29 Apr 2013

Emotional Pleasure – Blog 29.4.13

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Dear friends,

Well what an interesting week it’s been. I really enjoyed running my class on Friday which was about emotional pleasure. What is Emotional Pleasure?

This week, I thought I would share with you a little about emotional pleasure (inspired by Stella Resnick) or rather how we can feel more pleasured in our emotions. We can only really achieve emotional pleasure once we have healed much of the emotional pain. This is often easier said than done!

We have the emotional spectrum, ranging from Fear and Anger to the different variations of Love (love as a basic need, an emotion, a bond, passion, intimacy and ultimately a combination of them all). We are often somewhere between the two extremes and can have moments when we fall into the clutches of overwhelm and experience fear and anger and other times we may be lucky to experience the highs of living in the flow with an expanded heart full of love.

Chronic fear and anger causes a contraction of the muscles in the body particularly the heart. Unexpressed feelings/emotions can be found in tense muscles and often coupled with a shallow breath. If we hold on to particular emotions it will eventually cause numbness in that area or a general lack of feeling in the body as a whole and even illness. This is why it is so important to heal our emotional pain to free our body, as well as our mind, from holding onto any negative emotion.

Love, on the other hand, is like a basic nutrient, it promotes health and Pleasure through loving, caring, maintaining hope, having faith and compassion. These are all food for the heart. Love allows the heart to expand and swell. Think about a baby’s need for love and affection in order to survive. If this is denied, it can be fatal or otherwise debilitating with long term repercussions.

However, if our heart opens too quickly from this contracted heart position to expansion, it can cause anxiety which then propels us back to the contracted position. If we are not used to feeling love, especially left over from when we were a child, we need to gently heal our heart and our painful emotions by cultivating emotional awareness, releasing old patterns, practicing self care and finally pleasure!

Most people have been raised to suppress honest emotions which are either disallowed or undermined which creates a kind of emotionally dyslexia (an inability to use our emotions to understand what is going on in any given moment). Whereas emotional intelligence uses our emotions as a guidance tool. Being able to tune into the body’s sensations in each moment can help us find ways of managing our lives and thus feel more pleasure.

Love is the ultimate emotional pleasure and identified by openness, expansion, lightness, relaxation, safety, well-being, vitality and in the highest form, rapture and bliss. True love is about being true to yourself as well as to another.

One way of channelling our emotions is through expressive art which can act as a fantastic means of therapy and personal growth.

Art is a non-intellectual process and allows us to access images, our emotions and the unconscious part of ourselves. Our thoughts and feelings have a direct influence on our physical body and health and we can use art as a way of communicating these thoughts and feelings without having to use words – a kind of symbolic speech. This is where we bury our pain, hurt, frustrations, anger, fears and difficult memories especially from childhood, birth or even in the womb.

Art inevitably tells our personal stories about our feelings, thoughts, experiences, values and beliefs. In the process of making these visible through art, we are offered a way to know ourselves from a new perspective and an opportunity to transform that perspective. There is no pressure for technical skill or having to produce a beautiful picture, in fact, no experience of art is necessary, just a willingness to have a go as any mark is a valid contribution. Often we find symbols emerging over time that have a particular relevance to our lives, or a single image that can speak volumes.

Through the therapeutic benefits of art we can generate self-esteem, gain confidence and empower ourselves to be more in control of our life. The creative process can enhance emotional well-being in absolutely anyone who is willing to try it. All of our desires and all of our answers lie within us. Emotional pleasure is possible.

Kiwi Love Heart

Photo by
Alex Florschutz

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