My life was a mess.

I wasn’t sure who I was, what I was doing, how I was meant to act, respond or behave. That didn’t mean that I couldn’t function or operate on a day to day basis, in fact I was excellent at it.

In my field of employment I reached the highest position in one of the shortest periods of time and at a young age. Brilliant? Hardly, just very good at convincing others that I was in control of things, had the answers and the means to make things happen. I knew I could come across as a confident, well adjusted person.

The trouble was that to give that impression to others took a lot of energy. I constantly felt run down and under pressure to perform and lived with a kind of excitable nervous energy.

Deep down I felt that there was a secret handshake or instruction notice that I had missed out on at birth that held all the answers, and if only I could get a copy I would be all right.

I was a needy friend who looked to others for guidance & perspective. Others could easily sway my opinion of events and circumstances. My confidence & self-esteem were reliant upon others that I believed cared for me & had my best interests at heart.

Analysis by Sydney Psychologist Anca Ramsden

Eric grew up in survival mode and he was stuck in feelings of fear and intimidation, as well as anger

about the way he had been treated as a child.

He recalled that his own father had been very demanding, critical and aggressive throughout his childhood. Rather than praise him for his achievements, his father would point out all his mistakes after he had played a rugby game. Not getting the recognition he so sorely needed as a child, but instead being reprimanded and shamed, left deep scars in his self-confidence.

These feelings were so ingrained and conditioned they were hard to escape from, even though he had excelled in his career and now had a loving wife and two beautiful children. He discovered that he could not provide the leadership as a father and husband for his family. He was deeply disturbed by this. It seemed that his many wins could not make up for the insecurities he felt deep down.

The constant reminder of his unhappy past was that he still could not connect with his mother, father and sister in a healthy, nurturing and supportive way, even now as an adult. His family was stuck in conflict mode and there was no relief and no chance of healing for him.

Although he realized that he needed to be more confident and self assured, he was finding it close to impossible to think his way out of his uncertainty about himself. The reason was that his nervous system was stuck in a defensive mode. As a child he felt psychologically and physically attacked on a regular basis. Instead of developing the belief that he could solve problems successfully, he developed self doubt. He was permanently trapped in a reflex survival state of fear.

To understand Eric’s condition we need to understand how our survival reflexes work. We already have survival instincts from a few weeks after conception. Even when we are a tiny fetus in the womb our nervous system is already preparing us to recognize danger and to respond to it.

Every time we feel threatened in any way, either physically or psychologically, these survival reflexes kick in. Our three primary survival reflexes, are fight, fight and freeze: We either fight to survive, we flee in fear if the threat is too great, or we give up and freeze. The freeze response is for when neither fight nor flight will solve the problem. This response is reserved for life threatening situations and is a typical reaction to shock and traumatic experiences.

Why mother equals happiness

Our mother plays a very important role in helping us learn to control our fears, our disappointments and frustrations. A loving mother reads her baby’s signals of distress and calms the baby down. This calming down and the excitement and joy of playful affection help us to learn to regulate our emotions, especially our survival emotions of anger, fear and apathy. In technical terms, this is called good affect regulation or emotion regulation.

If for any reason we did not get this nurturing and re-assurance in infancy and childhood, we can remain stuck in too much anxiety for the rest of our adult life. Once we are stuck in an anxious state no amount of self soothing will work. For example, you meditate, or take time out, but your anxiety is still here. Traumas and very stressful experiences can also lock us into chronic anxiety.

The “Darth Vader” of the Brain: What is the Amygdala?

Eric was stuck flight and freeze because he had been repeatedly attacked psychologically and also physically, in a situation where there was no escape. Eric’s stressful experiences in childhood activated and locked in his amygdala, a small part of the brain that produces the reflex defenses of fight, flight and freeze. To assist Eric this survival reflex part of his brain needed to be calmed down.

The Solution

We used Body Mind Fractal exercises to calm down the instinct-oriented part of Eric’s brain called the amygdala. After his sessions he was more able to use the conscious, decision making part of his brain called the hippocampus.

He was asked to do specific physical exercises to activate his body memories and conditioned physical reactions. At the same time he was instructed to contemplate his most troublesome emotions to bring them to the surface in order to be released.

Using Body Mind Fractals helped Eric’s brain to finally let go of the emotional pain of disappointment and hurt feelings. The self-doubt that still remained trapped in his nervous system from when he was a young boy simply dropped away. Body Mind Fractals cleared up the stress from his childhood and then matured his emotions to an adult level.

The transformation

Eric’s problem was that he had not developed a clear sense of identity in himself, he was uncertain about who he was and how he was to act.

Eric examined his beliefs about himself, his wishes and dreams and his highest aspirations He decided that being a good father to his children and a good husband to his wife was his highest value.

He was ambitious and determined to overcome his negative and destructive family patterns. He did not want this legacy passed onto his children. When Eric’s young son said to him, ‘Dad, I love you so much, you are my hero.’, he knew he had made the beginnings of a new life.

This is how he describes his transformation:

‘I don’t suffer guilt. I don’t beat up on myself now, preferring kindness to criticism. This is a change I don’t think I ever thought I could make. I was so good at self-criticism and punishment, that I quite enjoyed it. Failure was part of my everyday vocabulary and even when things were good, I would expect it to deteriorate.

I have found myself feeling empathy for others without taking on their pain and responsibilities. I act as an adult now taking account for my life and all aspects of it and affording those around me the same opportunities.

I no longer feel guilt and grief about the past. I prefer to focus on the future. The past does not have the same hold over me. I am able to see others in my life very differently now. I am prepared to listen more and act on their behalf less. I feel a sense of honesty about my behaviour. I am reliable and concerned about others but not always at the expense of my own needs.

I don’t blame others for my lot in life. I consider myself fortunate now seeing many more positives.

I am more productive. I see projects through to their completion and have developed a preparedness to strive for more than I thought I was capable of. I am enthusiastic about the changes I am experiencing and feel a very real sense of anything is possible.

I don’t dwell on choices and decisions I need to make, regardless if they are large or small. There is a determination about me now that is courageous and motivated. There is a level of optimism about the future that I have never experienced before.

I am becoming more in tune with my needs. I take time out for myself now. I am able to recognise when I am stressed and act immediately to reduce the impact and consequences. I feel I am a more complete human being, able to deal with a wider range of circumstances without feeling overwhelmed.

I find more joy in my day. I am able to laugh more and enjoy other people’s company. I am more interested in the stories of others. I listen and take information in. I am more considerate of others and their feelings.

Our family and the relationships within are becoming so strong. Once I complete the therapy, I will have broken a dysfunctional chain of events and family history forever. I believe that this is the greatest gift I could ever leave my children and their families.

have lost my passion, passion for life in general, but also for my music and my creative side. My passion for getting up and going to work. My passion for close relationships, family. It’s a very distressing feeling to think that you’ve lost passion for the things in life that are the most important to you. It has been an overwhelming and exciting experience to feel my passion for life come back.

Every day I put one foot in front of the other. I go through the motions, I get dressed, go to work, speak to people, but it is a routine, not a purpose. I do what needs doing, but there is no pleasure. Every decision, every action I take is an effort. In my mind World War IV is going on. I have no peace.

I crave companionship, but I’m plagued by loneliness and isolate myself. It is confusing, like self-inflicted punishment. I use seclusion in the hope that it will heal me, but the sad reality is, it hasn’t and it won’t.

Desirable and beautiful women cross my path, and come and go. They probably find me hard work.

My creativity lies buried – my guitar is standing on its’ rack, looking at me, but I haven’t picked it up in years.

Stuck In the Past

Jack was like a brother to me and our history went all the way back to primary school days. I was a bit of a target for the bigger boys and he always stood up for me. He was the louder and more popular one. I was on the shy side when I was at school, I didn’t have that level of confidence, so Jack took the lead in most things.

He was the explorer and being teenagers, we did some extreme things together. Once we found an abandoned car on the freeway and took it for a drive. I would certainly not have done that on my own. We were the best of mates.

Jack drowned when we were 17 years old. From exciting adventure my life spiraled into a black hole.

After his death, my life changed. I was not part of a popular group, I was on the outskirts, hiding away from life and people. I still went to school and wrote my high school exams, but it took all my effort and for the rest, I literally did nothing. I hardly came out of my room. This hiding away went on for quite some time.

I would have to say that this single event caused me to lose my passion for life. I would have done anything to save my friend, but it was not possible. Now, 12 years on, I still seem to be in that same place. Leading half an existence at the prime of my life.

Analysis by Sydney psychologist and Anca Ramsden

Sean had not developed an innate confidence in himself as a young child and was using Jack as a substitute instead of completing his own development into full manhood. For this reason the loss of Jack was all the more devastating and Sean ceased to have a life once Jack was gone.

Locked up in Fight, Flight and Freeze

After a shock, trauma, or chronic stress the amgydala portion of the brain becomes over active and sends out signals that we are in danger, even though the actual danger has passed.

We have survival instincts from a few days after conception. While we are a tiny fetus in the womb our nervous system is already preparing us to recognize danger and to respond to it.

We have three basic survival instincts to fight, flee and freeze.

The fight response is for situations where we become angry, confrontational and aggressive to get what we want. We are in attack mode.

The flight response is for situations where it is better to avoid confrontation. You come face-to-face with a man armed with a knife, you are terrified and runaway.

The freeze response is for when neither fight, nor flight will solve the problem. This response is reserved for life threatening situations.

When our stress emotions are active, our ability to experience pleasure and enjoy life is greatly limited. Instead we are plagued by fears, guilt and apathy. These are the signals and symptoms of an over- active nervous system stuck in a stressed state.

Sean was suffering from shock and felt purposeless. He was stuck in the freeze response.. The shock of losing his friend caused the deepest level of stress in him. Because he did not receive any professional help at the time of the trauma it affected him for the next 12 years.

To help Sean move out of being stuck in a freeze state, he needed to do Body Mind Fractal exercises that could access the part of his brain where his trauma is stored.

Body Mind Fractal exercises calmed down his trauma-frozen amygdala and stopped it from relentlessly sending these signals out to his body and mind.

Sean also needed to mature emotionally and develop more confidence in himself.

His shyness at high school and reliance on his friend showed that his emotional independence needed to grow.

The Resolution

Body Mind Fractal exercises activated the re-wiring in his brain to complete his missing early developmental milestones. As a result Sean was able to become his own confident male self rather than depending on a friend to front him in life.

When he made contact with his family, after avoiding these relationships for many years, his loneliness flew out the window. He became more active, sought out friendships and built a meaningful romantic relationship.

His fitness level skyrocketed, because he now had enough energy to both work and get exercise.

Here’s what Sean has to say about his wellbeing after doing Body Mind Fractals:

‘I am no longer just going to work and doing things without a purpose or just to make up time. Everything that I do in my job now has a purpose to it. So there’s no wasted time.

I need to speak to CEOs of companies, managing directors, directors of marketing and the main decision makers in business with confidence. I am confident about who I am and what I have got to offer and that is good for me.

The whole process of the day of working, a week of working, a month of working is exciting, something I’m committed to. I find that when I get up in the morning I feel energized. I have more consistent energy throughout my working day and I go and do exercise after work.

I have much greater confidence that I am able to deal with life. I don’t think there’s been an event in the last four, or five months that has overpowered me. I couldn’t have said that before. I have much greater confidence that when an event isn’t going well, it’s not going to get me down. I’m much more equipped emotionally, mentally and physically to deal with it.

Every aspect of my life is easier now. I have more energy and more focus. I am more conversational with other people and more willing to consider other people’s opinions, as well as express my own.

It has been an overwhelming and exciting experience to feel my passion for life come back.’.

I had always felt abandoned by my mother but felt quite matter of fact and intellectual about it all, as if “Well, too bad, that’s just what happened in my life.” But in reality it had a huge impact on me.

In that first session, there was this enormous physical feeling rising up within my chest, and it was quite overpowering and I became really emotional. I got lots of goose pimples and I cried for the first time ever about the situation.

I know it’s cliché, but it’s like I just had to get it off my chest. It just had to come out and it was quite amazing. I’m getting goose pimply now thinking about it, but it was really quite an incredible experience. Just in that initial response to the questions you asked and the therapy situation and seeing how it had actually really affected me. All my life I kind of took it, well I actually thought I was reacting okay to the situation, but obviously I wasn’t.


I was sent to foster homes several times in my childhood, because my mother couldn’t care for me.

She had her own issues, because she lost her mom when she was quite young. So I think she just never really had any idea how to be a mom to me. As a child I didn’t understand all of this and it caused me a lot of pain. I am an adult now, but I think I have been carrying all of this inside me and there has really been no relief.

I am a mom myself and the way its’ affected me, is that my anxiety about my son is huge. I am so desperately unhappy about him. I get sick with worry when he is out. When I have to pick him after parties at 2am in the morning we fight. My problem is I am highly emotional, terribly emotional. I overreact and I can’t help myself.

It doesn’t help that I’m overweight. The way I feel about myself is I feel quite disturbed really about my own self, my body, how I look.

I know it is irrational, but I feel guilty when anything that happens in the world. My anxiety is so extreme that I have to rest, I need 12 hours of sleep to recuperate from each day. I have to go to bed really early, I just can’t stay awake.

I take everything personally, I am too hypersensitive and people disappoint me, my husband disappoints me. I walk around with an aching heart and it hurts our relationship, because I get angry and withdraw.

The stress is physical too. My neck was damaged and I have been battling chronic neck pain for years, I am constantly seeing therapists and doctors, but there is no improvement. It’s debilitating and depressing and I think it’s all through stress.

If I look at my whole life it’s like there is no area that is really working properly. My career is on hold. Because I used to paint, but then I just sort of wound up restoring other people’s work. I lost confidence in my own painting. .

Analysis by Sydney psychologist Anca Ramsden

Jeanine was still trapped in her infant symbiotic connection to her mother and this made her feel responsible for her mother.

Jeanine has emotional stress that goes all the way back to her childhood. Separation from her mother and father at an early age locked her permanently into heightened fear and insecurity. Her physical pain shows that she experienced traumatic stress, most likely the result of repeated separations from her mother. Traumatic experiences like these leave a lasting impact, causing insecurities to persist into adult life. It causes emotional development to become arrested, keeping the adult stuck in childlike emotions.

Jeanine’s unmet needs for bonding cause her to still feel angry with her mother, even as an adult. Still craving for nurturing from her mother is causing her to continuously feel disappointed in her mother and critical of her mother.

Jeanine also shows signs of being stuck in a state of guilt, which shows that some of her trauma took place between the ages of 4 to 6 years of age.

She is living permanently on high alert, expecting the worst. To become more balanced and regain her health and emotional well being, she needs to release the traumatic stresses of her childhood.

To understand what Jeanine is going through it is helpful to understand how stress works.

We have three basic survival reactions when we feel threatened. We can defend our selves with anger and aggression, and this response is called the fight response. Or we will be afraid and flee for safety, this is called the flight response. If fighting and fleeing don’t help us to overcome or avoid the threat we will freeze. In the freeze state we feel numb and paralyzed, unable to take action. This state serves the purpose of preparing us for dying. This when we have given in and given up all hope. This is also the state that is triggered when we experience traumatic stress, we feel overwhelmed and there is no escape.

Our stress reactions are already developed only a few weeks after we have been conceived. A six week old fetus can already respond to threats by withdrawing.

The important thing to know about stress is that the nervous system gets locked into a stress state very quickly, and once this has happened it can be difficult to reverse. This is why Jeanine is still stuck in high levels of stress even as an adult, though the actual threats from childhood no longer exist.

The area of the brain responsible for this heightened stress state is called the amygdala. To calm down the amyygdala a technique like Body-Mind Fractals is needed, because it works directly on our survival reflexes.

Jeanine was given physical exercises to calm down her amygdala, and she was also asked to contemplate her stress emotions, such as guilt and fear. These special combination of exercises. stimulated her nervous system to release old stress. The result was that Jeanine

was no longer stuck in a stress state and she could experience genuine happiness for the first time ever.

The transformation

When Jeanine released her fears and grief, her energy came back and she was able to get exercise and get to a better body weight. She needed less sleep and in her spare time took up her painting again. She matured emotionally and no longer projected her infant needs for

bonding onto her mom. This took the pressure off their relationship and it started to flourish.

She reconnected with her mother on a more adult basis, without the anger and high expectations.

This how she describes the transformation in her life:

Although my mother is an alcoholic she doesn’t drink so much now. In the past I used to get quite angry with her for drinking. I used think that it was my fault as well, but now I just see that’s her destiny; whatever she does, she has put herself in that situation and I can’t really do anything but to support her. I respect her now and I feel much more compassionate towards her as well. That’s helped me too. We get along a lot better, we see each other all the time. I like to be in her company, so we have a good healthy relationship now rather than one of feeling that I’m blaming her or being angry or sort of not knowing why I felt the way I felt. She notices it as well.

Over time my inconsistent behavior began to affect my relationships with my family and people who I called my close friends.

Looking back it must have been very difficult to be my friend. I was opinionated and rigid in my point of view. I showed very little true consideration for others and was so inconsistent in my behavior that one could never have been sure what they would find on any given day.

Every emotional transaction I made had a condition placed upon it. My daily life was filled with expectations of others and when I was disappointed I blamed others for the pain I felt.

The more unreasonable my behavior became, the more I defended my actions and criticized the actions of others. My ability to rationalize and deal unemotionally with issues became more and more difficult both at work and in my private life. I blamed my family to their face and my colleagues behind their backs for my workload and their lack of support and comprehension.

My physical health began to suffer, with symptoms including endless colds and flu, mouth ulcers, joint aches, back pain and constant tiredness that developed into chronic fatigue.

Mentally I was constantly irritable and sad. I lost the ability to express what I was feeling. I became afraid to try anything new that might change my life, instead preferring talk and fantasy to action.

Nevertheless I still believed in my ability to change and I believed that I had a lot to offer. My wife spoke to a valued friend who spoke to me about therapy at length. I promised my wife and myself that I would attend no less than 6 visits to give the treatment and myself “a fair go.”

Deep inside I was terrified. I desperately wanted it to work. I had been disappointed with therapy in the past and I understood very little, if any, of what I was experiencing now.

I can even remember laughing and grinning to myself about the absurdity of the process in the first few visits. But something inside kept me going back.

Analysis by Sydney Psychologist Anca Ramsden

Ryan knew that his relationship with his family was breaking down, and that unless he took decisive action, he could lose his wife and his kids. He thought of himself as a fighter, but his fighting attitude had split into aggression and he did not know where to draw the line. His wife and his children and felt intimidated, they withdrew from him, and kept a low profile, avoiding him as much as possible. His family was in pain, because they were desperate for his love and approval, but instead were confronted by an unreasonable and demanding husband and father.

Ryan needed to get to the bottom of what was causing him to behave in this destructive manner. He started to delve into his own relationship with his mother and father. He could see that he had a pattern of behavior that was very similar to that of his father. He recalled that he had been quite a ‘reasonable guy’ until his son was born. At that point he turned into his own father, meaning that he was now acting exactly the way his father had acted towards him. His father had been a critical and confrontational man, always looking for a fight. Ryan did not escape his father’s harsh and violent temper. As a child he had to bear the brunt of insults, humiliations and shaming. This constant barrage of attack by the man who was supposed to love, nurture and build up his confidence, had left its mark on Ryan’s psyche.

These experiences during Ryan’s formative years were imprinted in his nervous system and his survival

reflexes. On a physical level Ryan was producing high levels of adrenaline to keep himself in fight mode, so that he would always be ready for an attack from any angle, or any person.

In his emotional life he was also in a defensive attack mode: he was an angry, irritable and frustrated man, often hostile and antagonistic towards others. He was acting out his anger about the abuse from his childhood, and at the same time he was copying his father’s behavior. His mental outlook was that his own survival comes first and that life, and the people in it, were probably against him.

The “Darth Vader” of the Brain: What is the Amygdala?

Ryan’s traumatic and stressful experiences in childhood activated and locked in his amygdala, a small part of the brain that produces our primal defenses of fight, flight and freeze. Once Ryan’s amygdala had been activated, he remained permanently stuck in defense mode. To recover from being stuck in stress, he needed an intervention to balance his primitive brain with the part of his brain that makes conscious choices. This more conscious part of the brain is called the hippocampus.

When we are stuck in stress, it means our instinct-oriented amygdala is in the driving seat and is dominating our emotions, thoughts and behavior, making us behave in a defensive manner. Body-Mind Fractal exercises are special physical exercises that put the more conscious hippocampus back in charge. This gives immediate relief from stress and calms us down.

With the help of Body-Mind Fractals exercises, Ryan was quickly able to identify when he was overreacting and defensive. He became aware that underneath his aggressive exterior lay feelings of

fear and sadness. Body-Mind Fractals exercises enabled Ryan to let go of being in a constant state of fight, flight and freeze. He realized he no longer had to defend himself at all times and that he could relax and just be.

This approach was vital for Ryan, because stress and traumatic experiences are imprinted in the body and in the survival reflexes of the brain. To access these types of memories and conditioned behaviors, it is necessary to use an approach that works through the body and body memory, because most of these experiences are not stored in the conscious mind. By working on body memory, the Body-Mind Fractals exercises helped Ryan to automatically and naturally process his life experiences and release deep seated unconscious stress.

Ryan’s transformation

As Ryan’s family started to notice a positive changes in him, they became more confident to talk to him. They could discuss many topics with him, as there were no more ‘no-go zones. Instead of being angry and blaming others, he was pleasant and understanding. And instead of being defensive, he had became genuinely confident. The biggest reward for Ryan was the experience of being open to receive the warmth and love of his wife and children for the first time.

In his own words this is how he describes his transformation.

‘I am far less angry. When I am angry it is appropriate anger. It is measured and fitting, instead of rage and hysteria. When I get angry I deal with that issue only and don’t allow it to affect the rest of my life. It’s not premeditated. It’s not designed to be hurtful. It’s fair and reasonable and it is considerate of my rights and the rights of others. I don’t enjoy anger or being angry. Sounds silly, but anger was a daily occurrence growing up. I enjoy surprising myself and others by remaining calm and even laughing when the expectation is that I will fly off the handle.

I am willing to change. I think I always possessed this quality, but the areas it has affected have broadened. I am more willing to accept other people’s points of view and consider them with as much credibility as my own. I will adapt my own point of view, preferring to consider others, rather than be rigid in my own thinking. I am more considerate of others and their feelings. I am prepared to apologize to others if I have done wrong and I don’t try and make excuses for my behavior.

I don’t blame others for my lot in life. I consider myself fortunate now, seeing many more positives.

Jody’s boss hated her as her sales increased by 30% every month. She provided aeronautical parts to top engineers in the airline building industry. She always felt uncomfortable tiptoeing around in the sterile, polite, politically correct culture of her company. But at the same time it felt all too familiar: much like the family she was raised in. For some reason both of her parents had always kept her at arms length.

Despite her uncanny ability to excel in the business sales environment, she had a severe lack of confidence in her own worth: especially when it came to being partner material. At age 40 she had never enjoyed a meaningful romantic relationship. Nearly all her colleagues were married by this stage and had one or more children. Instead Jody filled her time with extreme adventure sports but felt unaccepted by the groups she joined. Friends of either sex were few and far between outside of work.

I recognized that Jody had no primal bonding template, or primary family experience in how to behave in close relationships. Her past relationship reference was nothing but a long, dark, dreary continuum, and this status quo partially discouraged her from even attempting to form new attachments.

One of her key stated goals was, “I want to feel deserving of having a good relationship.”

So I immediately began working on releasing her trauma states and deconditioning her of fears around entering into relationships.

When Jody started her sessions her desire was to overcome anxiety and to have an intimate relationship with a partner. Jody had high anxiety, because her parents never did the most basic parenting task of affirming her as a person, either her feelings, or her achievements. She was on high alert constantly, wired as if she was living in a hostile world. But at some level she was not aware that this hostile world was her past: back in her childhood, NOT her present time reality.

Once she had set her goals, her nervous system had to overcome the biggest obstacle to being a calm and confident person in a loving, secure relationship – the fact that her primitive reflex brain, called the Amygdala was permanently locked into fear and particularly a fear of close relationships.

For this reason the first port of call in helping Jody achieve her dreams was to release trauma – this would re-establish her nervous system’s natural balance between fear and confidence.

The “Darth Vader” of the Brain: What is the Amygdala?

Traumatic and stressful experiences activate and lock in the Amygdala, a small part of our brain that produces our primal defenses of fight, flight and freeze. Once we feel we have our back to the wall and have to defend ourselves: pleasure and happiness go out the door.

Focusing on Stress States

Once Jody’s Amygdala had been activated by stress, it was extremely difficult to ‘undo’ and she remained locked into chronic fear and tension.

The emotional isolation she felt as a child had wired her brain for the worst case scenario – being psychologically abandoned and not feeling worthwhile as a human being.

This stress had a permanent effect on how her brain was wired up. Her Amygdala became over-active, shouting ‘threat’ at all times.

Practically this meant that Jody knew her level of anxiety was unnecessary and that her fears of people were unfounded in her current adult life, but there was nothing she could do to change her ingrained responses, perspectives and beliefs.

Working with the Three Levels of the Mind

To help Jody achieve her goals in the most effective way, it was necessary to communicate with her nervous system in a way that corresponds with how it naturally works – and that is on all three levels of human experience and intelligence, I.E. mental, emotional and physical.

This was done through defining the outcomes she desired, contemplating her related emotions and doing specially designed physical exercise.

Jody’s wanted to overcome her fears, which she did by contemplating fear emotions and doing specific vision, balance and other physical exercises in her sessions with me. This combination of activities allowed her to integrate how she feels, with what she thinks and how her body responds to her memories and her experiences.

The transformation was rapid and instead of being locked into fear, she could enjoy her sport with friends and work activities with colleagues. She surprised herself when she started having more fun and laughter, being less serious and found others appreciated her more.

This growth process helped her calm down her survival-oriented Amygdala, which is also plays a vital role in bonding and forming close attachments. Jody was able to move from not having any close relationships, to feeling more attached to her sporting peers and finding a suitable partner.


The Outcome

The special combination of exercises Jody was prescribed led to a release of old, hidden, forgotten stresses she had about close relationships and also rewired her brain to a more mature level. She became more confident, more authoritative and took more control of her life. Friendships blossomed and at work her sales took off – she had her best year and the fastest growing account in her company.

Jody had rewired her brain’s built in software and was living up to her potential within one year. She became a more balanced, assertive, powerful and engaging person. In her company she was speaking up and confronting her team about their performance, while remaining secure in her job.

After kissing a few frogs, she found a man who matched her intellectually and admired her accomplishments in business and sport and made her feel like she belonged. She was pleased to discover that not only is she deserving of having a good relationship, but she is pretty good at being a partner.

We share our survival instincts with the most primitive of living creatures, such as reptiles. This means we have the same instincts as crocodiles and snakes. When a snake or a crocodile is threatened, the creature will either attack and bite, or withdraw and escape. These are two of our basic survival reactions. They are also called instincts because they do not require conscious thought: they are fast reflex responses.

An important part of our brain that produces these reflexes is called the amygdala. The Amygdala has nerve connections that go almost directly to our eyes, so that the message of danger can reach it super fast, helping us to react instantly. Next time you feel rage well up inside you when a motorist cuts in front of you in heavy traffic, that is your Amygdala producing the strong reaction. Or when you feel a rush of fear as you go on an amusement park ride, that is your Amygdala warning you to be careful.

The important thing to know about the Amygdala is that it produces our instinctive reflex reactions, and does not require conscious thought. When it is a matter of life and death we need our instincts to survive. There are several problems caused by our reflex Amygdala defense system.

Firstly, once the Amygdala has been activated by a threat, it tends to remain active and control our thoughts, emotions and behavior, long after the event, even if we consider it to be unwelcome and unnecessary. Fears and aggression linger on, even if subconsciously, affecting our mood and judgment.

The second problem is hat we cannot exert conscious control over our reflexes. Under stress our reflex system tends to takeover, leaving us feeling out of control. The combination of these two features of our reflex system conspire against us and screw up pour judgment when we need it most.

This is what is happening to you when you have feelings of fear that you cannot control at crucial times, such as when you write an exam, ask a girl out, or are confronted by your boss; causing you to forget the answers to your exam questions, stutter when you ask the girl out, or shake uncontrollably when questioning your friend’s morals. Instead of helping you, your fears are messing up and interfering with your performance and your outcomes.

Overreactions like these typically mean that your Amygdala has been activated and is in over drive, producing too much fear for the occasion. Has it happened to you, that you are perplexed and frustrated, because you struggled to control your reactions?