Try This With A Partner
Get with your partner and agree on a time to do some emotional dialogue. Usually it is good to limit this to about thrity minutes, although whatever feels right is the best guide.
First you do the ten minute exercise and then switch roles and let your partner do ten minutes.
Your partner acts as a facilitator and you decide on the question you would like him or her to ask you, such as “what’s bothering you today?” or “what is coming up for you today?” Its best to express your feelings using ‘juice’ words, or words relating to exactly how you feel, instead of an intellectual detached description of how you feel ( mentalising).
An example of mentalizing would be, “The finances are in terrible shape and Junior is staying out too late.” An example of using ‘juice’ words, which is more conducive to expressing feelings, [as in, “where’s the feeling energy?”], would be, “I feel very anxious and worried about the finances. In fact, I am feeling overwhelmed and scared.” “I am feeling a little anxious about Junior staying out too late.”
In any situation, there are usually a mixture of feelings, some positive and some negative. A good idea: Do a negative/positive question. Your partner asks you, “What negative and positive feelings are up for you now?” First you say what it is that is negative that you are feeling and then you express any positive emotions. The partner says “Thank you for sharing” or “thanks” and keeps asking the question over again and you answer with first a negative and then a positive expression of your feelings using ‘juice words’ and staying with the feelings as they come up.
The positive/negative exercise is especially balancing, opening up whatever you may be in denial about in both areas of what is troublesome in your life as well as what good is going on.
Remember that feelings are just feelings, they do not have to be rational.
The facilitator does not offer advice, interrupt, or try to “fix it” in any way. He/she just listens and then asks the question again when you are finished. It is a way of “peeling” the onion of your feelings. Emotional healing must come from inside, and the advice of another person, no matter how wise and well-intentioned, cannot substitute for your own inner revelations and healing. If you are the one asking the question, do not interrupt the person answering if he or she goes silent, with a far away look in the eye….this is the most pregnant time for inner change and insights. These long silent pauses are the most important time for deep inner work.
As you continue this process you eventually arrive at the core feelings. Usually, just doing this much clears the air and brings you back to yourself. If it doesn’t, even after repeating it a few times, you may need to do a trauma clearing.
If you need to do emotional processing and do not have a partner, follow the directions exactly as if you did have one, carefully doing each step and perhaps writing them down.
Reminder: Use Rapid Eye Movement [REM] while surfing the feelings. This is the eye movement that the body does automatically in dreaming. Emotional pr ocessing uses many of the same neurological states as dreaming, and could be termed “a waking dream”. REM is moving the eyes back and forth, right to left and back again, over and over, at any speed that is comfortable, while reliving the memories or just feeling any feelings. This shifts the emotional-thought energy back and forth from one brain hemisphere to the other and allows it to process naturally.