In a previous post titled “Roots“, I talked about how the brain stem can be likened to the roots of a tree. And how at Brain Fit Academy, we build the brain from the bottom up by working on the primitive reflexes, those early motor patterns, the “roots” so to speak.
So if we think about how we are building the brain- working on those roots (the primitive reflexes) to get them all “untangled” and not so “disorganized”, then we should expect some messiness sometimes, shouldn’t we?
What do I mean by “messiness”? Well, think of messiness as perhaps an uptick in behaviors, like I talked about in the post “It Might Get Worse”. Or, maybe we need to work through some tears in order to move forward.
Creation is messy. And when we think about the work we do here, the “creation” of the brain can also be messy.
Let’s go back to the roots analogy again for a moment. If we were working on the roots of that tree- pruning, untangling, and organizing those roots, wouldn’t we expect to see some dirt thrown around here and there?
Now, you may be thinking that I’m making some wild and crazy comparison to the roots of a tree and the brain, and how “messiness” looks in a person. But bear with me for a little longer, would you?
I think that most of us would agree that emotions are also messy, right? When we are working through problems or struggles, are our emotions all neat and tidy and wrapped up with a bow? I know for a fact that mine certainly aren’t and I don’t think I could honestly say that I’ve ever met anyone whose are.
And here’s the thing. When we work with the primitive reflexes, we are also working with emotions. Especially when we are talking about the Fear Paralysis reflex. The Fear Paralysis reflex is the “freeze” in the Fight/Flight/Freeze response and it’s one of the most primitive reflexes we have. If the Fear Paralysis reflex is still active it’s going to cause the person to have heightened fear responses (among other difficulties). Sometimes those responses are situational- like in a new environment. And sometimes those responses are more widespread across a person’s life. Either way, when we start working on the reflexes and the Fear Paralysis is the priority, those emotions may follow along with it. Big emotions, like fear and uncertainty and overwhelm. And for a child? Those can be really big emotions to handle.
As a coach, what do I do in that kind of situation? What do I do when creation starts to get “messy”? Well, I hold space for one. Hold space not only for the child, but also for the parent(s). The “messiness” is one of the hardest times for parents and they need support too.
What else do I do? I let the body- the child’s body- tell me what I need to do. That might be by observing their behavior, after all, all behavior is communication. Or, I might use muscle checking if I’m able to. But by letting the person show me what is next, I know that we can start to move beyond those big emotions, that messy part of creation so that we can get to the beauty on the other side.
Creation is messy. And “creation” of brain highways- creation of organized, free flowing “roots” can also be messy.
It’s ok, it’s all good. Perseverance, patience, time and caring will get us through. Through to the other side, where the tree grows strong and tall, the roots are more organized and flowing and the child feels happier.
And that- is what we really want- a happier child, don’t we?