Episode 52. At the Speed of Your Nervous System

Join me this week as I share about how to stop making decisions from external pressure, and begin making decisions and choices based on your nervous system (using your inner knowing). 

Sometimes we gain awareness around something and our nervous system truly needs time to integrate that information but society tells us to move fast, go go go. 

Here’s what’s possible when you move at the speed of your nervous system:

  • Learnings and education and lessons that are available within ourselves
  • Integrate, feel into, and process whatever we might need to before we make the external switch
  • Trust that that unfolding process is valuable for me/you/us
  • Live as a practice of our values rather than hustle culture
  • Fully intact nervous system, mental health, physical health as you move towards this thing

Episode links:

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Let’s become a generation of creative women who are examples for the people in our lives of what it looks like to prioritize our work (AND recognize our impact).

x, Jen

Full episode transcript below:

Welcome to today's episode, At the Speed of Your Nervous System. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about the pressure that we feel and  that may also be exerted upon us to make quick decisions or once you know, something that you need to act on it right away, or implement it, or make the change, or however this looks. And I've really been questioning that because sometimes we gain awareness around something and our nervous system truly needs time to integrate that information. 

And I think if you're moving at the pace that our culture kind of dictates to us, it's like as soon as you know something, you should do it, you should make the change, you should enact it, you should implement it. 

But I think that when we do that, when we kind of sign up and do it at the speed that we're told to do something, we can bypass a lot of really important information. And maybe even learnings and education and lessons that are available within ourselves. 

When we move at the speed of our nervous system, meaning, we may know something for ourselves, we may have learned something, something might've clicked into place, we might have the next piece of information and maybe we choose to sit with it and let that integrate. 

And I know I'm speaking vaguely here, but I want this to be broad. And I think it applies to a lot of things. And I  will give you an example in a minute, but for right now, I'm going to keep it broad and vague. 

When we know something for ourselves,  and we give ourselves the space to move at a pace that feels safe in our bodies, we are able to really integrate, and feel into, and process whatever we might need to before we make the external switch. It's kind of like you allow it to be real in your body, you kind of have already gone through the transition within yourself, and then you make the external change. 

I think what we're often trained to do is the opposite: once we know something, we need to take the action, we need to push ourselves, force, move with urgency, make the change, and then it often takes time for your body to catch up. It takes time for you to feel safe in your nervous system again. 

Because the experience was too jarring. It was too sudden. It might've been too quick or maybe there was some really important emotional information or other information in there that got bypassed or skipped over because you just had to move. You had to do it. It had to be done. However, that sounds. 

One of the things that I've been working on within myself is really honoring my nervous system and moving at the speed of my nervous system. And that has required me working with any external pressure I feel to make a change or make the decision. 

With this idea that like, maybe I'm falling behind or maybe I'm missing out on something else because I'm not moving fast enough. Like these negative consequences that we believe will happen if we don't act as soon as we know what it is that we want to or feel called to do next. 

I think it's possible and right now I'm thinking it's supportive, I'm still experimenting with this, to move at the speed of my nervous system and trust that that unfolding process is valuable for me, that being in an uncomfortable growth place for maybe longer than my mind wants to be there is really offering some important information or growth or clues that is meant to be part of my path. 

And of course my mind wants to skip over that, right, that cause it's kind of uncomfortable. But I've really started to question that. I think that this is built on the most recent Episode 51,  Meditation as a Lifestyle. I think that that's a really good compliment to this, this idea that we can live as a practice of our values rather than hustle culture, survival mode, I just got to do this, I got to get through this, I need to create this or achieve it. And I disregard the personal cost until that catches up to me, which of course it does in the future. 

That's the way that I have operated for a really long time. And I was kind of aware of it and kind of not, and I'm still figuring this out. I'm sure you can hear that in my voice. I'm still figuring out what this means to me and how to actually do this.  I'm still working with it kind of as a practice right now, it's not a habit yet. 

But being okay with having information, having a hunch, having a glimmer of something. Or maybe even a lot of clarity about something, and letting that just marinate inside of me until my nervous system has processed it, and then I'm like, okay I'm ready to go. 

Like I'm ready, fully intact myself, my nervous system, my mental health, my physical health. All of that is ready to move towards this thing. That is what that means to me, what it means to move at the speed of my nervous system. 

Again, compared to I knew something intellectually, this is in the past what I practiced and I would run towards it, and I would sacrifice my mental health, my nervous system, and sometimes my physical health in order to achieve it. Because I was like, who cares? I need to do this thing because that's what I'm feeling called to do right now, and that is the way that I operated for like a very, very long time. 

Okay, I'm going to share an example. I'm not going to share the details because I'm, like I said, I'm still in this. But this year, for several months, I felt very unclear about something pretty major in my life.  I couldn't make a decision. I could see it from both sides. I just didn't know. And I felt a lot of uncertainty. 

And I definitely could have made a decision from an ego place or an intellectual place, and in the past, I totally would've. But instead I chose to sit in an unknown place for several months where I was just like, I don't know. I'm not sure yet. And I let my nervous system calibrate and I didn't force myself to know more than I knew, and I wasn't putting pressure on myself to figure anything out. 

And then, maybe about a month ago, yeah, it was just like literally a month ago, I had clarity and I just was like, okay, I know what the next step is. I know what the next decision is. And by that point, everything was online. My nervous system had mostly calibrated to this decision. My physical health is there. My mental health is there and I feel ready to move towards this thing. I have some grief about the decision and changes that are going to be made, and I will definitely be sharing about this just not right now. So this is vague, but just know that it'll make sense soon once I start sharing about it. 

This is one of the first decisions I've made from this place of moving at the speed of my nervous system.    I think another way I could say this is honoring the pace or the speed of my nervous system. And I'm really curious to see how this plays out because it's a total, it feels like a total gamble. It's an unknown. I don't have all the pieces of the puzzle yet. 

I just have the next step, which I got clarity on and I allowed to be there for so long that once I knew I was like, okay, I'm good. I'm ready to move. If I wouldn't have been in that unknown place for as long as I was, I don't think I would have moved as fast as I have. I would've spent more time like I'm talking about here, letting that settle in. 

Letting it marinate until it didn't feel like it was really triggering for me, or made me really tense, or like maybe even terrified me. That is not the place that I want to operate from, that's not aligned with my values and I just don't want to anymore. It doesn't feel good. Now I'm aware of it, I should say I wasn't aware of it before. 

So I'm at the place where I'm feel so curious about where this is going to lead me, this clarity that I have, that I didn't foresee coming. And that was only available because I sat with it until I had a knowing. Until I could make the decision from a place of my inner knowing, it was not an intellectual decision. 

And no matter how it goes, I feel so good about the fact that I am moving at the speed of my nervous system. That I'm making a pretty big decision from this place. And that I have the awareness now to do that. I mean, that's such a big part of it. It's not even realizing that you may not be honoring your nervous system or that I was not honoring my nervous system in my decision making before. 

And realizing that as much as is available to us, right, because that is different for everyone and it really changes depending on the circumstances - that it's available to us to make the decision or make changes or integrate something new at the speed of your nervous system. 

You can know something and just kind of hold that information while your nervous system calibrates to it. 

I don't know about you, but that is like game changing to me even. It's kind of like blowing my mind right now as I think about it. And I've been thinking about this for a while. That that is available to us. 

And I'm really curious to see what comes out of making decisions from that place. I have a feeling that it's will be different and probably more gratifying than making them from a more intellectual place, which I have definitely done in the past. 

A question that I want to offer here that I think is complimentary is: what does it look like for you, right - this is specific to each of us, what does it look like to live self-trust as a practice? I think that self-trust is a big part of this 'at your, that the speed of your nervous system' because you need to trust that you are moving at the pace that is right for you. 

So again, the question is, what does it look like to live self-trust as a practice? That might be complimentary here. 

That is what I have for you today. I am so glad that you were here and that we get to walk our paths together. See you next time. Same time, same place. Bye for now.  


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