Last month I spoke about survival mode and how it closes your life in. When you use calming practices like breathwork and meditation you will start to quell this survival mode and the appetite to grow will emerge.
We understand a lot about the stages of childhood development and growth but growing as an adult gets less attention. At 18 you are considered an adult but the stages of growth from that point are harder to define.
How do you grow as an adult? Here are some of the elements I see as important.
Find Safety – Genuine growth comes from a place of safety not fear. If you are living with a lot of anxiety and tension that is impairing your enjoyment of life, creating a baseline feeling of safety will be important. Finding ways to influence your nervous system on a continuous basis and challenging your ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) will help.
Your Conditioning – In order to grow you need to become aware of all the conditioning that life has layered on to you. With this awareness you can understand the nature of your behaviours, in particular your triggers because they are insight into the wounds you have yet to heal.
Emotional Growth – most of the growth we do in the adult stages are around emotional health. We need to develop less fear around experiencing emotions and greater awareness of the many layers of emotions. Often powerful emotions like anger and hatred are built on fear and insecurity. Having the ability to see the root cause of your emotions helps with this style of maturity.
Oneness – knowing that everything is connected and that your behaviours do have impacts that go further than you think. Start with those around you. Nervous systems are always absorbing information, kids are very sensitive to unspoken information. Bringing your tensions into an environment with kids causes their nervous systems to sense danger and become more vigilant. The same applies to adults, are you approaching adult relationships from spaces of fear that produce defensiveness, avoidance, justification or from calm that promotes understanding, connection and calm.
Your growth mode will always contain times of survival mode as the nervous system adjusts to change. Be mindful of this because too much change, too soon can be difficult. Keep your calming practices frequent during growth mode, while there will be ups and downs, baseline calm enables you to manage the setbacks and for growth to become a sustainable trend for the rest of your life.