In general: train yourself in turning towards the emotional landscape with friendly curiosity.
5 minutes every day: write down any emotions you have identified that day, both in that moment and at other times. Don’t forget to also notice the positive emotions. Please look at your notes before our second session and see if there are any learnings, reflections from this.
Identify a difficult emotion that is most prevalent at this time in your life and explore it through the writing exercise below (adapted from Kathleen Adams). The whole exercise probably takes approximately 10-15 mins.
W – What do you want to write about? In our case it is the difficult emotion you have identified. What’s going on? How do you feel? What are you thinking about? What do you want? Name it.
R – Review or reflect on it. Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths. Focus. You can start with “I feel…” or “I want…” or “I think…” or “Today….” or “Right now…” or “In this moment…”
I – Investigate your thoughts and feelings. Start writing and keep writing. Follow the pen/keyboard. If you get stuck or run out of juice, close your eyes and re-center yourself. Re-read what you’ve already written and continue writing.
T – Time yourself. Write for 5-15 minutes. Write the start time and the projected end time at the top of the page. If you have an alarm/timer on your cell phone, set it.
E – Exit smart by re-reading what you’ve written and reflecting on it in a sentence or two: “As I read this, I notice—” or “I’m aware of—” or “I feel—”. Note any action steps to take.
A PDF of this exercise can be found here.