luisa kolker shamanic healer


Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Category

My Valentine’s Wish for You

red roses photo by luisa with watermarkI grew up with a lot of misconceptions about love, self-worth and relationships. Did you?

As human beings, we’re always engaged in an inner dialogue about our needs and wants. What do I need? What is negotiable in my friendships, work and intimate relationships, and what is not?

Thanks to the emergence of our understanding about  the dynamics of Codependence about thirty years ago, there’s been a basic, albeit radical, shift in understanding about the underpinnings of our relational templates. We live in a culture that is pathologically detached from the principle of Eros. Carl Jung described Eros as the sensual, relational feminine aspect of our humanness, the part of us that values connection and holds human vulnerability in a place of deep respect. Too often this is a part of us with whom we are not in conscious relationship.

For both women and men, when our Eros function operates in the absence of guidance or conscious relationship, that function becomes impaired and wounded. We vaccillate from acting like a collapsed, wounded child in one moment to acting like a rigid, one-dimensional version of a punitive grown-up in the next. Both of these maladapted responses get us in a heap of trouble.

When I figured out that my isolated, hungry-for-validation little girl was running my adult life, I felt humbled and alarmed. But, not so alarmed that I couldn’t create an archeyptal healing plan for myself, as I was determined to go directly to the root cause level of my repetition of dysfunctional relational patterns. (I share this healing plan in my Transformation workshops.)

The central awakening that came to me (and it’s simple; a lot of you may have cottoned to this decades before I did) was this: What I was looking for outside of me could only manifest to the extent that I had the capacity to give it to myself. Instead of generating self-esteem, I was attempting to fill in my empty emotional spaces by being what Pia Mellody (one of my mentors and teachers) calls being other-esteemed.

It is challenging and sometimes almost  impossible to access the deepest recesses of our ancestral and social conditioning that show up in our everyday lives. This is why shamanic work, and its abililty to bypass habitual ego-consciousness through entraining the brain to a conscious trance state has helped me, and a lot of my clients, to heal at a root-cause level.

So, dear Journeyer, here’s my Valentines Day wish for you this year: To Thine Own Self Be True. pink conversation heart to thine own self be true 2

In Love & Transformation,
Luisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional Fluency & Your Inner Playground

Updated 8 Basic Emotions with copyrightOne of the shamanic tools I share in my workshops and ceremonies is “Emotional Fluency,” which is the art of developing a compassionate and conscious relationship to your emotional self.

It’s important to be physically and emotionally grounded as preparation for expanding your consciousness to spiritual, non-physical realms. Learning to consciously witness and relate to our emotions is critical to that grounding.

Almost all of us know and will readily say what we think. However, it’s rare that I find someone who can readily identify and express what they feel.*

I thought for years that I was very in touch with my emotions, until I went through a rough patch some years back. It was particularly rough because a present-day crisis opened the door to some very old wounds. Remember the old trick (I know you did this when you were a kid!), it’s summer time and you pick up the running garden hose, put a kink in it and then at a strategic moment, you release the blockage and whamo!

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Emotions vs. Feelings (a.k.a. What’s the Big Hurry?)

You’ve probably had this experience: You’re anxious or you’re angry or you’re lonely and you want not to feel that way. Right now. So, with a sense of restlessness and agitation and maybe an inner declaration of “I can’t stand this sensation for one more minute!”— you jump immediately into action. You do whatever it takes to move away from the almost-unbearable reality of that overwhelming emotion.

What’s the Big Hurry?
The hallmark of an addictive, compulsive process is that there is a sense of urgency. There is a sense of being in a hurry to find relief: “I have to have a drink now.”  “I have to release this sexual tension now.” (Anger and loneliness often masquerade as sexual tension and excitement.) “I have to move away from this discomfort now.”

And, if that immediate obedience to your emotional discomfort becomes a habit, that habit can, over time, become an addictive pattern. You’re angry: so, you lash out at someone, or you drink an “adult beverage” or smoke weed. You’re anxious: so you go shopping for something you don’t need or that’s not in your budget. You’re lonely: so you temporarily boost your serotonin levels with a pint of Hagen Dazs. Or you sit at your computer and distract yourself with online pornography.

Image courtesy of www.achildgrows.com

Image courtesy of www.achildgrows.com

Medicating vs. Relating to Your Emotions
You’ve managed to medicate the emotion, but you’ve also managed to abandon a part of your inner self (what I call your “Inner Community”) that needed you to connect and be relational with him or her. After either  numbing-out (Hagen Dazs) or distracting yourself by getting emotionally-high  (e.g., creating emotional drama) as a way of distracting from your emotions, you will crash. It might take an hour or it might take a couple years. But, you will crash. And you will crash right back into the original emotional state, except now, because this part of your self has been abandoned by you, you crash down to a more intensely painful place than where you started.

Emotions are Addictive
Emotions are the raw stuff of our neuro-chemical responses to people, places and things.  And sometimes those emotional reactions reflect our personal history of neglect, abandonment or abuse. Emotions, without the mediating influence of our witnessing consciousness remain primal, isolated and as random as a downed power line in a storm, sputtering, sparking and whipping around uncontrollably. Without some means of being authentically connected with oneself, without all that life-force energy being channeled in some relational way, things can get out of control. In fact, your whole life can get out of control.

Feelings are Relational
For the purposes of this discussion, here is my definition of feelings. My feelings are what happen when I consciously (more…)