To feel better or to better feel? : Learning the season’s lessons

Do you have your feelings or do your feelings have you?

Consider this, do you ever say, “I couldn’t help it, I was just so angry / upset!” ?

This week I am confident that you will experience new freedom and begin to prevent your emotions from controlling you.

You will not be repressing your emotions, you will have your emotions and express your emotions but when YOU want to, and in the way that you choose.

False Beliefs:
1 Morals -‘It is wrong or dangerous to feel certain feelings’ 
Remember the ‘shoulds’ from last week, that we called ‘introjects’? These are not all bad, the rules of society help us live in community, and some rules, about harming others for example, we want to keep. The trouble is that anxiety rises when you break an introject, and your body doesn’t know the difference between the  adrenaline that would arise if you broke the introject to look right and left when crossing the road or the adrenaline that arises when breaking the rule to not ‘blow your own trumpet’. Adrenaline doesn’t discriminate. Your thinking is what helps you decide which rules to keep and which you can discard.
Many people do not know the difference between feelings and behaviour, further complicated by some religions that say to think a thought or feel a feeling is just as bad as doing the action, it just ISN’T!
We cannot help our feelings anymore than we can help a sneeze, a burp, a wee, hunger. Feelings of anger, love, disgust and so on are not good feelings or bad feelings, they are feeling. We over think them because people use them as excuses for immoral action. Only behaviour is good or bad, helpful or unhelpful.
It’s ok to feel but we need to engage our awareness before chsosing how we react. Thoughtless, knee jerk reactions are generally unhelpful (with a few exceptions such as when we are in immediate danger). By separating out feeling from thinking you can begin to release the grip of your emotions.
Having a violent parent might cause you to mistakenly associate anger with violence.

2 Avoidance and addiction – ‘I will not cope with my feelings’ 

Because intense feelings can lead to actions which cause social estrangement or further problems people become afraid of their own feelings and shut their feelings down.
Introjects such as, ‘don’t cry’ ‘be strong’ ‘don’t make a scene’, all contribute to this fear of feeling emotions.

Trying to get rid of feelings causes more problems.

Primative survival needs for community and approval were paramount when you were a child (being angry might upset our primary caregiver and lose the affection you needed to survive for example) but when you take them into adult life and the survival habit (need for approval) becomes impossible as you now have to please a hundred people not just one or two!

The childhood habit becomes global and restricts your wants and needs as discussed last week. You can’t do what you want because of rules that tell you not be who you are and the habit of repressing yourself for parental approval, which is now societal approval.
Addiction to alcohol, food, relationships, order and so on are about addiction to so called ‘positive feelings’ but merely indicate your difficulty with feeling loneliness, hunger and anger. Beliefs that you need certain things to avoid painful feelings, or that you need control and certainty to get rid of your feelings, can be changed.
Fear of feeling steers you off course from your true direction and being authentic.

If we are not afraid of feeling our emotions they cannot control us. 

3 Confusion
You may be unconsciously mistaking one feeling for another (racket feelings – see resources below), this is where you feel the more acceptable feeling, for example crying when you are angry because you cannot acknowledge anger.
Let’s say you feel grief because someone died, then in adult life you avoid commitment in relationships and have all sorts of drama and distress as a result. This is what is sometimes called a neurosis. The original feeling was intense and hard and you weren’t supported to learn how to process it. But it would have been simple, not complex. Now you have a neurosis, which causes multiple losses, and controls your life. The defence against the pain of grief turns into something far worse.
Now you are and adult and now you are supported to feel, you can simplify your life by not having to build complicated avoidance. You can simply face feeling the feeling in the first place.
The habit to support all this of course is meditation and time to connect with and say hello to yourself every day. You will benefit greatly from this weekend’s audio clip.

Feelings are not good or bad, they are information. 

4 Messages
Our feelings are messengers and we can become the expert in listening and then thinking about whether to take them into account.
EXAMPLE:
You can think of the captain listening to the crew members or the Director listening to board members inside your head. You can listen and then make an informed decsion, you don’t have to do what Fear says, but you can ask Fear why they want you do something and look for the need underneath and incorporate reassurance.
Our feelings are never WRONG.

 

MIRIAM’S OPENING MESSAGE: How feelings affect behaviour and what we can do about it

Last week we began to connect with a deeper self, I was sometimes calling this the captain of the ship, this captain represents our Will.

When we get thrown off track, this is often because of habits or addictions. I sometimes visualise these being represented by the crew on the ship.

This week I want to look at our emotions and feelings because if we can become more comfortable with feeling our feelings, we won’t get into unconscious habits, addictions and behaviours that are designed to avoid our feelings.

For example if we are feeling sad and then drink a lot of alcohol to avoid feeling sad we double the problem. The reason for being sad remains and now we have an additional problem of a hangover. If we can just be without sadness then we only have to deal with the original feeling.

In Transactional Analysis there is a concept called racket feelings. This is where we believe we feel angry but this is just a cover for the sadness we cannot bear to feel, or we believe we are frightened but this is a cover for the anger we feel. If we are afraid of feeling shame or embarrassment we can end up with a lifetime of missed opportunities. Feeling the embarrassment would actually have been a lot easier than defending against it for decades.

 

The Habit

This week we are continuing to install our one MAIN HABIT – that of spending time quietly connecting with our core self, our Will, our captain, our wise woman. The aim is to do this daily.

In addition if you do the meditation a few times this week, you will notice effects that impact your relationship with life.

Suggested activities: remember all activities are optional and can be done in any order at any time or not at all. As with all things, the more you engage the more you will get out of it, but a forced study or participation is counter productive.

Saturday

Read this week’s materials and journal about your feelings.

Sunday

Meditation: Breaking Emotional Habits – instructions on to how to do this exercise are in RESOURCES below

Monday – Friday

Join us on Facebook: Daily threads are symbolised by a heart, a thinking bubble and a hand.

Reflective inner voice work will be on the heart thread, planning, strategies and awareness work will be on the thinking thread and habit installation will be on the hand thread.

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Potted Posts (summary) below:

Monday

🖐 Monday’s Action Post 🖐

Do the audio training “Breaking Emotional Habits”.

❣️ Monday heart post ❣️

Imagine that inside your chest is a safe, warm cave and in that cave shines a candle or a lantern.

Focussing on the light say your Sankalpa / mantra / motto three times as you focus on the light at your heart centre.

💭 Monday’s Thinking Post 💭

Multiple Choice:

1 Which feeling do you find easiest to express out loud?

2 Which do you find hardest to express out loud?

3 Which do you find easiest to see / accept in others?

4 Which do you find hardest to see / accept in others?

A SADNESS

B ANGER

C FEAR

D HAPPINESS

Tuesday

❣️ Tuesday Reflection

Ponder this and maybe write about your response in your journal or here.

🍂A reflection taken from ‘The Way of the Happy Woman: living the best year of your life’ by Sara Avant Stover 🍂

💭 Tuesday Thinking 💭
“Every message, regardless of form or content, is an expression of a need.”
Marshall Rosenberg
  1. Read what I have written for Week 2 on the website.
  2. Print out the following handout (or read it online).
    https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/feelings-inventory
  3. Then pick out words that fit how you feel and / or words that you are drawn to.
  4. Are there any words you’d like to share in the thread below?

🤚 Check in here when you’ve spent some quiet time journaling.

Wednesday

💭 Wednesday Thinking Post 💭

Repeat this earlier exercise a week in 💭

Write “what do you want, Sweetie?” again at the top of a page / piece of paper

Refine your understanding 💭

Pick out three important wants and write in your journal about the needs underneath the want.

Identify any unhelpful rules or introjects that get in the way of your wants

You might find yesterday’s video helpful when you’re thinking about this.

🖐Wednesday Action Post 🖐

“Harvest Festival”

Make an autumn display in your house. The reasons for this are: it helps you stop and do something mindful; it’s a reminder of the harvest and gathering in aspect of this time of year; it’s creative; it can become a visual reminder for gratitude. Share your pictures here.

Keep a conker in your pocket or handbag, every time your touch it, repeat your slogan, mantra, sankalpa to yourself 3 times.

❣️Wednesday Heart Post❣️

Permission slip Wednesday

It’s ok to feel [feeling]…’

Listen within, and write yourself a permission slip.

Thursday

💭 Thursday Thinking Post 💭

Go through your feelings list again.

What feelings do you want to avoid?

How do you avoid them?

Would it be ok to feel them?

🖐Thursday Action Post 🖐

Habit installation: check in here when you’ve spent some time reflecting quietly with yourself.

❣️ Thursday’s Heart Post ❣️
Feelings as visitors meditation
 
Today, relax, close your eyes and see which emotional visitor is at your door today. Imagine inviting them in and sitting down with them. It doesn’t have to be cosy and happy, but see what is said. Make sure you end the visualisation with them leaving and you closing the door behind them.

Friday

💭 Friday Thinking Post 💭
Look at the crew members:
 

If you had multiple characters within your personality, as well as the Captain, who else do you recognise?

❣️ Friday’s Heart Post ❣️
To truly give ourselves a chance to be free from instincts, fears and conditioning and to choose our own path, we must give ourselves TIME. Time to slow our anxious reactions and to feel our deeper direction.
Take this time to ponder, your main thing. This may be the Sankalpa or saying you made a week ago, or it may be an adjustment to that or something new. Think back to the book cover exercise, what is the key point of the book?
🖐Friday Action Post 🖐
Honour the season and yourself today and this weekend.
 

What treats can you give yourself this weekend that are in tune with you SEASONAL wants and needs, that are in tune with your feelings? Connect with and allow especially any hibernation or quiet needs as this will lead us into next week’s material for WEEK 3: THE CALM BODY.

This week’s resources:

meditation: READ THIS BEFORE YOU DO THE AUDIO

EXERCISE

Just as yoga uses muscles you may not be used to using so that you move more effectively without undue strain, this exercise is a workout for your emotions.

You will be guided safely through feeling emotions – some of which you won’t find pleasant.

If you find an emotion difficult don’t over do it, do a gentler version until you become more practised.

Each emotion will be ‘expressed’ so it moves from feeling to action but the expression is between your thumb and forefinger. When feeling love the contact might be more gentle and anger might feel more aggressive.

Each time you feel an emotion you will be prompted to express it in this way.

Just like yoga, what seems simple can be very powerful and effective.

The audio is based on a form called Sentics and users found they no longer needed their meds!! I’m NOT suggesting you do that (don’t stop your meds), I just want you to know it is very powerful and I think over the years I’ve improved and enhanced it with my own additions, research and practice.

For more on this week’s topic please enjoy the following:

An exercise about feelings:

thinking or feeling?

thinking or feeling answers

Very useful article about Racket Feelings: https://psychologymuffins.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/racket-feelings-in-transactional-analysis/

I use sentics in my work and created this week’s meditation partly from Clynes’ method as well as buddhist philosophy, Taoist thinking and my own practice:

RETURN TO CONTENTS PAGE COACH YOURSELF CALM HERE