“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.
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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