In this solo episode, I…
- talk about the importance of surrounding ourselves with beauty
- share how cluttered, chaotic environments stress out the nervous system
- give ideas for free ways to drastically increase the peace in our spaces
- discuss our external environments as mirrors of our internal environments
- share why it's never a waste of time, energy, or money to create beautiful spaces
- talk about how the nervous system responds to our external environments
I'm teaching Nervous System 101 on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at 6pm CDT.
If you're listening before August 31, 2022, join the WAITLIST for Nervous System 101
If you're listening after August 31, 2022, get your NSYS101 ticket here.
Email email@example.com for financial assistance.
Hello listeners of the holistic drama healing podcast. Welcome. I'm so thankful you're here. And I just wanna welcome you to this episode and thank you for being here wherever you are, whatever you're doing. I recognize that you could be spending your time listening to another podcast or doing anything else.
And you're here with me. So I appreciate it. I'm grateful for you. Don't have any big crazy announcements. The only announcement I do have is I will be teaching my foundational workshop, nervous system 1 0 1 on Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:00 PM, C D T central daylight time. Um, I will put a link in the show notes below so that you can join the wait list.
If you are listening to this episode while it's still August. And if you happen to listen to this episode, Right before the workshop. Um, I will also put a link to where you can buy your tickets. And if you happen to listen to this episode a year from now, my advice to you is if I'm still running this workshop, join the wait list.
So links to both of those are going to be below, but you will not be able to buy a ticket until August 31st. So that's why I'm putting the link to the wait list. All right. That's all I have in terms of announcements. And today I wanna move on to the topic that I want to share about today, which is our external environments and how our nervous systems are responding and reacting to our external environments.
So. Little bit of nervous system 1 0 1 it is our nervous system's job to respond to whatever our nervous system perceive as a threat, whether that is internally. So inside our bodies or externally outside of our bodies. So some of the things that our nervous system responds to internally are things like pain.
If you've ever experienced, um, like a sudden sharp pain or even a chronic pain that's long lasting, you might notice that your nervous system feels a bit more mobilized. So you may find yourself in fight flight a lot of the time. So pain is one way that our nervous systems perceive danger inside of our bodies.
It's important to discuss . Um, and I could devote a whole entire episode on this, but it's important to discuss that pain. Doesn't always mean something is pathologically wrong. And I work with a lot of people who have health anxiety, and anytime they experience a sensation in their bodies, whether it's pain or they woke up and something feels funny or.
Um, maybe like an old symptom resurfaces briefly, anything like that. And it tends to kind of throw them way outside of their window of tolerance and they start experiencing panic and overthinking and catastrophization and all of that, which is a very, those are very normal experiences for someone who has health anxiety.
So our internal environments, um, We certainly have other ways that our bodies or our nervous systems perceive danger through our internal environments. Um, negative thinking is another way we can create a nervous system response in our bodies simply by thinking something crazy. So for example, um, God forbid this ever happened, but just imagine for a moment that something terrible happens to someone really close to.
I bet. Just me saying that immediately created some kind of a visceral physical response in your body. For me just saying it, I felt immediately this very sudden jolt of sort of like electricity in my throat and, uh, on the outsides of my arms and then like a pit in my stomach, just by saying, imagine something happens to someone I love.
So our thoughts, right? If we are overthinking and catastrophizing Andras and always thinking up the worst case scenario that also creates stress and danger in our internal environments and our nervous systems respond to that, which is why we get those visceral sensations of fear. Now what about our external environments?
I talk about lifestyle inflammation, lifestyle inflammation is a term that I coined. I am not aware that it exists anywhere else. If it is let me know but lifestyle inflammation is one of the pillars of my work. I have four pillars and my holistic trauma healing work. And these are the framework that I.
Base all of my client work around and anytime I'm creating a course or teaching a workshop, I'm always keeping these four pillars in mind. And one of the pillars is to reduce lifestyle inflammation and lifestyle inflammation is external environment kind of stuff. So it's the toxic relationship. The codependent relationship, the job that you don't hate, or that pays you too little and you really wanna quit, but you keep going.
Um, for some people, even having a really long commute is lifestyle inflammation because it cuts two, three hours a day out of their day, and it doesn't leave them with a lot of time to rest or do the things they enjoy or to just go outside and sit, do nothing. So lifestyle inflammation and, um, One of the sources of lifestyle inflammation that doesn't require something drastic.
right. Like it's, if you're like, oh my God, I'm in a toxic relationship. The only way I'm gonna heal is if I end this relationship, that might be true. I'm not gonna say that it, it might not be true. It really might be true. And I've certainly worked with more than one person who arrives at that conclusion at some point where they realize that the thing that's keeping them stuck and holding them back.
A relationship and in order to heal and move forward, they have to change the relationship. And sometimes that means ending the relationship. And that's a really hard thing to do, and sometimes it's necessary, but that's a drastic thing, right? It's a drastic thing to quit your job and start your own business.
I would encourage all of you to do that if you can and want to, but. What are some ways that we can reduce lifestyle inflammation that don't require a lot of money or a lot of. Drastic choices. And one of the things that my partner David and I have been doing for this summer is we've been really investing time and money and energy into our home space.
So what I mean by this is we've taken some times and weekends and we've cleared out our barn. Um, we've. Invested in yard or not yard furniture, deck furniture like really cozy, comfy, pretty deck furniture. I've planted more pots of flowers and herbs on my porch than ever before. I put in three new flower beds in front of our house this summer that weren't there.
Things like this. I'm creating beauty. I'm intentionally creating beautiful, peaceful, clean spaces. We're also getting ready to remodel our bathroom. Um, we've never remodeled a bathroom on our own before, so this will be our, our first attempt and hopefully it goes well. Um, but again, that's also because the current bathroom, um, we have mold growing around our, our call line.
and the floor has these really awful peel and stick vinyl tiles that have started to shift. And so some of the tiles have like spaces in between them. Then the spaces collect like crumbs and hair and all kinds of gross shit. Um, Where our kids splashed water out, um, or didn't close the shower properly.
We have part of a wall, uh, next to our bathtub that has a really soft sheet rock that has started to flake away. So there's like a whole forming in our wall. Um, we have no storage in our bathroom. Uh, we have one vanity and it just is a sink sitting on a wooden box and you can open the box and put stuff inside of it.
It is a cabinet. But there's no shelves in the box. There's no drawers. And so everything is just like stacked on top of each other, baskets, stacked on top of baskets, it's extremely disorganized and stressful and we've made it work. the best that we could. But now we're like, okay, we, we don't enjoy coming into this space.
We don't want to spend time in our bathroom. And we have some really necessary things that need to get fixed. Like this sheet rock on the wall and the mold behind the CA and all of that. But. Even beyond that we wanna make this space an enjoyable spot in our home. Like we want our ourselves to enjoy it.
We want our guests to enjoy it. And right now nobody enjoys it. Um, I don't even put, when I give home tours on Instagram, I don't even show the bathroom because it's so gross. And so. This is kind of a dramatic example because it's not like I walk by my bathroom every day and I'm like, oh my God, this stresses me out so much.
My nervous system perceives this as a threat. That's not the case, but it is one of those like low lying stressors. Because every time I'm in the bathroom, which is multiple times a day, I'm just like, Ugh, I don't like it in here. like, this is not a place I wanna be. And I love taking baths and I love, you know, like brushing my hair and, um, putting L on my face and stuff like that.
And I would love to do those relaxing activities in a beautiful space. And right now the space is not beautiful. But even like remodeling a room can be like a drastic choice, right? Like you could put ending a relationship, quitting a job and remodeling your house. Like those three things could be on a list of like the most stressful experiences in a person's life.
For sure. Um, but I'm using it to illustrate my example, which is that we deserve to live in beautiful peaceful spaces, especially in our homes. We deserve that. We deserve spaces where our nervous systems can just give a full body sigh of relief because we feel safe. We feel held, we feel nourished just by being in our spaces.
And so one of the cheapest, easiest ways that we can create that in our home environments is just by cleaning up our shit, getting rid of the clutter. Organizing the things clearing out a drawer, cleaning out a closet, putting away the laundry, loading the dishwasher, running it, and then actually unloading it.
Like these simple acts that we typically refer to as chores are actually ways that we can create more safety in our nervous systems and more regulation in our nervous systems. And we deserve this. And I'm not talking about spending thousands of dollars on remodeling. I'm not talking about ripping out your kitchen or your bathroom and starting over.
I'm not talking about going and spending money on new bedding or couch pillows or plants or whatever. If you have the means to do that, please, by all means it is never a waste of money to invest in creating beautiful spaces ever. I've never once been upset with myself for spending money. On making my home, what I want my home to be making my home a comfortable, safe, cozy expression of myself.
I posted a video on Instagram the other day. And you could see my dining space in the background and somebody commented liking this post because I love your vibe and your house. It's such a great reflection of you. It's like they could see my vibe or my personality or my expression in my home. And I agree you can, I have a beautiful home and we continue to make it more and more beautiful.
Um, inside and outside, uh, it's a joy to take care of our home. It's not a burden, although sometimes things break and that's a pain in the ass, but that's life, right? That's that's home ownership. Um, But what I wanna talk about, and what I have been talking about is just our spaces and it doesn't cost any money to fold our laundry and put it away.
It doesn't cost any money to pick up the clutter and the floor or to clean out a drawer or a closet. Like all of those things are, and I don't know about you, but when I do those things, the sigh of relief, both audibly and. Viscerally that I feel in my body creates so much spaciousness. I love that feeling.
I love that feeling. I love the feeling of my whole house is clean and I can go sit in my living room with a cup of tea and just enjoy it. Just look around and enjoy this beautiful, clean, clear clutter free space that I've created. It's a joy. It's an absolute. For me, clutter is super stressful. I've never been able to handle clutter, even as a child.
My mom did not have to tell me to clean my room. I never got grounded for not cleaning my room. Um, I've always needed to be in a clear space and in fact, There was a long time of my life, especially in my twenties when I was like an obsessive compulsive cleaner. And I don't mean that I had O C D like, I don't think it was an O C D thing because I don't have a phobia of germs.
I don't worry about contamination. I don't deal with any of that. It was just the sheer overwhelm that I felt in my body. It was like an all over body. Irritation that I would feel whenever things were out of place. And I was pretty rigid about it for most, for all of my twenties. Let's just be honest for all of my twenties.
I was really, really rigid about it. And I've talked about this some on the podcast before, um, you know, I guess this would be like the. The shadow side, uh, or the, you know, there's a yin and a yang to everything. Right? And so the yin for me was like one extreme was this compulsive obsessive cleaning to the point that like, I would.
Vacuum the carpet and I would make perfectly spaced, parallel vacuum tracks in the carpet. And then if anyone walked across it, I would get upset. Um, that's not healthy. okay. I'm not at all saying that. That's what I'm talking about here because it's not something else I used to do. Oh man. I can laugh so much about myself now, but I have, I have so much compassion for that version of me because she was so anxious and felt so unsafe.
In her body and in her environment. And I know that all of this obsessive compulsive cleaning was my way of trying to relieve anxiety, because I would experience that feeling of, um, cleaning the whole house from top to bottom and then sitting in the living room and enjoying the quiet and enjoying the space that I just created for myself.
That's something I've enjoyed for my whole life. um, I started to tell you another crazy thing I did and then I never finished it. So another crazy thing that I would do is in our first house that we bought together, uh, we had white tile grout in the tile on the floor. It was like a tan colored tile with white grout.
And. I guess the grout wasn't sealed or something because it would get, or maybe it was, I don't know, it would get like dingy cuz it was white and I would put bleach in a little coffee mug and I would get an old toothbrush and I would get on my hands and my knees and dip the toothbrush in the bleach and then scrub.
The white tile until the grout was white again. And then I would clean up the bleach and mop the floor and God knows the horrible fumes. I was exposing myself to, um, , you know, on my hands and knees with my face, like six inches away from a teacup full of bleach, but it's things like that. The vacuum tracks and the bleaching, the tile grout, and I used to have lists in every room in the house, like in the kitchen inside of one of the cabinets I had tap.
A list of like to do every day and then to do every week and then to do every month. And I had that in the kitchen inside of a cabinet. I had it in the bathroom inside of a cabinet. I had it in my bedroom, on the inside of the closet door. I had it in the laundry room, taped inside of a cabinet above the washing machine.
I had it inside the closet doors of my kids' rooms. All of all of these lists, everywhere of things to do daily, weekly, and monthly. And I did them, all of them so that was like one extreme. What I'm talking about is not that extreme. I'm not talking about becoming obsessive about cleaning up. I'm not talking about, um, you know, like you clean up the whole house and then you've got a two year old and they come in and bring all their toys and they clutter it up again.
And you're upset about it. Like, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the, the balance of creating a beautiful space. But also a space that you feel like you can live comfortably in. And my very black and white thinking in my twenties about my home and cleanliness and organization was very much like it has to be this way and we can't live in the house.
Like the house is to look at it's not to live in. And so that was the way that I structured all of these chores that I was doing. And all of this cleaning I was doing was because I, I wanted to always feel that full body sigh of relief. But I felt whenever I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom and then sat in the living room with a cup of tea and just enjoyed it, I wanted that all the time and I can look back now 15, 20 years later.
And I see it's because my nervous system was so dysregulated that cleaning up my environment. My space was literally one of the only ways that I knew how to create that moment of safety. The moment being when I would clean the whole house and sit down on the couch or the chair and drink a cup of tea and enjoy it.
Like those are the moments that I can look back and I felt calm. And I did not feel calm very often. I had so much anxiety and I didn't even know it, but I did not feel calm most of the time. And so I would have a little window of calm and it was beautiful and it was a gift. I was giving myself, I would work my ass off, cleaning the whole house.
And then my reward at the end was to sit and enjoy it and just take it in and feel at ease and at. And I'm so thankful now that I have other tools by which I know how to create safety in my body, and I know how to feel safe in my body. Now, even when my house is a mess, but I can honestly tell you that when my house is a mess, whether it was whenever I was 22 or 31, or now at 39, when my house is a mess, when it's cluttered and chaotic, My mind and body feel the same way when there's chaos in my environment, I feel chaos in my mind and in my body.
And. I've been posting a lot of content this week on Instagram, around our spaces and creating beautiful peaceful spaces and how this is like a giant sigh of relief for our nervous systems. And it's because I wanna make this, this trauma healing thing accessible for people. And if people think that the only way they can be well is to go spend thousands of dollars on a coach or a therapist and invest in all of these online courses.
And. Expensive, fancy supplements and healing, gadgets and whatever. Then we're not making healing accessible and we're not making it sustainable, but this investing a little bit into just cleaning up your shit, just all of those spaces in your house, the, the closets that you don't like to open, because every time you do stuff falls out on you, um, You know, the, the junk drawer that's so messy and like, you can never find the stamps or the paperclips, you know, like it's things like that, that we can take an hour or half an hour and clean up those spaces.
And then the next time we go to open the junk drawer and we can find the stamps because they're right there, like. Do you see how that has just offloaded a little bit of stress from your body and from your nervous system? Like, I'm not saying that cleaning out your junk drawer and being able to find the stamps is going to like heal your anxiety.
That's not what I'm saying at all, but what I am saying is that that's one moment of stress that you don't have to feel because you can take care of it for yourself. So I think clutter is a source of lifestyle inflammation. I really, really do. And, and I have heard from so many people and I also have my own lived experience to prove that clutter is a source of lifestyle inflammation.
People have a hard time focusing when they're surrounded by a mess. It's like, you wanna get started on this great creative project, but you can't do anything until you clean up the mess. And then you, by the time you've cleaned up the mess, you're frustrated because you didn't get to start a new project and then you never start on the project.
um, maybe this has never happened to you, but it's definitely happened to me. Um, you know, it's hard to focus in cluttered spaces. It feels chaotic. The space is chaotic and it's like, you can feel the energy of the space in your body, especially if you're a highly sensitive person who's sensitive to energy, which I most certainly am.
So clutter is stressful. It's a source of lifestyle inflammation and it costs almost nothing. to do something about our clutter. It doesn't cost anything to load it up in the car and donate it to the Goodwill. If you have stuff that can be donated. um, we, you know, when we clean out our barn every year, we, we have a once a year thing where we clean out the barn, we often have like trash and clutter that is, it's not worth trying to give away or donate.
And so we load it up in the back of my husband's truck and he takes it to the local dump and, you know, we pay for it to go there, but that's because there's literally no place else for it to go, but that's not something that we have to do every time we clear out clutter , um, And so these are small acts of kindness that we can do for ourselves.
Know, picking up our environments, investing and making our environments beautiful spaces. These are small acts of kindness and, and your home does not have to be decorated. Like, you know, like a home in better homes and gardens magazine. It doesn't have to look like chip and Joanna Gaines just came in and did their thing in your house.
Um, that would be nice. And if you can make that happen for yourself, I support you doing it because I'm doing that for myself. and I'm loving it. Um, But that doesn't necessarily have to be the way that you clear the chaos in your environment, which then translates to clearing chaos in your mind, in your body, in your soul even.
And if we think about the way that trauma. Is in our body, the energy of trauma. And I remember trauma is not the event. It's the energy that is stored in the body from the event that wasn't metabolized and processed and integrated. and so that energy of trauma is chaotic. It's messy, right? It's like soul clutter and mind clutter and body clutter, and even ancestry clutter , you know, especially if we have some of these patterns that are passed down through the generations, in our families, we've got a lot of ancestral clutter, and I'm a big believer in our outside is a reflection of our.
So if our outside is our external environment is chaotic and messy and cluttered and disorganized and disheveled and disregulated. Then our internal environment is a mirror of that. And our internal environment is probably cluttered and chaotic and disheveled. And on the other hand, when we have spaces that are clear, that doesn't mean that they're pristinely clean.
It doesn't mean that you can go through your house with a white glove, and there's not a speck of dust. That's not what I'm talking about. That's an extreme, but tidy when our spaces are clear, tidy, organized, thin, that can be a reflection of how we're doing in our internal environments as well. And we can feel like we have more spaciousness in our bodies and in our homes.
I really don't think there's anything more nourishing to a nervous system than being able to just be and be slow in beautiful spaces, whether that's an indoor space or an outdoor space. This is why our bodies love nature. Right? There's so much science that tells us how just being in nature is healing.
It's anti-inflammatory. Awesome. for us and it is necessary. And I live in nature. I live in the middle of the woods. I'm surrounded by it all the time. And now that I've been surrounded by woods for seven years, I cannot imagine going back and living in a city. And if you love the city, this is I'm not dogging on your city.
Okay. I'm just telling you, like, for me, going to cities, being in neighborhoods, like with street lights, And noise and traffic sounds and all of like noise, pollution, like that is so stressful to my nervous system. It's just so stressful. And conversely, whenever I'm out in the woods, like it's so peaceful.
And so our bodies are responding to our environments. If you need to get out of the city to reduce lifestyle inflammation, I know that might seem like a drastic thing to do, but I, 100% support you making that happen. However you can. Do whatever you need to do to be well. And that might ma mean big decisions, like ending the relationship or quitting the job or leaving the city.
That might mean small things. Like finally putting away that laundry that's been sitting in the floor for 10 days or whatever, loading the dishwasher, cleaning out your pantry in fridge. Right? These are small acts of kindness, but they contribute. To making our external environments more beautiful, less chaotic spaces.
And this is a, this is truly an act of self-care. I mean, it really is an act of self-care when you invest in your space, you invest in yourself and you're worth it. You are worth investing in yourself. And we hear from social media all the time about investing in ourselves, and it usually corresponds with investing in paying someone to help you like a coach or a therapist.
I'm a coach. I'm not trying to put myself out of business by saying this, but I will say that that is not the only step you can take to invest in yourself. There are many ways to invest in yourself. Some of them might cost more money than others. But what I'm talking about is investing in yourself with more energy and effort than with money.
And if you have the money to spend and you want to invest in beautiful throw pillows or a lovely SCED candle or some kind of art that makes you smile every time you walk in the room and see it, do it, you're worth it. Your space is worth it, it is worth it to create and surround yourself with beauty.
It's worth it. We deserve homes that nourish and nurture our nervous systems. It's important. It's not frivolous. Um, I can, I'm already like hearing in my own thoughts. People are, you know, obviously I'm projecting here onto my audience. I'm not saying that this has actually happened. This is my own projection.
And I acknowledge that. What I'm projecting is that people are thinking things like, oh, she's privileged. And she doesn't understand what it's like. And, um, what if, what if you have a spouse or a partner who won't let you pick up your space and what if they like clutter? And like, I can already hear all of that going on.
And I can't obviously address all of the, what ifs in a podcast. But what I will say is that I have never gone wrong whenever I have listened. To my body and the way that my body communicates to me when I am in a beautiful decluttered, spacious, nurturing, and nourishing space, whether it's inside or outside, my body communicates with a full body sigh of relief, the mental chatter gets quiet.
Any feelings of anxiety that I had in my body. I feel less constriction in my body. I breathe more deeply like that is the body saying I'm safe. Those sensations that is being in the safe and social state on the polyvagal ladder. Is that calm, connected, peaceful, joyful state. That is what I feel when I am in a beautiful nourishing environment, whether it's inside or outside.
I love that feeling more than any feeling in the world. And I have the keyword. There is slowly created that space. It's taken me seven years to get my. How it is now, which is a much deeper sigh of relief than how it was when I moved in, but I'm still not there yet, which is why we're gonna remodel a bathroom, hopefully in the next couple months.
So we're getting there and you don't have to have it all figured out today. And if you do have some money to invest in. I love throw pillows. I love beautiful throw pillows. The whole time I've been talking. I have been staring at the two throw pillows on my beautiful Emerald green couch in my office. I love these pillows.
They're completely different. One of them is modern and has like. um, sort of a geometric shape with like Emerald green and mustard, yellow and a blue. And then the other pillow is a different shape and it has a Navy blue background. And then it has these like needle work, embroidery, um, big flowers all over it with like pink and, um, green.
Yellow. And then it has like yellow fringe on the edges of the pillow. And I've just been staring at these two pillows the whole time. I love these pillows. Um, I bought them, I think, at TJ max, like a month or so ago, two months ago, maybe. Um, they were definitely on sale. And I wanna say that I probably spent like 30, 40 bucks for both pillows.
I'm not saying you have to spend. A ton of money. You don't have to have a gold mine to make your home a beautiful space. It might mean that you have to add things in stages and that's okay too, because our healing happens in stages. Doesn't it. So I'm just encouraging you to get your space together.
Invest in yourself, do this act of kindness for yourself. It is an act of self care. It is an act of self love to surround yourself with beauty and. Nothing makes a nervous system happier than being slow in beautiful spaces, whether that's inside or outside. So paint the wall. Buy the throw pillows, fold the laundry and put it away.
Deep, clean your sink, Polish, your faucets. I cannot tell you what it does to my mental health. When I have polished faucets. um, it's just worth it. It's so worth it. And your nervous system can sigh with relief and your nervous system will feel so cared for. And that's what I wanna encourage you to. To reduce lifestyle inflammation.
Just start with simple things like your space, clean up your space, get your house in order. Your body will. Thank you. Your mind will thank you. And if you do it and you share it on social media, please tag me. I am at, I am Lindsay Locke, Lindsay with an EY. Um, please tag me. If you start clearing up your spaces and nourishing your nervous system with a clean clutter free space, whether it's inside or outside, I'm creating both in my.
Um, both outside beautiful spaces and inside beautiful spaces. And I've never once regretted spending time, money, or energy on creating beauty and surrounding myself with beauty and peace in my home. So tag me if you start doing it. And just one more reminder that the tickets for nervous system 1 0 1 will go on sale.
August 30. The workshop is on September 13th. Um, if you listen to this episode before tickets go on sale, make sure you add yourself to the nervous system. 1 0 1 wait list. The link below will be for that. If you happen to listen to this episode after August 31st, 2022, then you can click on the other link that I'm putting in the, uh, show notes to get your ticket to nervous system 1 0 1.
So tickets are $55. If you need financial aid because $55 is too much for you to swing right now, please send an email to support Lindsay lockett.com. And just tell us that you would like financial aid for the nervous system workshop. You don't have to explain your situation or your circumstances. We will give you financial aid no matter what no questions asked.
So again, that email is support Lindsay locket dot. send an email there, if you would like financial aid for the nervous system workshop. And I believe that's all I have for you today, friends. So thank you so much for listening and for being here. And 📍 I'm excited to see what kind of beautiful, peaceful, lovely spaces you create to nourish your nervous systems.
Have a lovely day.
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