Winter is the perfect time to go within, clean out the emotional closets of our hearts and prepare for the new growth of spring. I talk to lots of people and what I’m observing is that the stuff is hitting the fan – anything from divorce, to catastrophic illness, to death, job or home loss – you name it, it’s happening. I’ve had to fasten my own seat belt as I experience my own growth-provoking bumpy ride.I’m thankful I’ve learned that going into my feelings is the quickest way to release them. This is very counter-intuitive as we’ve been taught since childhood to block or repress our feelings. But they are our emotional guidance system and vital information as we make decisions and take care of ourselves. When I allow myself to look at the places within that need to be seen, accepted, healed and released, happiness begins to bubble within my heart and I’m reminded of a truth from Awakening Into Oneness by Arjuna Ardagh: "Anything experienced fully, leads to JOY."
The Beauty of Emotions: Our Inner Guidance System
We don’t always know HOW to quickly deal with our feelings, yet if we want to stay productive, that’s what we need to do. If we’re unprepared for how to cope with our emotions in healthy ways, we may resort to those less than healthy guilty-pleasures, or "lite addictions" (alcohol, over-use of the Internet, TV, over-eating – to name a few), that temporarily distract us, but can create more problems.
Our emotions are meant to be an inner guidance system; an inner GPS to point the way through the darkness back to JOY. The TARA process (Touch, Accept, Release, Action) fromIntentional JOY is a strategy I’ve taught to hundreds and use often myself.
HERE’S HOW TARA WORKS (I’ll use an example from a recent experience):
1) Identify a situation that’s pushing your emotional buttons:
a friend of mine just died from breast cancer.
2) Touch or identify the following feelings about the situation:
Anger (feeling unrecognized or unimportant:
I’m angry that or because: I’m angry because my friend died so young. I’m angry that I didn’t get to say goodbye
Sad (experiencing loss or relationship changing or ending:
I’m sad that I didn’t get to say goodbye. I’m sad because I’ll miss her smiling face. I’m sad because her death reminds me of my mother’s death.
Afraid (experiencing threat to safety or well-being):
I’m afraid because I’m getting older and life seems more fragile.
I’m afraid because I know others are going through treatment and I don’t know what will happen to them.
Guilty (out of integrity with self, or NOT people pleasing):
I feel guilty that I couldn’t attend the service because I was working.
Glad (finding one or more positive things about the situation):
I’m glad I knew Kim as she radiated JOY and touched my heart and so many others.
3) Accept: Notice where in your body you most feeling the energy of these emotions. Give yourself permission to accept these feelings as an important part of your experience. Judging our feelings is what creates the suffering.
4) Release: Breathe into your body where the emotion is held at least ten times.
Often just this simple act of naming the emotion, accepting it and breathing to release it is enough to shift back to feeling good. Like any muscle that gets stronger with use, over time we get better and quicker at recognizing our emotions, going into them and returning to JOY (For those that want more training, I conduct phone or in person sessions combined with Emotional Freedom Technique to really accelerate the release time).
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Jacqueline Marcell was so compelled by caring for her challenging elderly father and sweet but ailing mother (both with early Alzheimer’s not properly diagnosed for over a year), that when she finally figured everything out she gave up her (stalled) career as a television executive to become an advocate for eldercare awareness and reform. Her first (bestselling) book, "Elder Rage," was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and is being considered for a film. She also launched the "Coping with Caregiving" Internet radio program at Jacqueline Marcell was so compelled by caring for her challenging elderly father and sweet but ailing mother (both with early Alzheimer’s not properly diagnosed for over a year), that when she finally figured everything out she gave up her (stalled) career as a television executive to become an advocate for eldercare awareness and reform. Her first (bestselling) book, "Elder Rage," was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and is being considered for a film. She also launched the "Coping with Caregiving" Internet radio program atwww.wsRadio.com/CopingWithCaregiving and is an international speaker on Caregiving, Eldercare, Alzheimer’s. Jacqueline’s mission is to impart knowledge on issues that unnecessarily cost a year of her life, her parents’ life savings and most of her own—and nearly her life itself.www.ElderRage.com. Listen to Lynn on Jacqueline’s show byclicking here now.