As humans we all experience being physically or emotionally shaken from time to time. That’s life because everything around us is always in perpetual motion. However, for many this shaking can seem endless, it is there first thing in the morning and continues well into the night. These disturbances may be caused by a myriad of things such as an external life event, an internal illness, a disagreement etc or simply a thought about someone or something.

This shaking transcends both time and space as it can arise from any point within the past, present or future and physical distance is also irrelevant. The thought of somebody who no longer even exists on this realm or is yet to exist can bring about the same sense of disturbance.

Amy Johnson, PhD in her book “The Little Book of Big Change” uses the visual analogy of your mindbody being the figurine in the centre of a Snow Globe.  Any physical disturbance of the globe causes the snow particles to move around in the water, the intensity of their movement is dependent upon the vigour of the shaking. When the shaking subsides, the snow particles softly drift down and settle at the bottom.

The same can be said of the mindbody, yet the disturbance doesn’t need to originate at the level of the external physical senses, as thoughts create the same sense of shaking. It’s interesting to consider that this shaking is really simply a movement of internal energy, which we then label as feeling either inflating (e.g. good, happy, excited, joyful) or deflating (e.g. bad, frustrated, angry) or any of the myriad of emotions that range in-between.

Regardless of origin of the stimulus the question the mindbody is automatically and habitually asking is always the same – am I physically and emotionally safe?

Like the law of gravity within the snow globe, the mindbody has a natural built-in mechanism (the autonomic nervous system) to enable itself to return to a  state of internal stillness when the shaking/danger has passed, akin to the snow particles resting softly on the bottom of the globe.

When shaking is experienced from whatever stimulus the mindbody will naturally respond to the disturbance. If the answer to the question “am I safe?” is perceived to be “no”, then the mindbody will act to defend itself.

As humans we have the ability to externalise our defences to this shaking through movement (fight or flee response using functions such as speech, physical actions etc) and/or to internalise our defences (freeze by holding the disturbance within the body).


If you are experiencing patterns of shaking or events repeatedly appearing in your world (outside of those circumstances where there is clear and present physical danger) it might be worth exploring the following few questions:

  • What is it that I am actually defending?
  • How do I most often defend myself?
  • Where/from whom did I learn to defend myself this way?

Transformation begins by making the invisible visible.