If you happen to have anxiety or have ever done EMDR therapy, you might be familiar with the coping practice of calm safe place. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like – closing your eyes and visualizing your own personal calm safe space. Really, it’s typically used as part of a very specific trauma recovery protocol, but I feel like a version of it is quite useful in general life too.
I mean, I’m so fucking anxious in every single corner or my life right now, I feel like I’m using calm safe place – anxiously, mind you – ten times a day.
But, funny story: months after my therapist first introduced it to me and I literally could not even live in my own calm safe visualization, that’s how anxious I am on the regular – it’s actually working.
Granted, it’s not working quite well enough for me to put together my scattered thoughts into one big coherent blog for you. But it’s working well enough to not skip writing all together and still share with you something of value and interest.
Now that I’m better able to use this practice, I’m also getting better at what my therapist calls deepening the visualization. Which, of course, is also exactly what it sounds like. When she asks me what I see, hear, feel, smell, and taste, I can visualize those things more vividly. It actually gets kind of fun!
And so, in that spirit, a couple things for you today.
1) The gift of this calm safe place practice, if you didn’t already know about it or aren’t already utilizing it. Or maybe it’s just your reminder to practice whatever mindfulness exercise feels best for you. You’re welcome.
2) A few of the things in real life I’m currently seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. You’re welcome again.
What I’m seeing:
Great British Bake Off, obviously. Baking Impossible. Changing leaves in my neighborhood. My husband’s gorgeous crinkly-eyed smile in his most relaxed moments.
What I’m hearing:
My furnace roaring to life – hello, Denver Fall! Foo Fighters radio on SiriusXM. The cat’s silly meowing.
What I’m feeling:
The exceedingly brisk air on my cheeks during my runs as I train for my first 5k in a million years. Insecurity and confidence at once. Excitement for everything in my life, and all that’s to come. Cold toes. Warm heart. The softest fabric in the entire world.
What I’m smelling:
A stinky dog who needs a bath. Fresh air and fallen leaves. My favorite mix of my husband’s lotion, hair pomade, and deodorant.
What I’m tasting:
I don’t know what’s going on in your world right now, but I hope that no matter what is and isn’t, you’re able to take a moment to be present with all your senses.
Slow down. Name things. And be here today.
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