NOTE TO WYNN: I feel like a metaphor or parable would fit perfectly here to begin to introduce TTM/MBI. You often use the “operating system” metaphor, but I feel like it’s a little awkward in that computer operating systems don’t exactly work that way. I came up with an alternate metaphor about driving a car (below), but I don’t feel like it works as well because it doesn’t include the concept that the child-self and adult-self have systems/systematic behavior in place. I hoped we might discuss and possibly find a new metaphor to describe TTM/MBI.
As we travel life’s highways, sometimes it is an adult driving and sometimes a child takes the wheel. Naturally, when the Adult-self is in control things go smoothly for us: we react calmly, make clear-headed decisions, and do the right thing for ourselves and others. When the Child-self is driving, we veer erratically, start or stop for no discernible reason, we get lost, and we can even wind up injuring ourselves or others in an accident. Life is smooth and happy when the Adult-self is driving, so why would we ever let a child drive a car? Yet, when we feel triggered the Child-self responds by leaping into the driver’s seat and grabbing the wheel. Sometimes the Child-self is in complete control and we find ourselves powerless in the passenger seat of an out of control car, other times our Adult-self is fighting the child to keep their hands on the wheel and the car from swerving off the road. This can go on for a few moments or for days on end. Sometimes it can even feel as though the Child-self is always in control as trigger after trigger keeps it frantically locked in place, fighting for self-preservation. And when the car finally comes to a stop, and the Adult-self can get back into the driver’s seat, we may find we’ve lost a job, destroyed a relationship, or hurt our own health.
The Tamura Method of Mind-Body Integration helps by fostering a loving connection between our Adult-self and our Child-self. Through this awareness we learn to soothe our Child-self before it panics. Gradually the Child-self learns to trust that it is loved and protected, and together the Adult-self and the Child-self learn to face triggers consciously and choose healthy ways to react to them. Free of the Child-self’s reflexive behavior, the Adult-self is better able to guide us, and our life’s journey is safer, happier, and more fulfilling.