In the discussion last week we explored the need to identify our emotions as a necessary step in our education as human beings. This came about in discussion on the current value imbalance that many call the patriarchy.
Emotions are still popularly considered as an irrational weakness or destructive distraction and many of us including myself have suppressed emotions in a bid to protect ourselves as young children.
In recent years I understand I have not only blocked out a painful feeling but also much of the sweetness and joy of life, leading me on a love starved search for satisfaction. As we look at our addiction ridden society perhaps what we are looking for is simply to experience life in its fullness, with all its emotion and feeling.
How have we suppressed sensitive and subtle elements of ourselves and for what?
What has been the impact of numbing ourselves of our emotions and what happens when we unlock them?
How can we create a delicate space for people to experience and embrace that which we deem irrational and unnecessary, so that we may discover the intricate and precious intelligence of our subtle and powerful feelings?
What is your relationship with emotion?
Shameful of emotions
Trying to think my way out of them
Avoiding uncomfortable feelings
Shutting down emotions
I’m an Aussie bloke
I know there is a lot more to feel than what I currently feel
A signal requiring our attention
Emotions can create new ways of doing things
They are superior to logic and create the new relevant logic
Emotions are our greatest tool to evolve
Our inner compass
This was a conversation that could have flow like well into the evening and like most human group discussions we discovered the meaty parts right at the end.
We began with a meditation, checking in with what needed our attention within the body, where in the body it was felt and what emotion was associated with the sensation.
There was a clear difference between the men and the women, many of the men were not sure what they felt and many of the women said that they where their emotion with everything they do.
What does the world look like when men are connected with their emotions?
This question created a lot of insights as to how this could change the current patriarchal value system. Would we be able to profit on another’s loss, would we still clear natural habitats full of life, would politicians still allow for mining at the destruction of the environment and sacred sites?
What does it look when a man is connected and expressing his emotions?
Men are afraid of their femininity.
Why are men afraid of their femininity? Does it make us weak, do we become women, do we think we are gay even?
We circled through the men in the group and asked what their experience of an emotional discussion or experience with another man looks like.
Men being in touch with their emotions looks completely different to women who are in touch with their emotions.
The analogy of the hunter with their evolutionary trained focus upon their target can be used when we think of men experiencing emotion. Perhaps with the trained focus the power of the emotion is overwhelming and needs to be watered down by staring at a fire or lending focus to another activity? Perhaps it is a defence mechanism from submerging ourselves in the feeling?
What is the evolutionary need for men to suppress their emotions?
Environmental volatility and dangerous animals creating a level of physical insecurity may have conditioned us overtime to suppress feeling in order to act and escape danger? If this is true do we need to have this defensive mechanism activated in this day and age?
It seems irrelevant and dangerous in this day and age as men still seem to be acting disconnected from their environment and relationships. When it comes to trading on the market it is encouraged to not emotionally trade as we see it trending downwards, we sell and make a loss. When we buy as it trends downwards we are able to capitalise on others who are trading emotionally and get a good price. There is an objectivity that separates us from emotions that is useful in our capitalist system. To emotionally trade is seen to be idiotic and this relationship with emotion is replicated throughout our society deeming it as an encumbrance to success.
What does success with emotion look like and is it more sustainable?
When we invest in relationship we create a decentralised network of security. When we tend to each others emotions and create space for each other to be heard and listened we are investing in a long term success. One in which rewards with love, joy, and happiness.
Have we suppressed our emotions to the point in which we cannot experience the sweetness and satisfaction of life?
As Gabor Mate suggests we are all addicts; constantly searching for satisfaction to our never-ending hunger. Whether it be buying material possessions, vice, or the next goal or achievement our thirst is not quenched. We become vampiric on life itself and this can be seen through our consumerists societies damaging impact on women, indigenous culture and the environment itself. This sustained feeling of emptiness promotes and feeds rivalress games and a scarcity mentality. We are vampires for as long as we are empty of feeling and soul.
What if unlocking our emotions gave us access to the satisfaction we are seeking?
When we have a community of people and environments that we know support us we do not need to rely on a technology such as money for we know we will be forever support by the plants that grow in the garden and the communities that love us. This generates an abundance mentality, as we all look out for each other.
How do we unlock our emotions?
Teal Swann suggests that we are never free of emotion, we simply have developed the capacity to ignore them. Teal suggests that if we train our ability to feel with consistent check ins with our body we can train the muscle to feel just as loudly as we hear a firework.
Our bodies, our nature and our senses are the keys to unlocking our emotions. Yet for as long as we are in our sympathetic nervous system of fight, freeze, or flight we cannot digest the full experience of life in the present.
Practices such as body scanning, listening to music that invokes emotion, creativity and conversation, somatic experiencing can drop us into the present and our parasympathetic nervous system.
As chronic inflammation, stimulants, dissociative entertainment, addictions and the pace of our rat race society continues we perpetuate the blocked state of conscious that inhibits the satisfaction of life as we feed upon life itself.
Unlocking our emotions and creating space for vulnerability is an access point to deep satisfaction, abundance and saving our environment and our existence upon this earth.