Be sure to read Part 1
Practical Steps to Emotional Freedom
Your practice, if you want to develop choice, facility, and ultimately, personal freedom and mastery over your own subjective experience, is the following:
Make a decision right now
to take 100% responsibility for your subjective experience. Every bit of it. Your interpretations, your feelings, your emotions, your beliefs—accept that 100% of your subjective experience is generated by…you.
This will give you power and access to choice and freedom. It is also a spiritual and emotional truth with over 2600 years of testing, verification, and validation. There are certainly things you will have to give up, self-righteousness and blame being to two big ones, but you have to decide if you want to be right, or be happy. If you want to be happy and free from the emotional matrix of self-generated misery...make the decision now.
Having made that decision, then:
- Notice when you are agitated
- Notice how you are characterizing the events [is it descriptive, scientific, or is it a judgment or characterization?]
- Ask yourself what other possible interpretations there are [generate at least three alternative interpretations, making at least one fun] this will build in interpretive flexibility and assist you in taking on multiple perspectives--a critical faculty to build for your personal evolution
- Ask yourself what you know—scientifically, descriptively—and what you are making up or imagining—and separate the two
- Verify your interpretations directly with the party involved
In the unlikely event that your disempowering and/or negative interpretations are accurate, your work continues by being vigilant against the old habit patterns of the mind to then extrapolate out a generalized disempowering and/or possibly a “global” belief. I recommend conducting a sentence stem exercise to uncover some of your own beliefs—particularly the global or personally limiting beliefs. What are sentence stems and what are the guidelines for such an exercise?
I am glad you asked. Some examples of sentence stems are as follows:
- I am _________.
- People are _________.
- The world is _________.
- I will never _________.
- They always _________.
- Men [are] _________.
- Women [are] _________.
The guidelines for the exercise are to
- Finish the sentence in writing as many times as possible within 90 or 120 second—that is, 1.5 or 2 minutes.
- No less than 10 completions, no more than 20 is a useful range
- All answers are acceptable; no filtering, no reframing, no changing of any answers
- Let it flow—that is try to complete the exercise as much as possible without thinking about the answers.
- If they start to get “strange” or unexpected, you are on the right track.
- If they are all happy and shiny, redo the exercise focusing on the shadow side
What this exercise does is allows us to uncover beliefs from parts of ourselves we do not always allow to come through. Beliefs that are there are the time, and are running our lives; beliefs that may be limiting us, may be causing dis-ease and tension in our body, robbing us of possibility, connection, opportunity and prosperity, and ultimately health and well being. These beliefs, once we have scoured the world for enough “evidence” to support them become the glasses through which we view the world creating a clouded and disempowered experience-not to mention inherently inaccurate, at least in part. Begin to look for counter-examples. Notice your attachment to beliefs and how that only serves you short term, and stalls your personal evolution.
Once again, as always, awareness is the gateway. Awareness of your sensations, is the first entry point. Are you agitated? Do you feel a sinking feeling in your stomach? Is there tension in your chest? Etc. From there, what are the thoughts and interpretations leading to those sensations? Are the labels you are attaching to those sensations even accurate? To what degree? How accurate are your interpretations of the events? Once verified, then ask, what did I make it mean? And then ask yourself, “what else could it mean?”
The answers to that last question must be positive or empowering about yourself or about the world or about people. You get extra evolutionary bonus points if you do this even when you don’t have to—that is, when your anger is “justified” or your frustration is “understandable”.
Be vigilant against this pitfall. While it may feel good in the moment--and there is a short-term pseudo-self-esteem boost [that is, pre-rational, stage 1 ego reenforcement], it does not serve your evolution in the long-term to indulge in the place of justification for your "negative" emotional states.
Develop your awareness. Use the power of your mind to free yourself and to prosper. Prosper financially, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually.