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The pressure cooker principle

Unsplash - Pressure Cooker

Have you ever tried to open a pressure cooker under pressure? Please don't try it! Just using it as a parable! But you got the point, right? It is hardly possible. And if you would succeed, it would explode.

The same applies to our emotions. We cannot let them go as long as we build and maintain resistance against them.

Obviously, whenever something feels negative to us, we want to get rid of it. Just making it go away. It's a reaction. Who want's to feel bad, right? But this reaction, at first, is unconscious. And while we're unconscious about it, our emotional state gets amplified. Referring to my earlier post about "Circle of thoughts and emotions".

So, what is the best way to approach this?

As we know, life is full of happenings. Some we judge positive and others negative. The positive ones, we automatically lean into them. Enjoying them.

While we want to make those bad feelings go away, we're denying life. It's like life tells us the sky is blue and we insist it to be pink! It will never be pink if it is blue.

Becoming conscious about this and accepting that right now, because of X reasons, I'm feeling that way. And it feels negative. But it is okay that I feel that way right now.

Accepting is not agreeing. You might still prefer to feel differently. But you allow it to be the way it is, and thus, you remove the pressure from it. You let go of resistance. This creates space, and your emotional state can transform. It cannot be as long as you keep it under pressure.

As you can see. The best way to approach it is to lean into everything you experience, no matter the judgement of positive and negative.

How to lean into something "negative"?

When you notice, you feel uncomfortable, needy, sad, angry, or whatever you judge negatively.

Take a moment and sit or lay down, whatever is possible, then.

  1. First let go of the "negative" judgement. Tell yourself "Ok, it's an emotion. I will not qualify it."

  2. Close your eyes. This is not a must, but at the beginning, it helps.

  3. Free of judgement, try localizing the emotion within your body. Do you feel it in your belly or chest? No matter where it is. Can also be your head, throat or legs. It doesn't matter.

  4. Once you clearly feel where it is. Try to get more specific than "it feels bad". Lean into it. Describe it. Does it feel like a pulsating ball? A tickling sensation? Stinging? Feel into it and describe it to yourself.

  5. Perhaps you'll notice thoughts that go with it. Observe them. What kind of thoughts are there? Self judgement? Thoughts of rage and vengeance? Do you feel sorry for yourself? Whatever it is. Just take note of it. Realize what happened unconsciously until now.

  6. Now focus on your breath. Inhale into the region where you feel the emotion within your body. Inhale into it in a way that your breath is surrounding the emotion, giving space to it. Allowing it to be. If it grows, let it grow, that's fine. Whatever happens let it be. Whatever comes along, let it be. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, scream. If you feel like nothing changes, that's fine as well.

  7. While exhaling, visualize how your breath escapes through your legs and feet into the ground. Creating a path, a tunnel, allowing the emotion to dissolve. Don't force it.

  8. While remaining aware of the emotion, start over and repeat step 6 and 7. You'll notice slowly how the pressure decreases. Either the emotion will disappear or it remains, but without resistance. Space and freedom, a sense of lightness, will take place within you.

So, what happened here? Instead of building resistance while disliking what we feel, we've put all of our attention on it. We listened to it; we allowed it to be. We still don't feel comfortable whenever we'll be in a similar situation, but we will be conscious about it and welcome it.

Pleasant emotions come and go often without us even noticing them. It's normal, since we don't build resistance to them.

Here, we might end up frustrated if we want to hold on to them when they go away. But that's another story.

While releasing pressure/resistance within us, our emotional state will be free to transform and to go on.

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