Soul Sculpting Project: Red Alert to Green ‘At Ease’
True Story: It was the middle of the night. Something was wrong with his heart. He laid in the emergency room answering questions and undergoing tests. Finally he received the doctor’s prescription. “Take a vacation.”
Why did the doctor prescribe a vacation?
This man held a job that was both meaningful and challenging. The doctor believed that the challenges had led his patient to live a life on red alert. His nervous system was locked in the sympathetic mode.
The doctor also believed that a vacation would help his patient move his nervous system to the parasympathetic mode.
God built our bodies with an adjustable nervous system.
The sympathetic system sets us up for action. It is called fight or flight and also tend and befriend.
When this system is in charge, it prioritizes the action parts of our body. Our heart rate is increased, adrenaline pours into our blood and is diverted to our large muscles.
As the sympathetic system gears-up some parts of our body for action, it also shuts down parts of our body that is deems less necessary. Digestion, for example, is not considered priority. Enzymes in our saliva that breakdown food decrease and blood flow to the small intestine is reduced up to 4 times. Our active brain regions change. Higher reasoning in the frontal lobe is lessened and more basic survival regions are favored.
This Sympathetic Nervous System is a gift from God. It helps us survive many of life’s challenges and enables us to take action in a powerful way. The problem comes when we, like the man in the emergency room, live too much of our day in this system.
How do we turn on this Sympathetic Action System?
It comes on in a split second as an emergency is detected. Some of these emergencies are actually happening, others are ones we see in media or we create by our own imaginations. Worrying can turn on our action system.
How do we turn off the Sympathetic Action System?
By turning on the Parasympathetic Nervous System.
The Parasympathetic system is our at ease system known as Rest and Digest.
How to turn on our Parasympathetic Nervous system:
Many Sculpting Projects have the ability to move us from Sympathetic to Parasympathetic System.
This Sculpting Project will employ a rapid and renown method to achieve this change.
The Long Exhale Prayer
- Say (silently) a short prayer (one sentence, phrase or word) in sync with your breath.
- Inhale, then extend your exhale to as long as is comfortable.
Example: Inhale: “Lord Jesus Christ”, Long Exhale: “thank you for the gift of life”.
You will likely sense your ‘at ease system’ turning on after a few breaths.
It takes your blood stream a little longer to clear out the adrenaline and all your body systems to move to full rest and digest. 60 to 90 seconds will get you closer to your goal.
I’ve been practicing this Long Exhale Prayer throughout the day whenever it comes to mind. I don’t need to stop what I am doing. I have noticed it rapidly creates many positive changes. My body relaxes, my mind becomes steady, my spirit wakes up to the wonders of the present moment. It feels like very good medicine for me.
Did the man in the emergency room heed the doctor’s prescription? I don’t know. I do think that one vacation will not be enough for him to move out of a life pattern of Red Alert. We need ways to live more of our work days in ‘at ease mode’. We need a better balance of red and green alert.
I would add tools, like The Long Exhale Prayer, to the doctor’s prescription.
What would you prescribe for yourself?