I am having to walk the talk. Having relocated over the summer from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Toronto, Ontario, I am navigating some significant changes in my life. Part of me is so excited, and part of me is so petrified. So, I need to listen to both of those pieces of me… they are both trying to help me, both trying to tell me something. I need to listen to them, and to reassure them both.
So, I practice journalling (I am not a natural journaler… I have to get over that self-conscious feeling as I begin to write). It helps.
I journal a dialogue with Excitement. First I thank Excitement for providing me with energy, and hope. Then I ask it what it needs from me. The answer, I find, is greater planning and organisation, and taking risks to meet others and leave my comfort zone. So, I find out that Excitement feels overwhelmed when I can not harness it and use it effectively to help motivate me. I ask Excitement when I will know that it is feeling overwhelmed. The reply is that I feel tightness in my stomach, and an ancy feeling, and that I will start cleaning the house too much! I commit to Excitement that I will schedule time more effectively to plan and follow through.
Next I check in with Petrified. I thank Petrified for helping me, and ask what it needs from me. It seems that it needs connection with others. It needs me to recognise that I have to ask for help, and I have to spend time building relationships with others. It also requires greater planning and organisation so that it and I feel prepared. So I commit to scheduling time each week to identifying my goals for the day and week, and to planning effectively for new opportunities. I ask Petrified how I will know when it is feeling too powerful. The answer is that I lose energy, become tired, and get more headaches. I also procrastinate and spend time being busy on activities that don’t move me forward (yes, too much house cleaning again).
Do you have a fear or emotion that you would like to dialogue with?
First make yourself comfortable. Ideally have pencil and paper with you to make notes when you need to. Sit for a minute or two in a comfortable position, and focus on sitting in the chair, your breathing and the the sounds around you. If you start thinking during this time, that is to be expected, just kindly label the thoughts “thinking” and return to the feeling of sitting in the chair, your breath and sounds in your environment. This gives you the opportunity to ground yourself, and do the work from a safe space.
See which emotion comes up for you. It might not be the one you expect. Name it. Imagine it sitting on a chair or stool. Can you give it a colour, shape, weight? Thank it for being part of you, and for wanting to help.
Then, begin to ask it questions: You may want to ask how does it want to help you? What does it need from you? How can you help it? What will you give it to make it feel more secure? All questions are asked by you with kindness.
When you have finished asking questions, ask your emotion if it has any questions for you. Note them down.
Complete the activity by thanking your emotion for being there for you, and reassuring it that you have heard it, and appreciate it, and will act on the work you have done together.
Now go and make yourself a nice cup of tea…