Window of tolerance (WOT)

By Dave Henning / June 7, 2023

“Every person has a range of arousal in which they can feel their feelings or experience something in a way that is tolerable to their bodies.  This range is called the window of tolerance (WOT). . . .  The WOT is such a foundational topic to almost all healing and growth work that I am convinced it will continue to serve you.”- Aundi Kolber

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words.  Listen.”- Rumi, thirteenth-century Persian mystic poet

In Chapter 2 (“The Nervous System: The Sacred Road Map of Our Bodies”) of Strong Like Water, Aundi Kolber talks about the wisdom of the window.  Hence, Aundi likens our knowledge of the information our nervous system reveals about our experiences to a sacred road map.  Therefore, we must tune in and listen to the signals from our bodies.  Because through that process we ultimately move toward healing.  And toward a more integrated strength.

Most significantly, God embeds our inherently magnificent bodies with his God-given strength and resilience.  However, when we experience unresolved difficulty, we may come to fear and disconnect from our bodies.  Because our bodies hold our wounds.  Rather, we need to show compassion to ourselves.

Consequently, the window of tolerance (WOT) serves as a most transformative concept around our nervous system.  Ideally, Aundi states, we’ll spend most of our time inside or at least connected to our WOT.  For in that place, we deeply connect to others as well as practice curiosity, awareness, and even creativity.

Above all, as we learn to incorporate, honor, and leverage our window of tolerance, we gain the potential to heal, grow, and expand our strength.  In addition, Aundi defines a ‘blended state’ as one foot inside the window of tolerance and one foot outside.

Thus, with one foot firmly planted in the present, we feel safe, possess choices, and have support to lean on when necessary.  The outside foot, then, fixes on whatever mildly to highly distressing sensation, emotion, or memory we face.  This is transitional strength.  Here, with practice, we observe ourselves, begin to have a choice.

Today’s question: How does the WOT serve as your sacred road map?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Show over tell – lived stories”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button