We can feel one emotion regarding a particular circumstance, whilst at the same time or soon after feeling quite a different emotion - like when watching a dramatic movie. The emotions that we need to release are the fixed ones that we identify with and feel the effect of - we feel we ARE the emotion: "I'm angry and you make me so." A free emotion is one that we CREATE as an appropriate feeling to accompany our considerations, beliefs, desires and involvements: "I feel anger according to the way I interpret my current circumstances."
An emotion is adopted chronically when it accompanies the belief structure of a particular identity we are absorbed in - a way of being, such as a people pleaser who is dominated at work by more confident colleagues, or a mother with children who feels bored and restricted to the house. And then, suddenly a different identity may become restimulated (through new circumstances or through thoughts restimulating past circumstances) and we see a dramatic personality change - the person at work may get promotion and start to feel and behave quite differently, or the mother may remember her pleasure at giving birth and suddenly looking after the children is a different proposition.
Since we cannot easily recognize what we are being, this aspect of changing fixed identities is usually an unconscious aspect of an individual's case - though profoundly affecting most people much of the time. The way that we identify and switch from identity to identity is explained fully in my free online book, 'Transforming the Mind.'
The pre-requisite to clearing a fixed identity is to release the emotions that are driving that way of being, so next we look at the techniques to achieve that...
One technique we have found profoundly effective is a process of consciously and intentionally releasing emotions as they arise - a technique developed by Lester Levenson.
In essence, Levenson found that people have three usual ways of handling a feeling:
But there is another option for handling a feeling - you can focus on it, fully experience it, and then let go of it: release it, discharge it.
This is the healthiest way to handle a feeling that is consuming us. We've all had the experience of being in the midst of an emotional explosion and then suddenly began to laugh at ourselves, realizing how silly or inappropriate or useless our behavior is. In other words we became conscious.
Note: the last three are positive feelings - it is important to release on even very good feelings such as serenity, love and enthusiasm, for driving these feelings are sometimes hidden and compulsive needs and desires. When you release these good feelings you feel a physical and emotional release, just as when you release negative feelings. What lies behind the emotion is something even better, an imperturbable serenity, the Higher Self.
The Release Procedure
Step One: Locate. First think of some problem area in life - something that is of great urgency and concern. It may be a relationship with a loved one, a parent or child; it might be your job, health or fears. Or it might simply be the feeling that you are experiencing now.
Step Two: Identify your feeling. Determine your feeling about the problem area, or the current feeling. What word comes to mind? If necessary examine the previous list of feelings as a reminder. Check on the list also to determine the primary nature of the feeling - for example, if you perform your releasing operation on fear, rather than hesitance or worry, you will find the results are much more dramatic and powerful.
Step Three: Focus. What do you really feel? Open yourself up, become aware of the physical sensations attached to the feeling and focus on them.
Step Four: Feel your feeling. Deliberately create it. Let your feeling inhabit your entire body and mind. If the feeling is a grief feeling, you may break into tears; if it is anger, you may feel your blood begin to boil. That's good - now is the time to feel the feeling.
Step Five: Individuate. Become aware of the difference between your Self - YOU - and what that Self is FEELING. When the feeling is fully experienced and accepted, there will at some point be a clear sensation that your feeling is not you, so it would be possible to let go of the feeling.
If you do not feel that it is possible to let the feeling go, feel it some more. Sooner or later you will reach a point where you can truthfully answer: "Yes, I could let this feeling go".
Step Six: Learn the lesson. Spot the underlying thought, assumption, decision or intention, and how it has been driving your emotions. See now how rational it is in interpreting your current circumstances, even though it may have seemed appropriate in the past. What do you learn from this?
The most vital aspect of this process is the learning of life lessons. Unless you recognize what you are to learn from your negative emotions, they will not release permanently, because they will have to regenerate again until the lesson is learned once and for all. After all, the very nature of negative emotions is a message to you -- letting you know that something needs to be learned.
Circumstances create themselves in order to bring an opportunity into your life for the specific purpose of teaching you a valuable positive learning. When you don't recognize the situation as an opportunity to learn, another situation will be created. And it will continue to be re-created until the lesson is learned.
Step Seven: Release. When will you let this feeling go? Sooner or later you will be able to answer: "I am willing to let this feeling go now". So let the feeling go, simply release it, if you haven't done so spontaneously. It feels good to let it go - all the built-up energy that has been held in the body is released. There is a sudden decrease in physical and nervous tension. You will feel more relaxed, calm, centered.
Step Eight: Check. Do you still have any of the feeling? If some of it is still there then go through the procedure again. Often releasing is like a well - you release some and then more arises. Some of our pent-up emotions are so deep that they require a number of releases.
After you have learned to release emotions with the Release technique, with plenty of practice you will become familiar with obtaining the "witness view" of your thoughts and feelings - you will be less identified with them. This makes it easier to release spontaneously, in real-time - new painful emotions never get suppressed but are fully experienced, dis-identified with and let go of straight away. Simply becoming aware of a feeling is enough to trigger a natural, spontaneous release, and you will carry this ability over into your everyday life, resulting in a stress-free mind and body.
If certain feelings never seem to go away, or if they re-emerge in specific circumstances in a way that is unwanted and apparently outside your control, then these are Fixed Emotional Responses. Actually, YOU create your emotions according to your interpretation of events, they are not directly caused by the circumstances around you or what happens to you. It is much easier to be both spontaneous and rational if such fixed responses are released. So now apply the above Release Procedure to each of the following emotions.Apathy:
Grief & Culpability:
abandoned, abused, accused, anguished, ashamed, betrayed, blaming, cheated, embarrassed, helpless, hurt, ignored, left out, longing, loss, melancholy, misunderstood, neglected, pity, poor me, regret, rejection, remorse, sad, unhappy, melancholic, betrayed, discouraged, self-punishing.
trapped, anxious, apprehensive, cowardly, devious, doubt, dread, foreboding, inhibited, insecure, jealous, nervous, panicky, scared, secretive, shaky, shy, stage-fright, suspicious, tense, withdrawn, worried, threatened, fearful, undesirable.
exploited, harassed, frustrated, deprived, hurt, embarrassed, used, abused, confused, rejected, offended, unacknowledged, disappointed, ignored, hidden hostility.
bitter, exasperated, irate, boiling over, aggressive, furious, hysterical, annoyed, defiant, demanding, disgusted, fierce, frustrated, furious, hatred, impatience, out of control, mad, mean, outraged, rebellious, rude, spiteful, stern, stubborn, vengeful, vicious, violent.
destructive, sarcastic, cynical, critical, aloof, argumentative, arrogant, boastful, clever, contemptuous, craving, critical, demanding, driven, envious, frustrated, greedy, impatient, judgmental, manipulative, lack of acceptance or approval, need to be right, lust, obsessed, pushy, resentment, righteous, rigid, ruthless, selfish, self-satisfied, snobbish, spoiled, superior, unforgiving, vain; wanting desperately to have or to hurt; wanting to make another wrong.
bored, careless, cautious, conservative, forgetful, indecisive, lazy, sceptical, tired.
Moving up from Indifference, the emotions rise in tone through Enthusiasm, Exhilaration, Beauty and on up to Serenity. These are all types of 'creative consciousness' based on love. Going up in tone one is increasingly the creator of one's state of being, with increasing choice. Your knowledge, responsibility and control increase for your circumstances, with a corresponding rise in communication, understanding and empathy with the people around you.
Find a time where you moved from a higher emotion down through the scale to a lower emotion, and Release the emotions as you do so.
Do this a few times, then find some incidents where you moved from a lower emotion up through the scale to a higher emotion, and Release these emotions.
Free yourself from limiting thoughts
and emotional blocks,
using the power of the heart
Profound Releasing is designed to help you to:
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