Hello, this is guest blogger Sean Morgan. Previously, I was able to share the second installment of a book I wrote called "The Mastery Of Change, Choosing Mental and Emotional Wellness". We are getting into the realm of emotions and beliefs. If we are programmed by our genes and culture to believe things that cause us suffering, we have to deprogram ourselves of this "outdated software". I was extremely influenced by the work of author Byron Katie. She helped me realize that we have the choice in what we believe and in turn, how we feel. This is very liberating. Next week I will discuss how Byron Katie's system of inquiry works on a practical and biological level. First we need to learn how to put out the fires of emotion before they cause so much chaos that we do not have the opportunity to deconstruct beliefs at all.
Releasing An Emotion
Emotions can be very strong and seductive. You can feel out of control when you experience a potent emotion. An emotion can grip you at light speed and you may have little awareness of the successive steps that led to your thoughtless words and actions. With repeated emotional experiences in relationships, workplace dynamics, and your daily life, you will have more awareness, and the experience will seem to slow down. You will have more free will to be conscious of your actions. That is when a pattern can be broken. I used to get very angry and yell at my girlfriend when we disagreed. I always felt very justified in expressing myself this way. I felt that I had a valid emotion to express. Recently, after lot of reflection on taking responsibility for my emotions, the energy of anger appeared in a disagreement with her. This time, I used breathing techniques instead of yelling at her. Also, my ability to use positive words in that moment helped douse the flames of our argument. A pattern that had been in place for years had been broken by taking responsibility for my emotions and responses.
Follow these steps during a negative emotional experience:
Identify that the emotion does not feel good.
Take responsibility to do something about it.
Breathe into the area of your body where there is contraction.
Ask yourself if you are willing to let go of the emotion. (See Sedona Method(tm))
Emotions are very temporary. According to neuroanatomist Jill Bolte-Taylor, author of My Stroke Of Insight, the chemicals of an emotion are flushed from our system after 90 seconds (2008). However, we experience a cascade of additional negative emotions if we choose to continue to feed the stories in our minds that are causing them. Starve the negative emotion of fuel and it will die. If the inner dialogue continues, choose to watch it instead of identifying with it. Notice the petty tone of the internal voice and recognize that it is ego and not love. Continue to breathe into the area and ask the question "Am I Willing To Let This Go?" until the emotion subsides.
Laughing, crying, sighing, yelling (preferably not at someone), moaning, and singing also physically expel emotions like a reflex. There are formal practices using these techniques in the companion workbook. Releasing emotions starts with subtle work. Throughout the day, many kinds of experiences could cause you to hold your breath slightly and constrict. Just notice, relax into it and breathe. For the heavy duty emotions, the physical reflexes can be used intuitively. Remember not to feed the stories in your mind, as you don't want to train yourself to be a releaser and not a solver.
What stories do you tell yourself in your head that refuel negative emotions?
(ex: I know better than he does what I should be doing with my life, how dare he tell me how to live my life.)
What could you tell yourself to end the internal dialogue during an emotional cycle?
(ex: I am responsible for my own emotions. Blaming others won't help me.)
Deconstructing Beliefs And Creating New Ones
If you have a disempowering belief, it will keep causing negative emotions for the rest of your life until it is cleared. You could consider it a disease or a virus. It is like a weed in the garden of your mind.
Example: If you notice that you experience a negative emotion when you see a luxury car, try to find the root belief that causes the emotion. At first you might think you have a belief that:
"Rich people are evil"...but that could be a secondary belief.
The primary belief behind it could be... "There aren't enough resources in the world for everyone to be taken care of."
Or the belief that... "The world/society or human nature is not the way it should be."
You can root out the secondary beliefs to destroy the medium-sized roadways. If you change the big beliefs, you will destroy the highway of negativity and leave a yellow brick road in its wake. Your new belief might be that every person deserves to have their dreams fulfilled. This new path could make you feel wonderful when you see a luxury car. Your new belief will allow you to feel joy for others' achievements. The same situation that caused a negative emotion in one instance can cause a positive one once the belief is rooted out. Therefore, the circumstance is not the problem... the problem is actually your interpretation of it. Beliefs are not permanently gone when you deconstruct them. Your new belief must be practiced, and that pathway must become a highway bigger than the old one.
-- Love Is The Answer To All Great Questions