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Clearing Blocks in Your Emotional Body




Stuck or unprocessed emotions exert an incredible drag on your energy body.  As children, many of us were taught to control our emotions.  We were told to stop crying or that it wasn’t nice to feel angry. But emotions are designed to flow. Stopping an emotion creates a block in your emotional body. These energetic blocks can leave you feeling exhausted, anxious or depressed. Over time, they can even contribute to poor physical health.


You can think of your emotional body as an energetic field that extends roughly 1-3 inches beyond your physical body.  It’s less structured than your physical body, and its primary function is to feel. You can imagine the movement of energy through this field as clouds floating across the sky.  Emotions oftentimes seem to form out of nothing.  They may slowly shapeshift into curious shapes or suddenly billow up and grow dark and stormy.  If we don’t stop this process, they eventually reform into something different or dissipate entirely.  


When we refuse to allow an emotion to flow, however, the energy of the emotion gets stuck.  Instead of growing, peaking and fading away, the emotion is stopped, and the energy of the emotion forms a small block in the energy body.  Each time an emotion is stopped, a new block is created or an existing one is strengthened. 


Most people have significant blocks in their emotional body. For years, they’ve been denying how they feel or pushing their emotions down.  These blocks then alter the way the emotional body can move energy.  When a new emotion is initiated, it cannot simply flow through the energy field and complete. Instead, it hits against these blocks, putting pressure on them.  This is oftentimes when the flow of a healthy emotion becomes an emotional reaction.


Emotional reactions are usually bigger and messier than in-the-moment emotions because of the backlog of energy attached to them.  Emotional reactions can feel overblown because there's emotional history trapped in the block.  We “overreact” to something happening in the present moment because all that emotional history held in the block is being activated.   (For more information, see my post, "Emotion or Emotional Reaction?").


Since emotional reactions happen quite frequently (and oftentimes at the worst possible time), I want to offer some basic steps for how you can work with your emotional reactions. In this process, instead of strengthening an existing block in your emotional body, you'll be reclaiming the energy that was locked in the block.


Here's how to do it:


1.   You must first notice you’re having an emotional reaction.  That sounds easier than it actually is.  It's easy to be simply swept away by an emotional reaction.  The charge can be very strong.  It takes a degree of presence to even witness what’s happening.  When you recognize that you’re having an emotional reaction, assess if you can give yourself the time and space to work with it.  Sometimes, circumstances will make that difficult, and you’ll have to pause the process until a later time.  If you don’t recognize that you’re having an emotional reaction in the moment, you may realize it later on.  You can still work with this process then.  In fact, it might be easier, as the charge will likely have subsided.  You may be able to think more clearly about what you were feeling and experiencing.

 

2.   Remove yourself from the current situation.  If circumstances allow, try to separate yourself from the situation that’s eliciting the emotional reaction (unless you’re working with a trained practitioner).  If others are involved, let them know you need a little time and space to work through your feelings.  We oftentimes say and do things we don’t mean in an emotional reaction.  Pausing can save you from creating more difficulty or more emotional blocks.  It makes it a little easier to process the history being activated. 


3.   See if you can name what you’re feeling or what’s bothering you.  It’s best to do this in a way that separates the feeling from anyone else involved.  For example, “I’m feeling angry,” instead of, “He’s making me angry because he did….”  This helps you further separate the in-the-moment feeling from your defenses.  Blame of any kind is actually the expression of a defense or the emotional block.  Emotional reactions are always a combination of real emotions and defenses.  Defenses are designed to hide your true feelings from you (see "Understanding Defenses" for more information). 


If you’re in blame, feeling like a victim or like you’re right and they’re wrong, etc., simply understand that you’re in defense.  Recognizing that you’re in defense can help you expand your understanding of yourself.  You’ve touched a block in your emotional body, but you're still defending against the deeper emotion.  You may need to contact the block a few more times before you can drop out of the defense and go any further.  In time, you may begin to recognize the way your defense shows up (i.e., you justify your negative emotions with blame, you spin into anxiety or worry to avoid feeling something else, etc.). 


4.   Consider when you’ve felt like this before.  Blocks contain historical emotions and information.  Emotional reactions are charged because they have a lot of history.  When we get curious about where and when we’ve felt this way before, we begin to unpack the block.  Maybe your partner just did something that reminded you of your father.  Or maybe you remember feeling this way at school.  Gather as much context as you can.  It can help to write down what was happening, like a story.  Who were the main characters?  What was happening?  How did you feel in that moment?  What were you unable to feel?  What might you have been able to feel if you’d felt safe or had support?


5.   Look for the “inconvenient” feeling.  Underneath the block or defense is a true feeling that never got processed.  Oftentimes, feelings get blocked because, as children, we simply aren’t equipped to process big emotions without a lot of support.  As adults, however, we have a much stronger capacity to ride an emotional wave.  At other times, feelings get blocked because they’re “inconvenient.”  Inconvenient feelings are disruptive or draw unwanted attention or criticism.  If you let yourself feel an inconvenient feeling, you might have to face something you don’t like.  You may fear you'll have to change something about your life, if you acknowledge how you really feel. Do your best to accept the feeling as it is, knowing that you always have freedom of choice around what to do with it, if anything.  Try not to jump to conclusions about what it means or to determine a future course of action. Simply feel.


6.   Feel your feeling.  True feelings are usually quieter than emotional reactions.  They don’t have any blame attached to them.  They run deep, but they move quickly.  Where emotional reactions can last days or longer, a true feeling can be fully felt in just a few minutes or less.  Because they’ve oftentimes been blocked since childhood, it feels vulnerable to be in our true feeling.  It takes us instantly back to a time in life when we were vulnerable.  When we’re willing to look at and feel childhood feelings, it takes us back into the felt vulnerability of childhood. 


True feelings are messages from your soul bubbling to the surface to be seen.  They tell you something about yourself.  When you’re willing to simply feel the inconvenient feeling, you’re opening a doorway to this deeper part of yourself.  You’re tapping into core energies. 


We cannot direct these energies.  We can only open to them.  When we do, solutions oftentimes arise all on their own. The path forward might actually be more grace-filled than you think. Emotions are one of the primary ways your soul communicates with you. When you allow yourself to feel, you connect with something sacred.  When you let yourself feel, you not only release trapped energy, but gather the wisdom held in the original message. You open a door for the light of your soul to shine through.




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