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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Stahl PHD’

In every moment we experience some kind of feeling or another. Some of the feelings are happy others may be sad or even angry. The problem is not that we have feelings, or that we judge those feelings in a negative way, or even that we agree with and justify those feelings. The problem is that we often let those feelings take over our lives, our relationships, our jobs, our health, and sometimes our mental stability.

The practice of meditation or mindfulness can help you deal with your feelings in a helpful, positive way. In Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein’s book, A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (2010) they have a short exercise that you might like to try to help you identify your feelings and emotions.

Just Do it!

Take a moment right now to notice the connection between what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling physically and emotionally. Spend a few moments observing your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations and considering how they may relate to one another. Then take this practice with you into your daily life. For example, notice your initial reactions when you’re stuck in line or in traffic, and how bringing mindfulness to the situation offers you the opportunity to respond differently (page 37).

This is the time to simply give yourself the opportunity to “feel into your body and acknowledge whatever you’re feeling, physically and emotionally” (page 47) say Stahl and Goldstein. When you are sitting and times get tough and your monkey mind begins to appear, and your body aches, using this technique may help. Trying to “force” it to go away will not work. It will just bring up additional feelings and emotions like frustration, fear, and anger.

I remember several years ago during a week-long retreat I had the most dramatic “feeling” of joy that I had ever experienced. I had these bright red socks on my feet and suddenly my eye caught site of them and I could feel my entire body slowly melting little by little into a big red puddle. As I tried to stop the “feeling of joy” I noticed that the teacher at the head of the class also began to melt into a big red puddle. I could not hold back my joy and laughter any more, no matter how hard I tried. So I worked up all the energy I could muster and got up and went out of the room. I spent the next 15 minutes in my bunk in the dorm in the most blissful uncontrollable laughter that I had ever experienced.

In the past I probably would have tried to subvert the feeling out of shame, embarrassment, or fear. But not this moment in time: I allowed myself the wonder of joy and laughter! After reading this I hope you’ll take the time to think about your feelings and how they are affecting you physically and emotionally. Once you’ve done that do what Stahl and Goldstein recommend, “As far as letting go of emotions, we suggest putting your energy into learning to let them be (page 61).”

In that moment when I allowed my feelings to “just be” I found myself in another time and place where total joy existed. Try it I think you’ll like it!

In gassho,

ingassho

Shokai

Stahl, B. and Goldstein, E. (2010) A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. New Harbinger Publications, Inc: Oakland, CA

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