Monday, February 6, 2017

Find Their Own Healing

I came across Lewis Howes last month via his interview with Glennon Doyle Melton.  Today I started listening to his interview with Katherine Woodward Thomas.  The topic was How to Consciously End a Relationship.  

I am loving it.  I've only listened to the first 30 minutes but here are a few of my favorites thus far.

“Like we update our computer programs and our child-rearing practices and our diets and our exercise programs, I think we have to update our aspirations around love.  And we need to shift from the question of, you know, how we are going to value the union according to how long did it last, and start to ask the question, ‘What did I learn and how have I expanded my capacity to love?’”

Katherine Woodward Thomas

“We live in a very mobile society that values growth and evolution, right? And in a way America is really kind of torn between these two ideals of the stability of family and commitment and devotion and most of us really believe in that.  90% of us are going to get married at some point in  our lifetimes, but we also are a country that was kind of founded upon the ideal of the pursuit of happiness.  We are a creative bunch.  We love change.  We love evolution.  We love personal growth and development and those two things aren’t always the best bed fellows.  So in a perfect world we all grow together, but different people have different callings and different people have different aspirations.  How much they are willing to grow and how they are going to navigate the tension between just wanting to be comfortable in life, kind of set in life, and how much they are going to be risk oriented, and keep striving to be your best self.”

Katherine Woodward Thomas

And then this part which I absolutely loved in minutes 23-25.

“One of the things that I offer people is a simple technique called affect labeling, in the psychological world, which is basically the ability to put a name on each of your feelings…there was a scientific study done where subjects were looking at a computer screen, and they were seeing, you know, faces of horror, faces of rage, faces of hatred, and they were being monitored and all of their vitals and they are kind of going off of the charts, their blood pressures rising, their heart rate is going.  And then they did another technique with this, they had the same pictures to a new group, but they put a name, ‘Hatred,’ ‘Rage,’ ‘Despair,’ and the vitals did not go up in the same way.  So what that shows is that when we have a name for the experience that we are having, we don’t get as overwhelmed.  So language serves kind of as a container.”

“So how we would use that in a break-up?” Howes

“So I have a practice where I just very simply advice people to ask yourself, “You know Katherine, honey what are you feeling right now?’

‘I’m feeling - terrified.’

‘I can see that you are feeling terrified, honey what else are you feeling?’

‘I’m feeling so humiliated.’

‘Oh I can see that, so humiliated, what else are you feeling?’…" 

 Katherine Woodward Thomas

“If the feelings are overwhelming I also give them, people, an opportunity to do the process of Tonglen…which is a beautiful practice that Pema Chodron actually made very popular of you breathe a certain feeling into your heart.  So I feel despair, I’m going to breathe despair in.   I’m not going to turn away from it.  And the outbreath I’m going to breathe out a blessing to everyone in the world who at this very moment is suffering with this very feeling, including myself.  And it starts to feel like you can start to hold the feeling more because you’ve made a bigger playing field and you see it as an impersonal experience, and then you become, you know, a force of good.  Ideally what happens is we want to harvest the seeds of growth that are inside of each of our feelings. “

Katherine Woodward Thomas

And to top it off I received a letter today which included the following, "Your writing is touching and beautiful.  I'm sure it helps you somewhat in the hard times but it is also a gift to others who find their own healing through your story."

No comments:

Post a Comment