Whenever you experience emotions it is common for your mind to automatically ask two questions: What am I feeling and why am I feeling this way?
You may not be aware of these questions being asked, but if you ever struggle with your emotions then you can be sure that they are happening. Your mind attached labels to the energy generated as feelings occur, and tells stories to try to explain why they are occurring; thus these two questions slow down the natural flow of your emotions.
In my opinion, it is the second question about feelings that has the greatest impact on your emotional well-being and whether, during your daily life, you experience serenity or stress.
Your mind has an amazing ability to come up with a logical answer to the question: Why am I feeling this emotion?. Your mind will tell you that you are feeling this way because of a relationship, your finances, your workload or whatever. Can you relate to this?
Although the story about why you’re feeling the emotion may seem logical or true, it is important that you recognize what happens if you go on believing that your life circumstances are the cause of the emotion. The story in your mind usually makes the emotion the result of some external event or set of circumstances, and this assumption usually requires something about your past or future, your body, relationships, finances, career or whatever to need to be ‘fixed’ or improved before you can let go of the emotion and be at peace. Creating this external change could take hours, days or even years, which is an unnecessary postponement of your peace.
In reality, you can let your emotions flow and go much sooner than you may think.
Now, for you to be able to answer this simple question, how are you feeling?, you need to observe whatever emotion is currently occurring within your body. The emotion becomes the object, and you the observer of the emotion, and by observing the emotion you naturally create some space between you and it. From this perspective you can start to recognize, from your first-hand experience, that you are not your emotions. Yes, you have emotions, but the permanent you is not emotional.
You will get very close to freedom from emotional turmoil when you begin to explore your relationship with your emotions. Whichever emotions occur, you can simply let them come and go and experience very little stress or discomfort as they pass through – if you remember to observe them instead of being them. The reality is that your real self is untouched by temporary emotions. The permanent aspect of you has never been happy or sad, scared or guilty. Conscious awareness is permanently peaceful and beyond the emotional realm. Let’s explore this with a game...
You can play this game whenever you are experiencing an emotion that you would rather not. It is amazingly effective at helping emotions dissolve quickly so you can more easily cultivate your relationship with peace.
STEP # 1: Name It
Notice what you are feeling right now. Are you feeling happy, sad, angry, anxious or something else? Simply tune in and notice what emotion you are currently feeling.
STEP #2: Locate It
Locate it in your body. Where in your body is it mainly situated? Is it in your stomach, solar plexus, heart or chest or some other place in your body? Locate it now.
STEP #3: Colour It
Once you have located the emotion, give it a colour. Any colour will do. Red, green, violet, black, blue – it really doesn’t matter. Just go with your first answer. Colour the emotion now.
STEP #4: Watch It
Now you’ve named it, located it and given it a colour, simply watch the emotion being there. Imagine you have double-sided eyes: look backward, downward and within to watch the coloured emotion in its location in your body. Just watch it.
Remember to keep breathing deeply and in a balanced way as you do this. Continue watching and notice what happens to the emotion. For me, whenever I do this, after a few seconds of watching the emotion always disperses. Like water on a hotplate, or the sun parting clouds, it evaporates and simply disappears!
When you start observing your emotions, you immediately create space between them and the permanent aspect of you. This space gives them a chance to flow and go, which is what they naturally want to do. Furthermore, when you watch your emotions you become aware. When you become aware, you start to experience what your own conscious awareness, beyond the emotional realm, is like.
This conscious awareness is always pristinely peaceful, irrespective of what temporary emotions happen to be occurring in your body. More aware of your real self than your temporary emotions, you begin to experience the peace that is always present. Amazing, isn’t it? Just doing this simple exercise can help you to be less fearful of your feelings, stop being governed by your emotions and instead enjoy emotional freedom.
Play with the Watching Emotions game for the next week at least. Whenever you notice yourself feeling emotions, whether positive or negative, stop for a few moments to go through the steps of the game: name it, locate it, colour it and watch it. Notice what happens.
Remember, there’s a big difference between thinking about watching and actually watching. If the emotions don’t appear to change then the chances are you have identified with the emotions instead of watching them. By doing this exercise whenever you remember, you are working on discovering that you are not your emotions. This is a massive step towards improving your relationship with your emotions; and the more you practice this game, the more you will benefit ultimately. So go for it!
Befriending your feelings can help you to enjoy greater physical health and life success. In fact, I would suggest that many feelings you experience on a daily basis actually exist to help you. Emotions are simply ‘energy in motion' within you, and it makes sense that the more energy you have, the better equipped you are, energetically speaking, to heal yourself and create new successes in your life.
Rather than trying to get rid of your emotions, it can be very productive to harness their innate power. For instance, if your body needs to heal by engaging in a maintenance and repair project, it will often increase its energy levels to help the healing. In this scenario, your body needs extra energy to fix the physical problem. However, if you try to resist and suppress the energy, you can end up unintentionally inhibiting the healing process!
Said another way, let’s say your current energy level is a 5/10, but to heal something your body needs it to be an 8/10. If you notice a feeling and then push it down, you may be inadvertently making it harder for your body to heal. If on the other hand you simply let the energy be present within you, you may well heal more quickly. Personally I have found that since I’ve been more willing to let emotions occur, the quicker my recovery time has been.
The same goes for if you want to create a positive change in your life in other ways.
Everything you want to create in your life is made up of energy. To meet the universe halfway, the body will naturally raise its energy levels to match the external success that you want. For instance, if your current income requires 3/10 energy levels but you want to make more money, you may find that the thoughts you have about making the extra money you want have emotions associated with them.
All too often, the mind will mislabel the emotion – for example, as fear – and you might end up resisting the very energy that you need to create what you want. Again, to let your emotions help you, resist them less and, instead, channel them towards creating the results you want. This will not only lead to freedom from feeling bad, but will also enable you to use your emotions as a powerful manifestation tool.
©2012 by Sandy C. Newbigging.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. www.findhornpress.com.
Thunk!: How to Think Less for Serenity and Success
by Sandy C. Newbigging.
More books by Sandy D. Newbigging.
Sandy C. Newbigging is a meditation teacher and the creator of the Mind Detox and Mind Calm methods. He is the author of several books, including Life-Changing Weight Loss, Life Detox, New Beginnings, Peace for Life, and Thunk! His work has been seen on Discovery Health Channel and he is a regular writer for Huffington Post and Yoga Magazine. Recently commended by the Federation of Holistic Therapists as ‘Tutor of the Year’, he has clinics in the UK, runs residential retreats internationally and trains Practitioners via his Mind Detox Academy. Visit his website at http://www.sandynewbigging.com/
Watch a video with Sandy: The Silent Solution to Any Problem
Another video with Sandy: Hidden Causes of a Busy Mind