STEP ONE - Approach / Trigger
This is the "getting to it" stage. where you are simply getting in touch with the pain. It means bringing your feelings to the surface, drawing in the parts of you that are in denial, remembering the feelings.
For some people, this is a very difficult stage. If your pain is far from your conscious awareness, it may take some time to connect with your feeling self. Patience and perseverence are the key words here. Think about how many years you've been out of touch with your feelings, and how many ingenious methods have been used to suppress, repress and compress your pain! The "pressions" have accumulated and become a veritable fortress wall, which you must find ways around or through in order to rescue your trapped/lost essence. Even the most "emotional" people will often find themselves faced with enormous resistance when they sit down with intent to feel.
This phase can include banging things, yelling, growling, using judgment release statements, doing formal goal-setting (note cards, written statements, whatever), even visualizing and affirmations. It can include imagery, picturing events or people. It can include role-playing with another person in a safe setting. All kinds of tricks and tools can be used here - physical, mental and emotional - but the purpose is to get to step two.
Many people either just stop here, or skip to step three and work to re-evaluate/release judgments/take in loving light without going through step two. And if a person has been very distanced from their feelings, it may take a long time doing Approach / Trigger to GET to phase two, but the important thing is to know that phase one is only a stepping stone, it's not the place to stop. The point of all this activity, the only point, is to get to step two (ignition). to get the feelings moving and expressing in their most natural way.
STEP TWO - Ignition.
What is ignition? Usually, it's crying. It's that moment when you break through the barrier between your mind and your feelings, and the feelings take over your body and are in charge. Spontaneous combustion occurs. Hence the very appropriate term: "bursting into tears".
Once ignition is achieved, the emotions themselves dictate the expression. If you can let this happen. you'll probably experience tears, sobbing, shivering, shaking, yawning, laughing. Sometimes accompanied by words, screaming, yelling, growling, physical movement.
Usually movement during this phase does a sort of ebb and flow. You will probably find yourself moving through many emotions, not just crying one thing. That's the nature of emotions. They're not linear, and they're all connected to each other, although sometimes compartmentalization has happened as a result of extreme suppression or fragmentation. Whatever the flow is, let it happen, if you can.
You'll probably also experience a sort of emotional "stutter". A tendency to start/stop. Resistance and mental activity may try to stop the process, to distract you in an attempt to move past the pain, or just get you to move on quickly to step three.
Mind will tell you, "that's enough, we're ready for analyzing now. "
Poor mind needs to be treated gently but firmly here. Mind has an important job, but in this process, mind has been overzealous and unknowingly cruel. Mind has to be brought to understand that
it's role in THIS process is to listen, to hold still and listen, to sit quietly in a chair and wait and listen. until the tears reach a truly natural ending place.
The first thing that may come up here for you is mind's fear that emotional expression will lead to punishment and death. This is a very real fear. If you find yourself spinning in mind's survival terror, you might want to try some tricks to get past this barrier.
Again, this 2nd step is the most important, and ideally, more time should be spent here than on the other two.
If you are uncertain what spontaneous movement looks/feels/sounds like, spend some time with a baby. Watch how infants express their every emotions through their bodies. Rage, terror, hunger, need. it all gets expressed, entirely without words.
The goal here is to let your body remember what it knew how to do when you came into this world. And for some, training/conditioning/shaming, etc. has been so intense, that "to become as a little child" will not be an easy thing. Be persistent.
STEP THREE - Shifting.
Evaluating what you've just felt and cried, adjusting to the change, taking in loving light in the place of what has just been moved out is a very important part of the healing. This is a spontaneous re-thinking, re-evaluating your perceptions. If enough emotion has moved, this phase happens automatically and the change is lasting. Sometimes it feels like an Einsteinian A-HA!
What's happening here is that Mind is responding to emotion opening and unfreezing, in the way it was originally meant to. and both mind and emotion can then work together to see things in a new and creative way. Many judgments that were frozen in place by underlying pain naturally dissolve here.
The goal of most psychotherapy has traditionally been to move the individual as quickly as possible through their past pain and bring them to this last phase. Belief in the power of the mind has been the cornerstone of traditional therapy, power of the mind to overcome old wounds if we can only remember them and bring them to consciousness. And the mind IS a truly powerful thing. By using the mind solely some great awarenesses *can* be reached. Memories can be brought to the surface, shifts in awareness can happen. But (and this is a very BIG but. ), forcing your way past the pain to reach an "Ah-HA!" will mean you leave parts of yourself behind you. The parts that have not finished crying their pain will not go with you to your new state of "understanding", and to your mind, these parts will seem stubborn, resistant, retarded, slow, stuck in old beliefs, etc. etc. You'll find yourself saying, "I thought I learned that, I thought I already resolved that. "
You must allow all the feelings to cry themselves to completion, until they reach NATURAL evolution and understanding. Then all of you can move forward. Permanent shifts, and truly creative shifts, including the ability to create your own reality. require the real work to be done with all feelings. That means returning again and again (and again) to phase two.
"The intuition is always correct. There are no limits to its power even ultimately to attain the greatest heights of the intellect via the right brain."