Getting Out Of Your Own Way and Healing Inner Pain (This *Might* Work)

For the past 8 days, I’ve been sitting with my inner pain and anxiety for an hour every morning.

Why in Hell would I do that?

Because if I didn’t, it would never go away.

Emotion wants to be felt. If you don’t feel it (if you push it down instead) it doesn’t go away. It only leaves your conscious awareness. It’s still there, subtly affecting everything you do and feel.

Dane Maxwell, entrepreneur and musician, put out a podcast a few years back where he told the story of his friend who did this same thing. He sat with a bottled up pain that he could feel in his belly for an hour every morning until it finally “popped out”, and he quickly closed $30,000 in sales after struggling for a while. When asked how, he simply said, “They were right in front of me the whole time. I just couldn’t see them because I was so wrapped up in my own crap.” (Find here at 34:10 35:33)

Sounds like someone I know…coughcough*.


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The Process

  1. Sit – straight but relaxed – as though about to meditate.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts. Identify as the thing watching your thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves. This greatly diminishes their seductive appeal and quiets the mind.
  3. For me, the anxiety then shows up. It’s as if my mind’s main job was to distract me from my own pain. The mind goes quiet –> The pain gets loud (for me at least).
  4. Then, simply notice. Examine the feeling as a physical sensation. Where is it? The chest, the heart, the stomach? Is it like a heat or a coldness? etc.

It stops being scary then. You realise you can handle it. It’s only a feeling, and it’s your duty as its carrier to feel it fully.

It will seem endless. You must trust that it’s not. Just as perpetual energy doesn’t exist in physics, there is no such thing as perpetual emotion. Every moment you sit with it in a state of acceptance, forgiveness, or gratitude (if you can), is paying off the debt you owe.

The mind will continually pull you away. It’s okay. Simply notice. Watch the thought. Then turn the spotlight of your attention back to the feeling in your body.

The Commitment

I’m going to do this for as long as it takes. If it ends up being months before I feel a change in my day to day life, so be it. I probably won’t be able to give an hour to it every day forever, but that’s okay. I started off giving it just 5 minutes, two weeks ago. It’s important to me that I keep the habit going no matter what, even if some days I’ll only have 3 minutes to spare.

The Results So Far

They’re not revolutionary. I have only succeeded (occasionally) in bringing up more pain from the depths than I realised were there. One time, it was as if my entire chest was on fire.

That’s encouraging. It confirms the validity of the practice. Where did that feeling coming from if not from within? I didn’t have a stressful day planned, and I was sitting in a comfy chair in a warm, safe house. The feeling must have come from somewhere, and there was certainly nothing in my external world that I could have held responsible.

Conclusion: It came from within.

Who knows how long before I get the full inner freedom that Dane’s friend supposedly found, or if this is even the right path to that goal. All I know is that in almost ten years of burning interest in personal development, this letting-go-of-emotion crap is the most promising and logical – despite its woo-woo first impressions.

We’ll see. 😉

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