Checking in With Yourself
How many times a day do you check in with yourself to see what is really going on beneath the surface?
We are usually bouncing from one thing to the next without stopping to survey our internal landscape and give it some attention. We become so accustomed to not feeling our emotions, we avoid feeling them by getting busy, drinking or doing anything that will distract us from how we are really feeling.
One of the biggest challenges in sobriety is being able to feel and sit with your feelings. Once you learn to sit with your feelings, you become an observer of what is going on for you. Becoming the observer gives you the opportunity to lean in to those feelings and nurture them, rather than react to them.
When you learn to sit with your feelings and simply notice them, they lose their grip on us. Often, we find they start to dissipate if we let them move through us rather than push them down.
When you wake up in the morning, do a check-in with yourself: “What am I feeling?” Stop, take a breath, see if you can find a word for what it is you are feeling. Is it a feeling to embrace or a feeling that needs some attention?
Emotions that show up are usually:
Do this several times a day until you get used to it. A great time is after an interaction with someone. Stop, check in, "What am I feeling?"
If it’s needing some attention, see if you can see where you feel it in your body.
Can you put all your attention on that area?
Does it have a shape or colour?
Can I be curious and ask it what it needs from me?
When you put all your attention on it, what happens? Does it shift? Does it lessen? Does it get worse?
Often, we find that when we do this, the feeling in our body and the emotions shifts and eases off.
It is through this practice that we learn we can endure our feelings; that if we actually sit with them and give them attention, they wont hurt us and they can be endured.
Dr Gabor Mate says that we can heal our addictions by teaching ourselves that pain is endurable. Once we realise we can sit through our uncomfortable feelings, we regain our connection to ourselves and we become more empowered.
A great book to check out is the Presence Process by Michael Brown.