I am a Hummingbird

Last Friday we attended a parents’ training program setup by Sahana’s awesome school. The talk was about Trauma Proofing your Kids by Carlee. It was based on a book by the same title written by Peter Levine. I learned a lot about myself and it kinda let me gain insight into my behaviour.

So, every one of us has something called “Stress Response”. It’s the default way we deal with stress in our lives. There is no right or wrong way in this, it’s just how we deal with stress. There are different archetypes of how we deal with stress. And as we did the exercise, I fell in a bucket named – “The Hummingbird”

humming bird

Here are the patterns of stress responses by Hummingbird,

Assets
  • Tracks a lot of information from different sources
  • Vigilantly notice energy/shifts in the environment
  • Engage intuition, read the situation and all people in it
  • Attend to lots of little details
Challenges
  • Attention “leaves body”
  • Inability to stay present
  • Stop attending to bodily needs or fail to recognize exhaustion, hunger, or emotions
  • hyper-vigilance

That list was so on spot, I was shocked how well it organized everything along these archetypes.

So the basic baseline of my stress response is – my attention leaves my body. In other words, I get all mental – focus on past or future. Anywhere in space and time except here and now! That blew my mind. I know I am always up in my head, a lot of chatter going on but no much awareness of my body. But I didn’t realize that is how I respond to my life. And how I respond to my life has basically organized my life along those lines.

For example:

  • I can go on ignoring my hunger pangs for hours – for someone or something’s sake.
  • I love books – they are my gateway to escape into a different reality
  • I could never understand or appreciate art. I don’t know why, I mean I admire some cool art but for what reasons I don’t know.
  • It’s hard for me to take compliments. My critic is basically mowing me down when I think other people say that I am good/cool.
  • Self deprecation is my default mode of humor!
  • I have hard time learning things that involve me doing something with my hands or body. Like pottery or swimming
  • At the same time I am super good with software and learning languages – which I think are highly mental.

The list goes on and on but the most fascinating nugget I learned is – as the trainer said – When people drink alcohol, they tend to focus outside of body and since I focus outside of body for my stress response – I like people who drink or like to drink. That literally blew my mind.

Sangita thinks there is a way for me to bring the focus back to my body. She did a lot of Somatics work and she thinks I should do Drama Therapy. That mere thought scares the shit out of me. I mean to enact what I am feeling among a group of people – would be the toughest thing I would ever do. As usual, I am thinking……

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