My process of sitting with difficult emotions is straightforward:
After sitting quietly for awhile, relaxing my breath and releasing my body from the momentum of busyness, I bring to mind a difficult experience—perhaps an unpleasant interaction that has occurred—and hold a static image of the event in the “movie screen” of my mind (the area where I visualize memories).
Then I ask a few questions: “How does it feel?” If nothing arises, I may have to prod a little: “How does it feel to be unheard/mistreated?” Then I observe as the physical expressions of anger or fear arise in the body. It’s essential to not repeat the “How dare they!” stories, which are simply distractions from the real, physical expression of emotions.
Eventually, attending to difficult emotions isn’t as painful as it may seem; emotions are only monstrous when they’re not welcomed.
As Bill Sees It
Running The Whole Show, p. 320
Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show and is forever trying to arrange the lights, the scenery, and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great.
What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.
Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be useful? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?
Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 60-61
There is a sliver of crescent moon outside. I am out of bed because of the relentless busyness of my head. It wanders and roams and savages me. Before Izzy died, I had found peacefulness of the Head – but now the turmoil and anxiety are back. I am Unprotected. So it seems.
Now I am awake for the day before me and the clouds are upon us. Ordinary Clouds – nothing mystical about them. I have a Morning Meeting to go to in Urunga so I shall dress soon. I have two young women with whom I need to clarify some matters.