For people who have strong Emotional Feel, this 11 minute audio about what the different emotions mean, could be life changing. If it’s not your particular strength, then I suspect it will help you to understand others. You’re welcome to download it to keep permanently or listen to it on your computer or phone.
There’s a written version below.
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Written version of the audio
Messages of the emotions
Do you remember me talking about the things that are reducing our conscious Feel for our horse being like a loud vacuum cleaner that stops us from hearing the phone ringing?
Understanding our emotions is a big part of turning that vacuum cleaner off. Understanding makes it easier to allow those feelings to flow as the inner guidance – as the ability to Feel for your horse and others – that they are.
Let’s see if understanding what these emotions mean, inspires you to use them like the inner guidance that they are.
Let’s start with Fear
For me BEíng and FEELing safe is incredibly important. Certainly it’s important to our horse and dramatically affects their ability to learn, like we were talking about in the Comfort Zone Model.
Fear guides us to safety.
Fear is a very important survival mechanism that tells us we are in danger and guides us to safety. So it guides us AWAY from danger – sometimes at high speed depending on the intensity – and TOWARDS safety – mental, emotional and physical safety.
So what the heck are we doing when we try to ignore fear?
Let me say that again and feel for the Truth of it. Fear guides us AWAY from danger and TOWARDS safety. How BIG is that?
If we ignore our fear and bury it, not only are we ignoring our safety, the next time we feel fear it’s more intense – anxiety and dread and eventually even panic attacks are the result of that intensification. That’s because buried fear is cumulative – each buried fear adds on to the next, getting more and more intense – it’s our inner guidance system screaming louder and louder.
Numbness or disconnection are both brilliant ways of coping with overwhelming fear – thank God for them or we would have gone mad! But the thing is, that these coping mechanisms don’t keep us safe and it actually explains why riding horses is considered by insurers to be more dangerous than racing cars, abseiling down cliffs and bungee jumping off tall buildings – because we were taught all kinds of crap about fear and bravery and we’re not listening to our own self that is trying to guide us AWAY from danger and TO safety.
BEing and FEELing safe – we all deserve it.
So here’s what I touched on about inspiration at the beginning of this – I can tell you until the cows come home, but you’ll need to experience, notice and decide for yourself if fear really IS designed to keep you safe and if you want to listen to it as the inner guidance that I’m saying it is.
Because if this IS true, then from now on, whenever you experience fear, you can be looking for and open to noticing, where the safety is that the fear is guiding you. Does that make sense? If this is true, then there’s no more suffering from overwhelm for those of you who have strong Emotional Feel.
Now let’s move on to Excitement.
Fear and excitement both run out of the adrenal glands and for many people they feel pretty much the same. Here’s why. When we don’t use fear the way it was designed, that is to guide us to safety, then fear and excitement kind of collapse together and we can’t tell them apart.
One of the gorgeous things about my job is supporting people to use their fear to find that lovely feeling of safety and then hearing the wonder in their voice when they realise that the OTHER feeling is actually excitement.
I experience fear and excitement as physical sensations in DIFFERENT parts of my body. That’s very often what helps me to get people noticing the first difference between fear or excitement when I’m teaching. For me, I generally feel fear in my solar plexus and excitement lower down in my belly. I wonder what it will be for you?
When we don’t understand or feel that difference between excitement and fear, then excitement can get stuck in our bodies as tension just as much as fear can – and cause just as much trouble.
Learning how to “run” excitement with a horse, how to channel the energy through our bodies instead of it getting stuck is a wonderful thing to be able to do and gorgeous to watch!
Anger is about moving AWAY from what hurts and harms us, mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually and moves us TOWARDS what we think of as RIGHT for us – moves us TOWARDS justice.
Anger itself is a seriously cool emotion. In the big picture, it’s responsible for the kind of passion that drives positive change in the world. That passion drives our desire for RIGHTNESS in our world, it drives our desire for justice.
And in the very personal right here and now, pure anger is heart wide open and understanding of the other person and can be a simple, gentle and firm “No that is not acceptable”. Or it can be a powerful “No! Enough! No further! This is NOT OK!”
And it’s the heart wide open to understand the other person as well as ourselves, that makes anger such a seriously cool emotion. It’s when we’re willing and understanding of THEIR sense of what’s right for them too and from THAT place we’re setting the boundary by saying “No, that is not OK”.
It’s the UNDERSTANDING of where the other person’s coming from, understanding THEIR sense of what’s right for THEM too, that makes it possible to set boundaries for ourselves in a really cool and effective way.
But very few of us got to experience anger like that and it’s FEAR of the kind of anger that we DID experience that makes us do almost anything to avoid it – squash it down, brush it off, pretend it’s not there, wish it wasn’t there and all the other ways that we make it “wrong”.
The kind of anger that we most commonly experience, is the kind that happens as a result of all the other suppressed emotions. ALL the other emotions – fear, frustration, sadness, grief, ALL intensify into anger when we ignore them for long enough.
So as we start using our emotions as the inner guidance that they are, anger has the opportunity to become that pure guidance to RIGHTNESS for ourselves that understands and takes into consideration the other person.
If anger comes up in this Journey to Feel work as a big deal as you unleash your inner guidance, then I have a lesson / meditation specifically to help you get insights about anger that I developed for the Practical Happiness program and I’ll make part of the free support that I keep talking about.
Ahhh my old friend frustration. I shake my head at how long I spent wrestling and resisting this emotion. The message of frustration so simple that I don’t believe I didn’t get it until someone pointed it out to me.
Frustration is what we feel when what we are doing IS NOT WORKING and we keep doing it anyway! If it’s not working, change it. If that change doesn’t work, think again and change again.
Frustration builds up and intensifies into anger when we continue doing the same thing that isn’t working anyway. Duh!
The very definition of frustration is to keep doing the same thing over and over again, when it’s not working and expecting a different result. Sounds kind of silly when put like that doesn’t it? It’s also the definition of insanity and many great philosophers including Einstein talked many different versions of the simple fact – if you’re feeling frustrated, then it’s not working, then change it.
Use the frustration to guide you to what WILL work.
Ahhh the simplicity and relief of that.
All the Other Emotions
All the other emotions that you might think of as negative also have meanings that guide you to something special and I mean ALL of them – sadness, grief, shame, guilt, doubt, jealousy and envy to name just a few. It’s too big a subject for a horse course though, so I invite you to muse on what they might be guiding you away from and even more excitedly, what they may be leading you TO.
Ok let’s summarise
How much easier will it be to deal with fear, to allow it to flow and understand it, when we think of the safety it’s guiding us towards?
How much easier will it be to deal with anger, if we’re thinking about it as stopping mental emotional and physical hurt and harm and with an open hearted understanding of the other person’s sense of what’s right for them too, guiding us towards rightness and justice for ourselves and others?
How much easier is it to deal with frustration when we think of it as a simple signal that something needs changing and the emotion itself, when we allow it to flow, can guide us towards whatever that change is.
And if all of this is true for you too, then these and all our other so called “negative emotions” no longer need to be overwhelming, as we simply notice them, understand them and allow ourselves to be guided by them.
Have fun noticing and exploring this. For those of you with strong Emotional Feel, this can be life changing. I’ll look forward to hearing how you apply this in your Journey to Feel with your horses.