THE SERENE

UNFOLDING

MODULE 1 - TRAINING 1

Understanding & falling in love with your emotions

So here's the thing. There's no such thing as a negative or positive emotion. Emotions are simply that: emotions. And guess what? They exist for a reason. 

Now, let's be honest. Some emotions are painful. They feel horrible. And that's why, we reject them. We simply don't enjoy feeling pain, and that's why, we try to run away from painful emotions. As human beings, our natural tendency is to lean toward what feels good. We love pleasure and comfort, and we hate pain and discomfort.

RUNNING AWAY VS. UNDERSTANDING

But don't worry. I'm not here to tell you that you're doomed to constantly living in overwhelming pain and discomfort. Not at all. I'm only saying this, to highlight the fact that running away from our uncomfortable emotions is not the way to get rid of them. Because as I just told you, all emotions have a reason to be, specially the painful ones. This means that what we need to do when we're feeling them, is to dive deep into them and understand what they're trying to tell us.

IT'S WHAT THEY MEAN TO US

 

Emotions arise in us, when we attach specific meanings to different circumstances. And we all attach very personal meanings to general situations that anyone can go through. That's why two different persons can go through the exact same challenge, but one of them might feel excitement and the other one might feel paralysing fear and anxiety.

Let me give you an example. Let's say that every time that you stand up in front of a group of people to present something, your body starts bombarding you with danger signals. Your legs start to shake, your hands become sweaty, and the moment you open your mouth, the last thing that you feel is confident. But of course, these feelings didn't just appear right in the moment in which you stood up there to present that thing. They started much earlier. You probably started feeling them in you, the minute you knew you had to present that thing.

FORCE DOESN'T WORK

It's no secret to anyone that the feelings that I just described, suck BIG TIME. And of course, when you feel them, you're naturally going to try to reject them. You try to force yourself out of the anxiety, but it doesn't work. And well, the reason why it doesn't work, is because instead of moving through those feelings and trying to understand them, you're trying to run away from them. And guess what? No understanding equals no change.

UNDERSTANDING WORKS

 

The first thing that we need to ask ourselves when we feel pain or discomfort, is ''Why do I feel this way?''. And a much more straight forward version of that same question is ''What meaning am I attaching to this situation?''.

TERRIFYING INNER NARRATIVE

Now, tell me if what this person thinks, sounds familiar:

''When I give a presentation, I'm exposing myself. Everyone's looking at me and they're expecting something from me. If I don't deliver exactly what they're expecting me to deliver, they'll judge my skills and my abilities. In fact, they'll question if I'm even suited for this position. What if I screw up by saying something stupid, or something irrelevant, and they discover that I'm not as smart as they thought I was? What if they feel like I'm a total scam? What is they feel like I'm wasting their time? What if I bore them? Ok, relax. All you have to do, is act super confident, and make sure that you don't screw up. Just meet their expectations. Then everything should be fine. Ok, so, what are their expectations? Well, I think Pablo expects this thing, but Peter expects this other thing. What about Cynthia? I actually have no idea what she thinks about me. Fuck. Then.... What should I say? Who do I need to be? Ok, ok, relax. No big deal. Just do your best and get this presentation over with. It's only like 15min. I can survive 15min. You know what? I'm not even going to think about this anymore. I shouldn't even be nervous. I don't even want to know what my colleagues would think if they knew how nervous this makes me!''

Ok so, what I just described, is what a lot of people think before doing a presentation. And by a lot of people, I mean the kind of people who feel overwhelmed with pressure and anxiety before presenting. No wonder we feel that way when we carry all those thoughts inside!

UPLIFTING INNER NARRATIVE

Now, imagine how you would feel, if instead, this is what you were thinking every time you knew you had to present something:

''Yei! I'm so excited to share this idea with my team! I have 15 minutes to explain this to them as best as I can. And by as best as I can, I don't mean perfect, I literally mean, as best as I can. I know that there are things and ideas that others would come up with, that I simply didn't come up with. But that's okay, because I'm coming up with ideas that are unique to me and my own creative style. So honestly, it doesn't make any sense to neglect the ideas that I'm coming up with and the person that I am, because of the ideas that I don't come up with and the person that I'm not. That's just ridiculous! That's why we work on teams. So all I have to do in this presentation is focus on what I do know, what I can do, and in expressing that with as much love and care as I can, so that my teammates can understand where I'm coming from. I'll stay open to their suggestions and I know that whatever feedback I get, I don't need to take it personally. This is an opportunity to exchange ideas and to move forward together''.

FEEL THE DIFFERENCE?

How would you feel, if this was your internal narrative previous to doing a presentation? Look - I'm not even asking you to adopt this way of seeing a presentation. These are simply two different ways of looking at one situation, and I'm only asking you to notice the difference in energy, between those two narratives.

 

These narratives describe the meaning that two different persons attach to the same situation, and I'm only using this example to show you that emotions are hardly just emotions. Emotions carry a whole story behind them, and we can't eliminate painful ones, by simply wanting to. We need to be curious about them and what they're trying to tell us.

FALLING IN LOVE

The way to fall in love with our emotions, is by starting to look at them as our friends. Emotions are guiding lights. They show us the way to freedom and fulfilment, if we're willing to listen to them.

We're so afraid of feeling pain, that we avoid situations that we know will bring pain, so that we don't have to feel the pain. The emotion of fear itself, is a perfect example of this. We hate feeling afraid, so whatever we know will bring fear into our body, we try to stay away from.

WHAT IF IT ISN'T WRONG?

But what if we stopped running away from our uncomfortable emotions by detaching from them the meaning of ''It's wrong to feel this way''?

 

What if we just allowed ourselves to feel the sensations that emotions bring into our physical body, made loving room in us to sit with them, and became curious about them?

OUR LOVING GUIDES

 

What if we made it a habit to talk to our uncomfortable emotions as loving guides in our life, and asked them...

 

''Hey, shitty emotion, what are you trying to tell me? Why are you here today? What story brought you here? What's the meaning that I'm attaching to this thing that I'm going through, that made you show up today?''.

 

Wouldn't it be nice to live a life where you befriend your emotions? Wouldn't that feel liberating and freeing in so many ways?

 

Well... you can. And this, is your call to get started.