Emotional Freedom

Emotional Freedom

Emotional Freedom respects that as human beings, we will experience the full spectrum of emotions. We become more curious than judgmental. We’re willing to explore the intelligence and guidance underlying all our feelings.

With awareness and skill, we learn to “be with” the feelings in our body and thoughts in our head, gain insight and wisdom, and regulate enough so that even if the emotions are intense and hard, we still love and accept ourselves and are free to choose actions that enhance our thriving.

  • Helps develop the courage to be with all our thoughts and feelings without disconnecting or self-medicating in unhealthy ways.
  • Gives a sense we can manage our emotions which helps us calm in times of fear and feel more confident during times of uncertainty.
  • Focusing on emotional freedom for ourselves and others puts us in touch with energies and behaviors that enhance our we-spaces.
  • Helps us grow in grounded presence which helps ourselves and others feel safe, respected, and free to feel their own feelings, too, in healthier ways.

Confidence Builds with Emotional Self-Management

It’s hard on our confidence when we’re hijacked by our primitive brain. We can find ourselves reacting in ways that don’t feel like “us.” It’s like, “Where did THAT come from?!?”

We’re animals. We react. But because we’re also imaginative, we can react to fears about the future, beliefs we’ve picked up, as well as associations we’ve made about what has hurt us in the past.

The craving to be free of these kinds of limitations and unhelpful reactions is at the core of the drive to be emotionally self-managed.

When a feeling arises, we want to know how to be with it – even if intense.

Rather than numbing out, running away, or fighting with how we feel, we can bring awareness to the thoughts and body sensations.

Rather than suppressing our feelings or pretending we don’t have them, we can accept where we are and how we feel. Our feelings are real.

Rather than stay stuck, we can adapt by exploring choices. This helps us feel a bit more calm and confident.

Knowing we can make a choice and take a small step, we get to move into inspired action.

Following action, we take a powerful pause and allow our body-mind to discover what our next YES is.

Emotional freedom as a concept reminds us to self-observe. Am I feeling free right now? Ahhh, I’m not! Means it’s time to tend to my emotional freedom with a dose of compassion and skill.

Emotional Sewage, Junk, and Pollution

We eat and drink. We poop and pee. Anyone who argues that one doesn’t follow the other lacks grounding in what it means to be alive.

We grow and interact. We feel and release. Some of the things we feel are pretty shitty. Some people and situations piss us off. Yet, for some reason, those that understand that it’s natural to poop and pee find emotional stuff “unnecessary” or “to be avoided.” Good luck with that.

Part of the challenge here is that we’re still in the process of developing ways to handle normal, natural emotions in ways that do not pollute.

What is our equivalent of the toilet when we’re pissed off? Is it taking it out on others? Well, it wasn’t THAT long ago when people just tossed their poop and pee out the window and into the streets. Some do that with their emotions.

It’s time to upgrade how we handle our emotional sewage.

Same goes for our junk. Have you ever seen a discarded washing machine tossed in a ditch along the side of the road? That’s not good for the environment. It doesn’t respect the lives and property of others. The alternative can’t be holding onto our junk until we are crushed by it, either.

To describe emotions in this way we hope makes it clear that for each of us, there are normal emotional byproducts of living we need to tend to in a way that is hygenic and ideally not negatively impactful on others.

Same with our “junk” – limiting beliefs, vows that no longer serve us, obligations and family rules that are dysfunctional, and traumas and griefs that have now been healed.

For us the transformation and upcycling of emotional energy is essential. We’re healing our emotional world together… rather than adding to the emotional pollution. This is both a personal devotion to emotional self-care and a community engagement to support healthy emotional processing.

Tending to the pollution in our emotional world is all our response-ability.

Emotional Skills are Real Skills

It’s true that emotional skills are not industrial skills. The industrial age needed compliance and conformity and doing what the boss told you to do.

Emotional skills used to be called “soft skills.” Compared to welding or accounting, they were viewed as “nice to have” skills – but certainly not necessary in order to succeed.

Times are changing. For people who want to thrive, it’s the emotional skills that are becoming essential.

Real skills – like emotional self-management – have practical value because, let’s be honest: if you had to choose between co-creating with someone who was anxious and doubting and someone who was authentically calm and confident, which would you choose?

Wouldn’t that be true if picking a business partner… or friend… or lover… or someone to build your house?

We want to co-create with people who can be calm and confident. When they can’t, when they are triggered or coping, we want honesty about their feelings and also a growing ability to self- and co-regulate.

Emotional skills take effort. We can become emotionally more free by practicing and using emotional technologies like EFT Tapping, meditation, circling, somatic movement, and more.

Useful Questions

  • Am I feeling free right now?
  • How do I not feel free right now?
  • Are there feelings I don’t believe I’m “allowed” to have?
  • What do I not accept about myself and my emotions?
  • How would I like to feel?
  • Might I choose to accept myself a bit more deeply and completely… even though I have these emotions?

Resources

Related Concepts

Acceptance, EFT Tapping, Awareness, Body Guidance, Real Skills, Co-Regulation, We-Space, Primitive Brain, Trauma-Informed, Limiting Beliefs, Safety and Respect, Body Guidance, Presence, Calm and Confident


Contributors: @Rick

We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:

  • Life examples where this concept has played a role
  • Other useful questions
  • Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
  • Memes, quotes, and inspiring images
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One of the ways I view emotional freedom is having the courage to do away with things that no longer serve me and are, in fact, harmful. For me, this begins with recognizing and honoring what I feel in my body. It could mean protecting myself from someone who has poor boundaries, or seeing limiting beliefs for what they are, even though they are difficult to change.

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Yes to all this wisdom here!! Thank you.

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Emotional freedom is so essential — and often under-valued! :purple_heart:

Kiddo and I watched “Inside Out” (again) last night, and had some interesting discussions afterwards about how each character had an apparently “primary”/go-to emotion in charge, directing how things flow… Riley’s was Joy, her mom’s was Sadness, Dad’s was Anger, and then all the ones in the credits differed, too. And we guessed at what the primary emotions were for characters in books (like in Harry Potter), and people we know, and how those can change over time or under stress.

We talked about how important Sadness can be to really take time to feel (as the movie pointed out), and how harmful it can be to try to insist on someone being happy all the time… Riley couldn’t move forward in her new life until she really made room to acknowledge, accept, and share her sadness! And we talked about how Joy trying to “fix” everything wasn’t really helpful; the other emotions also needed to be allowed.

Meanwhile, in the Five Elements of Chinese medicine, there’s also a lot of emphasis put on the need for all the emotions to be processed and balanced, such that they nurture our growth.

Grief (and disappointment, etc) transform into Courage, Strength, Integrity, as we let the old fall away to be composted with the autumn — and each evening. This letting go of the Metal element (with each breath, and with the crap we clear from the large intestine!) makes space for the quiet, yin darkness of night, and winter, in which we take time to rest, reflect, and nourish seeds in the dark soil, so they’ll be ready to sprout forth in the spring, as well as each morning. In the Water element depths of winter, we transform Fear into Wisdom, with Trust in our own deep inner knowing.

Morning/springtime energy rises up to create change and growth — and if it meets resistance or obstacles, it can mean Anger or Frustration… which transform with Creativity, Kindness, and Generosity, to find a path forward that’s a win-win, rather than simply overpowering others (as can happen if Wood energy is out of balance).

Midday/summer is the time of Fire, of Joy and Excitement (sometimes out of balance with anxiety or over exuberance!), which brings forth the blossoming of our Hearts’ ideas and beloved creations — which also need to be balanced with Appropriate Timing, Sacredness, and Connection.

As these flowers turn to fruits of the harvest season (afternoon/late summer), the Earth energy transforms Worry and Overthinking into Trust, Compassion, and Abundance, knowing that we can take in and digest all our food, emotions, and experiences, when we compassionately, mindfully come back to our own center.

And then we return to Metal, to appreciate and Honor that which we have harvested, and to let go of anything no longer needed, to be Free to begin again…

There are many more nuances, of course, but I love this cycle as a reminder of how All Emotions are important aspects of ourselves and of what we wish to grow and harvest — even if sometimes uncomfortable! And, there are many practices to help Be With the discomfort, so that the process can return to more easeful Flow — tapping, qigong, breathwork, and daily activities, foods, sounds, movements, and herbs to help any element or emotion in question. Such richness, to enjoy the dance with them all! :yin_yang::sparkles:

Cheers to this new year, embracing and supporting Emotional Freedom for All. :rainbow::heart::dizzy:

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Thank you Jem…I appreciate the words you’ve chosen…I was just looking at some photos of my brother who died about 6 months ago…I’d been pausing for a while, waiting to feel able to look at them. It’s not easy…the emptiness is still fresh…I have such a deep yearning to be in his presence again…and your words are soothing…thank you.

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Added three examples… and of course Emotional Freedom deserves 1000 examples! You’re welcome to share a bit of your own emotional freedom story here…

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