Nurturing Resilience
A user manual for the Body-Mind

Rhum seen from Ardnamurchan. image Copyright Andrew Cook 2020
Positive Body Awareness is a method of setting up meaningful communication with the body, and a practical understanding of the rules by which that works. Despite us having apparently separated from Nature, we are still living organisms that are part of a wider external ecosystem, and have an internal ecosystem that is on continuity with that.
Many of the rules by which govern that internal organisation have been defined through research into neurology over the past 30 years. The results are starting. It appears that modern human society is constructed around a set of behaviours and thought patterns that contradict the way our bodies and brains have evolved.
In this weekend workshop and/or set of online workshops I have put the rules into a simple framework with enough theory so that you can apply the techniques and know what is happening, why they are working, and what that means in the context of your broader life. There are many different possible ways this material can be taught and applied, but the main focus I wish to have is "Nurturing Resilience". A course would consist of four lots of 1½ hour Zoom (or similar) sessions, plus at least one follow-up session to support you in putting it into practice. PolyVagal Theory is a core part of the course, providing an important map of internal experience.

L quot
Its deepened my relationship with myself, made me more fully alive. Expanded my senses. Come to know my self as sanctuary. Made me appreciate the amazing miracle of myself mentally, emotionally, physically and excited about the buried treasure that i have left to find. I used to work hard at burying it as I thought then I could more highly function, your scientific and experiential practices have shown me how very sad and limiting that was. I embrace the grief I feel about that, I look forward to being in my [own] company, I've never felt like that.
R quot
The potential benefits (which vary between individuals) include :
  1. less hyper-arousal
  2. less physical pain
  3. better physical health - improved immune function
  4. greater capacity for embodiment and less dissociation
  5. greater resourcefulness and ability to engage fully in life - less tendency to overwhelm
  6. improved connection with the Earth
  7. re-setting our relationship with the natural world, as a metaphor for our bodies – and vice versa
L quot
It was a complete luxury to be giving myself this attention and the feeling of "coming home" and complete relaxation left me with a smile on my face each time a session ended.
R quot
coast, Ardnamurchan. image Copyright Andrew Cook 2020
L quot
I wanted to email you personally to say thank you for the Resilience workshop. I wanted to reiterate my gratitude for your sharing of your decades' work in the content. I'd like to express again that the effectiveness of the content was due to the presence in your delivery, the attunement between what was needed and what you wanted to convey, and the responsibility that was transferred to us as participants to further the work once we had been given an understanding of the basics of our responses and reactions to situations and the reasons for them... In brief, I think the work's value lay in interaction-participation-feedback.... this is something that should be taught to everyone- young if possible, so schools, communities...
R quot
A few other comments about the pilot workshops

These were the first trials at teaching resilience material online outside a one-to-one setting. The coronavirus lockdown required that these were run online as four 90 minute sessions, with a review/feedback/debrief one week later.

  • After the first session my body was so fired up and felt so alive
  • Fascinating hearing you speak and putting language to my experiences
  • The fact that curiosity is referred to so much in this course is also part of what I am excited about
  • Improvement in my overall levels of happiness since doing the course – without even actively doing anything specific
  • I’m pleased to have done the course and think it might have the potential to be life changing. Also felt you created a very warm and open space.
  • Yes when I find the time to do it it really helps me feel better and sleep better
  • Increased my understanding of myself and why I do certain things and helped me feel a lot more positive.Beneficial to me and my partner
  • It's also helped others I've talked to about it a lot more, especially those who are very anxious
  • I wonder if diagnosis like autism/ADHA/sensory processing disorder in kids? ..[maybe consider] doing this retraining work with them? The descriptions Andrew gave today of the Vagal /Parasympathetic systems in overdrive sounded so similar to the attributes of these conditions, and so many kids are being diagnosed with these conditions nowadays
  • It was all helpful. The explanation at the start made putting it into practice make sense. Being talked through doing the awareness exercises was really useful.
  • I feel like I have more tools available to deal with these potential issues [I am facing]
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