Reactions are habitual ways of dealing with situations. We feel offended we get defensive. We feel attacked, we flee or return the attack. We feel lost we get desperate. All of us have our own unique ways in which we deal with situations that arise on a day to day basis.
Boxers train to convert Reaction into Response. The idea is that a Reaction is an energetic experience that combines the mental, physical and emotional. The key to becoming more aware of having a Reaction is learning to know what the Reaction feels like in the body. All Reactions are made up of tension somewhere on the range of fight, flee or freeze. Once a Boxer learns to feel the moment when he / she is Reacting, he / she can begin the journey of converting this energy into a Response.
A Boxer I am working with frequently encounters extreme feelings of being overwhelmed. He Reports that it is an experience of a dense Fog rolling in, damp, wet and gray. This Fog becomes so thick he can’t see anything and he is afraid of taking a step in case he should fall into an abyss. Once he freezes, his breath becomes so shallow and rapid that he quickly moves into a Panic Zone. Sometimes he can’t shake this experience for days at a time.
Even though his experience is extreme, it is, fundamentally, a a series of Reactions converging all at once. When he senses the Fog, he begins tensing up in an effort to resist the inevitable. The tension attracts more tension, begins to restrict his breathing. By this time his mind takes over, judging, identifying, justifying, trying to make sense of things.
Once Reactions take over the mind, one is truly lost. However, the mind can be used to convert the tension into physical calm in the face of action. In my client’s case, i introduced him to a Fog Burner. A Fog Burner is a round object with two handles. It projects an intense beam that cuts through the Fog, and, eventually, disperses it until there is a clearing filled with sunshine.
Just knowing such a Tool exists has provided my Client with a new found trust that he can learn to manage his overwhelming panic attacks. Clearing away all the Fog does not happen over night, but, through time, it is possible.