Today we are working with difficult emotions in our meditation practice. Years ago I was afraid of allowing painful emotions to surface but through practice I learned that I don’t have to push the sadness or anger away, I can invite the emotion in and greet the emotion as if it were an old friend. I then turn to where I feel this emotion within my body. What sensations are present?
For anger, it might be a tightening of my jaw, a strong fullness in my chest and my head pounding. For sadness, it may be tears welling in my eyes, a constriction in my throat and a slight nauseous feeling in my belly.
By investigating and exploring the emotion and how it is felt in the body, I am no longer struggling with it. I am acquainted with it as a cultivate self-awareness. Anytime though an emotion was too painful, I can release it and return to the breath.
Otherwise we note it, label it and invite it in. As the quote by Sharon below in the image states, “We can’t avoid pain but we can transform our response to it.” I know I am for the better from my consistent practice of mindfulness for many years.
Here’s Sharon’s meditation on this practice.
Recommended reading for Week Three of the Challenge is pages 112 – 122 and pages 137– 144 in the second edition of the book, “Real Happiness”.