To be present means to be aware of our own body system and how it communicates and interacts with us, with others, and within different situations and environments. When we are present, we are consciously aware of the signals our body is relaying based upon the information our survival brain is perceiving. Through our skillset of risk and threat assessment we are able to either relieve the stress perceived through self-de-escalation and self-regulation, this is if the stimuli perceived as a threat is actually false, or we implement the appropriate skills to mitigate the threat as it appears in the environment. Either way, our brains ability to determine safety and danger unconsciously and our conscious ability to validate and fact-check the occurrence in question is how we maintain maximum capability. I once read, “life asks you a question, what will you do next?” Our brains are not always right in choosing what serves our greatest good, but when we are emotionally literate and self-aware, we are able to consciously act and respond to our lives as our life unfolds. When we walk this way, in self-awareness and emotional understanding we are able to remain non-judgmental in how we deal with others and how we approach situations we are still curious about. Remaining non-judgmental is imperative in deterring the appropriate skills to use based on the function of the subject’s behavior, context of the situation, the rules of the environment, and the ability and capability of the officer/agent/operative. Capability being defined as what you are realistically able to implement, what is available. While ability is determined by skill, repetition, and stress. Skill being defined as how well one does an action. Repetition being the amount of time spend doing the action. And stress being the level of constraint an individual can successfully complete an action. This Can be refereed to as our window of tolerance. Our ability to successfully deal with stress. Positive and negative. The greater our ability to remain present under stress the more capable our window of tolerance. Emotional literacy and Self-awareness as it pertains to self-de-escalation and de-escalation are ways we can begin to increase our window of tolerance. By rooting ourselves in our sense of self (Morals, beliefs, dreams, ideologies) and being able to remain true and honest. Authentic to ourselves in situations which may disconnect us or bring us out of alignment. Alignment being defined as the actions or decisions we make which either serve our greatest good or they create dissonance within us. This dissonance is the first disconnection. The more present we are able to remain under stress the easier it will eb to reconnect with ourselves and act in a way which benefits the officer/agent/operative, the subject(s), and the environment. Remaining present allows our thinking brain (neocortex) to remain aware and active and under moderate amounts of stress peak performance becomes obtainable through repetition and exposure to the stress in safe environments. The second disconnection comes when we fall outside of our window of tolerance due to too much stress than we are capable of handling. This is how variations of trauma are coded into the survival brain and the disconnection can become long lasting or even permanent depending on the situation or triggering event. This is not to say once we are disconnected, we are defeated. This is to suggest self-maintenance and self-care through self-awareness promotes a positive space to offer a subject and can decrease risk of injury to officer/agent/operative (physical, emotional, psychological) based upon the resolve developed through training the needed skills under realistic levels of stress to remain conscious and present in similar situations/occurrences. When we are curious to our body’s possibilities both physically and developmentally (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) we are open to the greatest shift into the person the situation needs rather than the person we may want to be in the situation. This is how we move into compassion and empathy. Empathy acknowledges life outside us while compassion longs to preserve it. This is how we open up to presence. Be kind, Stay Deadly.
Check out our Podcast "Avenues for De-escalation" on Spotify and Amazon Music.