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Life happens, and you are bound to experience feeling angry, anxious, judgmental, accusatory, and all the other faces that fear wears during your day. These feelings are all part of being human. However, you don’t have to stay stuck in them or suffer the physical effects that they can cause.
Feelings have a profound impact on your body’s ability to function and your ability to think clearly. On a molecular level, they influence the epigenetic field, the way your genes express themselves. They can cause the DNA molecule to wind more tightly into what I call a “DNA cramp.” This influences how your DNA replicates itself and how it creates proteins and enzymes that regulate a wide variety of basic cell functions and repair. On a gross physical level, feelings can either enhance or disrupt your body’s ability to function.
Fear: The Most Disruptive Emotional State
Fear is the most disruptive emotional state. When you are afraid, your sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear, suggesting three possible responses to survive the danger: fight, flight, or freeze.
Fight can manifest as anger, rage, judging or projecting blame on another, and dismissing the source. Flight might manifest as wanting to physically run away, turning to distractions, procrastinating to avoid the stimulus, or using substances (alcohol, narcotics, food) to the extent that you slide into numbness. Freezing involves becoming physically or mentally immobile, dissociating from the situation mentally, and going into shutdown mode.
Being stressed is actually a fear state. When stressed, your body produces different hormones from those during periods of inner harmony. Biochemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol, flood your body, giving it the biochemical instructions to fight, flee, or freeze. This results in higher blood pressure and higher respiration rates, which can become persistent and life threatening.
At the same time, fear suppresses other hormones, such as DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). This hormone contributes to slower aging, good cognitive function, and feelings of well-being. Furthermore, just ten minutes of feeling fear can depress your immune response for six hours. When you are continually bathed in these feeling states, either from inside yourself or as a result of the feeling states of others, your body is impacted to the point where you can become not just sick but chronically ill.
It is possible to learn how to get out of fear states and return to gratefulness. In this way, you can repair the effects of your DNA cramp.
Flip the Switch from Reverse to Forward
Below is a step-by-step exercise that you can practice that can help you to “flip the switch” back into a healthful feeling state when it occurs. Having this in your creative toolbox will help you to become more resilient in the face of our stressful times.
Bear with me here as I explain this process. I’m going to use a car analogy.
Experiencing a DNA cramp is a lot like having your standard transmission car stuck in reverse. In such a vehicle, you can’t get back into a forward gear unless you go through neutral.
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The exercise starts with breathing with a focus on your heart for ten to fifteen breaths or until you feel yourself beginning to relax. That state is neutral.
What follows is remembering a time that you felt grateful so that you actually reexperience the feelings. If one memory doesn’t begin to elicit the feelings after a few breaths, go to another one and try again. (This is why I have developed a library of memories to support getting into gratitude more easily.)
Once you are really feeling grateful, you are back in forward gear. In that state, you are repairing the damage the DNA cramp did to your immune system.
There is another really important thing to consider. Your feelings are an energetic aspect of your consciousness and are not limited by space-time. As a result, the effects of your feelings are not limited to your body alone. Your radiated feelings affect the health and well-being of every living creature around you.
A study done in the 1990s by the HeartMath Institute proved that feelings produced immediate effects on identical samples of DNA from a human placenta. Indeed, the effects of both fear and gratitude on those samples were observed over a distance of half a mile (0.8 km). There was no time lag, and the changes to the DNA molecules in those two research facilities, observed with identical equipment, were the same.
Feeling energies are nonlocal in nature. We do not yet understand how large their sphere of influence may be. You see, nonlocal energy itself is not measurable, only the effects are.
Feelings are Contagious
The point is that your feelings are contagious. When you are in a DNA cramp, the energies you emit spread out in all directions, weakening your and all other physical bodies. However, when you feel gratitude, you not only heal the effect on your DNA of your own cramp but also of other beings around you.
Not only that, if others around you become agitated, afraid, or angry, you can prevent a negative effect on your body and of others nearby by going into gratitude. In essence, when you learn to switch into feeling gratitude and practice it daily, you become a form of medicine for yourself, for others, and for Earth herself.
Let that sink in.
What this means is that you can choose to create healing in the world any moment of the day. All it takes is actively reversing the damaging effects of your fear-based feelings as they occur and living more of your day in gratitude. That is an act of incredible creativity you may never have imagined. As a plus, cultivating this way of being can greatly enhance how you not only approach life’s challenges but also enhance your overall well-being.
This way of being has been shown to have protective effects in that it helps to bring your baseline up so that the damaging effects of your DNA cramps don’t bring you as far down. You become a more resilient and buoyant vessel in the turbulent sea of life and actually help to calm the waters for all the other boats.
Getting Back Into Balance
Now that I’ve whet your appetite, what follows here are the steps to getting back into balance after an episode of feeling angry or afraid. It is a simple process and something you can do easily any place at any time. I have provided an mp3 file of a guided version of the “Repairing Your Energy after Experiencing Fear or Anger” exercise to help you more easily internalize the method.
Read through the exercise once or twice before you begin listening to the audio file. Make sure you have gathered a few good gratitude memories in your sketch/notebook so you can easily recall one or more during the exercise.
Exercise: Repairing Your Energy after Experiencing Fear or Anger
The steps involved in this practice are easy to learn and simple enough to do several times a day, as they involve your internal self. No one will notice you doing this, and when you become adept at it, you can use this method to become a healing force—not only for yourself but also for those around you.
Wherever you are, stop for a few moments and be still.
In your stillness, begin breathing through your nose. As you are breathing through your nose, bring your attention to the center of your chest.
Imagine that you are breathing with your heart. Your breath is being drawn in by your heart as a healing balm.
Imagine that each breath is clearing the heart of the burden of your fear or anger. Like an ocean wave erasing marks in the sand, your breaths are smoothing . . . calming . . . clearing.
As you continue this way of breathing, notice your pulse slowing and your body beginning to relax. Continue breathing like this for at least ten to fifteen breaths. Take as much time as you need.
While continuing to breathe, begin remembering a time when you felt grateful. It can be a feeling memory from the recent or distant past. Allow yourself to fill with the feelings of that remembered moment. Remember the scene in as much detail as you are able and let the feelings of that time fill you up again.
Give yourself full permission to feel the fullness of gratitude—as if what you are remembering is happening now, in this present moment.
Once you really feel full of gratitude, imagine those feelings radiating out from your body with each of your heartbeats. Those pulses of gratitude are bathing every person and every other living being around you in a healing, balancing energy.
Allow these healing feelings to radiate out in all directions. Imagine that you are bathing all of nature with your beautiful, feeling medicine of gratitude! Expand this sphere of gratitude as far as you are able until you feel complete and balanced.
Slowly return your attention to where you are in physical reality. Gently return to the present moment again by smiling and taking a full, deep sighing breath.
Listen to the guided meditation mp3 and practice it at least twice daily so that you really internalize the process. This is an important part of developing emotional intelligence and is necessary for becoming a joyful, balanced, and effective creative person.
Practice until you can easily shift out of negative emotions anyplace and in any situation. I cannot stress enough how critically important this ability is to your physical, mental, and ultimately creative health.
Are You In A Subconscious Perceptual Rut?
As you continue to practice daily, keep journaling what you realize about your process. This self-knowledge is important, as it is one of the keys to becoming a productive creative person.
Something else: If, in working with your feelings, you notice that you have fearful or angry feelings that appear often, you are being given vital information by your body. Those feelings are letting you know that you have a perceptual rut in your subconscious mind that is triggering that repetitive response. This is most likely a misperception about you or your world that you learned in childhood.
Use your sketch/notebook to process it and see what you learn. Be gentle with yourself in your examination of those feelings, and if you get stuck, get some support. Remember, you’re worth it!
Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the publisher,
Destiny Books, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.
Shamanic Creativity: Free the Imagination with Rituals, Energy Work, and Spirit Journeying
by Evelyn C. Rysdyk
In this step-by-step practical guide to enhancing creative energy, Evelyn Rysdyk explains how, from the shamanic perspective, creativity--or creative energy--is a life-giving force that frees the imagination, supports innovation, and awakens unique ways of thinking and feeling that can transform your life. She explores how to release creativity-blocking patterns, reprogram the subconscious, engage the “right brain,” boost imagination, overcome anxiety and destructive emotions, and become much more creative in daily life.
Examining creative energy as a natural phenomenon similar to the tides, the author provides suggestions for when your creative energy is at a low tide as well as offering shamanic techniques for dealing with insecurities related to your creative pursuits and overcoming dysfunctional subconscious perceptions.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About the Author
Evelyn C. Rysdyk is an internationally recognized shamanic practitioner and author of several books, including The Norse Shaman, Spirit Walking, and The Nepalese Shamanic Path.
Along with her writings, she is an impassioned teacher and a featured presenter for Sounds True, The Shift Network, and other international and online programs. She finds creative inspiration and renewal on the coast of Maine.
Visit her website at EvelynRysdyk.com
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