Coming Up For AIR
This phrase stuck in my mind after Ashok used the acronym AIR for Amygdala Insula Retraining.
Which made me start musing about coming up for AIR.
When I was younger I used to do a lot of swimming: my preferred style was breaststroke or butterfly stroke. I also loved swimming underwater to see how far I could go. My crawl wasn’t exactly wonderful! Backstroke came in useful to alternate with breaststroke when I was swimming a mile’s worth of lengths in the local swimming pool.
All of these except backstroke involved coming up for air.
On one family holiday, I swam a couple of miles in the sea around a headland, with my friend in a canoe beside me in case of strong currents. To rest, I would tread water.
So what’s this got to do with retraining our amygdala/insula?
I think there’s a strong analogy.
While we are retraining using the Gupta techniques, it is advisable not to keep on with our heads ‘under water’ all the way. It is sensible to take the occasional/frequent/regular breather. To look up and breathe in, to tread water, to have a buddy, coach or friend close by (via the internet!) in case we need help.
Sometimes we may find a wave breaks over us and we ‘go under’ (dippy times) and then it makes sense to surface, tread water (relax and stop pushing on, allow it to happen, float through it) and look around us, get our bearings and avoid panic.
There may be times when progress is slow, we may find that a helping hand from the canoeist (buddy or coach) beside us just helps us along enough for us to go it alone again.
But what matters is that one way or another we persist and allow ourselves the chance of success.
(PS. I couldn't find a photo of myself swimming, but these are close!)
Having been forced to stop working aged 53 due to CFS, I was later diagnosed with Fibromyalgia as well. (With the added challenges of hypersensitivity to chemicals, smells, various foodstuffs, bright light, noise, etc.)
10 years later I found the Gupta Program and started my recovery. Wanting to pay back some small part of what I owe the Gupta Program I later volunteered to be a moderator in the Facebook Gupta Forum.