There it is, you’ve gone and momentarily lost your mind.  Out of your mouth came a slew of non-sequiturs, as you tried to pin-point your emotions, and needs, but they were lost in your inner tornado.  Ah, life.  So, how do we regroup?  And how do we do it quickly?

First, I think it’s essential to understand what triggers us into that emotional turmoil, because if we can discover that, then we can diffuse the internal bomb.  I attended a special group session called Becoming Safely Embodied, several years ago.  It was a group therapy for trauma survivors, and it was an incredibly powerful course.  You were never allowed to discuss your history, but rather, the program was all about understanding the brain, and how to recognize and heal our internal triggers that put us into those emotional states where we feel internal chaos.

One of the tools that I’ve continued to utilize in my life is the frame by frame, slowing it down.  We were asked to recall the last time that we felt that sensation of spiraling out of control.  It almost feels out-of-body, as the internal tornado vibrates your skin from the inside out.  It’s an overwhelm that seems unrecoverable.  We were asked to recall the moment, as though it were a movie, and we were watching it in slow motion; frame by frame.  The purpose was to uncover the exact moment that triggered the emotional discord. Perhaps it was words that were spoken, or not spoken to us.  Perhaps it was an action taken towards you.  Perhaps it was a change in your environment.  Often these triggers hold a deeper, more carved rooting in our psyche from our youth.

As you take the moment through this process, you allow yourself to go to the very edge of the emotional cliff, but the goal is to stay rooted without falling into the swirl.  By holding our grounding, we were able to observe ourselves through the experience, in our frame by frame, to witness our triggering.  It’s important to note that, as you do this, you will likely feel the elevation in heart rate, and other shifts in physiology that were present during the initial experience.  The shifts in physiology will ultimately be reflecting back the physiology that was present during the initial trauma that created the trigger, and our brain has held this emotional response ever since then.  In fact, the shift in physiology is completely created by the brain.

The overall goal of this process is to begin to sense these subtle shifts in your physiology in future experiences, and thus, maintain your grounding and not fall into that deep, spiraling well of confusion and overwhelm.  It takes practice – like a lifetime’s worth of bringing yourself present within to manage the mind from its great pull.  It’s absolutely life changing, empowering, and cathartic.  It gives you your life back, the one of your choosing; where you don’t have to fear constantly stepping on emotional land mines.

You may have noticed that I am a huge fan of Tony Robbins.  I consider him a coaching mentor, though I have not yet personally met him.  I have studied his books, lectures, videos, etc.  One of the most powerful teachings he shares, which I am confident I have mentioned before, is learning to control your physiology.  While his focus is not specific to trauma recovery, it has the power to serve any mindset, and transform it into who you choose to be at any given moment.  In a wonderful seminar he gave for a gathering hosted by Oprah, he as the participants jumping about!  He has them harnessing their energy, shedding their self-judgment, and choosing to feel silly joy.  Once this emotion is experienced in the physiology, and you’ve repeated your steps for achieving it, you can then harness that mindset of silly joy by simply willing it so.  The point is to recognize the habitual mindsets that put us in our lousy states.  No one is happy when they feel lousy, nor productive, nor sensual, nor inspired or inspiring… but, choosing your physiology and knowing how to harness it internally, that is empowering.

So, the next time you feel yourself free-falling to the bottom of your emotional cliff, I want you to savor that recognition, and praise yourself.  This awareness means you are willing to start an internal investigation that allows you to take back your life power, and harness your focus to consciously choose your next step forward.

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