Healing with Emotional Awareness

non-judgementWhat is healing? Healing and emotional health derive from wholeness, our natural condition of well-being and wellness.

conflictEveryone has natural health, well-being and wholeness buried somewhere inside and covered over by obstacles such as primitive beliefs about reality and emotional wounds originating mostly in childhood by conditioning and neglect.

This results in habitual, reactive patterns of behavior and speech that create life-alienating, painful and destructive situations that extend suffering in our world.

Sometimes it occurs to us that this situation can be changed, but we may not have discovered yet how to do this.

A clue for where to begin is offered by Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

This site is about Healing With Emotional Awareness and the changes within that can be realized with emotional and body awareness work. You can select articles from the sidebar to read about the various aspects of our work with emotional awareness, healing and becoming free.

Here is a psychological perspective of the problem of how we are stuck, offered by Gabor Mate, MD: “When you’re a child and your parents can’t handle your feelings, you learn to suppress them to maintain your relationship with your parents. But what was a coping response in the child becomes a source of illness in the adult.”

nonviolent communication

The main idea for this work is opening to direct experience by “working with emotions,” and “working with others,” using the specific methods of Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

With this excellent tool we learn to focus on how we choose to relate to emotions as either obstacles (based on habitual patterns & beliefs & judgments) or opportunities that can transform frozen identities into compassionate and empathic responses without hesitation or fear. A Tibetan Buddhist teacher in America says, “Feel your emotions, and let their power open you up.”

It seems strange and tragic and unnecessary to me that we cannot easily express our feelings and needs. Is there a good reason for this?

We are taught in our culture that feelings and needs are somehow taboo or occupy a certain kind of private, secret space. marshall-rosenbergMarshall Rosenberg (founder of NVC) says we do not, in our culture, have a literacy of feelings and needs. We seem to carry these expressions of aliveness in an unconscious or private place inside us. This manifests as an inability, a lack of vitality or fullness of life, even a sense of shame around identifying and expressing feelings and needs.

So, it seems we need training and permission in order to come out of isolation and become fully alive and vulnerable. For example, I have experienced times, when both parties have somewhat mastered NVC, or are willing to be coached, when unobstructed, pure, clear and brilliant communication flows as natural and free energy, open like the sky.

One of the biggest obstacles to seeing & expressing our needs clearly is this strange feeling called shame, the hidden demon partner of believing we’re “unworthy” or “not good enough.” Shame invites a host of defenses that keeps us from vulnerability and authenticity.

We will be hearing and learning a lot about the shame feeling in our group workshops. For now, take the time to become familiar with Brene Brown and other pioneer emotional workers via these resources:

  1. The Wisdom of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  2. Brene Brown’s first TED Talk – 23 million views and counting, about vulnerability and why we believe we are not worthy of love and belonging.
  3. Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw
  4. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
  5. Undefended Love by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons
  6. Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg
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