If you are like most people, you struggle to feel happy and carefree most of your life. You yearn for this feeling you remember from childhood, but don’t know how to get back.
Below are 5 “keys” to recovering your inner sense of well-being, and coping with the emotional rollercoasters of life.
1. Live who you are. You would think this is “oh-duh” but apparently not. Most people do not know who they truly are, much less live who they are. So you are not alone, if you have forgotten your real self. This key is called “prevention” by conventional therapists. It is what you have to do on a regular basis to prevent yourself from sinking into an emotional whirlpool. This is about letting your inner child out, and doing more “self-love”. If you have trouble doing this, consider a plant. A plant needs a certain amount of water and sunlight, and a particular kind of soil in order to thrive. Self-love is allowing yourself your “conditions to thrive”. It is self-care and self-nurture on a regular basis. When you “flower”, you naturally bring more beauty and love into world. You need to live who you are, at least most of the time, in order to get your happy face back on. This is your number one responsibility in your life. It is no one else’s job to do this for you. For example, maybe you secretly want to be a dancer, but are forcing yourself to be in a “serious” bank teller job. This just might kill you, if you don’t make sure somehow to get lots of dancing in your life.
2. Use your healthy coping tools. This key is called “intervention” in regular therapy circles. We all need a few healthy coping or “intervention” strategies in our toolkit, for life WILL throw at least a few major stressful life events our way. When it does, we need to know what we can do to cope. And no, alcohol and drugs don’t count. Know what works for you that is also healthy. For example, you make sure you get in a power walk or some form of exercise at the end of a stressful day at work to allow the energy of stress to move through, and not stay in, your body.
3. Practice scaling your emotions. Scaling your emotions is a way to measure how light or heavy they are. On a scale of “0 to 10”, with 0 equals no anger or stress, and 10 equals maybe rage or panic attack, know what your “2-5” especially is. Whether irritability, frustration, annoyance, mildly worried or afraid. And know how those variations of emotion feel in your body, when they are in the 2 to 5 range, BEFORE you get to higher numbers on your scale. Begin using your coping tools then. Don’t wait.
4. Know your emotion constellations. In the night sky, a constellation is a group of stars that go together. Each of your emotions is like its own constellation. Within “anger” or any other emotion constellation will come certain thoughts, scents, visual cues, sounds, tastes, bodily sensations, physical environments, and even secondary emotions. Know what these are for you, so that you can be very conscious of your emotional landscapes. Know what your calm constellation is, for that will give your hints about how to bring your body into a state of calm. Those will remind you of many healthy coping tools you can use to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you like to imagine being at the beach, with the sounds of seagulls, the scent of salty air, the taste of coconut on your lips, and the feel of your toes sinking into the warm, wet waves. Perhaps aromatherapy helps you at work, with the scent of lavender on your desk.
5. Re-direct your body into the feeling you choose in that moment. Your body has a hard time being in calm and stress at the same time. If you are breathing slowly and deeply, you can’t breathe in that shallow fast way you do when you’re anxious, at the same time. Your body will calm because you are directing it to do so by breathing the way you do naturally when you are calm. If you are thinking thoughts that are consistent with feeling safe, in control or even upbeat, then your body will steer in that direction, which is why constructive self-talk, that you really believe, usually works every time!
Now that you have the keys to getting back the sense of well-being in your life, use them! And remember, the most important key is to “be you!”
When you open to who you really are at the core of your being, you find there that you are energy and consciousness originating beyond the body, expressing itself through your ego body.
The mind, emotions and body form a triangle of energies that the ego senses as itself. This is the ego body. When these three aspects of self are connected and relatively balanced, they form a container for the larger self, that many call the soul, to pour through for loving purpose.
Imagine you are at the center of this triangle. To see it in your mind’s eye, draw a triangle with a point in the middle. At the first point of the triangle, label it “physical body”. At the second point, label it “Emotion”. And at the third point, put the word “Mind”. Then at the point in the center, write the word “soul”.
Think of times when you have felt centered and balanced. Note that you will have centered your sense of self at this point in the middle of this energetic triangle. Here, you are the observer-feeler. Not a disembodied head or heart. Not a dissociated body. But from this point, you are using all three aspects of ego self, as the appendages of soul that they are in this physical plane. You feel your bodily sensations, your thoughts and ideas, and your emotional responses to these ideas and observations. You are using your heart to navigate the direction in which your soul longs to move. You are using your head to help you get there. And you are using your body for the expression of soul it is intended to be.
This state of consciousness is where you want to be to feel centered and balanced, and a vessel for your soul awareness. This is the ultimate state for mind-body awareness.
Erica Leibrandt wrote this post on Elephant journal about being an empath. In it, she shares what it feels like to be an empath, and wonders what it all means and how to balance it now that she’s 44 and ready for a change. To Erica and other empaths out there, I would answer you this. Empaths have more sensitive radar than most other folks. Not necessarily clairvoyant, because that is the kind of radar where you can see frequencies that others can’t see. But yes, clairsentient, where you can feel energy in a more subtle way than the majority of those around you. How? Thanks to quantum physics pioneers, we now know that every thought, every emotion, every cell, every person, every thing emits its own electromagnetic signature. Your heart and brain (actually each cell of your body) work like an energy receiver/transmitter, not unlike your Wi-Fi-enabled computer or tablet.
The following post is NOT intended as medical advice. Please consult with your personal physician regarding any treatments you may be considering for any medical condition.
Energy healing gets a bad rap from western medicine. Many of my clients feel alienated from physicians who bash it when their patient wants to incorporate it into their healing protocol.
A client of mine recently had his surgery cancelled by his doctor simply because he was asking questions about how fast the cancer in his body was growing and was considering his holistic options. The doctor told him he didn’t want to risk that his time would be wasted and told the client he felt disrespected, and therefore was taking his surgery off the schedule for the following week.
Most of these clients just feel it important to add holistic approaches to the western protocol in a complementary fashion. Most are not opting for alternative. Those who do, usually want to try less invasive procedures first to see if it works, when they believe they have time to do the western protocols if the holistic methods aren’t working fast enough.
My colleague Jerry Casados, a nutrition coach in the Denver area, recently sent me the link to a 22 minute video clip of Larry King interviewing Dr. Pam Peeke about the science of food addiction. http://www.drpeeke.com/web/module/video/videoID/54/catid/2/sectionid/580/interior.asp The good news seemed to be that we can be addicted to food, that it is not for some people simply a matter of will power. The bad news was that there is “no cure” for addiction, only recovery and treatment. I have a different view of addiction. I do believe that addiction can be cured because I have seen my clients cure themselves of various kinds of addiction.
If you have severe trauma, panic, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issue, you may not want to read any further without professional assistance because it is possible for you to get triggered by what I discuss next. Anything I write in this blog is not a substitute for professional psychotherapy. On the other hand, if you feel safe enough to continue reading, I am going to describe what I mean by constellations of emotions, and how you can use this fact of consciousness to take yourself from a negative state to a positive one with the use of multimodal imagery.
Emotions come in constellations of sensory – sights, sceneries, colors; sounds; tastes; smells; physical sensations, actions, behaviors, environments, situations; thoughts; and secondary emotions. For each particular state, there is a corresponding constellation.
Managing emotion encompasses two main groups of strategies: prevention and intervention.
As a way of prevention, we fill our life with all that makes us feel calm, relaxed, at peace, energized, alive and whole. That way, when life stress comes our way, we are so resilient that it takes a lot to get us agitated, irritated, or overwhelmed. To take inventory of your prevention activities, make a list of all of the things you do that bring your body back to a state of relaxation, that bring you happiness or joy, that are fun and make you feel like a kid again. For some of you, it might be tubing, riding your bike, or playing at the ocean. For others, it might be meditating, engaging in a yoga class, or going on a retreat. Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of water and enjoying sufficient sunlight are essential prevention activities for all of us, as is getting some form of exercise or movement daily, even if simply stretching each half hour during our sedentary work day. Poor nutrition, lack of sunlight or vitamin D3, and too much sugar in the body sets up the body to have the same physical symptoms as anxiety, anger and depression, and all of the talk therapy in the world will not help that.
Love is the divine force that unites all as one. It is ultimately always love that heals, by returning us back to our source for wholeness. Try this exercise in self-healing with love:
Since it is Love energy that actually heals, use your ability to imagine the experience of unbounded Love to elevate yourself to the highest state of love consciousness that you can before you begin your healing meditation.