Our feelings point toward our Needs

Feelings:  Our feelings give us lots of information and they connect us to our needs, our hearts longings. We welcome our feelings, like a dear friend.

Feelings are carried in the body and in our nervous system. As a daily practice, I take a breath and slow down and connect with myself. I ask myself, what am I feeling? What am I needing? This opens a door to self connection as I continue bringing mindfulness to my breath, body and all I am sensing.  

If I am triggered and in emotional pain, sometimes I don’t even know what I want. I invite myself to slow down and bring awareness to my breath. As I feel my feelings and approach myself with tenderness and compassionate presence… I ask, what is my heart longing for? I don’t try to change anything, I am simply present to what is and this begins to open a door into more self connection.  

During the day, I invite you to ask yourself, what am I feeling? What am is my heart yearning for? This is a beginning into more self connection. As you feel your feelings and bring your awareness to your body sensations and just be with all that is moving through you. Breathe… Can you open your heart and approach yourself with compassion and tenderness?

As we deepen in this process, our practice creates new neural pathways in the brain. It helps us shift out of fight, flight, and freeze and moves us into more whole-hearted living.

If we check in with our feelings and needs when we are not stressed or triggered, then it is easier to approach ourselves with compassionate presence when we are triggered. 

“Marshall Rosenberg’s dynamic communication    techniques transform potential conflicts into peaceful    dialogues.”   – John Gray, author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Embracing and integrating this consciousness is likely to require changes in our internal connection to ourselves and healing of past pain.

Emotional distress is often linked to painful events from the past and triggered in the present by a similar stimulus. This might be a facial expression, tone of voice, gesture, phrase, etc. I call these traumatic imprints, which are often embedded with unconscious beliefs, behaviors, emotions, and unprocessed memory from the past.

When emotional pain is stimulated, we habitually blame, shame and judge others because in the moment we go into flight, fight or freeze. The bottom line is that traumatic imprints can unconsciously continue to impact our lives if they are not brought into our awareness. We habitually choose the same, familiar relationships, work environments etc. that don’t work.

The good news is human brains are changeable and we can create new neural pathways with empathy and other tools.

Every time a feeling is named accurately the activation level in the amygdala drops.
The amygdala stores the unprocessed memory of a trauma.

Living with self compassion is a different speed of life ~ Robert Gonzales.

The following lists are neither exhaustive nor definitive. They are meant as a starting place to support anyone who wishes to engage in a process of deepening self-discovery and to facilitate greater understanding and connection between people.

The contents of this page can be downloaded and copied by anyone so long as they credit CNVC as follows:
(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication. Website: www.cnvc.org

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