So, I am still working through Peter Levine’s book: Healing Trauma. I am currently at an exercise where he asks that you track sensations in the body as preparation for sitting with your emotions. After grounding and centering yourself, he suggests that you sit with whatever emotion comes up. He asks that you observe and feel said emotion in your body without analyzing, naming or putting it into context. Levine asks that you sit with the emotion until it changes.
I want to say that I find this practice easy. That would be a lie, though 🙂 It’s challenging to do in the moment with a toddler. Sitting, feeling acknowledging my mounting anxiety while watching my son get his breakfast everywhere but his mouth hasn’t quite worked for me :).
When I am alone and feeling courageous, sitting with emotions is much easier. I find that I am sometimes even able to restrain my desire to classify and make sense of what I am feeling and why. Grounding into the sensation that the emotion causes in and around my body helps me stay present. I find the more I pay attention to my body, the more at ease my mind is. It’s like my mind becomes absorbed with the body rather than with itself.
The practice of sitting with emotions as they evolve reminds me of yoga. Even though my yoga practice occasionally makes me uncomfortable; the more I practice the more things change. Sometimes things change for what seems like something better. Sometimes, things get worse. But the more I practice, the more I feel like I can handle whatever comes up because I have space to handle it with. I love space. As long as I can have space, I can get through anything.
We’ll see what bubbles up and through next!