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Many of you know that myself and my entire family were hit hard recently with that you-know-what illness (trying to keep this from being censored). And in particular, my partner Aaron faced a life-threatening case of this infection. It was one of the most fear-filled moments in my life. And it was one of the most ‘Primal Trust’ embodying moments of my life. I learned how to intimately dance between fear and trust this last week on a much deeper level.


I found a new level of Primal Trust within me I had not known. It was carved through the birthing pains of deep surrender and having to be with the inner tension of possibly losing my sweetheart, while at the same time finding the wisdom to be able to respond to the situation. This is the art of “holding the tensions of the opposites” that the late Marion Woodman inspired me to learn how to do.

I found over my life that even when a situation is filled with the discomfort of being out of control, there is always one thing I can control- my ability to be present with “what is”. Fear is the result of feeling out of control. Primal Trust is the result of being aware of an inner presence that is witnessing your life without resistance. Primal Trust allows you to be present in your body while parts of you are screaming that they are afraid because they feel out of control.


No one likes having to learn Primal Trust. However, I highly recommend learning to cultivate this frequency in your nervous system. Primal Trust is a skill set that not only liberated me from chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease but also helped me ‘keep my wits’ when faced with the danger of possibly losing Aaron. I realize these years of learning tools of nervous system self-regulation and brain retraining have integrated deeply into my body and consciousness. And I am so grateful for that, as I believe my steadiness helped me save my partner’s life.

I learned that all of my Primal Trust work has absolutely carved the pathways of resilience. This was proven by my ability to be able to care for Aaron around the clock who was very ill while my own body was fighting the same infection. After being bed-bound and debilitated by chronic Lyme and other infections for many years, I’d say that this was a triumph and proof of deep healing of my own immune response.

I found that through using my own nervous self-regulation practices I was able to cope with the intensity of this crisis with Aaron, stay steady and able to take action, and was even help my partner regulate his nervous system to improve his vitals and oxygen levels through co-regulation practices with me. Nervous system regulation tools are indeed a form of medicine as they help to activate vagus nerve tone that brings coherence to the body. I am grateful I had this toolkit going into this critical situation with Aaron.


Perhaps the most important Primal Trust skill I discovered I had in this experience was that I found I was able to keep my brain state engaged in a prefrontal capacity to make tough decisions. I didn’t allow the fear to overtake my limbic system and result in me taking a fear-based reaction, rather I stayed in the ability to respond. How? By constantly using my tools to get into neutrality and asking my higher wisdom “What is the best next step I need to take to help Aaron through this?” I didn’t ask for all the steps, I only asked for the NEXT step. That is how you navigate intensity- one step at a time. Present moment focus.

I found that if I started to go down the rabbit hole of all the scary things that COULD happen ten steps down the line in the future, I would lose my grounding, I would lose my inner guidance system and I would be overwhelmed with fear. I couldn’t afford to lose it. Aaron needed a capable adult to help him through this. And I was the only one in the room to be that for him.

“Be here now”, I would say to myself over and over, “Don’t focus on the worst case, just ask for the next best step. Inhale 5 sec, exhale 5, breathe through the heart. Feel my feet. I am here now in this moment, fully, come what may.” That’s what Primal Trust looks like in action.

And the result was that I was absolutely guided. I had a moment-by-moment inner compass directing me. And I started to know I could trust it because things would just start working out. Things like a doctor I used to have in Portland would text me back, on Thanksgiving even, and walk me through what to look for and things to help. Then a friend would reach out and ask how she can help, and the next thing I know I have a Peruvian energy healer/shaman on the phone 30 min later who specializes in breathing issues from C*V!D and helped Aaron get his breathing back. This magical synchronization continued onward, people came and brought things I needed when the stores and pharmacy were closed. And I knew we were going to make it through as the universe started showing me that it is here to guide as I was willing to lean into my higher Self.

I will not go into details of why things got so bad with Aaron or why I was all alone with him without hospital medical care. These details are not helpful or purposeful in what I’m wanting to share. The points I’m wanting to make are about how to deal with fearful situations. I want to share with you all how the years of retraining my nervous system were the cornerstone in guiding me when I needed help the most. And how I wish everyone to have these tools of regulation so they can be guided by an inner compass when ‘shit hits the fan’.

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In summary. He made it through the trial. We learned to dance with fear and trust. And, I learned further witness that I am called to be a leader of what I’ve decided to call ‘the Primal Trust™ movement’ because I can handle out of control chaos. I can be with fear. I can hear wisdom when tough choices need to be made. And I’ve now witnessed again in my life how the body is so resilient. When given the right conditions, proper nutrition, medicine, support, etc, the body can handle A LOT. I’ve now watched my body heal from the incurable Lyme, and my partner’s body fight off a could-be deadly infection.

I believe in the resilient human body’s capacity to heal and I believe in a higher guidance system that is here to help us through fiery trials. And I believe it is the frequency of Primal Trust that unlocks that self-healing and inner guidance to be realized when we need it the most.

I’ll be sharing a part 2- “Overcoming Fear” blog soon to give more specifics on dealing with fear in moments of crisis.

May you all find your inner compass and Primal Trust in moments when you need it most.


Dr. Cat

Cathleen King, DPT

I'm an expert on chronic illness, chronic trauma, relationship/attachment repair, and inner child healing. I’ve got the rare combination of in-depth doctoral-level education and training as a physical therapist, and many years of coaching others in wellness and lifestyle education. And, I have been through my own heroine’s journey of spending nearly 2 decades of my life navigating through deep, debilitating illness and finally found my way out!

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