Emotions are often referred to as "energy in motion" (e-motion). Instinctive and intuitive, emotions are quite different from our cognitive functioning of reason and logic. Where an idea is expressed through the neural circuitry of the brain, an emotion is felt within the body and experienced through one or more sensations (constriction, tingling, warmth). Fluency is the ability to express oneself with ease.
Emotional Fluency involves learning to speak the language of emotions with wisdom and grace, and to discover the messages wrapped in this energy-in-motion that flows through the body.
Emotional fluency work:
reconnects us to our feeling-based capacities as a way to navigate the world,
teaches us how to be in deeper and fuller relationship with Self and Others
assists our growth and evolution as human beings living in a complex and diverse world
This work of reconnecting roots us back into what poet, Mary Oliver, refers to as "the soft animal of our body." Feeling permeates our lives, giving us endless opportunities to reconnect to the wisdom of our body and that of the Earth.
"The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door." Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Cultural history of emotion
Feeling as way of connecting, understanding and evolving has taken a back seat to rational thought (logic and reason). Just like learning a language, when we stop speaking that language we soon forget how to form sentences, and what words mean. As a result, we render ourselves unable to fully communicate.
In the case of emotions, we are communicating with one another, but often from a fractured and unaware psyche. Held hostage by an ever-quickening world, we give ourselves very few moments to really immerse within an experience; to fully feel each moment of our lives unfolding.
As native residents of this modern day and age, our minds and bodies are saturated by information and movement. Stillness and feeling have become rare gems only to be found in the most obscure of places.
Thinking and analyzing our way through the world is an all too common approach to living. Our ancestral inheritance of passionately feeling our place in the place of everything has sunken to the bottom of a collective ocean. BUT, we can retrieve it!
Get your scuba gear ready, and prepare to dive in!
This work entails:
Discerning which emotion(s) you are feeling
Identifying the various sensations that accompany emotions
Locating where you are feeling an emotion in the body
Tracking an emotion's wild habits in the body (migration, hibernation, isolation)
Using mindfulness-based techniques to create a steady distance from intense emotions so as to step back into that emotion, consciously.
Naming recurring emotions, and identifying their charges and triggers
Identifying the nature, age and agenda of an emotion, and who or what is driving it
Distinguishing between one's own emotions and that of an Other
"The head/heart split is not just a matter of what we think about what we feel. It's also about how we actually experience our feelings. Few of us know how to feel our emotions fully in the body and to completion... The power of emotions as a profound way of knowing and healing is barely recognized in a society that worships science and more masculine forms of knowing." Miriam Greenspan