Below you will find an overview and resources pertaining to one of nine of the Evolved Nest's Components. Click below to return to the Evolved Nest's Components' Overview page to see the full list and to click on the other eight components' pages.
No one is perfect. Humans are fallible. We make mistakes, whatever age we are. Sometimes parents make mistakes. Sometimes children live for years with primal wounds from those mistakes.
We can get out of balance physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually. For example, we can get caught up in thinking too much, striving too much, trying to control others. We can forget how to be present, in the moment and to others. We can be distracted off the path to fulfilling our deeper purpose.
All of us need regular healing of unexpressed or gripping emotions like resentment, anger, grief and sadness. We need to let go of our emotions or else they can inhibit our ability to be present to others, including our children. They can make us do things we regret later.
Healing practices can mend a wounded self or a weakened relationship. So it is good to build routines for relational healing as well as self healing.
Self healing might be needed when one notices distraction and lack of focus (“something is bothering me”) or when one feels emotionally detached from a situation where it would be expected otherwise. In a relationship, signals include bitterness, resentment or contempt, or withdrawal and distrust. One learns to nip these in the bud before they get deep roots and completely destroy the relationship.
We can get out of balance relationally with the natural world, forgetting our partnership responsibilities to the living earth to respect waterways, soil, insects, plants and animals. Relational healing is required here too. Daily mindfulness and gratitude practices are needed.
What to do
Individuals can practice self-healing, though it may be better started with some help from a therapist or patient friends. Practices include journaling about one’s day or one’s feelings (one might need to practice this for a while if one has learned to “stuff” feelings away). Creative approaches include drawing or painting or singing or dancing out one’s feelings (in safe ways),. Even yelling (so as not to hurt self or others) can help, like yelling out the car window by a freeway that muffles the sound. Sometimes one has to get angry/sad to let go of long hidden old, old wounds.
To heal relationships, we take up practices that participants agree on.
For parents and children, play acting can be a way to work through unmet needs, resentments or fears. Stuffed animals or other toys can be used. Parents should let children lead the way. (See the book, Playful Parenting by Cohen.) Sometimes, playing chase or wrestling can release the feelings and bring about connection.
Creative arts can also be helpful if the child is in charge of the expressions.
For adult relationships, play acting can work too. Whatever leads the partners to mutual laughter is always beneficial. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt and forgiving each other a dozen times a day can help lower expectations that the other is supposed to perfectly do one’s bidding.
A nonviolent way to solve problems or heal broken relationships and trust is a talking circle. These can be used within the family, among friends or community members. The format is egalitarian. Talking circles have particular rules with the basic assumption that the circle “talks” when everyone listens. In fact, the most important aspect of a talking circle is listening: listening to what others say without judgment or resistance, making room for different truths, without agenda or thinking about what you will say. Everyone has the opportunity to speak when they hold the “talking stick” (or other item) passed around from person to person. No one has to speak when their turn comes. The circle can continue until it feels completed to all members (or until the time frame concludes). What is said in the circle is confidential, not to be shared. Each person expresses their feelings from their “heart,” (e.g., using “I feel” statements).
Talking circles can take some time, but restoring trust among members is vital for successful cooperation on subsequent projects.
Discover the Evolved Nest articles on pregnancy and birth on Kindred Media here.
Discover Darcia Narvaez's posts on Psychology Today here.
Find supportive reading in the Bookshop bookstore here.
Darcia Narvaez and Mary Tarsha discuss one of the nine components of the Evolved Nest: Routine Healing Practices. One of the nine Evolved Nest components is taking up routine healing practices. We all get hurt or angry or uncentered, then we are more likely to hurt others or ourselves. In traditional societies, regular, even daily healing routines are practiced. Here we describe how we get thrown off balance, from early life stress or ongoing or sudden stresses in adulthood.
Why is it important to be calm and learning self-calming away from fear, panic, anxiety or anger? Fear, panic, anxiety and anger are survival-oriented emotions that we are born with but can take over our personality, making it hard to get along with others or even feel well. They are distressing emotions and can put us in mindsets that leave us vulnerable to harmful attitudes and behaviors toward ourselves or others. They are also not good for physical health as they promote inflammation, an underlying cause of many diseases.
These daily practices are intended to give you ways to calm yourself down. You may find that some work better than others. These are ones that you should continue to do.
Discover the 28 Days of Self-Calming with this series card prompts here.