Emotional Awareness

MME Album Art(5:55) I use this practice A LOT. It is one of the most powerful meditation tools that I have. Whenever something is screaming for my attention, whenever a sensation, emotion or thought is taking over (overwhelm!), I use this practice to help me embrace it. By turning my attention to it, becoming fully present to it, I can integrate it into myself – and the overwhelm subsides because it has my attention!

Sometimes it takes multiple sits to fully integrate if it is something big… so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few times. Most things integrate fairly quickly and some things I’ve been working with for years! 🙂

This practice works best if you have some experience with meditation, especially with being present or focusing your attention on something that is happening right now (like your breathing, your physical sensations, what you can hear or see, etc).

Mindfulness Practice: Emotional Awareness

  1. Notice that something is bothering you or wants your attention.
  2. Start to create awareness of yourself, presence, or space by (closing your eyes and) first focusing on your breathing. “How am I breathing right now?”
  3. Once you are aware of yourself breathing, once you are present, notice what you are feeling and feel it as fully as you are able. If you feel “nothing” notice that as fully as you are able.
  4. As much as you can, just feel what the feeling feels like. Feel with out naming the feeling or going into the stories around the feeling. Focus on feeling the feeling versus on understanding the feeling.
  5. As much as you can maintain your awareness that you are the one feeling the feeling. “I am feeling this right now.” Maintain your awareness that YOU are feeling a feeling. Maintain the perspective that you are feeling vs getting lost in the feelings (and forgetting the perspective of YOU doing the feeling).
  6. If you start to feel overwhelmed by the feeling, give yourself a break and shift your attention to your breath. You can either return to noticing the feeling or decide that you need help navigating this one. Get help if you want it from friends, coaches or therapists.
  7. When you are ready to end move your focus back to your breath for a few breaths and then open your eyes if they are closed. 

When your mind wanders, as it inevitably will, gently bring it back first to presence by noticing your breath and the quiet between thoughts, and then re-focus on the heart of the practice.


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Judging Judgements

IMG_2642Oh ho! how fun it is to play with all the poo in my head… and to notice how is plays with me.

I’ve been looking at the all of those things that I think about others and keep to myself… that constant stream of criticisms that form in an instant, come with resentment, anger, sadness, fear, pain, etc., and never get spoken. I keep them in because I think that other people won’t like me if I tell them these thoughts. And I don’t really feel the feelings either because I feel so guilty about feeling them in the first place.

It happened because I was, stuck in my own mud, full to the brim with all of this undigested crud, and someone pointed out that I was full of unspoken judgements! Eek! No one was supposed to know!

Haha. Everyone knows. First of all, many of us do this very same thing, and secondly we feel it when someone is being critical, even if it’s silent and we don’t really know what we’re feeling.

After a week or so of looking at this, this is what is working so far to move the muck.

First, I notice when I’m being critical. “Wow, that’s me thinking that she’s a pain in my bum, again. Oh! And here’s me judging myself for being judgmental again!”

Second, I’ve been feeling the feeling that is behind the criticism. This part is pretty interesting, because I try not to think about it, I try to just feel it, thanks to this interview Benoit Foucher did with Paul Cooper, and what a difference that makes! As he points out, once we really feel it, the reason behind it will surface naturally. And, of course, it turns out that my criticisms are because I’m feeling bad about myself. What a surprise. Haha.

Once I can feel the feeling, things get softer. Whether the reason surfaces or not, just digesting the emotion, just letting the emotion express itself, is making a huge difference.

I’m still judgmental. I’m just much more aware as I’m doing it, so I don’t unconsciously direct the emotion at the other. I stop and feel the emotion and that feels much better. Whew!

All in all, a much nicer place to be!

3 Steps to Empowerment, Step 2: Acceptance

As we become aware of ourselves, our daily thoughts, feelings and actions, then we can start to accept them… most will be easy to accept and some will take a bit of compassion. For some we will want to step out of denial and out of resistance and into compassion, non-judgement and acceptance.
Why might this be useful?
If we want to go from fine to fantastic then we want to accept all of ourselves… step out of denial and resistance of the parts that we feel we don’t like and into acceptance. Then we start to know the truth of how fantastic we already are!
Can you accept all of you?
Some days I’m better than others… I’d love to know what kinds of things you’ve done that helped you to accept parts that were “unacceptable”?

Watching Emotions

(video) Emotions seem to run our lives!

How we feel about something seems to control how we interact with it. For instance: I’m mad at someone, so I’m mean to them.

What if you could develop a place in yourself to watch that emotion and make choices about how to interact?
How do you “step out of” or witness your emotions?

Speaking From the Heart: Accepting Emotions 7 Day Challenge

(video) Most of us are uncomfortable with some of our emotions… to the point that we try to deny or ignore them.

It can be challenging to try to feel all of them! Take this 7 day challenge and see for yourself!

Are you comfortable with ALL of your emotions?


Speaking From the Heart: Expressing All of You

(video)  Is it a good idea to express everything that you think and feel?

Should you actually tell someone that you think that their ideas is crazy?
And can you be vulnerable enough to admit to someone when you are afraid?
Is the alternative denial and misery?
What do you say?