A key to mental fitness is...
To Feel Your Feelings
A client called me the other day with an excellent question. In one of the PQ reps, Shirzad tells us to yell back at the negative emotion: "Liar! Liar!" It is meant to dispute the energy of a negative thought or emotion. She was confused because it seemed to be in conflict with what was discussed in our PQ group which was to slow down enough to acknowledge the emotion.
FACT: All emotions are valid!
It doesn't matter whether they are positive, negative, whiny, hopeful, despairing... It does not matter because ALL emotions are valid.
It is what we do with them that matters.
Do we create drama because we are scared? Do we make impulsive decisions that will help numb those feelings away? Do we analyze them in a completely logical way? Of course we do because that is what we have learned to do as we developed into adults. This is especially dominant for people in recovery or those who were raised in families that did not acknowledge feelings or emotional needs. Alcohol, drugs, excessive work, sex… there are so many avenues one can use to stay away from feeling our emotions.
The gateway into this uncovering process gets highlighted with the PQ work and our awareness of patterns.
I use somatic tracking because it helps clients (and myself) get in touch with felt perception. When someone grows up in a family where feelings are not acknowledged or honored, the natural reaction is to learn how to suppress them. When the PQ rep comes up that asks us to do reps ON the emotion, that is a form of somatic tracking, using curiosity and exploration. It builds our awareness of where that emotion is felt in the body.
We are not suppressing emotions in PQ. If we do, that would lead us into toxic positivity.
This is the sequence I like to follow:
1. We acknowledge and name the emotion – (anger, love, despair, hope…)
2. Explore where it is vibrating or resonating in your body. This moves you into observation and moves your locus of control into the prefrontal cortex. Notice all that you can about the emotion – about the energy in motion in your body. What does it feel like? Tingly? Stomach discomfort? Tightness somewhere? Foggy brain? It’s your exploration! Discover how that emotion feels in your body.
3. THEN notice any judgments about that emotion or thoughts that come up – Notice the thoughts that want to drive the behavior. The judgments illuminate whether you are in saboteur or sage land.
If the behavior is a negative, angry, vengeful or some other downer energy – the next question to ask is: WHAT DO I NEED? WHAT IS MY UNMET NEED? These questions come from the Sage/Self-Care mode. This deepens the process of our Positive Intelligence work.
For someone with an avoider saboteur it might be a need for courage - to speak up even though it is going to bring up conflict. For a controller saboteur, it might be a lesson to back off and let things unfold. For the hyper-rational, it may be a need to develop more trust in someone.
This is the power of change – to become aware of these patterns, go a little deeper to identify the unmet need that the feeling is trying to highlight for ourselves. When that has been established, the sage power, our inner wisdom comes in to help heal and integrate that pattern so it does not keep repeating itself.
So to clarify. ALL EMOTIONS ARE VALID. It does not matter whether they are judged negative or positive. Emotions are Energy In Motion. We allow the feelings to come up, be felt in the body and flow through our physical system.
At that point, we do PQ reps to access our compassion, our curiosity and motivation to find out what the unmet need is. I can tell you right now, it generally ALWAYS comes down to unconditionally loving yourself. When your Sage brain is accessed, the answers will come as to how to take care of yourself.