Sunday, February 23, 2014

Healing Through Feeling: Six Ways to Reclaim Your Heart

Class is in! I'm really looking forward to teaching my workshop, Healing Through Feeling, in a couple of weeks. Below is a little preview of the class, 6 suggestions of how you can incorporate your feelings back into your life. 

Everyone has an inner and an outer experience, but the world is so focused on external, material matters, it can seem like your internal state isn't significant. We aren't given the space to shout, laugh, cry, jump up and down, or even truly express how we feel. We know through our compulsions, addictions, failed relationships, and depressions that simply trying to suppress our negative feelings doesn't work. It takes effort, bravery, and curiousity to focus on your inner life, respect its truth, and apply difficult lessons. Through this effort, we become familiar with the fundamentally unique and precious contours of our hearts. 

Want to get started but aren't sure how? Consider the ideas below. 

Healing Through Feeling: Six Ways to Reclaim Your Heart

1. ADMIT IGNORANCE - We are always finding ways to suppress, deny, or avoid our feelings. Unfortunately, this cuts off access to some of the most beautiful and intrinsic aspects of ourselves. To start healing, we must admit that there is so much we haven't let ourselves feel. 

2. EMBRACE YOUR INNER STATE - It's easy to get lost in the emotional whirlwind that is the external world. Bring more awareness to your internal state. Just for a minute each day, check in with your self and ask, what am I experiencing right now? Where could I locate my feeling in my body? How could I take a step towards that feeling? 

3. USE YOUR SHADOW- Any time you feel controlled by negative thoughts or overreact to a particular situation, you are probably triggered. Take this as a sign that there is an avoided feeling wanting to be felt. Bring curiosity and tenderness to your heart in these moments. Don't be afraid of your shadow. Use it to find the source of your light.

4. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY- Don't let the dysfunction of others dictate your feelings. Empower yourself by taking ownership of your emotional state. When we accept our role in the way we feel, it's harder to be caught with others in negative emotional cycles. Take responsibility for treating yourself with the respect, forgiveness, patience, and love you deserve. 

5. MAKE THE CHOICE - Desiring to heal and grow is only half the battle. To experience changes in our lives and in the lives of those around us, we must be willing to act in new and probably uncomfortable ways. True growth is always difficult. Commit to your best self and and know this can mean making tough choices.

6. SEEK INNER SUPPORT - When we don't believe we are loved or have support, feeling safe enough to be ourselves is impossible. Try opening up to the idea that there is love inside of you, a love that transcends the ways individuals have failed you and you have failed. Understand that your relationship to feeling this love is an ever evolving journey that is never perfect, never easy, and yet fosters the emergence of your deepest self.