A very wise teacher once told me, “The degree to which you open to some of the deeper emotions such as anger and loss, is the same degree to which you will experience joy and bliss. You can’t expand in just direction. It doesn’t work that way.”
Most of us have a hard time expressing some of these deeper emotions such as anger. Living in joy means cultivating our awareness of what we’re feeling from moment to moment. Accepting every emotion as it is. The deeper we can look at the not-so-nice feelings the more insight we can gain about our true desires.
So, living a life full of joy and inner tranquility does not mean that we push our deeper emotions like anger aside. It means that we learn to meet them with patience and compassion. As we sit with and patiently experience the emotion, we uncover the want, our unmet desire. We might expose the feeling of abandonment, and our unfulfilled desire to be accepted. Or we might discover feelings of jealousy and hurt buried deep inside the capsule we call anger.
Then we can say to ourselves, “Oh – anger, I see you. I am not afraid of you. I can sit with you and be uncomfortable without a need to fix the situation.” And right there – in that moment of realization – the anger begins to dissipate. It loses some of its power.
The following meditation can be used with any number of emotions. I’ve chosen to use the example of anger for ease of illustration.
Naming Your Awareness
- Sit with your eyes closed, feet flat on the floor. Close the door to your room so that you will not be disturbed.
- Now imagine bringing all your awareness into the center of your head. Behind the eyes, between the ears, is your personal sanctuary. Some people call this the home of your Spirit-self. Bring all your attention to that space. With your eyes closed, feel all of your energy come to stillness in your personal sanctuary. Feel this space open up and envelop you. Be there now.
- Take a couple of deep breaths. Relax and just be.
- This is your space. It is for you alone. If you feel that all the thoughts of things to do and places to be start to encroach on this space, just tell those thoughts that you will be with them in a moment or two. Watch them leave your space.
- Breathe and become centered. Bring all of your awareness to the center of your head and just be, that is all.
- From this space of inner stillness, start to count each breath. On the inhale count one and on the exhale count two. Inhale again and count three, exhale and count four. That’s all. Inhale and count, exhale and count. Breathe. Count each breath.
- Now imagine a bubble of energy encasing you in warmth and protection. Feel this bubble extend about eighteen inches around you. Put out your arms and feel this vibrating energy over your head and on both sides of your body. Imagine this bubble behind you and below your feet. Ask this space around you to fill in with the energies of your choosing. You might imagine being enveloped in a cocoon of peace or tranquility. Or, you might picture being surrounded by the loving arms of safety, love, and security.
- With your eyes still closed, wrapped in a cocoon of harmony and peace, imagine all unwanted thoughts, feelings, and tensions releasing from your mind. Visualize those energies floating away, like clouds in a summer sky. Watch as your to-do list floats by on a puff of air. Intend for all the thoughts of how you should behave and what you should do to drain out of your body. Feel them drop from your shoulders and allow gravity to move those “shoulds” out of your body forever.
- Now, as you sit quietly, you might notice that there’s a longing in your heart or an emotion surfacing in your stomach or your throat. You don’t need to do anything about whatever it is that you find. The goal isn’t to figure out a plan or to allow the emotion to take over, but rather to check in with how it is to be you –right here, right now.
- Say hello to that energy, that emotion. That’s all. Allowing the emotion or the longing to be there, that’s the most important part. Validate exactly where you are right now. Breathe.
- Can you name that emotion or feeling? That’s all you have to do. You don’t have to fix it, or come up with a plan of action. Just be aware that’s all.
- As you allow the emotion to surface, resist the urge to blame this feeling on another person or spin a tale of why this happened to you. Now reach below the surface of this feeling and uncover the hidden want, the unmet desire. Tune into your intuition and ask yourself, “What’s going on here? What’s beneath this emotion? You might uncover feelings of jealousy and hurt buried deep within. Or feelings of betrayal and abandonment might bubble to the surface.
- Feel your body shift as you reach the base, the real cause of your anger. That’s the message from your Spirit, helping you see where you might be out of alignment.
- Contentment is an attitude we feel as we come to terms with our current state of being. Without judgment, without fixing – we stand in acknowledgment and “have” exactly where we are at this moment.
As you come out of meditation, hold this awareness of what you discovered about yourself. Be content with who you are, right here right now. Maybe there’s an action you choose to take as a result of this discovery. Maybe not.
As we display this ability to experience a broader depth of emotion, we step fully into our authenticity. We become comfortable with all aspects of ourselves – even the not-so-pretty parts. And, as we begin to accept all aspects of our self, we begin to live in joy.
Thanks for being a part of this journey of discovery – finding ways to live our lives on purpose and in a meaningful way. If this post resonated with you, please share it on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet helps me reach more people who crave support in being as kind to themselves as they are to others. So glad you’re here