Many of my students and clients have found the following process helpful in taking the energy off of “triggers” that come up in day to day life. They’ve found that by doing these steps they experience less stress and have improved relationships, finances, and health.
1. Awareness—seeing that something (e.g., idea, belief, situation, story, person, behavior) in our experience doesn’t fit with what we know or intend our lives to be.
2. Acceptance that such is, in fact, part of our current/past experience (rather than pretending it’s not).
3. Acknowledging that, while it doesn’t at this time fit, it has served a purpose in our lives, if only to bring us to this state of being in this moment–we wouldn’t be who we are today without it!
4. Expressing the full range of feelings that come up when we look at it—literally “pushing from” our being, our bodies, our emotional center, our intellect, all the feelings, words, images, thoughts, songs, movements, that are associated with it, through writing, speaking, dancing or other movement, music, pounding on pillows, and other safe modes of expression–in a safe place away from people who might be disturbed by our doing so. We know we’re done with this phase when we feel physically and emotionally drained, almost too tired and empty to do anything at all and we find ourselves saying “and I know you really were trying to love me…” or some such understanding words–sometimes we actually curl up and fall asleep at this point, or at least go into a deep meditative state.
5. a. Releasing all of that—throwing rocks into the ocean, filling a virtual “garbage bag” and letting it be carried away or implode, burning papers, showering with intention to clean internally as well as externally, etc.–to let the subconscious mind know that the ‘something’ is no longer a part of our self-image. (I like stuffing it all into an imaginary rocket ship and sending it into the sun to be transformed into healing light; one person put it in a hot-air balloon and watched it drift away; others ask angels and Christ-figures to take it away; one man’s “self-consuming” bag is a delight!) We know we’re done with this part when we don’t feel any “charge” when we think of the people or situation.
5. b. For-giving—in that internal space of release (some folks call it “empty fullness”), imagining that each of the people involved is sitting in front of us and telling them all that we’ve let go of this and no longer hold them responsible for their part in it for us; imagining them in front of us we ask them to release & forgive us for resenting or blaming them, and for projecting this state or idea or action onto them; accepting that there is no blame/judgment from “on high” and stepping into a delightful “state of grace” in which “all that exists is the love between us.”
6. Claiming/Declaring—in that “state of grace” is power, and we focus it to claim/accept a truer idea of our being/experience/relationship; we get to state, with clarity and feeling what we’re ready to experience instead of whatever our pattern was in the past.
7. Affirming—writing and speaking this new idea frequently, practicing it, and, when any old habits of thought/action are triggered, canceling them and reminding ourselves that this new idea is how we’re living our lives now.
That’s it! It can take seconds, hours, days, or weeks, depending on our willingness, attachment, and focus. It’s demonstrated its effectiveness hundreds of times over the 15+ years I’ve been using/teaching it—typically removing about 80% of whatever emotional “charge” is attached to the “something” we’re experiencing.
An Iterative, Spiral Process:
The feeling after completing this process is wonderful–we’re free at last!
Until, some weeks or months later, we find ourselves in what seems like the same place feeling the same things. It can be really frustrating at this point, and we often think things like “I thought I was done with this! I did that work already!” and the like. In fact, even though it may seem like we’re in the same situation we were before, we’re actually feeling far less upset and it lasts much less time–and if we do the process again, we can clean up another 80%, so when it comes around again we have even less to deal with!
We know we’ve completed the process when, one day, we realize that the “trigger” happened a little while ago and we didn’t even realize it.
The Next Rounds
After we’ve completed a release process for ourselves, it’s interesting that most folks start hearing people around them talking about very similar issues.
When that happens, it’s a great sign! It means we’ve done our work and eliminated it from our own life, and now it’s moved out to our inner circle–so we do the process again, as if it were for ourselves, and guess what? The people around us don’t have to deal with the issue any more! (This is the essence of spiritual healing and science-of-mind practitioner work.)
So we go on about our lives and next thing we know, someone is telling us about someone else who’s having the same issue. So what do we do? You guessed it–we do the process as if it were for ourselves…
One of my students came in to class one day very upset: she had received an email that had been forwarded a few times from someone in Iraq describing a form of abuse that used to go on in her life. After she vented for a while I looked at her and said “congratulations! You’ve been doing your work well! What used to be in your face is now happening several times removed from you on the other side of the planet! Well done!” The whole class got the point.
Thanks for taking the time to explore this process. It’s a synthesis of methods from a number of therapeutic approaches and has worked wonders in my life and many others, too. I hope you’ll find a few hours and a safe, quiet place, gather together some paper and pencils, pens, or markers, a few pillows, and some great, expressive music and really allow yourself to feel the feelings and release them–you’ll be amazed at how quickly your life begins to turn around! ~rlm