Every Strong Emotion Is An Opportunity For Personal Growth –
You can work with your emotions in a way that creates an opportunity for personal growth and deeper self-understanding instead of them using you to create chaos and drama in your life. There are two phases to this:
- First, use your breathwork sessions to imprint in your psyche that it is ok to fully feel and release emotions so that you feel more comfortable to release them in everyday life. This does not mean expressing them irresponsibly on somebody else without taking responsibility for them. However, if, for example, you feel anger, you can express it with a pillow. Once you make a practice of fully feeling and expressing your emotions, you are able to use them as personal growth experiences instead of being afraid to feel them or resist feeling them. If we suppress our feelings, they poison us from the inside. We create energetic blocks in the body and when emotions cannot go out, nothing comes in either. If you cannot release your anger, you are closed. You cannot fully receive love nor can true gratitude emerge inside of you. You live an insensitive life. If we allow ourself to fully feel and release our emotions, we become more sensitive to life, we can cleanse our body of energetic blocks and we can work with our emotions as a tool to do our inner work.
2. Once you bring more awareness and openness to your internal emotional states, the second phase starts. In everyday life, we tend to project the cause of our internal states and emotions on something that has happened in the outside world. When you think about this more deeply, it is obvious that that is never the case. For example, if somebody cuts in front of somebody else in traffic, one person may not be bothered at all and another person might be furious. So, it is not what actually happens in the outside world, it is what the event triggers from our past and the story we created around what happened in the past that creates the emotion. In breathwork, it is critical to do what we call “taking it vertical”. For instance, if a piece of music comes on that you dislike, or there is an unexpected interruption at your house and you get angry, instead of projecting the cause of the anger on what happened in the outside world, just allowing it to fully express itself without any judgment or suppression and see what happens. You can then open a pathway to get insight to what is really being triggered from your past and start to work with it. Any emotion is always a signal from the body that something wants to get released and is always a doorway to drop deeper into the breathwork process of inner transformation.
In order to make use of this principle in your everyday life, what I would suggest is the following exercise:
When you feel a strong emotion in your life, stop what you are doing take a few deep breaths and look to see what story you are creating in your mind that is creating the emotion keeping in mind the fact that nobody can create an emotion in you, only you can do it through the story that you create around what happened. For instance, your story might be that somebody is disrespecting you, that they are making you feel unworthy, that they are making you feel incompetent, etc. The first step is to see the story, try and look back into your life and get to the bottom of where that story came from. It is usually from childhood. Once you get to the bottom of that, you can consciously change the story to one that is more accurate, more empowering to you and one that creates a different emotion.
One possible example is if you feel that your partner never helps around the house and you get angry because your story is “My partner does not appreciate me” or “I don’t feel loved”. That perhaps came from a childhood situation where you were an only child then your parents had another child and their focus of attention went away from you and onto your younger brother or sister so you felt unloved and unappreciated.
So, it is not really what your boyfriend is doing in the moment, it is just triggering the feeling you felt when you were young.
Once you get to the bottom of this, you can change your story about your childhood (my parents had a total right to divide their attention between me and my younger sibling, they loved us both) and then change your story about your boyfriend to, i.e. “my boyfriend is focusing on his work to bring home money to pay the rent, that is how he is showing his love and appreciation”. This changes the energy of your relationship from one of blame and being “right” or “wrong” to one of gratitude, just by consciously using your emotions to do your own inner work. Anybody who evokes a strong emotion in you is not “the enemy”, he or she is your teacher in that moment.
I call this taking responsibility for your emotional states and is one of the most important personal growth practice you can possibly take from breathwork in your life. One of the most effective ways to get rid of stuck emotions and use emotions to move forward in your life is to do the breathwork as a practice on a regular basis to get rid of past emotions that are stuck and subconsciously running your life and also do a personal practice of emotional responsibility to deal with things that are currently coming up to both clear your past and accelerate your pathway to personal transformation. That combination is very, very powerful.
I set up my online breathwork subscription program to support participants in being able to use breathwork as a regular practice for personal transformation at a reasonable cost. You can find out more at https://breathworkonline.com/subscriptions