S3 E10

“ …how do we, and for me how do I, start to regain my natural capacity for connection, but at the same time not overload myself to the point that there’s a backfire and I end up pulling away again? That is another part of what makes sense to me about this work, or this understanding of the nervous system, is that we do need to be connected with each other. That includes in our pain, but we still have to manage the discomfort.” -Victor Jones, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Addiction Specialist and Resilience Educator, and Certified Neuro Somatic Intelligence Practitioner

Have you ever felt an undercurrent of fear or anger inside yourself, even though it might not align with your outward personality?

Do you want to connect with others but find yourself pushing them away?

How does your nervous system react around someone who is fully Present?

In this episode, we unravel the complexities of relational threats and nervous system regulation alongside NSI Practitioner Victor Jones. 

The human experience has a delicate balance. On one hand, connection and intimacy are vital for our nervous systems and societal well-being. On the other hand, the body’s protective responses can make these connections feel challenging and even dysregulating. 

Early childhood trauma can reshape our nervous system’s wiring for connection, steering it towards self-protective outputs such as fear, anger, or dissociation. The repercussions of this chronic dysregulation reach beyond individuals and personal relationships, extending to societal injustices and chronic stress arising from racial and gender disparities.

However, hope lives in neuroplasticity, co-regulation and Presence. Nervous system regulation has the power to create positive ripples in relationships and communities. We share our vision of a society where individuals understand the language of the nervous system and work together to create positive change and healthy connections. 

We’re also opening up about our personal experiences with relational threat. Victor vulnerably shares his story of growing up with an alcoholic father, finding nervous system regulation and how he’s using NSI tools in his work. Elisabeth talks her under the surface dysregulation. And Jennifer discusses what it’s like living with a strong Fight response in a violent patriarchal society.

Conversation Highlights:

  • Intertwined relationship between fear and anger as survival responses
  • Impact of witnessing the mistreatment of others on our nervous system
  • How societal trust being shattered impacts our connections
  • How rape and diet culture disconnect women from their femininity 
  • Profound impact of being attuned to internal sensations
  • How bringing regulated Presence into a community can create change
  • Importance of providing law enforcement and first responders with an understanding of nervous system regulation 

Tune into this thought-provoking conversation exploring relational threat, nervous system regulation and Neuro Somatic Intelligence’s transformative power. 

Listen to more episodes of Trauma Rewired HERE


[00:02:42] Elisabeth: Welcome, Victor. We’re so happy to have you on today.

[00:02:43] Victor: Thank you, Elisabeth. I’m really excited to be here with you and Jennifer. Love your work.

[00:02:48] Jennifer: Yeah, I’m excited too. I think every time you come on here we have these big expansive conversations. In this season we’re talking about relationships. And we agree with you in the way we view our relationship to addiction and how we think of addiction, as you said managing pain, from hurtful experiences. Gabor Maté talks about not why the addiction, why the pain? What’s under there? We love exploring that. 

We’ve also been bringing into this season those broader societal structures about the built-in inequalities. We want to have the conversations around gender and race and injustice. That’s really important to us and how we can come at that from a really balanced, grounded, nervous system so that we can open each other up to be heard, to be seen, and to be safe in the world that we live in- in our bodies and the greater at large.

[00:03:49] Victor: Absolutely I’m excited about having the tools that we’ve been talking about and exploring the nervous system and giving ourselves the language by which to start the process what is happening. So much of what is happening is happening at a level beyond our words, or maybe even beneath our words, as we look at the language of it and we’re responding to how we are processing information from the bottom up.

[00:04:20] That starts with how we’ve been educated, what we’ve been seeing in our society, what we have been taught to feel about other human beings along the lines of race and gender and indigeneity and all of these things. They all go into play even before we come up with words to express ourselves. So it’s really exciting work.

[00:04:48] Elisabeth: It’s a really beautiful thing, like a really powerful thing, to think about. All that stuff existing inside of our body beyond the level of our words, sometimes beyond the level of our consciousness, driving our behavior, driving how we interact with other people, even driving our posture and our movement and so many outputs that we experience in the world.

[00:05:10] All these forces are wired into our unique neuromatrix, shaping our experience of the world and how we then relate to other people. I know a lot of your background is in working with addiction. Where did you start in that work? And how has your understanding of addiction evolved as you learn more about the nervous system and bringing Neuro Somatic tools into that?

[00:05:38] Victor: Thinking of where I started with the work, I would probably say I started with the work when I was a little bitty baby because my dad was an alcoholic. That unfortunately meant that I was growing up with alcoholism or chemical addiction and domestic violence. So much was going on before the age of two, I will say, because I don’t have any recollection of some of the things that made the most important impact on my life. On the way that I would process information throughout the rest of my life. So I only learned about some of the most horrific stuff probably around the age of 50 or later. 

But of course, the way that I felt about relationships, who I felt I could be safe with, or who I felt I could not be safe with, was turned upside down by the fact that my father was an alcoholic. I was seeing and hearing the violence in that. Of course what we know is that those three things: alcoholism, domestic violence and sexual abuse, they often go together. 

That was another thing that I learned as I later became a domestic violence program creator. So thinking of how I began, I began with direct exposure to it. Then that moved into a desire to help people that were living in those situations, still not thinking about the depth to which I had lived in it myself, and how it was still making an impact on me.

[00:07:34] So really, I was thinking that I had escaped the scars of it, but as I examined my behavior, and then as I had my own struggles, I had to realize, no, I didn’t skate much of anything. It was right there and it was living inside of my body. So later, maybe the last five or six years, I had become acquainted with the understanding of the body, the work of Gabor Maté, the work of Stephen Porges, Bessel van der Kolk and it was like this light bulb went off for me. Oh, this is why I freak out over certain things. And oh, this explains why I have no reaction to some other things. Then having that understanding, or at least the questions- cause I never even had the questions before, to be honest with you.

[00:08:36] So having the question and having a framework for it, then applying that to my clients and asking questions that just opened up a whole world for them of understanding what was happening in their bodies. That just has continued to blossom in the way of understanding and sharing and now offering actual tools to help people to get in touch with their nervous systems and to process what’s happening with them.

[00:09:08] So it’s an ongoing journey, but I would say that that’s how I got started because none of this was discussed in master’s level social work school. (laughing) None of this was required for my licensure. The understanding of the body is just completely beyond the things that I was learning as a growing professional. So it’s really exciting work.

[00:09:34] Elisabeth: Yeah. Gosh, I relate to so much of your story. I, also, come from a background in early childhood development with an alcoholic father, alcoholic family, a lot of parental violence in those early years that I don’t remember. Sexual abuse in the early years that I don’t really remember and did not discover until much later in my life. And really spent a lot of my life kind of thinking I had escaped, that it wasn’t playing out in me. I was an alcoholic, but I got sober at an early age. Really went through a lot of my life in workaholism with binge eating disorder with a lot of fluctuations in my emotional stability, but I could keep everything really under the surface. On the outside it looked still okay and successful, like I was a pretty emotionally stable person. But inside my body I was cycling through all of the different trauma responses and just feeling the effects of that. It really wasn’t until my mid thirties, when undergoing a really intense period of stress, that then brought all that up to the surface and forced me to take a deeper look and have some difficult conversations with my family and start to understand.

[00:10:49] Then go down that big rabbit hole of somatics and reading all the books, Pete Walker and Peter Levine and all of that. Then finding my way into Neuro Somatic Intelligence and really bringing Applied Neurology into all of those practices and using that to help others. 

It’s a wild journey to start to see and understand yourself at this different level. Once you know about- oh, trauma isn’t the event, it’s the present day reaction inside of my body that’s living with me all of the time, and where all of my behaviors are coming from. And that they are self soothing behaviors, self-regulating behaviors, that I maybe even really need at the time to stay okay having developed and grown up under such a big amount of stress.

[00:11:53] Jennifer: I’m curious too, you described a little bit about what it was like to grow up in your house as a very young child. I’m curious how that relationship in your home, in that environment, went on to affect the relationship that you had to yourself and the relationship that you had out in the world- personal relationships, intimate relationships. How were you showing up as a result of your environment?

[00:12:12] Victor: Part of how I showed up, which is interesting because I don’t think I have an angry personality, but there was definitely an angry undercurrent. Fear and anger are so closely related, right? They’re both survival responses and I guess they’re really intertwined with each other. So I didn’t realize that I was walking around in a state of fear because I didn’t feel like I was afraid to do anything. I had no problem just doing all kinds of crazy stuff, but that was probably my nervous system turned upside down. I mean, I could say I didn’t have enough sense to be scared.

[00:12:56] Jennifer: Well, I have another part to this question too. I meant to ask too, could you also weave in the relationship that you were having to culture and society?

[00:13:09] Victor: Yeah. So at a personal level, I would say I would feel comfortable in areas where I shouldn’t have been and have a sense of fear in areas where I was actually very safe. On a societal level I would say that I think things were pretty much usually in balance there- on a societal level. It was more the close personal relationships that were really difficult. The more intimate, the more difficult; I would say it that way. 

On a broader societal level, I think I feel more of the fear aspect out now. Because I’m looking at the disconnect that we have. I think a greater society should give us a sense of safety and a sense of ‘things are gonna ultimately be okay’. I would say with the issues that we’ve been seeing around people being persecuted, organized around their race, around their gender, around their sexuality, or any of these other things. That created a greater sense of insecurity that I don’t think is necessarily unfounded.

[00:14:39] But one of the things that happens is that the ability to connect with other people is hampered. So I think that that’s where I wanna go, Jennifer, is that I’m noticing that my ability to connect with other people has been hampered. Now I’m more aware of the effort that I need to put in to settle my system so that I can connect with other people rather than pull away from people. Does that make sense?

[00:15:14] Jennifer: Yes. Thank you.

[00:15:45] Elisabeth: Yeah, I think it is very much the case that I see with clients, with myself, with really anyone living in the world. I was gonna say people who have a lot of trauma, but I’m not sure that that’s just people with trauma, just everyone in the world. The higher the level of vulnerability and intimacy, the more threatening that is to our nervous system in many ways.

But especially if we do come from those unstable environments in our early childhood where our social safety needs were not met. And we felt a real threat from the primary caregivers that we were supposed to have that connection with for our safety. We can often end up in this place where that intimacy, that connection, that social network that is so incredibly important for our health and our survival, we really, really want it, and it also feels really scary inside at a physiological level. As we start to try to connect we experience these outputs of our nervous system that are protective. We might experience pain or dissociation or shut down. Then on that big society level, like you were talking about, it has been an intense time of change and awakening and opening up. 

[00:17:08] Again, the stakes are getting higher and there’s a little bit more truth and vulnerability coming to the surface and also more conflict. It’s both so important to be able to connect and it can be inherently threatening to our nervous system, to our body. It’s like we need both. We need it. And it can also be dysregulating.

[00:17:36] Victor: Yeah, definitely. If our first natural response to threat or insecurity is to connect. But then if we’re learning, maybe at a very early, that connection is not safe or that is unpredictable, then we move away from that, maybe towards being afraid or hiding out.

[00:18:04] So what happens later in life when we are seeing people mistreated, and we may be mistreated ourselves, but part of our connection, our natural biological connection, is that if I see someone else being mistreated then I’m supposed to feel uncomfortable with that. That’s also part of our survival- that our connection with each other is really how we stay alive.

[00:18:31] So when we see another person being threatened or being mistreated or being discounted, it’s supposed to feel uncomfortable. We’re not supposed to just gloss over that, but if it happens so much that we learn to be desensitized to it, as a means of survival, I’m not going to jump into your fight because I’m trying to stay alive.

[00:18:55] Again, that’s kind of upside down for our survival. As human beings, our survival as human beings means that we get into together, we pull together, we connect. But if that aggressive backlash happens long enough, then our biology, or our nervous systems, adapt. And for me, how do regain my natural capacity for connection, but at the same time not overload myself to the point that there’s a backfire and I end up pulling away again? That is another part of what makes sense to me about this work, or this understanding of the nervous system, is that we do need to be connected with each other. That includes in our pain, but we still have to manage the discomfort. We still have to manage our nervous systems and to see what we’re experiencing as outputs that can be managed- that makes sense, that’s actually normal. We don’t have to feel bad about them, but it’s important that we manage them so that we can move forward together. Then also to consider, we can’t problem solve when we are dysregulated. We’re too busy trying to stay alive. So being creative, collaborating, being connected depends on our ability to settle our systems and really see each other’s humanity. Whether it’s in intimate relationships or on a social scale.

[00:20:43] Jennifer: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And that regulation really roots us in our own sovereignty and autonomy. It keeps us anchored in our truths. Y’all both spoke to earlier, the subliminal communications that are happening, and we have subliminal communication within our tribe. We live in a society that is also trying to subliminally communicate with us what the societal and cultural norms are and people are experiencing that on many different spectrums of what they know to be the truth in the world that they live in. And I think the way that our society is constructed at large, it gives us that same view of finding the evidence of the safety of the world that you live in, or the lack of safety of the world that you live in. 

[00:21:35] Victor: Yeah. You mentioned our tribes and our groups we associate with safety moving forward, even when our groups are just completely messed up. But those are still the people that we love. We are taught that these are your people, this is who you love, this is who’s gonna take care of you even when they’re causing you some harm, you’re still connected to them. 

So for me as a black male, what happens for me when the greater group, if you will, our greater society, that I’ve been taught that I have to follow, that I have to trust at least to some degree, breaks that trust. If it’s a case of violence, whether it’s in our citizen committing a violent act or a government official committing a violent act. So then where do you go? What happens with your belief system then? So trust is broken. Then if I have, as in my case I have some trust broken with my dad, then I’ve got some trust broken with our societal norms. I’ve always been warned about the police, but that’s just what it is. So how does all that mix up in a person’s nervous system?

[00:23:00] Elisabeth: Yeah I think in that situation we’re really talking then about a nervous system that is continuously getting shaped. Remember, we’re always adapting and always changing to the stimulus that’s coming in. We’re neuroplastic, right? We look at the individual on the nervous system level- by continuing to experience that betrayal and trust of important social networks and connections that are needed at a survival level. Whether that’s a parental figure or society at large. When these things become dangerous, it’s a nervous system that becomes very primed for protection over connection and that lens of hypervigilance becomes very strong.

[00:23:45] So you start to see a constant stress load that is building with that ever increasing sense of threat that nothing can be trusted. Again, like Jennifer was talking about, our filtering system continues to change. So all of the ways that our brain is interpreting information, taking in information, what’s making it to our frontal lobe, what the amygdala is reacting to- all of that starts to change. And we get into this state of very high chronic stress. We know that chronic stress over time leads to disease. That’s why there’s different disease rates in different populations, more heart disease, mental health decline. That’s why also people with higher ACE scores have a truncated lifespan of up to 20 years.

[00:24:34] All of these protective filtration systems and hypervigilance, they may be there for good reason. Maybe there are parts of society or a home life or a home structure that really, truly is not safe. I’m not saying that the filters are necessarily wrong, but it’s a great deal of stress to be under all of the time living in a world where all of the different connections that you need for survival are also dangerous to your survival. It’s a very disorganized way to have attachments. It is just not conducive to health over time. 

I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s so important for people who are trying to create change and for people who are trying to have these difficult conversations. And who’ve just had these experiences live in the world in a body that is under more threat all of the time have tools to work with their nervous system, have an understanding of how the nervous system works, have somatic practices to move this through the body because there has to be a way to help alleviate that threat load. Otherwise, it just perpetuates and continues to create more stress and more disparities and inequality in life for the people that are under the stress.

[00:27:05] Victor: Yeah, as you’re saying that I’m thinking about, and I think this applies to Americans in general not just to me as a Black American, but I think that we have been conditioned into a level of protectiveness, maybe fear, of “the other” for so long that that feels normal. Maybe about a year ago, I became aware that I was carrying this Fight energy. Maybe a level or two beneath the surface. On top- happy, jovial, gregarious, all that stuff. But there was a Fight energy, a survival energy, a level or two down that sometimes didn’t need as much scratching as others to bring to the surface.

[00:28:03] So with this work of practicing settling my nervous system, and becoming familiar with what it felt like to feel settled I became aware of the absence of the Fight energy. You see what I’m saying? I didn’t know it was there until I became aware that it was not there. I noticed that my mind was not working the same way when I would walk into spaces. I wasn’t thinking- threat. There wasn’t that little voice in the back of my head. (laughing) So when it wasn’t there and I was like, wow, I’m not thinking ‘what is going on?’.

[00:28:54] But my nervous system, maybe since I was a little kid, did not know about what it felt to not be in a state of threat until it wasn’t there. Then the absence of it was shocking to me. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have some of the same habits of language, right?

[00:29:17] So I may say some things in an unintentionally harsh way and stop and think, ‘wow, did I just hear myself say that? That’s not the way that I wanted to come across.’ It’s not the way that I felt, but that habit of language just jumped out. So now I have to practice really slowing down and thinking before I speak, because what was habitual is still present even if the sense of threat is not there. Does that add up?

[00:29:55] Jennifer: So much of what you’re saying adds up for me because I relate to someone who has a really strong Fight response. I would notice little fight scenarios going on in my mind. It would just be a vocal fake fight in my mind about how I was going to protect my body in this situation. I really think we’ve been conditioned by a violent system.

[00:30:22] The patriarchy is a violent system And for me, as a woman walking around in the world, I know that when I leave my house today I have a 50% chance of experiencing a body boundary violation- even on the smallest scale. Or what feels like the smallest scale might be actually a big, giant alarm in my body. Rape culture. Patriarchy pushes an agenda of ownership of bodies, hierarchy of bodies. And these failed environments at home then stacked with the failed environment of the society at large is stacked trauma. 

[00:31:05] Elisabeth: Absolutely. The more aware I become of my internal sensations- and this is a long process for me of coming back into my body and coming out of dissociation. It’s still an ongoing process. It’s happening right now in my life. The more I’ve become able to feel what’s really happening in my nervous system, the more aware I am of how much goes on in this world that is incredibly dysregulating and that is not in alignment with my nervous system being at a nice, calm regulated state. So I experience many times throughout the day being activated. Then also stacking that, like Jennifer said, on top of environmental failures that happened at an early age. And not placing blame on my primaries necessarily, but just an experience growing up developing in a way that I very rarely felt safe, very rarely felt settled like you were talking about Victor. So then that combines with my system being pretty highly reactive. So I have all this stuff going on in the world that’s not very conducive to nervous system health or full self-expression or embodiment.

[00:32:24] And then I have my own personal, highly reactive nervous system that’s engaging with that. And it’s a lot. It’s a lot for our body to take on. So I feel really lucky that I have the tools. And it is just a process because I’m never gonna get to that place, I don’t think, where I won’t be dysregulated or where I won’t feel the Fight underneath. Or for me, a lot of times it shows up as Flight. I don’t think that’s possible because we live in a world where that necessarily, maybe that shouldn’t be the case. There are things happening that we should feel not settled about. And I wanna have the tools to work with my nervous system so that I can feel that and then I can respond to it appropriately and take action without having to harm myself or without having my internal state be such that I’m getting sick over time by trying to deal with this stuff.

[00:33:15] Victor: Okay. We have to do that in order to connect. So this community aspect is made available to us by having this understanding of the nervous system and practicing and practicing it. We say the triune brain- the survival brain, emotional brain and thinking brain- they can be in conflict with each other. So we have to be able to settle it all down so that I have an understanding of what’s happening, what are the sensations that are happening. 

Also so that I can process what’s happening with another person. So another person’s voice or their body language is off kilter, but that’s not about me. That’s about what’s happening in that person. So having the ability, a language, a conceptual framework, or thinking about what is happening with another person. I know I didn’t do that to them. I haven’t done anything offensive to them, but they’re coming off on such a way. So I have to have the ability to think about that, to process it, to settle myself and, oh, how can I be available to this person?

[00:34:39] How can I be Present with this person, settling my own nervous system, and being aware that my settled nervous system can help to settle theirs. Then as we can do that instead of escalating on top of each other’s trauma or reactions, that person can come to where I am, hopefully. But there’s no chance of that if I don’t have the language and the tools, the practices, to settle myself. And keep myself settled in the middle of that.

[00:35:19] Jennifer: Yeah, totally. The regulation gives us the opportunity in this space for conversation and like you said for us to affect change without saying anything at all, really without doing anything, but by our nervous systems being the safe space. Sometimes just sitting in quiet is the best thing that you can do with another nervous system.

[00:35:39] Elisabeth: Yeah, I think it really opens up the possibility for conversations of depth and conversations that are inherently a little bit difficult. Also to just bring these tools and nervous system regulation into the community without necessarily having to be like, ‘here’s this specific tool for your nervous system in this way.’

[00:36:00] But I can just go in as a more regulated, grounded presence. I can use the power of co-regulation and then just provide a safe space for somebody to feel what it’s like to be in the presence of a nervous system that is grounded and Present with me and start to create change in ways like that. By creating that change inside of myself first and then bringing it out into the communities that we’re serving.

[00:36:26] Victor: Yeah. And making it available so that we can do that over and over again. Because I know the first time that I came (laughing) across a really settled nervous system, it scared the dickens outta me. Okay, so I’ve done a couple of domestic violence abuse or treatment programs, anger management. Oh my gosh, I was so at home. I love that work. I’ve got these huge guys- 200, 300 pounds- and they’re mad as fire because the judge has sent them to me. And I’m like, oh boy, this is great. (laughing) I was cool as a cucumber, but you give me this couple that was so sweet. 

Oh my gosh, they were both retirement age teachers and they were just so sweet. They were teaching the art therapy class and all I wanted was to get away from these people. Because my nervous system didn’t know what to do with that. I had no words for it, my system did not know what to do with that. All I wanted to do was get away from them. And I made myself stay because I could not rationalize why I wanted to leave so badly. It was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful experience. I got a tear coming out right now. It was a beautiful experience, but you gimme some big knucklehead that’s mad as fire. And I was like, yeah, this is great. (laughing)

[00:38:04] Elisabeth: I totally relate to that. It was really uncomfortable for me to be in the presence of someone very Present, because of growing up around primaries that were kind of checked out. I just never really had that experience of feeling the full intensity of another human being’s Presence and grounded.

[00:38:25] It would really bring up my desire to run as fast as I could away from that situation. Like you’re talking about, we end up creating relationships, whether that’s our partnerships, our intimate partnerships or friendships, community relationships- and with our clients- that end up actually being very stressful. Even though that feels better in that moment, this isn’t as uncomfortable as somebody who’s regulated and Present, because that’s not what my nervous system is used to. Then we are recreating over and over again these very taxing, high stress relationships that keep our stress level elevated all of the time. So it has been really important for me to work with my nervous system so that I can start to be Present in myself.

[00:39:13] That’s the first place. Can I start to be Present in myself and experience moments of Presence just out in nature or walking around? Then being able to translate that into friendships into having relationships with women like Jennifer, where we’re very Present with each other for sustained periods of time. Maybe sometimes we check out, but we can come back to being Present. Then gradually into a safe partnership. Again, it’s this process of unfolding and making that safe little by little.

[00:39:48] Elisabeth: One of the things that I’m really excited about with the NSI work that I know that you’re doing, Victor, is I know you’re taking it out into the community. I’d love to hear a little bit about how you use the tools for that. Also Victor and I are going to Columbus, Ohio, at the end of the summer. We’re doing a training for their police force as part of the Columbus Public Health and a community of partners called the Care Coalition. We’re doing a trauma-informed training and NSI gets to be a small part of that, helping to bring Neuro Somatic tools to their police force and to the people who are crisis responders. It’s gonna be really neat, I think, to begin to take these tools into that environment. And Victor and I, we’re really excited about it. So I’d love to hear a little bit about our thoughts on that and also how you’ve been using the tools specifically in the work that you’re doing with the community.

[00:40:44] Victor: Sure. So I’ll start with what I’ve been doing in the community for the last couple of years, which is holding practice circles that are just available to anyone that would like to stop by. It started out with substance abuse, people who are recovering from substance abuse. As we said, if we look at substance abuse as a way of managing pain and say what is the pain that is so bad that you would take a chemical that is known to be harmful to your body. So if we give a person other ways to manage their bodies, their nervous systems, and to reduce or alleviate pain, that has been remarkable for folks. It’s kind of unbelievable. They’re like, ‘what did you do to me?’ I said, I didn’t do anything. I just talked you through your own nervous system. That’s all. And it is such a revelation to folks. Then they have to come and spend enough time, they have to repeat the process enough to believe that it really is for them. So, we do have to get past that belief barrier.

[00:41:55] Taking this into our work, which I’m so excited about in taking this information to our law enforcement and our first responders is so important for people in these high stress, high trauma professions to have an understanding of the nervous system that is not just about being tougher or being harder or all of those things- being more masculine.

[00:42:31] Even though we have women in the profession I think even the women are told to man up. What if we had a much better understanding of our nervous systems and they have practices to settle their nervous systems on a regular basis- daily, even throughout the day, even within the moment, even within the midst of the crisis? That’s part of what I’m excited about us bringing to this project is understanding and practices of how to settle yourselves even in that experience- before, during, and after, if you will. And the difference that that will make on the access to a person’s thinking capacity, to the ability to make sound decisions that are actually in line with your training. Actually in line with your ethics, actually in line with the best of your humanity. Because all of those things can go out the window when the nervous system is dysregulated and thrown into full survival mode. 

So in order to have the best access to who we are, we have to be settled in that time. I really do believe that that can be much more likely achieved when we have regular practices, especially if we have a community.

[00:44:12] That’s part of what I’m imagining too, Elisabeth, is that this will become something that is not just individual officers doing for themselves, but it becomes part of the culture of them taking care of each other- protecting each other mentally, emotionally, physically. In terms of their career, because you make a really bad decision and you lose your whole career over it. I’m not gonna say that’s about a person being a bad person. Sometimes it’s about having a totally dysregulated nervous system and messing up with your judgment. Your judgment is just not there, it’s just not accessible to you because your nervous system is totally offline.

[00:45:01] Elisabeth: I love that vision of creating a culture where people speak the language of the nervous system a little bit. Like you were talking about before, it allows us to have a lot more compassion and curiosity for when we are having these conversations, when we’re witnessing somebody else’s reaction, their shut down, their underlying anger, their underlying Fight, their desire to check out, to understand it’s not personal, and that it’s a nervous system response. There’s just so much more that can be accomplished and so much more that can be communicated when people have a culture that understands the nervous system as a driving force in behavior, in life experience, in shaping our beliefs and how those beliefs are expressed through our body. So I really share that vision with you, Victor, of helping to bring about a shift in culture to understanding the Neuro Somatic components of all of this framework. And I am really excited. I’m really excited for our trip and to bring it into this new avenue.

[00:46:10] Jennifer: It’s really beautiful. It’s just a really beautiful gift and I’m so excited for y’all to be out there sharing this work with that population and hoping that it catches on and starts to spread through the departments that moves on to other departments and just continues to take on its own life. Because regulation is just so important I think to build new foundations within ourselves and within our greater society at large. I’m super grateful, Victor, for the work that you’ve always done and for your stories. Thank you so much for your contribution and I’m happy to share this vision as well. So thank you.

[00:46:54] Victor: You are welcome.

[00:46:55] Elisabeth: Thank you so much. And thanks for being such a big part of the Neuro Somatic Intelligence course and community and, yeah, for having this conversation with us today. It’s always really, really a pleasure to connect.

[00:47:07] Victor: The same here. I’m loving it, and I’m so grateful to have met you all and to be a part of this work. So it’s definitely life saving for me in many ways. So thank you.

[00:47:16] Elisabeth: If this is resonating with you; you’re an entrepreneur, a leader, somebody who wants to step into their purpose then join us at www.rewiretrial.com to get  two free weeks of live nervous system training with Jennifer and me. We’ll teach you the tools to make expansion possible and safe in the nervous system, the body and the brain.