If you haven't read My Journey to Feeling: Part 1 you may want to start with that before continuing here.
* Emotional communication is not a sequential, one way data-transfer (like email or e-chat), rather it is a simultaneous, two-way process where the feelings, actions, expressions of each are both the cause and effect of the others' behavior.
* Question: How does this communication play out in real life?
Answer: If an environment or person doesn't "feel" either physically or emotionally safe to you, then your emotional system may send the "danger" signal which another may sense and then display "anger" as a primal survival mechanism, which your system may sense as a threat to your survival and you respond. An instantaneous spiral.
* Getting a "feel for" and understanding of your repertoire of "emotional" kinesthetic experiences can help develop your feeling sensitivity in zhan zhuang.
* Fear has a couple flavors; physical and emotional. Some people are fearless taking physical risks yet are fearful taking emotional risks.
* Question: Can I practice overcoming physical fears as a way to overcome emotional fears?
Answer: Getting comfortable breaking the physical fear barrier will not necessarily make you comfortable breaking the emotional fear barrier. The strategy is not necessarily transferable.
* Fear and anger are widely recognized as being among our primary emotions.
* Fear trumps all other emotions. Only anger has the emotional, energetic force to break through the "fear wall".
* From our primordial roots, we are group animals. Our survival is enhanced when in a group and diminished when alone. The pre-verbal, sub-conscious, emotional-body communication functions to enhance our survival.
* Fear of ostracism from "the group" (whatever form that takes), triggers a very deep, primal question of survivability.
* Fear is not a bad thing. It is what provides for our survival. Even though civilized society has tempered physical threats, our instincts continue to function unabated.
* The body doesn't distinguish between physical danger (A tiger!) or emotional danger (someone is yelling angrily) nor between physical or emotional safety. There is only "the feeling". Hence, you can be in a physically safe place yet feel emotionally unsafe based on the emotional signals you are sensing and interpreting.
* Fear can keep you locked in a dysfunctional group or relation or kinesthetic experience which appears as a safer alternative to risking, to going through the fear to get to a more functional and satisfying "place". You may see a more functional situation over there, but are afraid to risk separating from the current group to get there.
* Sometimes influences from the past continue to carry weight in the present long after that influence is gone. The body doesn't know that influence is gone and continues to honor that influence as if it were here today.
* The most dangerous elephant is the one that thinks it is a mouse.
* Become aware of your own pre-verbal, sub-conscious, emotional-body, feeling-language.
* The below three points assume you are physically safe but feel "emotionally" unsafe:
- Notice those instances in daily life, those conversations where you experience a fear response, and tell yourself, "I'm afraid of you...." and add, "because... " and complete the statement. Notice your body's response.
- Recall that fear situation (you noticed earlier) and imagine other possible outcomes. Many people run an internal dialogue, (the monkey mind) imagining all kinds of conversations but typically don't apply this function in an intentional way. Rehearse other possible body-feeling responses. Really get the body involved.
- In a future fear instance, play with responding with one of your rehearsed body-feeling responses and gauge both your own reaction and the other person's reaction.
* The end goal is to be able to manage the fear to get to a more functional place.