What is Emotional Connection

“Let the power of your emotions open you up … Take your seat in the middle of your home ground and rouse your confidence – your innate capacity to open to your experience.” – Pema Chodron’s “Living Beautifully

The precursor to defining emotional connection is to reach acceptance that negative emotions and discomfort are a part of us. Then, begin the practice of not running from the uncomfortable emotions, or squashing them with positivity, or feeling a failure for having them.

Emotional connection is:

  • Bring your attention to the physical feeling the negative emotion creates within the body
  • Release thoughts analyzing the feeling
  • Release thoughts of why you feel this way
  • Release the “story” connected with the feeling
  • What does it feel like? Tight, knotted, poking, sharp, heavy, etc.
  • Welcome the feeling with a sense of curiosity
  • Follow it with your attention if the feeling moves
  • Let go of thoughts when they arise
  • Flow with the feeling as it shifts and changes
  • If possible, enter emotional connection with complete and total empathy and compassion for yourself

Eventually it will decrease in intensity or release all together. It may take several sessions of doing this exercise for the negative emotion to fully release.

I was first introduced to this concept when I read Raphael Cushnir’s book, “The One Thing Holding You Back(amazon affiliate link). Cushnir has a great overview of emotional connection on his website. Go here to learn more. And if he sees this … Thank you Raphael Cushnir! I send you oceans of gratitude and blessings for writing this book. Learning about this was one of the key catalysts for a major shift in my life.

About the same time or shortly after reading Cushnir’s book, I read Pema Chodron’s, “When Things Fall Apart(amazon affiliate link). Although, Chodron does not use the term emotional connection, I found that this content reinforced and expanded the idea of emotional connection.

Then I re-read Marianne Williamson’s, “A Return to Love(amazon affiliate link), which further expanded this idea without using the phrase “emotional connection”. It is my belief that these books alined in synchronicity to ensure that I GOT it and that I practiced what I was reading about. Which I did. And it created a major positive shift for me.

Also, I recently read to Lillian and Thomas an amazing children’s book about feelings. Perfect for kids with a useful parent section too! “Visiting Feelings(amazon affiliate link): “If you listen to what your body can say, you’ll find that your feelings are really okay. With a bit of attention, a little more care, they might even tell you why they are there. Some feelings are tough, and some are more fun …. So whenever a feeling comes by to play, welcome it in, and let it stay for as long as it likes, …. Treat your feelings like friends, talking to you.”

Here’s a personal example:

One morning I found myself getting more and more irritated between running behind, Thomas‘ teasing of Lillian and general mouthiness, Lillian’s non-stop complaining of aches and pains, and their arguing. By the time we left the house I was yelling at them.

After I got Lillian to physical therapy, I sat down in the car, checked email and had just received an e-card from a friend. It was the “snap” I needed to remind myself to connect with this irritation. I closed my eyes and focused on the physical sensations.

My teeth were clenched, my jaws tight, neck and shoulders were tight. As I focused on those, they gently released and I felt two pangs of pain in my heart. I placed my attention on that and it released as well. Then it jumped back into my jaws and neck. I focused in that area once again and it released. I exhaled a big sigh and fully relaxed.

This took about 5 – 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s quicker. Sometimes longer. And sometimes it takes several sessions. It has been an interesting journey breaking the habit of wanting to analyze the emotion instead of feeling it. I’m extremely grateful and blessed to have learned this technique.

In times like this, I also ask to see things differently and ask for signs or clues to help me do this. I always receive exactly what was needed. If we don’t ask, how will we receive? I received the e-card, an email with the title, “Flying Off the Handle”, and the section of the book I was reading spoke to this. I sent a “Thank you for thanking me” message to the sender of the e-card. She sent back a reply with another perfect message.

For you, that this post speaks to, I’m sending oceans of love, hugs, and support.

Heartfuly Inspired,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.

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Change this One Thought to Free Yourself

During Spring camp my 9 year old son, Thomas, had a day of grumpiness. In talking with him it turns out he was being very judgmental of himself for not knowing how to play volleyball and for continuing to make mistakes. I explained that a little of that is okay as it helps one have the persistence to learn more of what you want to learn. However, if we don’t see mistakes as opportunities to learn and instead are unkind to ourselves by being severely judgmental, then that grumpiness overflows to those we encounter and those around us.

I suggested he instead focus on the way it felt in his body, not focusing on labeling himself as bad or no good and the judgmental words and thoughts would leave on their own. Things such as, does it feel tight in his stomach, does he feel pressure in his head or neck. Then, he could say to himself, “I am awesome”! …. And then he could ask his teammates or camp leaders to teach him how to play. He said, “I like that!”

(As he and I were talking, the “I am awesome” story came to mind. I had completely forgotten about it until that very second. Years ago I came across a story of a barista who would comment, “I am awesome”, when she made little mistakes … instead of mentally saying things like “I suck”, “I’m stupid”, etc.) Not only did Thomas need to hear that story in that moment; I did too!

Perhaps it will land in front of the eyes that need to see it right in this moment.

Change the “I suck” thoughts to “I Am Awesome” and BE free.

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Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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My Journey With Intellectual Disability and Relationships – A Short Memoir

The article I contributed to Interaction, which is a multidisciplinary journal for the Australian Institute On Intellectual Disability, has just been published. Here’s a brief description of what and why I was asked to contribute: “looking at creativity in how we work and interact with people with intellectual disability. The other theme I am interested in exploring is empathy and how this “works” within our relationship building within intellectual disability”

Excerpt from the article:

“One blood test, one phone call, one moment in time, drastically changed the direction of my life forever. I know more about genetics, chromosomes, DNA, motor skills, verbal skills, and now emotional and behavioural issues than I ever thought I would need or want to know. ……. I thought I had life pretty much planned at that point and for a while this brief phone call seemed to have caused my life to break apart like a melting iceberg with pieces scattering here and there. Looking back now, all that was brought into my life, all that occurred, all that began, and all that ended were meant to happen for my own growth and enlightenment. An enlightenment I feel spreads far beyond myself and my family as I believe we are all connected.”

Click here to read the digital version of the journal. The access code is: K9HqOa

My article is on page 30. However, the entire journal is excellent! You’ll need a chunk of time to read it as it’s short story length at around 4,000 words.

I encourage anyone who is moved to subscribe to this wonderful publication to do so! Enjoy and please feel free to share and/or forward to anyone you think would benefit! With oceans of love … xoxo

PDF version: Interaction Volume 28 Issue 4

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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Emotions: Embrace the Emptiness

View During the Writing Exercise

The below is a brief glimpse of a moment in time was inspired by Eckert Tolle’s book, Stillness Speaks (amazon affiliate link) and the author’s participation in an experential outdoor workshop centered on connecting with one self.

The day had finally arrived. Her day of respite; a day to herself to do with as she pleased. She looked forward to these days with the anticipation of a child as her birthday approaches.

She is a single mom, raising two kids. One creative, artistic, writer child who is a 13 year old girl with a genetic abnormality and a wise old soul masquerading as a 9 year old boy who has a difficult time BEing still and whose intellectual abilities are at the level of a 13 or 14 year old. On this day of respite the kids were to have a sleepover with their grandparents.

On Saturday morning as they said their goodbyes and the van drove out of sight, she felt an emptiness engulf her like a dark stormy cloud darkens the brightest of days. With heavy legs and heart she slowly walked inside feeling lonely and sad.

Why was this? A day to herself was supposed to be a day to rejoice, enjoy freedom from responsibilities, and take pleasure in time alone. Could these feelings be arising because she is purging and packing? During this time of “purge and pack” she is re-discovering treasures of cards, drawings, and creations from her beloved children. And in the process she is reminded of the meaningful lessons and simple adventures she has enjoyed with them.

Perhaps she is mourning the death of each of those experiences and feeling the emptiness that envelops one when any life experience comes to an end. Perhaps she is also mourning the end of another chapter with her kids as they pack and prepare to move.

In moments of reflection and little messages received throughout the day, she realized that she had never let herself grieve over the cooling of friendships a couple of years ago. She had been reminded of those friendships the day before and the reminder scratched a wound that had never healed. Perhaps this was the exact moment to grieve for those friendships and that’s what she let herself do. For her, the lesson is to be with and accept the emptiness that feels so heavy.

For her, the way through the darkness is to feel it; really feel what it feels like in the body and breath it into her heart so that the darkness can be transformed into light, spaciousness, gratitude and joy for the experience having happened in the first place.

Now she understands. When feelings like this arise, she is to BE still, BE quiet, and experience it so that she can gift herself deep peace for she knows her true self is peace and love. Instead of resisting the feeling, she now chooses to welcome that dark stormy cloud for she knows that within the core of the stormy cloud is pure love and beauty.

BE still, BE quiet … and Let GO to LOVE … xoxo

Author’s Note: I was inspired to share this from a third person point of view. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, so hope you like it.

I decided to spend this day of respite at home watching movies as it would be a while before I would have “home” all to myself. I watched Miss Potter, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, and Magic of Belle Isle (amazon affiliate links) and ate hot buttered popcorn with raspberry lime sparkling water. It was heavenly!

During the triple feature a theme kept repeating of sharing information with others, writing, grieving, and friendship. The next morning, I still had the lonely, empty feeling. I picked up “Stillness Speaks” and said a little prayer that I turn to the exact page I needed at this moment. I opened to page 107; which states, “If you can learn to accept and even welcome the endings in your life, you may find that the feeling of emptiness that initially felt uncomfortable turns into a sense of inner spaciousness that is deeply peaceful.”

After reading the above passage, I realized that all 3 movies I had watched were about authors. Then on Sunday I attended a ConneXion workshop at which we did a writing exercise.

I began with these words – “Let go. Know that you don’t need to know the how before beginning. When self-confidence is lacking or you give in to fear, the consequences will be un-lovely. It is time to write more, share more, reveal more, reveal the real you, it matters not if what you write is fiction or non-fiction. And then I wrote the above.

I sat in a shaded area with a view of the mountain, closed my eyes, centered in my heart, and asked what to write ….

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Heartfuly Inspired™,
Camilla xoxo
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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Emotions: Feel It

Ever had haunting thoughts that you missed something; that you had all these clues and didn’t put them together? Those thoughts that sweep over you and wrap around you like a dark storm cloud? I share this for anyone who needs it.

These words are like landmarks on a map. Landmarks that lead to a deep peace. The words are doing their work if they bring peace to anyone whose eyes and heart they touch.

Recently I had thoughts that I let something slip through the cracks back in 2006 concerning my daughter*, Lillian. In the midst of some huge life changes** I simply “forgot” something. As I began researching, a heavy feeling came over me. Heavy, dark, and sad, with the feeling I had done something wrong.

Thomas, my son, and Lillian could both sense something was wrong so I went to my room to change clothes. While there I burst into tears and cried with thoughts of how with this one piece of the Lillian puzzle I was right back where I was in 2006. I began to feel guilty and then like a victim and then angry ….. And …..

Then I chose to connect with these feelings. I breathed them in. I didn’t think about why I felt this way. I focused on the way it felt in my body. Heavy and tight. Within minutes the feeling lifted and I was in a peaceful, quiet state.

I realized that for whatever reason, the timing was not right for this path in 2006. I chose not to dwell on why or what if questions. This is now and that doesn’t exist any longer. Something that I would have let carry on for days or weeks in the past (or buried and ignored) was now learned from, felt and processed in half an hour.

Now, I embrace all emotions. They are me. They are us. My thoughts had changed. My perception had changed. I saw it differently. I had just experienced a miracle.

May you let yourself feel what you need to feel, connect with it and have your own miracle today! If you need guidance let me know. So much love to y’all!

Heartfuly Inspired™,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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*Lillian is 13 years old and has a chromosome abnormality called 18p-; which means that she is missing a part of the short arm of chromosome #18. Learn more here.

**I separated from my husband in December 2006 and we were divorced in 2007.

You can learn more about this and my journey up through 2010 in the book, “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance.”

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