What are Your Triggers?

What happens to you when you get triggered by something in your world?

Maybe it’s something as simple as a slow driver in traffic and you are late to work?

Or maybe it a negative comment from your Mother?

Or maybe something your partner did….or DIDN’T do?

Or maybe your boss pointed out something wrong with the project you put your heart and soul into?

All of these can be triggers for you, in turn causing an upset inside of you.

Then what happens? Rage, anger, bitterness and resentment? Suffering inside?

These are all normal human responses to your world.  However, you DO have choices that you can make between the stimulus and response of what is happening inside of you.

You can choose to:

  1. Explode your emotions, yell and scream, blame everyone and everything for your upset.
  2. Hide your upset, emotions and keep it all locked up inside.
  3. Feel your feelings. See what is the deeper level of the trigger. Take responsibility for your upset. Heal the wound inside of you.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
~Viktor E. Frankl

You DO have a choice.

I can share with you from personal experience, that #1 and #2 don’t resolve the suffering inside.  In the past, not knowing any better, I unconsciously choose the screaming response. It is not very attractive and it took much of my precious energy.

Then there was a period in my life where I thought that being quiet and keeping my anger inside and diffused was a better choice.  Repressing emotions, also not a good choice as it manifested into illness in my body.

Have you experienced the pain of an upset and unconsciously choose response #1 or #2?

If you want to find a resolution to your upset and bring peace to yourself, then response #3 is the best choice. However, it takes conscious awareness of what’s going on inside of you AND the willingness to take responsibility for your upset.

“Only you can take dominion over your consciousness.”~ Dr. Mary Hulnick

If, in the midst of the space between your stimulus and response of your trigger, you choose response #3, here are the steps I suggest you move through to find freedom from the suffering inside of yourself:

  1. Recognize the trigger and give yourself some space.
  2. Feel your feelings, angry, upset, mad….allow yourself to FEEL them.
  3. Take 100% responsibility for your upset.
  4. Rise above your life as an observer and see what is really happening.
  5. Look to see what the upset is REALLY about…then go deeper. The thing is never the thing.
  6. Move into self-forgiveness for any judgements you might have towards yourself and others.
  7. Now as you have released your judgments, you can see the truth in the situation.
  8. Repeat as necessary.

“Every time one person heals an issue, all of humanity evolves.” ~Dr. Ron Hulnick

You do have the power to heal your triggers and upsets. Peace and freedom are on the other side of the suffering.

nourish-your-soulMaybe you are dealing with a trigger and upset right now in your life.

Ask yourself how bad do you want to heal?

Are you ready to see the truth?

Are you ready to take responsibility for your own upset without blaming another person?

Are you ready heal your own suffering?

If you are ready, use these steps to begin your healing.

I would love to hear your feedback in how this post can support you in finding peace and freedom from your suffering. And as always, if you need some support with this, I invite you to reach out to me.

Much love,

signature.chris_smaller

 

When Lessons Present Themselves: Shifting from Upset to Equanimity

Yesterday was a day for lessons to be learned.  I wouldn’t have guessed it when I began the day, but by the end of the evening, I could see that I was being tested.  And by this morning I could see that the universe was truly speaking to me loud and clear!  I acknowledged my upset, was able to process it, and then find a place of equanimity in each situation I was presented with.

Here are the scenarios.  Midday I had to return to my former employer to drop off some important paperwork.  Was I fearful to go to this location after 2 years and painful memories? YES!  Did I want someone else to do this for me? YES!  Did I have the courage to do it anyways? YES!  Was I ok afterwards? YES!

LESSON:  Embrace my power and do what might be uncomfortable. Don’t ask anyone to do what I can do myself.

Evening time, after spending five hours preparing for out of town relatives to come over for a lovely dinner.  The table was set with my fine china and my crystal glasses.  Even Martha Stewart would have been impressed with my table decor!  During dinner, someone drops and breaks one of the dinner plates!  Ouch!  It’s OK, it is replaceable and everyone was OK.  Not even 20 minutes later, one of the crystal glasses is knocked over and shatters!  Ouch! It’s OK, its replaceable and it made the plate crasher not feel so bad.   Was I upset because my plate and glass were broken by other people? YES, but for just a second. The truth is that they are replaceable.

LESSON:  Possessions are just stuff and can be replaced.  I looked around at the loving family who we were sharing a meal with and saw that they were more important than any stuff!

And the last lesson for this whirlwind of 24 hours.  I go outside to our beautiful picturesque backyard that my husband and I spent hours trimming and planting to prepare for the dinner. Our beautiful fig vine that has enveloped the entire north side of the house was dead where it had grown on our patio ceiling.  My husband had accidently clipped a main artery to this beautiful piece of nature art.  Oh no, not the vine!  Was I upset, YES, and only for a second.  I quickly shifted to the realization that it is just a plant and, like a bad haircut,  it will grow back maybe even more beautiful.

LESSON:  In our efforts to rid of overgrowth and debris, we let go of something we hadn’t intended to.  We let it go of it anyways and will focus on the future growth.  

How did I shift from upset to equanimity in each situation?

1.  I acknowledged my feelings of upset.  It is a normal human reaction.  

2.  I rose above the situation and saw it with out any ego attachment that would make someone wrong.

3.  I saw the facts and truth in the situation.

4.  I looked towards my future actions that I would need to do.

5.  In my heart, I forgave myself for any judgments I may have had towards others or myself.

6.  I let it go.

7.  I looked for the lesson in each situation and kept that in my heart.

Three different times in a 24 hour period my emotions were triggered.  First with fear, then with upset (x 2).  Each time, I acknowledged my feelings, processed them in a healthy way and looked for the lesson in each situation.  Equanimity is finding that place of emotional balance that helps me keep the peace inside of me.  I find that with each lesson I can find that place of equanimity quicker each time, despite what challenges my every day life offers me.

Next time you find yourself in and an emotional state, try following the steps listed above and you too will find that peace inside of you.

 

Forgiveness: Not Something We do for Others…It’s for Our Healing

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”   ~ Louis B. Smedes

Have you ever experienced the upset and anger for an injustice in your past?  Do you still feel the upset even today?

Chances are, you probably have.  Why?  Because you are human and this is a normal human experience.  These are human emotions that can be triggered by an outside event.  The upset and anger are what you feel inside within your emotional body. The key here is, what you do with that upset and anger.

Do you internalize it and keep it inside or externalize it with emotional outbursts?  Do you hold grudges and resentments towards those individuals?  Have you been holding on to those negative feelings for years?  Does this anger feed your “story” about the injustice?  Do you spew this anger onto others?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to know that there are other choices of how you look at a situation that has caused you this upset.  If you are open to looking at the other choices, here are some questions to ask yourself as you move forward in your healing process:

1.  How much energy am I expending on being angry and upset at this situation?

2.  Am I willing to give up my own personal energy to this situation?

3.  Have I acknowledged and processed my feelings in a healthy way…such as free-form writing?

4.  Am I judging the person, or their behavior, and what are those judgments?

5.  Am I open to releasing the negative emotion from my SELF?

6.  Am I open to the healing power of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a powerful healing process that is the inner action of giving love and compassion to our SELF and others.  It is the remedy to the pain and separation that anger, resentment and judgment causes. Forgiveness is the release of the chains that hold you back from the peace you so deserve in your life, despite the perceptions you may have created around the upsetting situation.

It doesn’t make what they did right, it releases you from the pain inside of you.  Forgiveness is truly the healing resource you have available to you in any situation.

Dean Ornish, M.D. writes in the Foreword of the book  A Course in Weight Loss/21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever  by Marianne Williamson,

“When we forgive others, it doesn’t excuse their actions; it frees us from our own stress and suffering.  These allow for deep levels of intimacy and community that are powerfully healing.  When you meet hatred with love, and fear with hope, this transforms YOU, as well as those around you.”

Are you ready to forgive and create a new way to remember?  Are you ready to change the memory of your past to the hope for your future?

Forgiveness as a Healing Tool

“Forgiveness is the fragrance a violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  ~Mark Twain

Have you ever experienced the upset and anger for an injustice someone else did towards you?  Chances are you probably have.  Why?  Because we are human and this is a normal human experience.  These are human emotions that can be triggered by an outside event.  The upset and anger are what we feel inside within our emotional body.

The key here is, what you do with that upset and anger?  Do you internalize it and keep it inside or externalize it with emotional outbursts?  Do you hold grudges and resentments towards those individuals?  Do you hold on to those negative feelings for years and years?  Does this anger feed your “story” about the injustice?  Do you spew this anger onto others?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to know that there are other choices of how you look at a situation that has caused you this upset.  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1.  How much energy am I expending on being angry and upset at this situation?

2.  Am I willing to give up my own personal energy to this situation?

3.  Have I acknowledged and processed my feelings in a healthy way…such as free-form writing or journaling?

4.  Am I judging the person or their behavior, and what are those judgments?

5.  Am I open to releasing the negative emotion from my SELF?

6.  Am I open to the healing power of forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a powerful healing process that is the inner action of giving love and compassion to our SELF and others.  It is the remedy to the pain and separation that anger, resentment and judgment causes. It is an action that acknowledges that we are human and, at times, our behavior is not what we want it to be.  Forgiveness is the release of the chains that hold us back from the peace we so deserve in our lives, despite the perceptions we created around the upsetting situation.

Forgiveness is truly the healing resource we have available to us in any situation. Perhaps this may all sound so very difficult for you, but I offer you these suggestions to experience.  When you move through these steps….and then through the forgiveness process….you will truly feel the release.

If you want to find out more about the forgiveness process, come to the next Heartfelt Learning Workshop session, “The Healing Power of Self Forgiveness” on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.  For more details: http://www.heartfeltworkforce.com/workshops/HeartfeltWorkshops5-5-11.pdf

Releasing My Triggers and Upsets…..Yes, it’s possible!

As I am preparing the curriculum for my next Heartfelt Learning Workshop session, “The Steps to Issue Resolution,” I am blessed to reflect on my own journey of understanding how to resolve  triggers, upsets and issues with myself and others.   I love to share my wisdom in my workshops and coaching because I have been (in the past) there in the pain, upset, anger, negative emotion and all the other icky feelings.  However at that time, I did not know what to do with these feelings.  The thought of upsetting others just kept me in fear and frozen.  So I did what I knew….kept on plugging away and living my unconscious life.

I remember early in my emotional healing and spiritual awakening in 2005, I had no idea what any of this meant.  I was living life in a very unconscious way and simply reacting to the chaos of the individuals in my life.  I had given chunks of myself to my family and expected them to love me in return.  And when they did not (or could not), I was easily triggered into anger and then resentment.  But because I was the “good wife, mother, sister, daughter….,” I did not show my anger.  I only repressed it and kept it inside.  What a surprise when it began to leak out in unattractive ways.

In learning more about triggers, I realized that I might as well have a key pad attached to my heart in dealing with certain individuals in my life.  They knew what buttons to push!  I was triggered all the time, and just became small when triggered.  I felt helpless and hopeless.  In my healing resources, I learned how to not give away my power and to stand up for myself.  I could speak my truth and be in my own personal power.  I learned to be more conscious of how I was with myself and others.   I learned that I did not have to give in to someone and answer right away and even to say “no” as a complete sentence.  As I learned the tools and steps to resolve my inner disturbances and began to practice them, I began building my inner strength.  This strength was truly from the inside out.   I utilized my affirmations to continue to build this deep inner strength.

What was truly miraculous was that every time I encountered those individuals, after my inner work, they were no longer triggers for me.  I had removed the key pad from my heart.  My original thought was that even if they tried to trigger me, my buttons were not there anymore.  The truth was that I took responsibility for my triggers and behaviors.  So as my behavior changed, their behavior changed.  I had moved from a place of anger and judgment to a space of loving and compassion for myself and those in my life.  My relationships evolved as I evolved.

I still find from time to time that something might begin to create an upset within me, however I am now immediately conscious of it and my behavior.  I move into these steps and process it quickly so I can find my place of peace inside.  It reminds me of  a favorite quote from one of my professors at the University of Santa Monica, Dr. Ron Hulnick,Every time one person resolves one issue, all of humanity evolves.”

Come and learn more about these steps for yourself at my next Heartfelt Learning Workshop , Wednesday May 25, “The Steps to Issue Resolution”. I’d love to share with you!