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To Feel Or Not To Feel? That's The Question

A seeker now needs to decide when to shift his or her gears from the 'mental body' approaches to the 'emotional body' approaches

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A significant ailment  often takes a conscious human being through an interesting self-healing journey. So does a major relationship challenge. In an endeavour to outwit the same, a whole host of holistic healing or self-help options open up for the person. 

One comes across one definite section of healing modalities that is centered around getting to the bottom of one's core issues. Psychotherapy, for example, is largely hinged upon facilitating such self-examination. These modalities include recognising the dysfunctional thought processes and stuck beliefs that are busy fuelling the predicament. Such lines of exploration that find a way to the bottom of the challenge through the instrument of the insightful human mind is what I choose to call the 'mental body approaches'. 

Some teachers (eg. Louise Hay, the great author) have also established many standard cor-relates mapping an ailment to its core issue. For example, lumbar back pain is known to be linked to financial insecurity and shoulder pain with having too much on one's plate. Latest studies suggest that cancer can be linked to unactualised potential.   

To me these are valuable tools in the kit and highly useful in some cases. But it should also be understood that such approaches can come in the way of other (and perhaps higher) therapeutic approaches - those that work with the emotional body, which to me is more foundational than the mental body. 

As infants (let alone our life as a foetus) we had to grapple with a lot of troublesome emotions way before we learnt language. Emotional body had already taken in baggage before mental body came into picture. As infants and children, we didn’t have a conscious way to neutralise the trouble-some experiences nor any awareness to integrate the imprinting such experiences are known to leave behind. To put it simply, the heart was already bleeding with agony before the mind would arrive and make it worse. Emotional body sabotage preceded the mental body sabotage and hence the emotional body approaches work at subtler levels than the mental body approaches.

An unresolved emotional charge at the level of our cellular memory is often at the bottom of an untiring behaviour pattern, a sticky thought loop or a troublesome body pain. So the healing journey strikes gold when it is not limited to getting insights into our personality but pierces its way to these emotionally embedded cellular levels  (metaphorically called the 'heart') which is where the seeds of the predicament really lie. Such headway is made by feeling our feelings rather than getting to their source intellectually. Emotional Body approaches like Breath-work or Somatic Experiencing or for that matter many energy approaches like Reiki or Pranic Healing also directly put us face-to-face with these emotional charges. 

By default, human energies gravitate to find their natural balance (homeostasis) within the emotional realm which goes to mean that the emotional experiences being experienced in one's current life are opportunities to resolve the unintegrated emotions from the past, if they are seen as opportunities and FELT FULLY. Such CONSCIOUS FEELING is the real irreversible healing. Once this emotional charge is felt fully, we do away with a certain part of the imprinting once and for all. And in the process whack away a few sticky beliefs or relentless behaviour patterns, thereby salvaging our health or relationships.

Understanding these approaches opens up a fork for a conscious individual on his personal path to heal his or her health or behavourial dysfunctions. A seeker now needs to decide when to shift his or her gears from the 'mental body' approaches to the 'emotional body' approaches. To me, it is a progression from the former to the latter though the latter can yet include the former and though it was wise to pass through the former before diving into the latter. 

The 'Mental Body' approaches that work with identifying the cognitive patterns beneath the issues tend to displace our energies to the mental realm. Though this is a good beginning, this could become quite an anti-climax to somebody who is looking at deep healing.  So instead of integrating our dysfunctions by silently feeling our way through trouble-some experiences without distracting ourselves in any way to run away from them, our energies take a flight into the mental domain justifying it through a mental body approach this time around. This happens through a seeker's compulsive itch to map what is happening in their lives to some inner pattern so as to correct it rather than just stay with the happening non-judgmentally.

For example, if I am feeling disappointment, then authentic healing requires me to allow myself the disappointment, feel it in my bones and ride upon its wave. Now if I choose to find out why I got disappointed (and thereby shift my energies to the mental realm) so I can get a handle on the situation or know its source, then I lose the opportunity to feel my way through it and heal the emotional charge. Or on the other hand, if I label the emotion of 'disappointment' as a low-vibe emotion and give it a number on the vibrational (or emotional guidance scale) and rush to neutralise it with an appropriate antidote or affirmation, I am once again taking a flight out of my felt-experience into the sphere of the mind. Quite often, we choose such 'mental body' approaches over the 'emotional body' approaches as a smart escape from the overwhelm that feeling an emotion entails. 

A certain commitment that we shall not let the master trickster - the human intellect - engineer such an escape helps to shift our gears back from the domain of the mind to the felt-experience which is where authentic healing lies. May we all graduate to deeper and deeper levels of healing.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Bhaavin Shah

The author is a Mumbai-based Whole-Life Facilitator and Spiritual healer committed to resolving and integrating the Spiritual, Emotional, Relational and Material domains of life for aspirants.

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