Emotional Genius is the ability to change your state by choice. I heard this statement in a workshop I recently attended with Foundation for Conscious Living, And I find this statement to be empowering. Life is a series of choices: Life is happening to me or I’m happening to life. Am I creating from the outside in or Am I creating from the inside out? My newest life choice is to make friends with all my feelings so I can create from the inside out.
I am fueling my full expression and experience with a practice that welcomes, attends to, and allows the expression of joy, sadness, anger, scared, and sexual feelings. As I start to embody this new experience of making friends with All my feelings I notice all the rules I put on my feelings: I will only allow myself to feel certain feelings at certain times. I shouldn’t feel this way. I will feel that later. I can not express these feelings in public. I can feel certain feelings with certain people. I also label some emotions like joy and even sadness as good feelings and regulate other feelings like anger and fear as bad. Along with the revelation of all the rules I am now increasingly aware of all the drama, static, resistance and debris I create from putting off, hiding and ignoring what I’m feeling. Wow! I feel like I put a lid on myself that prevents me from experiencing and expressing fully. Poop. Hmmm…so now what!?
I want to change that state of being a victim of my feelings to befriending. I wonder what would it feel like to make friends with all my feelings? I wonder what it would feel like to express my feelings fully in a way that is kind and nourishing to me? I wonder what it would feel like to grow my emotional intelligence and change my state by choice?
It is my experience that turning towards my feelings supports changing my state by choice. The following is an experiential exercise that allows the being with, and acceptance of All feelings. All you need is pen and paper and willingness to make friends with your feelings.
- Think of a recent issue, or conflict that is recurring. Now write in an unedited way all about it. All your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of this issue.
- Now focus your awareness on your specific body sensations. Where do you feel this issue in your body? It may be in more than one location.
Back of neck, across your shoulders and jaw? (anger zone)
Across chest and upper throat? (sad zone)
Around or in your belly? (fear zone)
3. Notice where you feel the most sensation and begin to say one or a combo of the feeling statements that matches the feeling zone in your body.
If you feel the most across your shoulders say “I feel angry about…”
If you feel the most sensation in your upper chest area say “ I feel sad about…”
If you feel sensation in your belly say “ I feel scared about…”
4. Repeat saying your statement several times out loud while trying out different intonations, emphasis, different voices.
5. Now think of something or someone you love unconditionally without question.
6. Turn towards…Give yourself that same love for feeling what you feel. Like an old friend invite the feeling into your love.
Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” Pema Chodron
Thank you Katie Hendricks for creating and leading me through this exercise numerous times to support my full embodied expression.