The torrid stranglehold of “emotion”

Energy in motion?

I have heard this said a lot.  Well, it’s certainly energetic if it’s a high intensity emotion like, anger, anxiety etc, but it still moves if it’s depression based also.  So I guess so.

I am an emotional dude.  As a kid though, I was simply chilled, “slow coach” I was called – today we call that presence.  But over the years, depression, anxiety, fear, self consciousness, bullying blah blah built up so many layers of self “story” that it’s taking me what feels like a f-ing eternity to shift it.

It’s like having two halves!

This is no exaggeration, nor is it unnatural once you become accustomed to what “presence”, or “mindfulness” is.  Actually, I still find this topic raises eyebrows and I think that’s largely because it’s oft seen as a bit elitist, or woo woo, which really couldn’t be farther from the truth.  After all, a new blogger once wrote:

Mindfulness, is simply our natural resting state of calmness(1)

This is why, the “practice” of doing something that comes so natural to us, is so damn hard!!  And honestly gets me crazy sometimes.  I see no point in this blog trying to pretend I’m a Buddhist Zen master.  I am in the raw, self inquiring, trying to release my ego, bringing up and trying to release old patterns, energies and emotional attachments phase of “mindfulness”.

Painful? F*** yes!

Worth it? Well it works. It’s not nice, but it works….steadily

Emotional Stranglehold

This again, may rub some up the wrong way, (as I keep finding to my detriment, in trying to help others, getting frustrated, and pissing people off… lessons dear boy… lessons…), but emotions are real, to be respected, and to be inquired upon, they are signals of how we are feeling, what is bothering us, what is upsetting us.  Cues of our reactions to our external reality.

But SO MANY people live WITHIN the emotions themselves!

That ladies and gentleman, is where trouble begins.  You see, mindfulness does not stop you thinking, nor does it stop emotions, they’re an essential part of the human condition.  If a tiger jumped out, you’d want that fight or flight response in full gear to get you the heck away ASAP!  Filling your body with adrenaline and instantaneous energy.  But, most of the time, in our modern world, this can fire up if, for example… we’re writing a new blog post and aren’t sure how people are going to react to it (ahem).

Not really terribly appropriate, or necessary…

These kinds of high energy emotions, (or indeed the draining ones that zap us of the confidence/motivation to do it) can completely encompass our PERCEPTION, they flood our body with really unpleasant feelings, and our minds overrun with thought.  And that’s it.  You’re in the grip, the stranglehold of those emotions.  Does mindfulness get rid of them?  Sorry. N0.  However, what it does do, is allow you to step back and be aware of the feelings as a separate form.  I am in the grip of a MASSIVE anxiety attack right now, one of the worst I’ve had, I am sitting present with it.  Not happy about it.  So not entirely “present”.  But I am doing my best to just let it be there, observe it, and try to allow it pass – instead of before, I would have been entirely gripped by this, for hours, maybe even days – and of course, it would then link itself subconsciously, or consciously (which I define separate to consciousNESS) to circumstances and thus further TIGHTEN its grip on my life!

How to deal with it?

I’ll let you know when I figure it out.  No seriously though.  Patience is a virtue for people with too much time on their hands, is what I used to think, but where this practice of slowly separating out your consciousness, from your thoughts, and emotions (and if so inclined, intuitions/feelings – complex I know), it’s an absolute requirement.  You are unlikely to dive into mindfulness and be instantly “present” or “aware”.  Living in the now is fantastic, but I’d wager a lot of people live in the now like this:

“My name is Tom, and I am living in this moment right now, tying up my shoe, being present…”

Yeah… that’s not being present, that’s thinking about being present, and is another fine example of how the mind TRICKS us.  It is indeed the greatest trickster of all.  I do this.  I catch myself telling myself I am present.  WTF is that about?

So the choice really, is stark.  This isn’t something you have to believe from me, it is something you can self test. 

May I be so bold as to tell you it’s worth trying? 

And, with the situations I’ve ended up in, from firstly trying to show people this, only for their “ego” (remember, doesn’t mean “big headed”, it’s combinations of thought patterns etc) to come and utterly pound me down, to avoid me getting close enough to take it out, to the degree it UTTERLY consumes the other person and renders soulful discussions totally obsolete, it’s fair to say suggesting it to others causes me a fair degree of anxiety.  (Of course, the frustration I felt when trying to get something across, with my anxiety etc, only served to further fuel those situations – utterly ridiculous when viewed from distance, I want to save others this same pain).

That’s why starting this blog and Twitter for me, really was facing one of my fears head on, and you have no idea how silly I feel saying that (ego, again).

See our Techniques menu (coming soon), for simple ways to counter, or at least relieve a little stress from your life, and please  share with others you know who may be experiencing similar.



6 thoughts on “The torrid stranglehold of “emotion”

  1. Awesome man. Thanks for putting this together with language that makes sense to me. Often I will read something on mindfulness and get some ‘out there’ bullshit that makes no sense.

    • Thank you Charlie, I have not taken life’s easy routes, if one thing can come from my own experiences I would like it to be that others can find their peace.

      I think Mindfulness etc, can appear to be a bit “out there” as you say – I have alluded to that myself, a bit “woo woo” or something.

      It really isn’t, it’s a practical, every day practice that when used by all would bring more peace, forgiveness and understanding to people’s lives.

      Unfortunately, all too often, the egoic structures and identity can get in the… as myself, am all too aware.

      I wish to approach it from a grounded and real world way, which involves me explaining f*** ups I make and how I’ve used it to try to help those situations.

      Simple… but not easy.

      Thanks again for your generosity engaging with my posts. I sincerely hope they help others.

    • Ingun, it’s very kind of you to comment, I am glad that you enjoyed reading this.

      May your days be full of peace and joy.

      Richie 🙂

    • Ingun, as always you are most welcome!!

      Thank you for posting, I always appreciate it! (If slightly delayed in my responses!….)

      Kind Blessings to you as always 🙂

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