Tired of reacting to imaginary bullets coming at you?
If you'd like to deepen your self-connection practice of "Freeing Yourself From Reactivity," click here to register for this 10-week series starting Wed Jan 13, 2021 from 12pm to 1:30pm Pacific to help you find:
1. Deep Breath: am I conscious?
The first step after noticing you're triggered is to take at least one deep breath; even better, take three! You're probably reacting without thinking. Breathing will help you get you critical mental resources by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you body relax.
2. Body Awareness: what am I feeling?
Use those critical resources that you got from breathing to scan your body, look for tension, constriction -- things like holding your breath, clenching your fists/jaw, increased heart-rate, tight belly/chest, cloudiness of thinking. Can you identify how you're feeling? -- e.g. angry, annoyed, stressed, hurt, afraid, sad.
3. Trigger: what's my story?
Identify the story that you're making up about what's going on. What are you telling yourself is happening? This is usually in the form of blame, or judgment. It's helpful to write out the story.
4. Observation: what happened?
Imagine there's a video camera overhead recording everything up until the moment you got triggered. What would the video record? Focus on the moment right before you had intense feelings. Describe what the video playback shows using only factual information -- don't analyze or judge what you see in the video, just describe what you see or hear.
5. Identify Needs: what do I value?
Why is this moment important to you? Identify the universal human need/value that is not being satisfied right now. Try to separate your needs/values from the Person, Location, Action, Time or Object (PLATO) that are involved. Why are you feeling the way you are? Are you angry because you'd like cooperation? Are you annoyed because you'd like it to be easier? Are you sad because you want more connection in your life? What is it that you wish were happening that is not?
Mary Mackenzie suggests a simple self-empathy process of re-framing your judgment in the form:
"I love it when <Insert-Needs-Values>."
6. Mourn Needs Not Met: am I allowing myself to feel what's true?
Given that your needs/values are not currently satisfied, allow yourself to feel anything that's coming up for you. Don't try to skip this step even though it might be uncomfortable for you; otherwise it will get stuck inside and weigh you down to return again as a bullet in a similar trigger. If you're angry, find a safe space (considering also the safety and needs of others) to express your anger. Notice any shifts in feelings as you express yourself. If you're annoyed, allow yourself to feel it -- maybe even express your judgments out loud. Once you've sufficiently mourned, you'll notice your body relax; you might sigh or breathe deeply. You're ready for the next step.
7. Celebrate the Beauty of Needs: imagine needs fully met
Go back to your universal human needs/values; continue to separate your needs/values from the person, location, action, time, object (PLATO). Connect with the reason that you identify with the need/value -- what is it about it that you value so much? Imagine how it would be if your needs/values were fully satisfied. Can you embody the energy of the need? Where would it reside in you? Celebrate this energy inside you that's seeking fulfillment in your life. Stay in the energy of the needs as long as possible. Isn't there something inherently beautiful about it? Your needs/values are part of your humanity.
8. Repeat: am I noticing a shift?
Continue using this process for all of your triggers, especially when the bullets are coming right at you. After some practice, the process will get easier and it will take less time to complete. After time and lots of repetition, you'll begin to experience flow -- and eventually, the bullets stop -- and you realize the triggers don't have power over you. You will notice a shift in your perspective of life and your position in it. Would you be willing to let me know how you're feeling when you get there?
If you'd like to deepen your self-connection practice of "Freeing Yourself From Reactivity," click here to register for this 10-week series starting Wed Jan 13 from 12pm to 1:30pm Pacific to help you find:
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