Welcome to Trust Your Sacred Feminine Flow and the Divine Feminine Awakening Series.
This August 2017 re-release episode explores the ways we can become frozen in our lives and how we can begin to move beyond freeze.
Discussed in the episode:
- What the freeze response is and why it happens
- How shame accompanies a state of freeze and why
- Common areas we can experience a freeze response
- Why fear can be a sign you have bitten off more than you can chew
- Tips to help you grow beyond any place where you may feel frozen
This Divine Feminine Awakening series provides emerging wisdom from my own journey of feminine awakening delivered episode by episode in real-time over the last 5 years. Through my present-day lens, I’ve chosen the most vital topics to revisit with you.
May you recognize and receive tools, wisdom and landmarks for your own journey of awakening.
To join me in community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/divinefeminineascensionleadership
Listen to Coming Out of Freeze by clicking the play button on the audio player below.
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Welcome to Trust your Sacred Feminine Flow.
I’m your host, Joni Advent Maher. I’m speaking to you this evening from my back deck in the midst of my forest with the cicadas and the trees and the birds singing. So if you hear some noise in the background, it’s the life of a summer’s evening coming to you. So originally I had intended on following up on my last podcast, the freedom to ask and to get into talking about courageous conversations and bold requests. And as I considered that, I realized that there was something else I needed to address first. And I call that coming out of freeze. And what I mean by that is I want to talk about the place that inhibits us in the first place from using our voice from speaking out, whether it’s making a request or having a courageous conversation.
And one of the things that I’ve been exploring lately in both some personal work and some training for my work with my one-on-one clients is this idea of our fight, flight and freeze impulses. And those are the impulses that arise when we are faced with a trauma or when we are faced with adversity, something that feels threatening the most basic part of our brain gets activated, and we go into fight, flight or freeze. For myself I’m coming to realize that a significant part of what has held me back in terms of using my voice and speaking up was a chronic state of freeze. And to be simple and basic, as far as the science goes, when you are faced with something that feels threatening or overwhelming to your system, if you’re not able to fight or flee, then the system naturally goes into a kind of a freeze.
And you can see that in the animal kingdom where a deer, for example, or antelope that’s being chased, if it is caught by a predator and it knows it’s going to be captured for a moment, it goes into this state of freeze. And so you may be wondering, Joan, Joni, why are you talking about this? And what does this have to do with speaking up and feminine sovereignty? And I’m going to tell you, because it has quite a lot to do with it. Because if you’re like me and you are someone who has experienced, both direct trauma related to using your voice, to being visible, such as having been silenced or met with overwhelming anger when you were young, or even as an adult, you find yourself in a frozen state from time to time. And the reason I want to talk about this is because when we go into that frozen state, we’re in a state of shock.
And when we’re in shock, always, there is shame that accompanies that and that shame silences us. And it puts us into this state of deep freeze. And it really inhibits our ability to use our voice and to speak up on our own behalf or to fight physically or to flee, to run from whatever it is. So in our journey to becoming the sovereign leaders of our own life, it is natural that we are going to come across those places in us that are frozen and that become inhibited. And when we meet those places, the shame is likely to surface. And when that happens, we can get caught in a frozen shame spiral for decades, for lifetimes. And so I’m bringing this up because there is a way to work with this. There is a way to meet this and to thaw that freeze. And so I want to speak with you about that tonight.
So let’s all take a deep breath and just notice what’s present in your body right in this moment, as I’m talking about the subject, maybe you’re remembering a time when you wished you could have spoken up and you just weren’t able, I had one of those times recently, and it was, it was big. It was really big. And fortunately I have tools and I have support and I was able to move through it in about 48 hours and get to the point where I could express what I needed to. But if you don’t have that, as I said, you can spend a long time frozen and immobilized. And again, whether it’s taking action on your own behalf or speaking up on your own behalf or making a bold request, if you’re feeling stuck, you may be in a state of freeze. So I want to just start with recognizing that even though shame, accompanies that state, your system and your being was doing everything it could to ensure your survival. So the number one key to starting out with addressing this place of freeze is to the best of your ability, opening to compassion, both self compassion, and compassionate support from those in your life who can be there for you because in order to thought this place of freeze, we really need to be held in a safe and supportive state and a safe and supportive circle.
And it’s imagining that being held. If, if you don’t have someone who can literally hold you or hold the space for you to be with, what’s true to be with what is present for you then imagining or invoking your spiritual support or imagining a supportive being that can be with you and just hold the space and wrapping yourself in a blanket and just knowing you’re okay. It’s okay. You’re not wrong. You’re not bad. You’re worthy of kindness and love and support. Oh, again, and you can allow yourself to just begin to relax into that. And as you do, you may feel some anger arising, which is the fight impulse, or you might feel some antsiness and some agitation and some instinct to bolt or to run or to flee. And that’s the flight instinct. And that tells you that you’re coming out of freeze. But as long as you continue to hang in there with benign supportive presences, you can help move through to where you can stand in your own dignity. You can stand in your own truth. You can stand in your ground and speak what needs to be spoken or take the action that needs to be taken.
So as we move towards claiming our feminine sovereignty, life is going to bring you those opportunities to heal and to grow beyond any places where you might be frozen or stuck. And when you’re in the midst of that, it really it’s like walking the Razor’s edge between stretching yourself out of your comfort zone and pacing yourself. So to find that balance, we go back to our inner listening. We go back to listening with exquisite care to the body, to your emotions, and even to your thoughts. So noticing how much tension is in your body, how much anxiety is in your body, and do you need to scale back some, listen to the emotions. You know, fear is something that we need to have respect for while we don’t want to be ruled by fear, there are times when it is a signal that we have bitten off more than we can chew.
And for those of us that can go into freeze, it’s really important to take bite-size pieces out of the fear, meaning to take manageable risks with support. So it’s taking baby steps outside the comfort zone until you feel more grounded and comfortable there. And then you can take another step outside the comfort zone. And that is part of how we move beyond freeze. And we move into fluid, empowered action in our life. So I want that for you. And I know that something that you are aspiring to, so one way you can move closer to that is to consider anytime you’re feeling stuck or immobilized, or a sense of shame to just pause and to slow it down and to ask yourself, is this a place where I am in freeze? And if I am in freeze, can I hold myself compassionately, lovingly, or can I find someone in my circle or in my tribe that can do that for me?
Can I do my best to release self judgment and recognize that your body and your being, and your spirit all know how to bring you to healing. And they are working to do that in conjunction with your larger matrix of support. Your system is moving towards health and wellbeing. You are naturally moving towards your sovereignty. And to the extent we can release the self judgment and bathe ourselves in that compassion and support, we get there more gracefully and efficiently. So my dear that is all as the sun is setting, I prepared to say goodbye, sending you my love and the reminder to always, always trust what your heart knows.