This book, by Raphael Cushnir, puts into clear articulation what I have known and taught for a long time; every part of us – every feeling, emotion and energetic self within, wants to be loved. And the most unconditional form of love is to bring our total presence in an exquisite attunement to whatever is calling out to be reclaimed. Raphael teaches his audience to do this by walking the reader through a process he calls emotional connection. When we bring our loving attention to whatever emotions arise in us, we are re-claiming parts of ourselves that have been alone, sometimes for our whole lives.
Emotions are felt physically in the body. However, most of us have been taught to fear or resist our emotions, so it may take some practice to locate the bodily felt sense. Additionally, Raphael talks about two parts of the brain that come into play. The limbic system is the part of the brain where emotions arise. Emotions need to be felt, acknowledged, experienced, although not necessarily acted out. Only by allowing ourselves to feel an emotion without either resisting or becoming overly identified with it, is the emotion free to flow into something else, to transform. Often, we come to a place of centered expansion within ourselves.
There is another part of the brain, called the primitive, or reptilian brain, that sees emotions as threats. Raphael explains that this part of the brain can’t tell the difference between a threatening emotion and an actual physical threat, like a saber tooth tiger. That being the case, we employ all kinds of strategies to resist or avoid the emotion. We may use addictions such as alcohol, food, sex, internet or TV, or indulge in compulsive thinking or obsessing so as not to feel the emotion. The problem with this is that just because we ignore the emotion, it doesn’t go away. In fact, unfelt emotions lodge themselves in the body, and can cause various ailments which turn up sooner or later in our lives. Suppressed or repressed emotions can turn into anxiety or depression.
The good news is that in a safe environment (perhaps with a trained therapist), we can experience the emotions that have challenged us in the past and are currently stored in our bodies. We can also learn to re-wire our brains as we learn that, in fact, feeling our emotions is safe and will not lead to our demise. This may take some practice. However, the rewards are great. Allowing ourselves to experience difficult emotions, both from the past and present, can lead to greater satisfaction, aliveness, and having more of what we want in life.
If you’d like to check out Raphael’s Website, follow this link. http://www.cushnir.com/