No Matter What

“Have a great day… No matter what.”

Why suffer?

I have been known to close texts and email exchanges with, “Have a great day… no matter what.” It seems that many people think I’m trying to be cute. I’m actually supporting a much, much more functional narrative – That we have control over our experiences regardless of the conditions in which we find ourselves.

Sitting with clients all of these years, I’ve learned that it’s really common for us human folk to suffer because so much that comes at us from the outside is out of our control. All of that vulnerability makes it actually, physiologically, harder to think.

That’s one choice

I frequently compare the stuff that comes at us from the outside to a storm. Our natural instinct is often to try and control the storms that are coming at us.  It’s a little bit of a tease because we can often make choices about some pieces of circumstances. What we often don’t realize is that working so hard at controlling our outside world is making us more anxious, more frightened and more vulnerable on the inside.

We get invested in the myth that our okay-ness comes from attempting to determine whether or not storms happen and how intense they are. This week is prime example. Many people are scrambling to figure what the results of the November 3rd election will be. They imagine that they will be ok if the outcome is A or destroyed if the outcome is B.

If our peace comes from the storm being calm or going away, if the election lands this way or that, we are utterly at the mercy of forces beyond our control. The fancy-schmancy psychology term for this is “external locus of control.” It’s one choice, but not our best.

Safe in my house

Looking back at the difficult times we’ve been through, it’s easy to imagine that we got through it because circumstances changed, because someone came in to help, because we were Divinely delivered, because we moved away from the threat or what have you.  While all of those things may be true, there is a deeper truth that is much more sustaining, much more functional as we face current and predicted future challenges: WE got through. Us.  The same us sitting here today facing whatever comes next.

We noticed that our circumstances changed, or maybe even made some choices that helped it happen. We took that help that came to us.  We asked for and received that Divine deliverance. We moved away from the threat. We did it.  We did in collaboration with others, and, the constant in these equations is us.

We made ourselves safe in the internal “home” of our being while the storms did what storms do outside of us.

I can’t hold my breath until Tuesday

Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming US election from the federal level to the local level one thing is for sure: We are in for some pretty big disturbances. Our country has become so divided and so volatile, it is inevitable that whether our preferred candidates win or lose, those who supported the losing side are going to be powder-keg angry. While we would love to imagine that our fellow Americans will not lose their minds and become violent, our behavior in recent history offers no positive guarantees. This might not be pretty, friends.

Many of my clients and friends have described this swirling anxiety over what might be coming our way. Hope and terror are mixing together like potion in a cauldron. We don’t know how it will turn out, and so we can’t predict how we will manage whatever that alchemy turns out to offer us.

Remember to remember

We cannot pre-plan how we will find our way to “ok.” In a twisted sort of way, that’s a good thing. Our only recourse is to tap into the resiliency that has gotten us through thus far: Ourselves. That same wisdom and strength that collaboratively delivered us to a better place all of the times that we’ve been in threat in the past will once again deliver us to “ok,” (or maybe something even finer.) You have everything you need to manage whatever happens well.

Let me type that again for good measure: You have everything you need to manage whatever happens well.

Get off your last nerve

As we imagine all of the horrible things that could happen, our bodies will naturally tense. We aren’t just imagining with our linear-logic minds, but also our web-logic hearts and guts. Our bodies are reacting at some level as if the threats we are imagining are actually happening at this moment.

Whenever we imagine threat, our bodies begin to prepare for threat. Our pelvic floor tightens and squeezes the famous “last nerve” that it seems others, (ahem… external locus of control...) are getting on. In truth, it’s us on that last nerve.  To be specific, we are on our dorsal vagus nerve.

Our dorsal vagus nerves send the “ALL HANDS ON DECK” signal to our linear minds. The signal tells part of brains that can logic us through to solutions to slip offline as our Sympathetic Nervous Systems, (the fight or fight, or cooperatively freeze or fawn instincts) take over. Our bodies surge with adrenaline and cortisol, ramping up our heart rates, restricting our breathing, and churning extra bile into our stomachs, all in an effort to prepare us from the threat we have imagined.

Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of what we need in order to manage danger well.  Our bodies are attempting to prevent the intrusive threats from the outside. Our superpowers lie in managing the threat from the inside.  If we want to tap into our best resources and finest defenses, we have to get off of our vagus nerves, likely over and over and over again.


It’s much easier to get off of our last nerve than one might think. It’s also way too much to add to this blog. I’ve mapped out six fast and easy ways to reset our bodies in these short videos. Any of the techniques will help you clear your mind and reset your body. Click on the hyperlinks below:

Baby Breathing


CEO Breathing

Peripheral Vision

Multi-sensory Reground

Brain Vacation

Once you’re clear enough to think again, you will need to reset your thoughts so that you can stay in that positive, resilient and constructive place.  Click here for another short video on how to do that.

Giving it all we’ve got

Our very best defense again any threat, perceived or actual, is a clear mind and a relaxed body. From that place, we can tap into all that we have learned and all that we are learning about how we manage challenges. Our creativity is free to flow toward solutions. We can contextualize what we experience and use it all well to create a better future.


Hope does not exist in the Sympathetic Nervous System. It literally does not have the circuitry for that.  Hope springs out of the integrated wisdom of the gut, heart and cranial brains, working in tandem to take in all of the possibilities in front of us.

If you find yourself holding your breath from between now and when our socio-political future unfolds, I encourage you to tap into all of that inner resiliency by getting off of your dorsal vagus nerve and reshaping your thoughts.

Have a great day… NO MATTER WHAT.


If you could use some support with getting and keeping resilience and hope, contact me here.  I’m happy to help any way I can.