I have been working on my sh*t for years and have explored many different ways to do this.
Some of them were effective and others less so.
Many of them were painful and dramatic—sometimes this was necessary, many times not.
Here is a simple tool I wanted to share with others who are committed to sorting out their baggage so they can be their true selves and enjoy true freedom.
What I love about this technique is that you can do it yourself under conditions that suit you, it’s free, it’s (relatively) easy if approached with determined focus and most importantly, it’s effective.
Briefly, here is the technique. I call it Becoming the Neutral Observer:
Before you begin it’s helpful to decide what piece of your baggage you want to work on this time.
Get yourself into a comfortable upright position with your spine as straight as you can manage. Use support if you need because you want to ensure you will remain comfortable for 30-60 minutes.
Keep a journal close at hand to make notes afterwards.
Make sure the room is warm enough and all phones are silenced. You may wish to burn incense and light a candle. Do whatever you need to do to create a special space for yourself.
We are going to use the breath as an anchor during this experience. When you are ready close your eyes and begin to relax, allow yourself to settle into the moment. Focus on your breath. Don’t try to change or control it, just watch it. Notice where you can feel the breath in the body. Is it in the nose, the chest, the belly? Notice whether you are inhaling or exhaling.
If your mind wanders, know that this is natural and gently bring the focus back to the breath. Do this as many times as you need to. When observing the breath you will notice that it begins to slow down all by itself. What else do you observe?
Everyone notices different things and in a different ways, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Some people see subtle energy in the form of colours or pictures, others get a sense of something, some feel sensations and others even become aware of scents.
When you do observe something, validate it and you will probably discover that your observations increase and become clearer.
When you feel calm and centred and your breath is flowing freely, bring your chosen issue into your awareness. Invite it in and as you do this observe what happens.
Decide that you will not judge, avoid, justify or hide anything about this issue. I appreciate that this can be very challenging with some issues and if you lose your space, bring your awareness back to your breath and observe it.
Be kind and gentle to yourself but also firm in your commitment to look at and own your sh*t.
When you are ready, come back to observing the issue. The key here is to be remain neutral. When get caught up with our stuff, mentally and emotionally, we become stuck or we go into resistance and we are less likely to work through it.
It’s okay to take as many sessions as you need with big issues and to end them if it’s too much, some of mine have taken years to fully address. It’s about being kind and gentle with ourselves and taking the time we need to heal. The more neutral I can be about the issue I’m working on, the easier it is to move through the energy and as you do you will notice that your stuck and buried emotions begin to move and if you are ready, they will leave your space.
Let me offer you an experience I had the other day as an example of this technique:
I was with a friend and our conversation became heated and intense. The outcome was very important to me and I manipulated the situation emotionally to win it.
When the person left I saw what I had done and I knew that kind of behaviour is no longer a part of who I am and what I want to be. So I used this technique to help me work through it.
I sat with my issue and observed it.
I noticed that my belly and chest felt restricted. My breathing was shallow and at times I even held my breath. I felt heavy and spiky. As I returned to my neutral position I opened myself up to seeing the situation clearly.
I saw that I had been doing this for years but less so these days, and only with things that are very important to me. I observed where I had learned to do this and how this had been done to me many times as a child. It brought up many things around the area of control.
At times I was very lit up and had to return to observing my breath before continuing, but I did.
After some time I observed what looked like lots of small snakes leaving the area around my belly and the murky colours there becoming much brighter. I do not always see dramatic pictures like those, so it’s okay if you don’t. However, I am not surprised that I did that time though because I had worked on one of my particularly ugly issues.
I have also found using humour at very intense moments helps me immensely.
I lighten up, relax and am able to find my centre again. I laugh at myself, the issue I am looking at or even how ghastly I feel at that time.
I appreciate how difficult it can be to be able to laugh at yourself at such times, but if you can manage it, it helps enormously.
To finish off this practice of Becoming the Neutral Observer, I give thanks for the experience and return to observing my breath.
I continue doing this until I feel ready to open my eyes and often I will journal.
If you try this technique and wish to share your experiences, I would love to hear about them.
Author: Carole Hills
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Mish Sukharev/ Flickr