As I was writing up the content of my 5-day retreat I created a Nmenonic that may be useful to some of you and your capacity to reconnect with your body and your feelings. As Men, we often get accused of not speaking about our feelings or emotions. Here’s the deal:
It’s not that we don’t want to connect with our feelings and express our emotions. Believe me, we want this. We want to experience the human condition and embrace life fully.
It’s just that many of us were taught that it’s not safe to connect with our emotions and we have been taught to suppress them and instead to wear a mask of toughness and a mask of “everything is ok”.
In order to reconnect with our feelings and our bodies, because that where the feelings live inside of us: –
WE NEED RE-TRAINING WE NEED TO PRACTICE
Here is a simple Mnemonic that can help you to Re-Train and Re-Connect with your own internal emotional landscape: –
M – MOVE IT Restrictive emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety can be moved around the body using breath, sound, touch, movement, and our physic awareness
E – EXPRESS IT Find a safe place, maybe in the car, in nature, in a quiet space, or better still amongst people you trust where you can express emotion using breath, sound, words, touch, and movement, or a combination of
D – DISSOLVE IT Mindfully dissolve the emotion into the space of the heart. It may help to dissolve the emotion into stillness or emptiness or the compassion of the heart.
I – IMMERSE IT If the emotion is restrictive, you can connect with that emotion, then identify the opposite emotion (e.g. happiness may be the opposite of sadness for some of you), give that new emotion a colour and then imagine this colour coming into the heart space
C – CHANNEL IT This works well with anger and generally intense sexual energy. Simply connect with the energy of that emotion and then use it to become more creative, to work on a project or to complete a task
A – ALLOW IT Of course, this can be difficult if the emotion is restrictive and over whelming. Nevertheless, it is always useful to simply sit with the emotion and allow it to pass through you.
T – TRANSMUTE IT Imagine a switch inside of you. On one side is the perceived negative emotion you are feeling and on the other side is an emotion you perceive to be more positive. First, connect with the negative emotion and then imagine flicking the switch into the positive emotion.
O – OBSERVE IT Through meditation and self-enquiry you can learn to detach from the emotion, and more importantly the story surrounding the emotion. This trains us to become less reactive and more neutral to our thoughts. With this method we aren’t running away from the emotion, we are learning to watch them.
R – REFRAME IT Change the meaning of the story that lies behind the emotion.
Let me know if any of these work for you
Have a great day