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EMOTIONAL LIBERATION: SENSES of the SOUL
Starts May 2021
Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma
Senses of the Soul: Emotional Therapy for Strength, Healing and Guidance
Most people find that emotions bog them down. They think if only they could live without emotions, life would be so much easier! Unfortunately, I’ve found that when people try to eliminate their emotions, those emotions just get worse. Suppressing emotions doesn’t work, and ignoring how you feel eventually makes you feel worse so that you usually end up in Depression. It’s never the person or thing that’s really the problem; it’s the internal condition called “how you feel” about it all that creates or destroys your happiness. Emotions remain our least understood and most poorly used personal faculty. It may surprise you to discover that emotions are actually an indispensable key to resolving human suffering. Pain is part of life, but suffering is optional. Your personal pain actually contains the remedy to your suffering! So, it’s time to learn how to use these “problematic” emotions as they were intended—to help you see the source of pain and guide you into peace.
You may be drawn to this work for several reasons. You may have the occasional “bad day” or bothersome incident and want to get over it. Or you may have persistent unpleasant emotions that seem inescapable. You may have shut down your feelings to survive and gone numb from lack of use, but now a desire for Love and Joy requires that you awaken. You may have suffered trauma, and that pain holds you back. You may have done a lot of work on your past and are now ready to leverage that to an even higher well-being. Perhaps you’d like a powerful set of tools to help others with their pain as part of your teaching and healing work. Whatever the reason, we all need a better working relationship with our emotions than that built by cultural misinformation and unskilled use. Remember that humans had hands long before they could use them with the skill of an artist or the capacity of a builder. Just so, work steadily and be patient on your way to advanced emotional skills.
This work will help you experience a radical improvement in your relationship with your emotions, as well as a dramatic decrease in the time you spend feeling bad. You’ll find an empowered new concept of emotions, practical information on how to use them, and simple techniques to safely resolve heavy feelings so you can feel relief and live lighter. Although you must do the work for yourself, know that you have the support of time-tested wisdom and the successful trials of many people—some of whom share their stories here. Ultimately you will learn to trust yourself—yes, to trust your feelings, too—and you will learn that you have all you need within yourself.
This work is about taking back control of the emotions and situations that control you; to use strong emotions as medicine rather than poison. It is a practical, self-initiated approach to mental and emotional wellness. It is a journey on which you will recognize how painful experiences have separated you from your best self and that you have the inborn ability to learn and grow stronger from those challenges. You will find, as I have, that we were misinformed about the role and value of our emotions. You will re-acquire the ability to use emotions that arise when you are upset to heal the past, prevent further harm and bring peace.
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 6
1—We All Have Patterns (Chapter 1)
These are learned emotional reactions to certain stimuli— our triggers—in which we lose conscious control and react in ways that work against our best interests. You will define yours in Chapter 1 and begin to upgrade them with responses that make things better rather than worse.
2—We Have All Suffered Trauma (Chapter 2)
To varying degrees of intensity, everyone has been hit by life events. These are the source of our patterns. Compassionate understanding of our traumas and transforming them into positive change-makers is the work of Chapter 2.
3—We Are Built for Recovery (Chapter 3)
Through the existential hardship of life, we evolved an inborn system of psychological self-healing. Hard knocks create blocks but also stimulate growth. Just as life events have a full mind/body/emotional impact, we must bring all our faculties into the healing process; recovery is experiential. Self-Therapy, using what you know about yourself and can do for yourself, is the future of therapy. Discovering and utilizing it is our goal. In Chapter 3, we will pick up the tools that assist self-awareness, which is the basis of self-therapy.
4—Emotions Are Keys to Recovery (Chapter 4)
Emotions have been misunderstood and misused, but are essential to our natural healing abilities. You have a psychological immune system that uses feelings to detect and protect you from invasions of well-being. Chapter 4 will reintroduce you to your emotions as medicine to begin a new working relationship with them.
5—Emotions Are a Complete Therapeutic System (Chapters 5-11)
Once we begin to be more comfortable with troubling emotions in general, we find that each one has very a specific purpose. Just as various antibodies are pathogen-specific. Anger, for example, is sent out to neutralize particular types of harm in your life. Emotions’ completely systematic behavior gives a most effective ability to diagnose and treat their cause. Chapters 5 through 11 are a hands-on guide to decoding and skillfully using this innate system for yourself and others.
There is no way around emotions; peace can only be found by going through them.
Our approach will be to accept those feelings and behaviors and allow them to do their job. We can gain control by allowing emotions to deliver their information and achieve their purpose. Then, and only then, will they leave us in peace. I call it, control by allowing.
Because emotions are linked to thoughts, we can study them similarly. To learn conscious control, we can look to the well-developed science of working with thoughts—that is, meditation. A common meditative approach to working with thoughts is to calmly observe them with a minimum of distraction (sitting quietly with eyes closed). Then, rather than just “having” thoughts, you observe them. This trains you to detach and choose what to do with those thoughts—typically, to let them go, rather than following a thought wherever it leads you. This method of training the mind to obey you takes practice but is simple to learn.
For those new to meditation, know that it is a natural and scientifically validated process that you can easily learn in a few minutes. To those with experience meditating, you may have approached it only through thought and not with emotion. You will now welcome emotions into the meditative experience as a valid and essential part of the process.
The same clear state that meditation offers us to see thoughts without being caught in their web is exactly what we need to approach emotions and to stay present long enough to make use of their benefits. So, our approach will include observing both thoughts and feelings. I have found that despite years of excessive or repressive use of emotion, most people learn to listen to their emotions quickly and easily, with only a little instruction and reassurance.
- from Senses of the Soul, page 37
from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 81
Emotional Liberation is not freedom from emotions. We begin by recasting their very qualities and functions: “negative” emotions (“bad” feelings) are protective and “positive” emotions (“good” feelings) are thriving and flourishing. Each in its time and place is as important and essential as your heartbeat. You cannot rid yourself of feelings, nor would you want to, for they are the carriers of love and peace as well. Being emotionally liberated is to live fully with your feelings, working intelligently to let them serve you, to enjoy the highs and gracefully move through the low points in life. When emotionally liberated, you keep your cool when others are losing theirs. When emotionally agile, you can adequately feel strong emotions without being stuck in them as they help you deal with the situations that provoke them. When emotionally skillful, you understand what others are feeling and can help them rather than react.
Whenever you feel bad, you:
1. Know what you are feeling
2. Know why you are feeling it
3. Know what you need to feel better
4. Act on this knowledge until you feel better
I encourage you to set a goal to achieve this level of self- understanding and self-management. Then you can help your children, parents, patients and clients to do the same. Help me hold a vision that with this skillset, you and all of humanity can live in peace. - from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 11
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 95
- also found in Senses of the Soul, pages 42-43
Can you name the emotion(s) you are feeling? Just as naming a disease facilitates and directs the treatment, identifying your emotions leads you to its unique purpose. Familiarity with the Emotional Intelligence Guide in Chapter 4 will help. The inability to name what one is feeling is quite common. Watch for terms like, “I feel...betrayed, abused, lost, alone” which are situations and thoughts. How do you feel about those things? Relate feelings to their family name. For example, confused, anxious, worried and panic are all Fear. If you name more than one emotion, choose to address just one at a time—perhaps the strongest or most familiar. - from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 11
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 100-103
- and in Senses of the Soul, page 51
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 102-103
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 139
- from Emotional Liberation: Life Beyond Triggers and Trauma, page 131