Monday, May 31, 2010

Feeling your feelings

Nicole's many feelings by allyaubry

I love this post on Feelings from @hiroboga (you can find her on Twitter). It's all about ... you guessed it, feelings - the language of the body.

People often laugh or cry in a Kinesiology session ... these are just two ways we release the energy associated with feelings. Both are equally good as an emotional release but it's fair to say that many of us favour laughing over crying. Rest assured ... crying is definitely a good thing. So much better than holding onto our emotions! As Hiro says,

All feelings are energy. Energy is vibration—in its natural state, it moves freely. When feelings are stifled or suppressed, or when you cling to them or make up stories in your head about them, you run into problems. (Emotions are feelings with a thought or thoughts attached.)

It's not the feeling itself that causes the problem.

Of course, we often know this. But the reality of our response doesn't always reflect it. If we feel joy it is natural to laugh ... however emotions such as anger or sadness are not so easily or socially appropriately expressed.

We tend to squash them down, suppress them, ignore them. If we do admit to them we tend to view them as bad, it can be almost like we see it as a failing that we have ALLOWED this negative emotion to come about.

Our feelings and emotions can also get mixed up with those of other people. And often our experience of emotions is heightened through links to experiences from our past, through the amygdala part of the brain which drags up similar emotional memories to helpfully aid our survival.

Kinesiology can be particularly helpful in this case, allowing you to discover the original stressful situations that may have locked into your body ... and to help diffuse the stress around them so you're not bound to whatever options or choices you had at that time.

Surrogating emotions (taking on) the emotions of eg your parents is particularly common in children. Sometimes we carry emotions for years without the conscious awareness that they're not even ours.

Feelings and emotions obviously exist to give us important information that enables us to survive ... to learn and to grow ... to experience life.

If you ignore the emotions you don't want to feel for long enough you can start to become confused about HOW you feel ... this is often the case with depression. Unpleasant feelings unexpressed or unacknowledged tend to end up in a big uncomfortable mess of yuck that feels hard to deal with.

Suppressing our emotions often leads us to feeling stuck.

Hiro encourages us to be playful with our feelings, to be curious about them. It reminded me of the way feelings and emotions are approached in a Kinesiology session ... as interesting and rational pieces of information that we try to unravel and feel compassion for ... rather that ignore.

Identify a feeling you’re feeling right now ... Notice where this feeling is located, in your body. What is its texture? Its flavor or color, its density, its shape? Does it feel prickly or cold? Small, hard, lukewarm? Like a jelly bean? Is it sour or dry, juicy or squishy?

How easy is it for you to feel your emotions in your body? Sometimes in a Kinesiology session I will encourage clients to focus on where they feel eg anxiety in their body ... this can be hard to start with but you do become more aware over time.

I love this part of the process here, which involves feeling the emotion of anger - an emotion that most of us have particular problems expresssing.

Once anger is flowing freely, notice how it feels, and how you feel. Then—in the spirit of exploration and experimentation—stop the flow of anger in your body. Shut it down, suppress it, argue with it or rationalize it—your choice. Notice how you feel when the flow of anger-energy is interrupted or stopped.

What an opportunity ... to consciously feel an emotion flowing freely ... and then to deliberately stop it and to really observe what this does to your body.

Soooo ... come play. You can read about the whole process here ... I'd love to hear how you go if you try it!

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