We are emotional beings by design AND for good reason. Our emotions are present to inform us, teach us, and guide us. What we do in their presence, however, determines whether they are constructive or destructive forces behind our willPower.
EMOTION is indeed a form of motion. Forward, backward, and sideways motion. The negative emotion is akin to an inner alarm, while the positive emotion elicits our next inspired move forward. Lack of emotion is associated with feeling apathetic or stuck in a holding pattern. No matter where on the emotional spectrum you currently reside, you can glean the internal wisdom transmitted by your emotions.
The key is to stand at some distance from the emotion to maintain objectivity and higher self perspective. When we get overwhelmed with, or dragged along by, our emotion, our actions misalign with our willPowerful intent. We tend to react, act too hastily, or stay stuck in indecisiveness. This breeds regret, unease, ill-will, and ill-ness.
Feel the feeling but don’t become the emotion. Witness it. Allow it. Release it.” ~Crystal Andrus
In today’s age of communication, we have to be more safely-guarded from emotional demons. Life can be blissful one minute and then an angry text turns peace into turmoil…if we allow it. This is where our practice comes into play. Protect yourself by aligning with your decision to emote the energy you wish to experience.
Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another persona or event to control your emotions.” ~Pema Chodron
This week’s Seven Steps takes you on a self-directed journey into your emotional being to uncover and resolve wounds and past conditioning. We can’t change the past, but we can certainly learn from it. We can’t change one another, but we can certainly learn from one another. We can’t stop feeling, but we can certainly witness the emotion without becoming the emotion. By the end of this exercise, you should feel better equipped to channel and harness your emotions in life-serving ways.
1. “Don’t be so emotional!”
Have you ever been criticized, punished, or reprimanded for showing your emotions? Revisit the experience with empathy and higher self perspective virtue of time & distance from the event.
2. “Stop acting like a cry baby!”
Same question as 1, but in reverse: have you ever criticized, punished, or reprimanded another for showing his/her emotions? What do you think led you to do this? Past conditioning or lack of compassion?
3. “I was pinching myself in disbelief!”
Recall a time when you channeled your emotions in an incredibly positive and powerful way. Were there factors that you can bring into your present life and pursuits?
4. “The way s/he expresses him/herself inspires me…”
Think of those you admire and how they display their emotions. The people we admire reflect an element of ourselves we are in denial about (by the way, the reverse is true…) Typically, we love vulnerability in others, but perceive it in ourselves as weakness. Revealing emotions is oft-considered the ultimate vulnerability…
5. “I’m weak in the knees.”
Where do you “feel” the emotions of happiness, love, excitement in your body?
6. “My stomach is in knots!”
Building on #5, where do you feel negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, shame, or fear?
7. “…and then I ate the whole box of cookies!”
Think about an emotional trigger that has elicited a negative behavioral response in the past (once or repeatedly). With compassion for yourself, what did (or can) you learn from it?