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­­­Here’s a Bizarre and Amazing Way to Deal with Difficult Emotions

photo: Allan Donque on flickr

photo: Allan Donque on flickr

What’s your least favorite emotion?

Mine is anger.

Don’t get me wrong – anger can actually feel good at times. But other times?

Not so much.

My least favorite time to experience anger is in the presence of an authority figure. Especially if my anger is directed at the authority figure. In those cases, I tend to dissolve into a puddle of tears.

I’m not sure how my anger manages to morph into small pieces of water pouring out of my eyes, but anger is a tricky emotion. It has its own way of doing things.

photo: princesstee on flickr

photo: princesstee on flickr

Which brings me to this really cool technique I learned.

I found it in a book called The Hathor Material by Tom Kenyon and Virginia Essene.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you’re experiencing a difficult emotion. Take a moment to get quiet and locate the place in your body that you feel this emotion. Then take a deep breath and allow yourself to make a sound that embodies this emotion.

That’s all there is to it.

It’s a really simple – and really effective – way to move emotions through your system without damaging yourself or others.

In fact, the only possible harm that can come from this technique is to your pride. Especially if you attempt this exercise in front of anyone else.

For that reason, it’s best to start out this technique alone: In the car. In the shower. In the bathroom. Wherever you can take a few seconds to make some funny noises and clear yourself of difficult emotions.

To make it even more effective, I like to add movement to the sound. This allows me to embody the emotional release more fully.

Plus it makes me look really silly, which is part of the fun.

photo: rumpleteaser on flickr

photo: rumpleteaser on flickr

I had a recent experience with this technique that reminded me of its power.

I took a week off at the end of the year to tackle a list of chores I’d been putting off for ages. For some reason, whenever I have a list of items to accomplish, I tend to get a little crazed.

As I’m moving through the list, I slip into something I call the Shangri-La Syndrome.

dude, where's my peace?

The Shangri-La Syndrome goes like this. As I’m accomplishing the tasks on my list, my mind starts to chatter. And not just any chatter. Oh no. The chatter sounds like this:

When you finish everything on this list, you will feel great! Your entire life will be in order! But only if you finish everything on the list!

As you can see, it’s a cruel and vicious game.

The Shangri-La Syndrome prompts me to work harder and faster to finish everything on the list. It tells me that if I do so, I’ll have an awesome payoff when I’m done.

Only the payoff never comes, because I’m so crazed to finish everything, I push myself too hard and make myself miserable. Even if I finish the list, there’s no relief. Shangri-La is nowhere in sight.


photo: nasrul ekram on flickr

photo: nasrul ekram on flickr

My recent bout of the Shangri-La Syndrome was no exception.

After a few days of subjecting myself to its terrors, I’d had enough.

I was miserable. I was frustrated and angry. Why was I pushing myself so hard? Why wasn’t I feeling more satisfaction with all the projects I was getting done?

It was at this point I heard a little voice in my head. A quiet counterpoint to the voice that was telling me to work harderfasterbetter. This voice said: Try the Hathor technique. It will help.

So I did. Right there in the middle of our kitchen. I flailed my arms around and made a noise like a manic cat with a hairball.

how dare you talk to me like that!

It wasn’t pretty. But did I feel better when I was finished?

You bet I did.

Way better. Shockingly so.

After a few minutes went by, I did it again and felt even better.

In fact, the technique worked so well, I was inspired to tell Melissa about it and we’re incorporating it into our nightly routine.

We each take a few seconds to do an emotional release before sharing our list of things we’re grateful for.

Yes, it looks silly. Yes, we make noises that sound like they’re coming from mentally-disturbed animals. But we feel better when we’re finished.

Not only that, it only takes a few seconds. Which, for my money, is a really short amount of time to release those pesky emotions that can fester inside us, causing trouble.

Which is not to say the Hathor technique only works on difficult emotions. It can be a great way to express the so-called “positive” feelings as well: joy, excitement, surprise, elation.

Whatever you’re feeling, this technique is a bizarre and amazing way to express your emotions.

And once you’ve mastered the art of venting alone in the privacy of your own home, you can try this process out in public, but in a quieter and more subdued fashion.

Unless you like a lot of attention, in which case: Show the world just how freaky you can be!

photo: Filipe Dilly on flickr

photo: Filipe Dilly on flickr

What’s your least favorite emotion? What’s the most effective way for you to express it?

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6 Responses to ­­­Here’s a Bizarre and Amazing Way to Deal with Difficult Emotions

  1. Barbara February 5, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Z, amazing information. I am glad you shared this because I also do not like sharing my anger outright either. Besides, clean up can be difficult because that feeling usually follows, along with embarrassment. I like to avoid these as much as possible. I try to really respect all of my emotions.
    After reading this I am going to try this out and see how it goes for me.
    Thank you

    • Z Egloff February 5, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      Yes, give it a try and let me know how it goes. This method bypasses a lot of the usual resistance. It’s so simple and easy too. You just need to be willing to look and sound really silly. :)


  2. Karen February 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Well, I don’t know about this technique, Z. I have an image to maintain in my community. Oh wait, no I don’t. Count me in. Haha!

    The Shangri-la list syndrome is one I know so well. I become a hamster on a wheel in a frenzy to accomplish everything on the list, including shredding the paper the list was written on when I’m done…and dumping all the shred from the past in a trash bag…then meticulously picking up every shredding I dropped, including those that went under the refrigerator, and then finding I need to dust under the refrigerator poste haste and then….

    Anywho, thanks. :)

    • Z Egloff February 6, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Karen,

      I appreciate your lightness and refusal to take yourself too seriously. What a great way to go through the world!

      As for the paper and the shredder and those pesky under-the-fridge pieces: Sister, I feel your pain. (So I went and did the wacky technique to unload all that pain. Ahhhh, now I feel better.)

      Thanks, as always, for your awesome comments. :)


  3. Jerrine February 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Z..I have been shamed by my tears when I was angry and wanted to be strong and powerful, like in protesting a nuke in my town in front of senators and Dr Caldicote and on radio in front of my whole community tears flowed as I made my valid point, (which was handled regardless of my presentation) Later I learned the physical reason which makes me glad I cry like a girl. It is a surge of prolactin which is produced to protect the heart from damage during stress.
    One of the side effects is tears.. now I ok with it when angry and I ignore the dismissal of my point of view because tears are running down my face, Ithink they are kind of artful and underline my passion, that other don’t cry, well that’s their problem…i’ll live longer, she who weeps last…

    • Z Egloff February 19, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      Hi Jerrine!

      Thank you for this informative view of the Power of Tears. Good to know that it’s good for the heart!

      We just had a class in ministerial school where the instructor taught us how to cry while delivering a talk. It was great. She said that when we allow ourselves to cry, it gives others permission to do the same and allows everyone to open their hearts. So to speak! :)


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