How often do you get all caught up in some emotion without even noticing that it is happening or what that particular emotion is? We all do this because we as humans, experience life through our senses, which in turn evoke and are attached to our feelings, our emotions. That is the beauty of being human.
I was reminded of this by my six year old grandson Banny on our way home from school one day. I asked him what he was learning about that particular day and he said that they were studying science and learning about the senses: touch, taste, smell, seeing and hearing. I asked him what that meant to him. He understood that he heard with his ears, saw with his eyes, smelled with his nose but he wasn’t so sure about touch and taste. So once home, we had an interesting discussion peppered with many examples, some physical some just in words about those two senses and he got it. Taste was pretty easy because shortly after getting home we ate dinner and he realized that he could “taste” the differences between sour, sweet, salty, etc. He realized that touch was experienced by having some part of his physical body come in contact with something else in the outside world and that often he could recognize what he was touching even with his eyes closed because he was old enough to have had similar memories in place. Then we started talking about how all of these senses also somehow magically made us feel things inside as well and he could identify these as happy, sad, angry, etc. These feelings could be triggered by some encounter with his senses and it could also be triggered by memories which he was able to notice were often more powerful than the physical feelings he experienced when he was picking up a rock or worm; something that had to do with an immediate response using this fingers or physical body. So he knows that these two kinds of senses the external physical senses and our emotional response to them help us build memories that may influence future experiences.
“Habit is the 6th sense that overrules the other 5.” – Arab Proverb
The question for you is what is your response to the emotions you experience when you have a physical or mental encounter of some kind?
Do you take the time to examine each emotion as it shows up or do you just ball them all together and keep them rumbling around in your being for some undetermined time period? Or do you add them to some other experiences you have had before that may not, in reality, be at all similar but your emotional response to that particular experience moves you quickly to an outcome that helps reinforces your belief system about a particular action you take. You start saving them like beads on a string; each of these unrelated experiences with their emotional attachment express and exhibit the same characteristics, so you give them a particular place to be stored and they quickly become a touch stone for eliciting a particular emotional response from you or just another habitual thought of “why you’re not worth it”.
As I said in the beginning, emotions are wonderful things to experience as humans and are a large part of what makes us human. However, they often seem to have run amuck and are out of control. They run your life without your even being aware of it instead of you being consciously in charge.
Here is an exercise you can try anytime and the more you consciously practice it, the less you’ll run the risk of being “victimized” by your own undetermined and undermining emotions.
“Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul.” – Michel de Montaigne
Start this process by simply learning how to become aware that you are experiencing an emotion, take a moment to figure out which emotion it is , fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, jealously, joy, happiness, etc. Take the time to isolate, identify, and examine it; notice where it sits in your body, where you muscles tense, etc. Then allow yourself to really feel it as a single emotion without it getting all balled up with the others that you are feeling at the moment. It’s best to investigate and feel only one at a time. Once you have done that, it’s time to let them go. In my imagination, at this stage I put the single emotion I have chosen to examine out on a white puffy cloud and send it on its way, watching as it floats off into oblivion. This allows me to then to choose whether I need to take action or not and be able to do so without all the emotional baggage.
Practicing this simple process, helps keep you conscious, fresh, and clear inside with more room to get to the important items that really need your attention without trying to get untangled from all your excess emotional baggage.
Most times we don’t even realize that we have succumbed to a system we initiated and then made into a habitual practice. It’s up to you to decide how or even if you need to respond to the emotions that are triggered by your senses. Do you want to continue to be run by your unconscious habits, to feel like a loser or a victim, not deserving what it is you are working toward as you place yet another unrelated emotional experience onto your sting of beads in an unconscious manner, or do you want to be able to stop this habitual, often unproductive system and create a new more useful and conscious system that allows you to take your power back by being in charge of your own choices of how you want to handle your own emotions. Take back your power as you consciously respond to each emotion you are feeling then allow yourself to let it go. This gives you the freedom to engage your senses, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling as you experience each situation, conversation, etc. without being at the automatic effect of any emotional response. This creates an internal place for you to experience all the wonderful emotions your senses bring you without all that extra, previous emotional baggage. Now you are consciously free to truly enjoy your experiences through your senses.
“When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.” – Dale Carnegie
So take the time to practice putting this new conscious system in place. Start with the small stuff. Take a walk out in nature and allow your senses to show themselves clearly, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. If you find something interesting, stop and notice what kind of emotion you are experiencing and where it is located physically (a tenseness or relaxation perhaps). Enjoy that for a moment then let it go. Move on to the next experience and do the same. Once you can become consciously aware of what this process is and how it works within you because you have been practicing it in a benign setting, gives you the opportunity to put it into to play as you engage with your colleagues, friends or family. Be on high alert and conscious as you test your new ability to engage your senses without allowing your emotions to take over; without simply reacting.
Avanti and ciao until next month, Carol
PS – Don’t forget to keep you comments, suggestions and ideas for upcoming newsletters coming. And keep an eye out for the announcement of the 2nd edition of my book “ARIA READY”s premier; lots of new information and much updating. Be the first to own it!