Heartspace™

Today was awesome! I was able to spend the entire day in Kamas with Stephen Palmer learning Heartspace™.  It was an intimate gathering at Ann Webb’s home. If I had to sum up Heartspace™ in a tidy little sentence I’d say it’s a system for owning your emotions and sitting with them in self-compassion.  Understanding your emotions, triggers, and learning to sit with your feelings instead of running from them or covering them up with unhealthy behaviors is the key to living a life free of suffering. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We are all broken–life breaks all of us. Heartspace™ teaches you how to acknowledge your imperfections and the imperfections of others and how to interact from a safe place–the heart. Heartspace™ is all about getting out of your logical head where you seek to blame and into your heart where you can uncover your core wounds and emotional triggers.

There are five steps in moving from headspace to Heartspace™:

Step 1) Separate suffering from pain

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Learn to make observations and refrain from interpretations for it is in the stories we tell that suffering is born. For example, your dad may have spanked you with a belt. That’s an observation and it could have caused physical pain. BUT, telling yourself a story about how your dad doesn’t love you and shouldn’t have spanked you with a belt, blah blah blah, is adding insult to injury. Your interpretation of the events leads you into the suffering swamp. Don’t go there. are you experiencing pain or suffering

Step 2) Take responsibility for your suffering

Once you realize that your interpretation is causing unnecessary suffering, STOP the story making! 

Your dad spanked you with a belt. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It doesn’t say one thing about you or him. You can’t even know what it means. It just is. He spanked you.

Step 3) Trace your headspace symptoms back to the original pain

Release the hardness of headspace and move into the vulnerability of heartspace™

What happened to you as a child or what is your core wound that is causing an emotional trigger in you as an adult?

In our group, a gentleman shared how he feels like his wife doesn’t love him because she never expresses appreciation. Because she doesn’t affirm him he’s always feeling like he isn’t good enough. The feeling “I’m not good enough” goes all the way back to his days as a missionary when his girlfriend chose someone else over him to marry. He carries that wound into his marriage and anytime he feels “unappreciated” it triggers his core wound of “I’m not good enough.”

Step 4) Move into your pain by saying the thing that is hardest to say

open your heart to vulnerability

you know you’ve touched it when it makes you cry

say what’s causing the pain “I feel unsafe,” and then state the need “I need to be safe.”

For the gentleman in our class, he realized that he doesn’t feel good enough. He thought his wife didn’t love him, but not feeling loved is not an emotion so he had to dig deeper. Just like peeling layers from an onion, the gentleman was able to discover that he really was carrying the core wound of “Not good enough.” Realizing this empowered him and his wife. He can now own his emotional pain and not keep blaming his wife for not making him feel appreciated.

Step 5) Hold your pain in self-compassion

STAY don’t move away from the pain—move into it and embrace it

The gentleman in our gathering was able to sit with this “painful” realization that his girlfriend (over 40 years ago) choosing someone else, had left him broken and was causing emotional triggers with his wife. This newfound awareness brought him to tears. All these years he has been blaming his wife for not making him feel loved and appreciated when in reality he had a core wound of not feeling good enough. Without acknowledging that core wound and holding his hand to the flame so to speak was he able to take back his power. Now he has the insight to improve his relationship with himself and his wife.

Sit and cry when you find that pain. Hold it in self-compassion. For some reason, our culture has taught us that crying, sadness, etc. are weak and should be avoided. Not so. Face the feelings and they will eventually pass. Suppress them, run from them, project them and you will stay stuck in suffering.

Finally, how do you interact with someone who is in pain? Well, you don’t need to try to fix it. There is nothing “wrong” with pain. I really liked the idea of simply expressing love and letting them know you are there for them if they want or need you.

A simple statement such as:

“Dear one, I am here for you”

says it all.

Heartspace™

I love it. Creating space in your heart to hold your pain in self-compassion. Allowing others the space they need to process their pain. Seeing each other’s hearts. Allowing and loving. Letting go of judgment. Allowing pain to create space in your heart–space that can be filled with joy and love.

I loved being with these enlightened beings. I can hardly wait to see how our paths continue together.

p.s. today we bought a cow and named it Heartspace™ It will go to a widow in Africa and it will allow her to feed her family and put her children through college. That’s amazing!

No Negative Emotions

Here’s a paradigm shift: there are no such things as negative emotions. That’s right, no negative emotions. I can’t tell you how many times growing up I heard “don’t be mad” or “stop crying.” Additionally, I was taught that being angry or upset was wrong and that one should not have these type of “negative” emotions. Well who is the God of emotions? Meaning who is to say what emotions are good and which are bad?

I’m sure most everyone would agree that if we were to label emotions as either good or bad, the emotions that would fall into the bad camp would be anger, jealousy, envy, hatred, disgust. The emotions that everyone would agree to be good would be love, joy, peace, happiness. But how would you label emotions such as contentment, disappointment, frustration, anxious? Are these negative or positive emotions?

I agree with Colin Tipping.  Emotions are neither good nor bad. They just are. And when we label certain emotions as “bad” or “negative” then does this mean that the person experiencing those emotions are also bad or wrong? Feeling bad or wrong about our emotions can lead us to suppress them and not fully feel our feelings. This is actually quite tragic because in order to heal, one must feel. Repressing emotions such as anger, hurt, sadness, etc. can lead to dis-ease in the body. It’s just not healthy. Plus, that which we resist persists. It is far better to feel our feelings and learn and grow than it is to stuff, suppress and simmer.

I am going to make sure I never again label emotions. I’ll even go one step further and make sure I never tell someone that they shouldn’t feel a certain way nor judge them for their feelings. Feelings are like thoughts. They come and they go. The best way to manage them is to acknowledge them and sit with them till they pass. When we pay them loving attention by noticing and naming them, sitting with them and allowing them to wash over and through us, we are cleansed and renewed.

I believe all emotions energize us. When we pay our emotions the attention they deserve we give ourselves the gift of awareness which is also the gift of being in the present. We get to fully experience our mortal existence and the complete experience of being. Emotions are what make us human. They are what we came here to experience. Why then do we want to shove, stuff and hide them? Why label them as good or bad? Let’s enjoy every emotion for they all are gifts that teach, enlighten and enliven.

There are no negative emotions. 🙂