August 16 5:50 am Session
I had a huge “ah-ha” moment listening to the commentary that both preceded and ended today’s Headspace session. We were identifying some of the things that can hinder progress with the naming or noting of emotional states ( in meditation and in life). The biggest obstacle occurs when people identify too closely with the emotion. So far this has not been an issue for me during meditation, however it certainly is obvious to me that I lay claim to my emotions as though they were “MINE” exclusively and I hang on to them as though they were prized possessions in life.
Not surprised to hear my self-talk chime in “I felt so_____” or “she feels like ______”…it’s not unusual to hold on to our stories about mood and thought processes as if they were an inherent part of who we are. Andy (the host of the meditation) says it is natural that it will take time to disengage from the emotion “to name it in a more spacious way”.
I love this idea of creating space around an emotion, backing away from it, so it’s more objective, and can see it for what it is. The more we identify with our feelings as OURS, make them personal…the stronger our attachment is to those feelings and the more challenging it will be to move through them, or let them go. True of both positive and negative emotions I suppose. Obviously we aren’t noting the feelings to be disingenuous, or to deny our feelings exist or bubble up from our experiences…But simply taking a step back, observing them from outside, wow: the labelling really is a powerful technique. I’m not certain if something clicked with the session today, and my understanding of where the practice is headed…but today I was much more aware, strikingly so. I was able to note my feelings (often responses to other people) and be very tuned into where my headspace was.
I had a few challenging situations today and this technique allowed me to move through the difficult emotion by noting simply “frustration” or “anger”…I was amazed. I also noticed how attached I am to my “stories” not allowing for possibility, pigeon-holing my responses based on past hurts, or past experiences instead of allowing events to unfold without these labels. Today was different. I was much more reflective. I think it was due to my understanding this critical part of the exercise. I’m really looking forward to where this is going. My thoughts are disjointed tonight, but I wanted to put down what I remembered from it before it fades.