martha dawson

errant inspiration

the extraordinary lives in the ordinary

thumb sucking for adults

Thumbs in the air

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for self-soothing for young children. Isn’t it brilliant that most of us arrive in the world wired with the ability to calm ourselves? And yet, adults often try to wean children of self-soothing activities before they are ready to transform them into the next incarnation of calming tools. I can’t help but wonder if this hasn’t played some role in the rampant consumption of medicines and substances that people use to try to get comfortable in their minds and bodies. 

The good news is that it’s never too late to rediscover your ability to self-soothe. Considering the circumstances we are grappling with at the moment, I can’t think of a better time to reclaim this skill.

Self-soothing activities do not remove the challenges we are faced with, but improve our ability to deal with them. When we are calm and centered we have access to our intuition, we can think more clearly, and our health is better supported. Newt Scamander sums it up nicely in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, “My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.”  Can you tell I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately?

How do you self-soothe? Take a moment to make a list of at least 10 activities. Variety is good since I have found that not all stress fests can be disbanded by the same means. Don’t worry if you feel stumped. This list is something that grows and evolves as you do. I’ve provided my present list to help you get started.

Martha’s Self-Soothing List

  1.  Turn my computer screen into my ocean window
  2. Take a bath. 
  3. Do one or more things from my  “Putter List.”  This is NOT a To Do List. It’s a list of small tasks that gives me a feeling of accomplishing something while not requiring a huge amount of brain power.  Here are some examples: Trim my bangs, sew on a button, tidy my desk, put out fresh dish towels. You get the picture.
  4. Do 20 minute guided Heart Chakra Meditation.  
  5. Take a nap with my cat.
  6. Read a novel.
  7. Sing and dance to my favourite empowerment song.
  8. Give my kitty a full body rub down complete with kisses.
  9. Take some Rescue Remedy.
  10. Burn some favourite incense. It is not only a form of healing aromatherapy, but I can also clear my environment of all that chaotic energy I’ve been emanating into it. My go to scents are vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli. 
  11. Focus on something beautiful. Some of my favourites are art books, photographic essays of Scotland, and looking out the window.
  12. Give myself a foot massage with some good smelling lotion. This helps me to ground and be present in my body plus it just feels good.
  13. Count my blessings.

It is useful to post your list where you can see it. I have found that I often suffer from amnesia when stuck in a quagmire of anxiety. 

Just know, that when you return to a calmer state you raise your frequency and this has a beneficial effect on the whole collective. You are actually helping to build an energetic environment for others to find peace.

Let the soothing begin!

From my heart to yours,


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