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The LAP Dance of Releasing Emotions That Limit You
The way through a feeling is not to conquer it, or overcome it, or otherwise squash it. They just don’t work. They’ve never worked, have they? The feeling just comes back up in at another time and in another way.
Any feeling that keeps coming up is really there to help you, to guide you, to warn you that something it deems unsafe is coming too close, even if what it believes is unsafe is you being left alone and thus unable to care for itself, even though you as the adult you are “knows” that you have to get out of a relationships on the hurry up before you drown in someone else’s crap. To keep from having those nagging feelings even when you know you are doing the best thing for you (or, even more challenging, when you are not sure what the best thing is) there is a three-step process to help you work through and set the feelings free—let go of the limitations of you so that you can expand into YOU!
Step 1: LAP Dance—Love and Appreciation and Patience
You can’t love and appreciate on the hurry-up. A shouted “thanks” as someone runs out the door with your only piece of toast just does not warm the heart, not to mention the belly. So this first step is two-fold. You start by simply sitting with the feeling—don’t try to analyze it or find the root or justify it or talk it down (how do you like it when someone does that to you???) Just keep it company. By doing that you are letting it know that you are (finally!) paying attention, which is really what it wants—remember it has been coming back again and again in order to help you. So just sit with it, and as you do, let to know that you love and appreciate it for trying to help you, guide you, protect you, etc. Some people do this with words, some with emotional energy, or other ways, play around to find what works best for you. Be patient, and keep doing this until you feel it begin to trust you and respond.
Step 2: Set it Free
The reason this feeling keeps pestering you, is that it wants to be free, and it wants you and YOU to be free. So once you have LAP-ed it enough that it gets that you care about it and not just your own impatient self, the next step is to invite it (not force it or run it off or drop it off a cliff) to be free. Simply let it know that you set it free, that its work is done and appreciated. Sometimes it goes right away sometimes it takes a while, especially if you are new at this and your body has not yet built up a trust that you won’t start ignoring it again. Stay with this step until you get some movement, even if it has not completely gone.
Step 3: Dig Deeper
Ask if there is anything beneath this feeling that this feeling has been covering or protecting. Often a more surface feeling provides a shield so that you don’t feel something much more scary beneath. But in this slow, attentive process, allowing a feeling, sensation or impression of some sort to come up in a non-threatening situation, gives you the opportunity to be with it, feel it, LAP it, and let it go, too, to an even deeper level of being. If something does come up, go through the steps again—and again—until nothing more comes up, or until you cannot continue for some reason. Whenever you stop, and for whatever reason, be sure to thank your body and the feelings for playing with you that way.
Oh, and the icing on the feeling cake is to imagine filling all the spaces that have risen and released with a beautiful, golden light, or whatever color light feels most like love, wholeness and connection to you.
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