There is a richness in exploring emotions….
I can delve into it experientially. I can ride it and use it in action. Or I can sit back and observe it unfolding.
When I delve into the experience, what is really happening? Is attention brought to the it? Is the emotion fueled, either slightly or to a greater extent? What happens if I am blindly caught up in it? What happens if I also observe it unfolding as it happens? If there is a sense of more space around it and choice in how to relate to it?
In using the emotion in action, I can explore how to do it with as much sanity, wisdom, maturity and kindness as possible. How and when does it seem wise and kind to act on a specific emotion?
When I sit back and observe it, what do I find? And also, can I observe it and inquire into it while delving into it or using it in action?
What is the location of the emotion? Shape? Color? Texture? Does it change over time?
How does it appear in each sense field? What is its sensation aspect? Its story aspect? What is it without the label or story? Is it solid? Substantial? Is it what it initially appears to be? Is it something I can easily label? What is it really made of? Is it anything else than awareness itself?
What happens when I take the label of it as true? What happens when I take the gestalt as solid and real? What happens when I explore what is really there?
What happens when I resist the emotion? What are the effects? (Discomfort? Unease? Compulsive thoughts or action? A moment of relief? Something else?)
What happens when I allow it, as it is, as if it would stay that way forever, and with kindness? (A sense of fullness? Release? Energies and flow happening within and as stillness? A release of identification out of content of experience? Nurturing fullness?)
What is resistance? A story telling me the emotion is not OK? That I can’t take it? Bringing attention somewhere else? Does it work? How does it work? How does it not really work?
Is all of this content of experience? Does it come and go? What is it that does not come and go? What am I really? Am I content of experience that comes and goes? (Emotions, stories, resistance etc.) Or am I what is not content of experience, that does not come and go?
I can also explore beliefs as they relate to emotions.
For instance, how do I relate to emotions? Which ones do I see as desirable? Which ones do I see as undesirable? Is it true that some are desirable and other are undesirable? What happens when I take those stories as true? Who would I be without those stories? What are the grain of truths in their turnarounds? How would it be to live from one (or more) of those turnarounds?
When thoughts label an emotion, is that label true? What happens when I take the label as true and solid? Who would I be without it?
When an emotion comes up, is it triggered by a belief? Is it created from a should clashing with my stories of what is? What is that belief? What happens when I explore it and find what is more true for me?
In what way is any one emotion helpful? How has it helped humanity through its evolution? How is it helping me in my own life? Can I find specific examples? How can it be used and lived in a more healthy, mature, wise and kind way?
Can I find beliefs preventing me from living a particular emotion in a more mature, wise and kind way? What do I find when I explore those beliefs? How would it be to live from one of its turnarounds?
And in all of this, whatever else exploration I am doing, can I notice the doer and observer? Can I bring part of the attention to what seems the most as an “I”? If that is the doer, is that doer also content of experience? What about the observer? Is that what I really am?
In exploring all this, it seems easier to to work with whatever is here now, or sometimes generate certain emotions through thoughts, and then explore them. It may also be helpful to take time with each question, at times allowing the verbal question to guide attention, and then explore (mainly) wordlessly.
- riding or sitting back (leaning into or not, delve into experientially + using in action or not)
- shape, color, texture, location etc.
- how appears in each sense field (sensation aspect, story aspect, gestalt) (solid or not, what made of)
- resisting (what happens when resisting, effects, what is resistance really)
- if triggered by a belief, identify and inquire into (may disappear, if generated from a belief + friction with reality)
- how and when useful in our life (how helps us, how can be used in a more sane and mature way etc.)
- if blocked by beliefs and identities, notice those and inquire into, explore how to live from the emotions in more situations