Allowing the Zebra to kick

Zebra-Simba

A zebra is eating some very delicious grass and its herd has gotten a little bit away from it. The zebra does not notice the Lion hiding in the the taller grass. At the last moment, the zebra catches a scent as the Lion is springing from its crouch. The zebra gets a very lucky kick into the Lion’s snout and the the lion does a nose dive into the dust. The zebra gets a another lucky kick into a sprint and its off to the races. The Lion gets one smack on the zebra’s hindquarter which gives it a deep scratch but other than that the zebra gets away unharmed.

Now the zebra has just been through a mental, emotional, and physical trauma. The Zebra then does something which is very specific to Zebras, but before it goes back to its herd, it goes off into the distance kicking and snorting and expelling the traumatic energy of being attacked.

Human beings don’t do this. Something happens to us that we don’t like that is mentally, emotionally, or physically traumatic to us and our autonomic system tells us that we don’t like it. Stress hormones flood the system preparing us for flight or fight. But instead of dealing with these signals, often we prepare a cognitive overlay that says “no no, everyone has a crappy childhood, just deal with it” or “no no, thats just traffic” or “I was just big boned when I was 7 years old” or “that was just my first 14 relationships” or any number of repetitive ridiculous story lines that we tell ourselves. The end result is that instead of actually dealing with traumatic aspects of our lives, we avoid acknowledging that we have tensions in our body in the chest, stomach, or head among common ones or we simply don’t realize the relationship between all this tension and the stories of our lives that we are still carrying around in the body instead of allowing the zebra to kick.

A practice of mindfulness is basically placing this iced over heart many of us have into a large crockpot and turning on the heat to melt it and see what comes to the surface. EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a tool that allows us to hack the system and decrease the felt sense of intensity in the body that is still associated with out stories of trauma. These practices allow us to clear the way we are holding the pain in our lives. it allows humans to let their zebra kick.

For more information about mindfulness or EFT please contact us for a class or session today.

About The Author

Scott Martin holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and teaches a quarterly Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class in Tyler, Texas. For more information on developing a mindfulness practice or processing emotional trauma visit www.etsrc.org

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