were just too many people and too noisy – I usually put on my noise cancelling headphones. I feel like avoiding these situations is not a solution – me putting on noise cancelling headphones with calming music is also a bandaid. I wonder if it’s actually possible (after many years of work??) that I won’t be so sensitive to noises / closed spaces anymore? 😛 or I should be prepared to putting on bandaids. Thanks!
Question: I have such a strong sugar craving when the evening comes. I have been working on getting rid of it in many different ways, but it never goes away. Irene mentioned something about it in one of her articles, so I was wondering if this sugar craving can disappear? Just by doing somatic practises on a daily basis?
In terms of capacity Building i have a question. I do go weekly to a Biodinamic Osteopathy session which is kind of the practitioner just beein present with the client –advanced form of craneosacral therapy, since i heard it can help with PTSD. I am in a frozen state for my whole life and my system normally goes into survival when sb comes close to me.( as far as i understood so far). Now in those sessions in the last one i was just frozen too, unable to relax my muscles and lying there and i started to wonder if that money was even well invested or if i should first do that basic nervous system work to be able for those sessions to be more effective. I do see that there is a change in reactions from session to session ( first sensation of wanting to run away, next sessions crying and than the last session just lying there frozen but could relax my chest tension a bit after the session). The practitioner does not know about this Freeze state. What do you think. There is a progression but i am always kind of in a freeze state unable to relax. Can it be that it s better to first get more foundation and than go on those kind of therapies or will they be able to help me get out of the Freeze state, litle by litle. Thanks a lot for your thoughts KR Corinna
Just, wow. So nice. It also coincides with everything that I’ve found from other sources: Our belief-systems can be so limiting and our thoughts based on them can be so dammaging. So, I feel I completely understood this, and still it added up some pieces from the “Trauma” perspective. Thank you. I’m really curious about learning more about building capacity. And practicing it. It’s all about good habits, right?
Thank you Irene for providing such clear and useful explanations and information. The notion of capacity building is truly a valuable “key”; it teaches me about self-compassion and the importance of being attuned to my inner world. Healing is a process that cannot be rushed and it is incredibly difficult to accept that fact but the notion of capacity building helps me to realize that progress is ongoing and therefore happening even when I don’t think or feel that it is.
Wow…. as soon as the ” you must feel you deserve” part came up, huge feelings came up for me. I don’t remember a lot of my childhood but I know it was very traumatic and abusive. We were made to feel less than deserving and had to be ” a very good girl” to get anywhere. Weird how just listening to Irene so many memories are emerging.
1. I have read that this course focusses on sensory rather then emotional processing. Im curious to read more about this choice.
Hearing the word “deserving”….made me cry.
I feel grateful that I believe I “can” heal. But it’s disappointing and scary to notice the absence of the “I deserve it” feeling. I’m glad to be aware of it though.
Question: If you were to recommend an author/book to start reading more about polyvagal theory/somatic experiencing to follow up with this course or to supplement it, who would you recommend: peter levine first or the other name i hear a lot is simon porges? I’m looking for a good first book in healing trauma to start with. In 2017 i withdrew from klonopin (that i never should have been given ). and it was terrible, i mean it was horrific and i thought it would never end, but at the same time I ended up in the hospital from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic while still dealing with the w/drawal from klonopin. They misdiagnosed me and said i had sepsis and kept me for a week treating me like i had things i didn’t. It was a miserable experience. To this day i don’t think i have really totally got it out of me, and ever since i have had all kinds of issues. I’m terrified of doctors and hospitals and I’m constantly struggling with a fear of health issues, and just the idea i’ll end up in a hospital again, or i have something wrong with me. The main problem, other than this fear, i have is constantly having a slightly elevated heart rate that everyone says is “anxiety” and in my head and there is nothing wrong with me. I am really enjoying this course, But i’m curious which author and what book might be a good one of the two to start with. I read the body keeps the score last year. But i’m not sure which of these two authors I should read first. Thanks.
Question: I am taking this really slow. I am on Day 4 almost 3 weeks later. I am doing this because the unwinding and de-stressing that is going on in my body has felt a little overwhelming. I was REALLY sore in almost all my muscles for the first week after starting this work. That made me real tired fir a while.
Now I am not near as sore but I am breaking out in acne and various bumps mostly on my back and face but in other places now and again too. I even had a patch of psoriasis pop up briefly which I haven’t had since I went gluten free almost 9 years ago.
My question is, is this normal to actually have physical symptoms of detoxification while doing this kind of work?
It’s annoying but I know for the greater good so it’s fine. I’m just hoping this is normal and that it will pass?
Wow that article felt like it was written straight from my own heart. So closely resembles my own experience and the internal obstacles to expressing my own creativity I’ve faced over the last few years due to very early childhood trauma. Intense toxic shame and humiliation being two of the biggest psycho-somatic layers I’ve had to feel deeply into and attempt to integrate. As well as attachment trauma that began with being isolated and terrified shortly after birth. It’s been a lot. Thank you for providing this space and these skills and practices to build more capacity for this type of healing.
My work environment triggers a raw sense of stuck-ness and small-ness. Although not everyday or all day- there’s are times where it remains hard to work with. I have become aware over the past year that I have long out-grown my role/work of many years – which leads to awareness of old pattern of “settling” and unmet needs. In general, when in this state, my mind will bring alot of negative thought distortions that can loop for a long while, which of course I also feel in my body. As I’m learning to attend to my nervous system and practice building capacity- taking pause, orienting, scanning and allowing sensations, titrating – Are there additional suggestions for when tough feeling states seem to repeat or hang on within a time frame?
Regarding the article, i had a bit of a tough time digesting it.
I want to share some thoughts on that topic.
I truly believe that i deserve to heal.
As much as i can believe it in my consious mind.
I know i am limited in living my full potential due to my childhood trauma and conditioning, and the subconsious beliefs that come with this conditioning, and the fears that come with those beliefs, and the habits and actions and non actions due to those fears etc.
And i think that maybe it is hard for me to believe (sometimes!), that i can achieve healing, because it is something i have not experienced in the long term yet. It is just an imagination.
I remember when i first experienced things like healthy love, self respect and a sence of self confidence (which are a part of healing) I have heard about it before and i thought, i knew what it was, but when i truly experienced it in myself and in intimate contact, i understood that all the time before i had no clue what i was talking about when repeating those words i had learned in therapy and other places.
So for me personally, in this moment that im writing this, it resonates more to say i can heal when i can believe that it is really possible for me.
And that i wholeheartedly believe that i deserve to heal. That everyone deserves to heal.
I am very thankful to have found Irene and this work. And mostly i do believe that i can overcome my trauma symptoms. This work is helping me a lot.
These remarks/explanations that Irene mentioned in the video of day 4, were the most important for me:
‘Maybe as you go through this course […], you might start to remember things because there’s more capacity coming on board.
When the system is so tightened up, it doesn’t have space or safety to remember, because it knows if it brings up these past events,
there’s no capacity to process it. […]
So, the more capacity we grow actually, the more we feel.
The more we feel, the more we can be with the uncomfortable sensations that we’ve trapped.
The more we can be with the uncomfortable sensations that we’ve trappend, the more they’re gonna show up.
And this is actually good’
What I get out of this, is that it’s not bad when uncomfortable sensations come up. That it can be actually a sign of building more capacity and thus healing. And that reassures me!
The other thing that is an important recap for me, is when Irene says:
‘Improving lifestyle behaviors goes back to:
– Can you pause?
– Can you re-orient?
– Can you scan your body?
– Can you be in situations that are a bit more nurturing, so that your system isn’t going into these chronic day to day stress reactions.
This all contributes to growing that capacity of your nervous system, so that it can have more space to heal. If we don’t create the space, very little will change.’
I’d like to change this last sentence into a positive way:
IF WE CREATE THE SPACE, VERY MUCH WILL CHANGE! 😉
QUESTION: Is it possible to be in a chronic stress state and be happy? When Irene was talking about the 3 different types of traumatic stressors I was able to zero in on a part of my life that imitated a lot of the chronic stress she was describing as applicable to the western world. However, this part of my life is some of my happiest years – I’m wondering how many others get trapped in this cycle where they think they’re happy being busy/at a high state of arousal without knowing they’re damaging their systems?
Question: I viewed the extra resources video and you mentioned about being in a supportive environment. I live alone and am pretty isolated with no family, and friends who now live far away due to my move years ago. How can I fully heal without being in relationship with others? Let alone myself? Tx.
I’ve been an RN in NY for the past 14 years. I’m now an NP and see my own patients. I was an ICU nurse during the pandemic in NYC. The culmination of that and other previous traumas I’ve experienced in life has lead to many newfound health problems as well as a dis regulated nervous system.
I have been experiencing so many eye opening moments since starting this course. Although I’ve learned all of this physiology before, it’s never been explained and demonstrated the way Irene has in these lessons. I finally understand why I’ve been experiencing this heightened state of arousal. I also now know that what I’m experiencing is repairable. I cannot explain how profoundly comforting that is. There is still a part of me that feels like I can’t fix what’s “wrong.” However, I will keep showing up because I know I deserve to live a life with a regulated nervous system.
Question: How do you identify feelings that are coming to the surface also is it important to identify them for release & building capacity ?
I’m pretty happy with how the course is going so far. I really love how there’s not too much information per day. It’s a perfect amount. I’m here to learn how to heal and I feel that by the end of this I’ll have a pretty good idea on how to execute that!
I like how the course is progressing so far, and I’m feeling very motivated to keep practicing orienting throughout my day.
Question What is your other 12 week course about?
Question: Honestly i don’t know how to destress, I thought orienting suppose to make me destress but it just increase my capacity which mean feeling more of my traumas, Which means more stress and overwhelm. But when they do come up im just overwhelmed and they are stuck i don’t know how to release them… Can someone explain to me?
I will have to stay with my child in the hospital for an examination of 24 hours:
My last panic attack was on the way to that same hospital for forementioned child who has a chronic ilness. Any advice or tips to make it less stressful for our next long stay? (Thoughts occuring in that moment: I don’t want to be here, I can’t do this). Thank you so much.
QUESTION. I have a question/dilemma regarding how to act when we feel this urge to flee the situation. For example – for the past few months I have been living in fear (it was all induced by going on a holiday by plane) and since then I can’t go to a different city by car on a highway. Everytime I go on a highway I get a panic attack and I want to jump out of my car. I was wondering what should I do at that moment? In this video I have learned that trauma is stored energy and we have to release it. So would it be best if I stopped the car safely and just go running so that energy is released? Can I release it in a different way at that moment? (I’m not driving, I am just a passenger, because it is too scary at the moment). Or should I just be with the panic attack and wait for it to pass?
QUESTION. Often when I listen to this videos and try to focus I find myself picking or biting my lips or skin on my finger nails. It is automatic and I usually don’t notice it until I start to bleed. Even then I don’t want to stop because it feels good. It frequently happens in other situations also (watching TV, playing videogames, writing, thinking, reading a book). What does that mean?
Have just started this course and hope it will help.
Have had trauma and numerous bad health issues in my life.
I am now 69 and have fibromyalgia, tension headaches, autoimmune psoriasis, colitis, possible celiac, anxiety, and muscle aches all over.
I hear this is a lifelong practice to become well.
As I am an older woman, I worry I will be dead before I feel better.
This thought causes me more anxiety and stress which is not helpful.
Any advice on this matter would be appreciated.
Question: I hear that it is helpful te de-stress daily or “on the spot” (or at least as close to it as possible) and that this also helps to increase capacity, as we are not “adding new balls to the swimming pool”. But I still don’t know HOW. Stoping for a moment is fine when the emotion is not strong, but I often find myself completely overwhelmed (I quickly move into freeze) and that’s way to violent to be released my a pause. Any suggestions on concrete practices for releasing rage, shame, fear daily?