How many times a day are you frustrated, triggered, scared, angered, or frozen by events out there?
Too many, I’m sure.
And it’s affecting your writing.
Fight, flight, and freeze is f’ing exhausting
There’s also a fourth state, called ‘fawn,’ but that sounds cute, which confuses the situation here, so I won’t mention it.
Anyhow, being in these states, constantly, is keeping you from doing the things you want to do.
No, you shouldn’t ignore the causes of these things, but until you do something to counteract their effects, things will only get worse.
Don’t you want good things to happen to you, too?
More than a glimmer of hope
Good things can happen, but it helps to be in a place and space where you can be ready for them when they arrive.
To do that, let’s talk about something called ‘glimmers.’
I know this term also sounds cute. Like the name of a baby deer at a petting zoo, but this time it’s important, so stick with me.
Glimmers, as Deb Dana (a therapist, an author, and an expert in Polyvagal Theory) calls them, are little moments that spark happiness, joy, peace, or calm.
These tiny moments can reshape your nervous system, making you feel safe, calm, and able to focus on what you’d like to do in the moment. Like write.
Here are a few examples of glimmers
- Seeing a surprise new tomato in your garden
- Petting an animal
- A favorite song unexpectedly comes on
- A warm blanky
- A sunrise
- The smell of freshly baked bread
- A hummingbird sighting!
Speaking of humming, that itself can be a glimmer.
I mean, these aren’t big things, but they are good things.
And how often do you let days go by without noticing (much less appreciating) good things?
Let’s remedy that.
It’s not all bad out there
The first thing you need to do is allow yourself to notice glimmers in the first place.
Notice I said to allow yourself.
It’s surprising how habitual it can be to only allow yourself to notice the bad stuff.
It might take a few days (or a post-it note reminder) of looking out for them before you start seeing them on a regular basis, but they will come if you want them to.
Although, it helps to put yourself in situations where you can experience glimmers.
This could mean going outdoors at certain times, making a playlist, or walking by a bakery.
Maybe stopping by the petting zoo to pet a… fawn?
Maybe stop by an animal rescue.
Meet your glimmers halfway
You can experience glimmers at random, but serendipity is best left for the characters in books and stupid movies.
Even then, things are much more satisfying when the protagonist (i.e., you) takes action to succeed.
Allow yourself to see glimmers.
Go where glimmers can be found.
And feel the benefits.
Giving yourself a glimmer or two a day can go a long way toward helping your nervous system feel calm or more at peace.
And then maybe you’ll have the energy, space, and focus to write all you want to write.
What will you accomplish once your nervous system stops getting in your way?
Any way you want to do it, I want to hear from you.