In this blog, I realize that I am most often talking about creating the life we want through focusing our thoughts, our awareness, our words and our dreams. This however doesn’t mean I believe in avoiding painful emotions of frustration, sadness, anger and the like.
These emotions are part of life and often appear somewhat unpredictably in our days. Painful emotions are important to listen to, important to accept, and important to experience. I have found that there are often lessons in painful emotions that can help us grow and equip us to live the lives we want.
While I believe in the naturalness of all emotions, I’m now a big fan of letting the painful ones pass through my life as quickly as possible. This interest comes after years of hanging on to painful emotions for long periods of time. For a while, I even had a museum quality collection of painful emotions housed inside of me. Let me tell you, not a museum you would have wanted to visit!
To me emotions are like poses in a yoga class. Say we are disappointed that we didn’t get the job we wanted so badly. Our disappointment is like holding ourselves in plank pose, which looks like the top part of a push up. Our hands and knees are trembling as we hold this pose. Our stomach and in fact our whole body begins to hurt. To say the least, our disappointment has our full attention.
Now we have three options:
The first option is pretending that we have released the painful emotion and that everything is all right. But we can feel the truth, inside we are still sweating and in pain because we are still holding the pose of our disappointment.
Can you imagine pretending you are relaxed and at ease while at the same time still feeling on the inside like you are holding plank pose?
The second option is that we could openly hold the pose of our disappointment for a lengthy amount of time. This would still feel as good as holding plank for an extended period of time, but at least other people would be aware that we were disappointed.
The third option is my current favorite. We could listen to the wisdom that our disappointment has to offer us and then set our focus towards other things. This would be like lowering from plank pose and relaxing on our belly.
Setting our focus toward other things than the painful emotion we are experiencing takes practice, practice and more practice. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a lengthy amount of time depending on many factors.
I think a key is to first allow yourself to experience the painful emotion instead of pretending it is not there. Then take what wisdom the painful emotion has to offer you. Finally the fun part is to switch focus from the painful emotion to focusing something joyful that you want to experience.
Game of the Day
Start practicing with the next painful emotion that you experience. First allow yourself to experience the emotion fully. Then, take the wisdom that the painful emotion has to offer you. Finally, switch focus from the painful emotion to something joyful you want to experience.