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Viewing negative emotion as an invitation

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“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

Photo by Jordan Rowland on Unsplash

Negative emotion. If I asked you to just allow the next negative emotion that came up for you, what would you think? Rather than doing something quickly to change it, you have to close your eyes and sit with it, and let it fully run its course in your body. Are you cringing? Does it make you anxious?

 

The purpose of negative

One very clear purpose of the negative of anything is balance. For there to be a positive, there has to be a negative. This is a very clear law of our universe, the law of opposites. What has a front has a back. There is an inside and an outside. There is a negative, and a positive.

Imagine your body as a thermostat, set to a very specific temperature. When anything happens to you that causes that temperature to change, your mind/body goes into action to get you back to the programmed temperature.

Negative cues are part of that process. They alert the nervous system to move things into action to return to normal, to get back to positive. But moving too far in the positive direction means moving back towards the negative, to maintain balance.

 

Reading the cues

When negative cues arise, we all have a patterned program for how to deal with them. Some of these patterned programs are instinctive. When the negative cue of hunger arises, we’re moved into action to look for food to eat. When the negative cue of thirst arises, we find something to drink. When the negative cue of shower water that’s too hot touches our skin, we’re moved to turn the water temperature down. 

The majority of our patterned programs are learned. As children we saw the way the people around us dealt with and changed their body state from negative to positive, and our brains picked up on that, and decided to make it part of the patterned program. Maybe you had a parent that when they got angry (negative cue) they stormed out of the house and smoked, while the other parent shut down and lost themselves in a drink and reading. And now, as an adult, you find yourself doing something similar. 

A kids brain isn’t thinking about how this behavior will affect their future. A kids brain is just trying to pick up ANY information that will help it survive in the environment it’s living in. If slamming the door and smoking a pack of cigarettes is perceived as part of it, the brain will adopt that as patterned behavior that should be incorporated.

 

The invitation

Negative and positive emotion are two sides of the same coin. One side of the coin creates forward movement, or the actions of engagement (positive). The other side of the coin creates backwards movement, or the actions of avoidance (negative). 

Both sides of the coin are constantly in play, because to move away from one thing you have to be moving toward something else, and vise versa.

But when you perceive that you’re in a negative state, your body is giving you a signal, or an invitation for change. Your subconscious mind may not see it this way, but your conscious mind can become well aware that a programmed pattern is about to take place.

If that pattern is not creating the life experience you want, this is your invitation to step in, and start creating a new process.

That pattern is starting with thought, and if you can pinpoint the thoughts that get the ball rolling, you can start to change them. 

The best way to see those programmed thoughts is to write them down. And the best way to get your thoughts churning so you can write them down is to ask the question “Why”? 

Why do I behave this way? Why does this situation create a negative emotion in me? Why do I want to avoid it? 

If you ask why and take the time to write it down, you’ll get a glimpse into those thoughts that were embedded when you were young. Then you can start the work of choosing which thoughts to keep, and which ones you can do without.

 

Work with me

It’s my job as a coach to help you explore those thoughts and get highly decisive about the thoughts that are creating both positive or negative action for you. Then, with intention, we’ll craft new thoughts that will create the actions you want in your life, so you can see results. I can help you flip the coin, to help you engage things you want to, rather than avoid them, and vice versa.

Book a complimentary consultation with me to start exploring the possibilities.

Or, sign up for my email list for twice weekly coaching straight to your inbox.

Or heck, do both!