Getting physical. Recently, I’ve been taking Pilates and yoga, dancing, and exploring acupuncture in an attempt to get more in touch with my emotions. I had been feeling stuck, and I sensed it was because I hadn’t dealt with some sadness and anger that had crept into my life.
My physical exploration is paying off. While I can’t quantify it, I am feeling lighter, and my creativity is at an all-time high.
Raphael Cushnir writes in his book The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection, “Emotions are like weather, constantly passing through the landscape of your physical body.” He believes that to experience emotion we must first develop a keen awareness of physical sensation.
He writes, “Feel first, think later.” Instead of trying to instantly identify the emotion, scan your body for any physical sensation. Check your belly, chest, limbs, and head. I do this and I find a little catch in my right shoulder. I also notice my breathing is not relaxed. I don’t try to influence the sensation; I sit with it awhile.
Cushnir then suggests getting microscopic. Does the sensation move or stay fixed? Mine is fixed. Does it change? Does it have a shape? Interesting question. Yes, it does. It’s oblong. It feels hollow. I sit with it. Now it’s dissolved.
What is my mood? I am a little calmer, a little less restless. Chances are there are no emotions requiring my attention. Cushnir believes that when we slow down and check in with physical sensations, those emotions that require our attention will reveal themselves.
I am not sure that I totally buy into Cushnir’s process, but I do agree that one of the most effective ways to process emotion is through the body.