This is probably the most important part of preparing to release emotions. We need to give ourselves a time and a place that we feel comfortable enough to do it. How busy are our lives these days? It is so easy to distract ourselves and get “busy” doing other things. Other things may include watching television, going out to eat, eating junk food, hanging out with friends, etc. The problem is that emotions are often painful and many of us have been taught to suppress them. Emotions generally will not come up to be dealt with unless we give them proper respect. This often means creating both a time and a place to release them. This really goes with almost any technique as they will tend not to work when we are busy, stressed, or have our mind set on other things. So how do we create this space?
GROUND: Ground in the physical world first. This is very basic but nonetheless is an essential step. Make sure bills are paid, laundry is done, apartment or house is cleaned up, groceries in the fridge, etc. Doing physical world stuff helps us calm our minds down. Usually we are always engaged in doing “the next thing,” or worrying about something we haven’t achieved yet. On a food level, grounding may involve cutting out the junk food and focusing on good quality vegetables and proteins for a few days and getting yourself straightened out. Try to eat simple meals with good food combinations.
DECIDE: Decide on a place. This is really as unique as you are. It doesn’t always have to be the same place. You may find yourself drawn to using one room for a while and then switching to another spot. Ultimately, it depends on who you are that day and what you are expecting on coming up. This takes practice, but before long you will naturally know which place to go to. There is really no wrong answer here as long as it is a place that you will not be disturbed at. Some examples could be places like your bedroom, your car, a shower, a living room, etc. Sometimes public places are ok if you feel comfortable being vulnerable there. These places may include churches, concerts, or with friends and family. The point is to create a space that you feel safe in. Emotions are much more likely to emerge when we feel safe. Make sure that whatever you wish to release can find voice and expression wherever you choose.
CHOOSE: Choose a time. This may be one of the more difficult challenges at first. Most of us have busy lives filled with school, work, children, and other commitments. The problem is that in order to release emotions, we really need to be able to be PRESENT in the moment. Whatever technique that we choose will be less effective if we are concerned about getting to work or doing a school project. Planning a time for this stuff, especially in the beginning, is a wise choice. How do you select a time? Pick a time that you have deemed “free time.” If you don’t have any to spare, you may consider what priorities you have chosen over your emotional health. Most of us have some time that we blow around with television, movies, games, or just plain surfing the internet. Choose some time that you are not thinking about what else you need to get done in life. Pick some time that you will not be disturbed or interrupted. Sometimes this means setting boundaries with people that they may not understand. If you are in a marriage or other serious relationship it may be wise to discuss things with your partner so that both parties understand what is going on. Maybe they decide to do it with you. Maybe they decide not to. Either way, being respectful of other people and their boundaries while creating your own is a good thing to do.
ALLOW: Have some tools around. Get a notepad and a pen, some pillows to beat on, tissues, and maybe something to shake. The goal is not to FORCE things out of you, although you may need to really search for them in the beginning. The idea is to create an open space for these things to naturally come out. The body is self-healing. The body is not very capable of healing in fear. In order to allow things to come out, we need to release these fears. This can be fear for our lives, fear of what other people will think, fears of what WE will think of ourselves, etc. Look at what fears are controlling you day-to-day. Really take a moment to FEEL what is with your heart. I don’t mean to analyze or think about things. I mean FEEL where your body and soul are at that moment. Are you exhausted? Are you sad? Have you been through a lot of pain? Are you mad? Again, this is not a “mental thought process” as we are mostly accustomed to. It is a process of BEING with your body and your heart. When you can accomplish this step, the rest will often come up easily. After all, it is our body and heart. We know better than anyone else what is inside =)