Let joy and glimmers be your guide

‘Glimmers refer to small moments when our biology is in a place of connection or regulation, which cues our nervous system to feel safe or calm’ ~ Deb Dana

anonymous woman swimming underwater with sea turtle
FUTURE IMAGINARY ME SWIMMING WITH TURTLES Photo by Daniel Torobekov on Pexels.com

As we continue our sacral chakra journey, give yourself PERMISSION (for your health as well as your mood) to DO more of what feels good and less of what doesn’t

Read on for more on:

  • ventral  vagal wellness
  • embracing the power of ‘glimmers’
  • cultivating joy and other good feelings
  • a lovely interview with Veena Ugargol for The Feel Better Every Day Podcast

And, for Extra Embodied Members (join us from as little as €1.53 per week):

  • an exclusive interview with the fantabulous Suzy Walker and
  • more around what’s coming for Extra Embodied Members this Spring Equinox and a change that I think will feel good for everyone

Ventral Vagal Wellness

Ventral vagal wellness is one of those jargony terms from Polyvagal Theory that sounds odd but sums up how our nervous systems are designed to guide us to wondrousness by being DESIGNED to thrive when we move towards what feels good and away from what feels bad.

Hardly rocket science and yet far simpler a concept than it is easy to implement when we have so much conditioning around enduring, ignoring our inner wisdom, our bodies’ wisdom and how we feel.

You can READ MORE IN THIS FEATURE I wrote for Rapport some years ago.

Reflective prompts

For your journal or in the moment (in front of a mirror for a more embodied approach to help you discern how you might really feel using facial clues, body language and more).

You can also do this quick experiment without moving a muscle (unless you want to): Think about the day ahead or week ahead or even hour ahead.

What are you up to?

Who are you seeing?

Who do you wish you were seeing?

Who do you wish you WEREN’T seeing?

Where will you be?

What will you be doing?

What brings a smile to your face (and maybe to your whole body?) even imagining the enjoyment you anticipate feeling?

What feels less appealing or even unpleasant to imagine?

How might you do MORE of what feels good and less of what doesn’t?

Glimmers can be a wonderful guide

You probably know way more about triggers than you do about glimmers but glimmers are worth exploring both in terms of your nervous system and for a more enjoyable life.

The term was coined by Deb Dana (who you’ve probably heard me talk about as the person who’s done so much to make Stephen Porges’s life changing Polyvagal Theory more accessible to therapists, other practitioners and humans in general).

The opposite of triggers, the better we get at recognising our own, the more we can do to deliberately experience them.

Some of mine (eg, being in the sea, river, lake or even heated swimming pool) take more time and energy and psyching myself up.

Others (like having had both Rainbow MagnifiCat AND Mighty Meadbh purring away on my outstretched legs as I lay on the sofa watching Westport and Co Mayo in Irish Wish the other night. Forget Lindsay Lohan’s character’s magical experience, Rainbow and Meadbh were both purring within a foot of each other. No growling or hissing or swiping. Pure glimmery BLISS) may be impossible to ever replicate but I feel a warm glow even remembering it.

Some of my other glimmers include getting into my freshly made bed, feeding my neighbours’ donkeys, Jupiter and Saturn, their daily carrot, feeling the air (sunshine, rain, wind, whatever) when I’m outside, admiring something I’ve finally done (eg planting loads of heather at the gate and outside the house, re-organising kitchen presses or a closet or anything, having stocked the fridge with homemade oatmilk shakes / smoothies / soups / chia puddings etc) to make life easier for a few days, listening to a favourite piece of music (maybe on repeat), feeling the grass below my bare feet, hugging into my partner and letting him hold me as I completely relax, a certain point in my yoga practice where I exhale more deeply and remember why I love yoga so much, a certain point in my swims when I suddenly feel more human than amoeba when I hadn’t even consciously NOT been feeling human, tasting something delicious (Buttermilk vegan version of Snickers just popped into my head), smelling the roses or lavender I’ve planted, seeing the trees I’ve planted grow, finally feeling happy with a piece of writing, a moment with a client or supervisee or group where there’s a sudden deepening and integration of the work, cycling with the wind behind me or even peddling hard and feeling on fire, looking at the Reek (aka Croagh Patrick mountain) from my doorstep, or bed, or garden or the sea or anywhere, Rainbow MagnifiCat or Meadbh being on my lap or wanting belly rubs etc, the other cats coming closer and making me think that maybe one day, they’ll accept a little stroke but for now delighting in their increased feelings of safety around me and our mutual long slow blinks of love, snorkel training (if anyone had told me I’d love being part of a group treading water with our hands above our heads, swimming and finning length after length, duck diving, forward and backward rolling – the mask clearing definitely ISN’T a glimmer and my face purses and pinches even remembering the sense of water in my eyes) and certain stretches of road and moments in the car as I continue my journey as a learner and hopefully soon fully licenced driver, doing something that’s simple and easy for me but beneficial for someone else to be of service in some way …

Name some of YOUR glimmers.

Do more to cultivate joy

This can be by noticing your glimmers and (I know I know, for some of you, this next sentence may suck all the joy out of them) potentially scheduling some into your weekly and daily or even monthly or annual experience.

Scheduling joy is as important as scheduling exercise and other self care practices that support your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

For those of you familiar with my yoga nidras, you’ll know the benefits of really embodying that sense of joy, happiness and contentment we sense into almost every week.

Extra Embodied members get a brand new exclusive recording every week to build on the theme we’re exploring that week and you don’t need to be a member to experiment with hundreds I’ve recorded over the years via my site and on YouTube.


There are also many many more by many many other people online so you can experiment with different voices, styles, music etc (mine are all trauma sensitive and voice only). As with everything, do more of what feels good for YOU.

Of using joy as a GPS.

Of doing as MUCH of what feels good as possible in order to not just feel good but to boost DHEA. Dehydroepiandrosterone is a performance enhancing hormone we produce naturally when feeling positive feelings like joy, awe, love, pride and hope and which has the added benefit of reducing cortisol levels and you can read more about it in the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing

The Feel Better Every Day Podcast

FIND OUT MORE or listen via your favourite podcasting app (including Apple!) HERE

Ending FOMO for Extra Embodied members

This membership is now ENTIRELY self-paced with even more recorded goodness for you to choose from each week (with additional ideas for this Spring Equinox week).

Extra Embodied members will receive this by Tuesday night as part of this week’s bounteous bundle of self care ideas (including this week’s yoga nidra, an EFT meditation and an exclusive interview with the fantabulous Suzy Walker on how she’s cultivating a life that makes her heart leap with her Heart Leap club here on Substack).


With love,

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