• Sandra Ariza


What would you call this feeling you are having? Anger? Fear? Sadness? Impatience? Confusion? If, for example, it was anger, rather than saying “I am angry or I am frustrated or I am sad” about something, see how it feels to say “I’m noticing something in me that is this way, that is angry or afraid or sad.” “I’m noticing something in me that has this feeling”.

This gives the feeling more room to move and you won’t identify with it as much. This way, you’re not labeling yourself as angry or fearful, you’re merely aware you have those feelings right now. Now, see if you can notice where in the body there might be a physical reaction to this. It could be a tightening in the shoulders or chest, tightness or queasiness in the stomach, pressure or tension of some sort, achiness, constriction, tension in the throat, heat in face, tightness in the jaw, just seeing where it affects you physically. Or if you can’t find a specific place, there may be a general sense of unease you feel all over.

Allow what you are noticing to just be there, simply acknowledging it, letting your awareness gently rest there, allowing it to be just the way it is. See if you can soften your reaction to the difficulty, to this situation, with gentle breaths, seeing if you can be with it the same way you’d be with a child or a pet whom you love and who is in distress. You might even place your hand where in the body you’re physically feeling the difficulty the most, or, on your heart or belly, meeting this experience with kindness, recognizing that this would be difficult or painful or challenging for anybody, holding it and yourself gently and with compassion.This is softening and allowing. Softening of your reaction to the feeling that you’re having, allowing that reaction to be there, all the while knowing that allowing it to be there doesn’t mean that you like it, it’s simply an acknowledgment that this is what you are feeling right now.

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©2019 by Sandra Ariza