How to Coach Yourself and Others Grief Coaching and Counseling | Page 3

fear in depth could result in one finding that underneath that fear is a feeling of not being good enough to speak in public, or that he or she will be rejected as a person because his or her ideas will be considered inadequate, and then one will be abandoned by the group. This is just an example, but it does illustrate how stopping at the feeling of fear would mean one misses out on being aware of the other, related feelings of abandonment, inadequacy, rejection, etc.. I recently guided a woman through a healing session in which she started off feeling sad. As she healed the sadness, other emotions naturally arose without prompting (feeling hurt, not being able to forgive herself, feeling guilt) until we uncovered a feeling of shame. This shame was linked to an early childhood incident, which she had suppressed thinking or feeling about for close to 50 years. Once she healed that feeling of shame, a great feeling of release came over her - she had been holding onto that shame feeling for so long and now it was freed. The other feelings still needed to be healed, as they had only been identified and partially healed on the path to uncovering that feeling of shame. Fortunately, there are a number of good approaches to exploring our feelings, and as long as they are respectful of the timing, safety, and support that we need to delve into these sometimes murky and potentially scary places, most of them allow us to identify the primary feelings and those lurking underneath, no matter how long that discovery process takes. A common question that arises is why anyone would want to get rid of feelings or fix them. Unfortunately, that's the wrong question, as it assumes that there is a desire to be free of emotions. The real question would be, "For how much longer do you want your emotions and feelings to overwhelm you and prevent you from living your life in the manner that is most resourceful to you?" There is a world of difference between eradicating emotions and feelings, and having a healthy relationship with them, where they arise and subside naturally, without causing you excessive distress. This is also different from suppressing or denying them, which is often the underlying approach to techniques that talk about "controlling your emotions". Step Two – Expression Once we have identified a specific feeling or emotion that we want to work with, it is often helpful to express that emotion, both as part of the awareness deepening and the acceptance of it. Being able to talk to ourselves about a feeling is a good first step. We feel fear, for example, and instead of trying to avoid or deny that feeling, we notice that fear. If next we express it out loud, this can be a very powerful act. Just looking ourselves in the mirror and saying the words "I feel fear", can be very liberating. Taking this process of expression further, we would then express the words that describe the feeling to someone else. We need a good, patient listener who is not going to judge what we say, react to it, try to fix it or otherwise get involv