Recently someone asked about emotions. They were unaware of my recent trip into emotional cannibalism (consuming my emotions for magical work) and I didn’t want to freak them out, so I kept it simple. I tried to see what was bother them and then offer a few tidbits of advice.
Being aware of the moment is important. It is, for me at least, an aspect of magic. Without being mindful it is hard to know when to affect change (magic) with a given situation.
Mindfulness is the process of being aware of the present moment. That constant changing state that is the Now. Since she asked this question and told me that she had problems meditating (falling asleep), I offered this approach:
Be mindful. Keep your eyes open. Stay in your current location and just become aware of it. This can be practiced while eating, sitting, using the restroom and so on.
Becoming aware of the present moment in this type of exercise is to tune into the elements happening in real time. What sounds are present? Do not label them, observe them. Observe the passing noises. Labeling will invoke thought, and thought will carry the mind off and out of the present moment.
What sights are there to see? Without labeling, observing the present sights can engage the Mindful state of Now.
Touch an object, a desk, a chair. What does it feel like? What is the texture? What is the temperature. Again, less thought and more awareness.
If you are walking, take note of the feeling of each step. If outside the feeling of air against the skin.
Another utility I use to hold the present moment, is to identify the colors around me. Allowing my eyes to rest or stop on any given object, I mentally call out the color. A red stop sign is: RED, etc.
While it may sound like a child’s game, this is useful for tuning into what is going on around me. In my case I must watch my emotional states so that I don’t slip into depressing or anger. By doing this, I hold the moment at hand, instead of drifting into the thoughts of self doubt, anger and the like.
While holding onto the present moment, helps deal with what’s here and now, emotions must also be dealt with in time. There is no hiding of emotion or feeling in the path. Hiding it will just generate a festering wound.
I’ve been using emotional cannibalism to harvest my raw emotions and put them to a different use. On the outset it may sound like I’m avoiding dealing with the core cause of the situations. However, I am addressing the emotions.
I start by trying to feel what I’m feeling. Why am I angry right now? Usually it’s obvious. It’s the idiot driving 14 MPH in front of me, attempting to merge onto the freeway. Sometimes it’s not so obvious. The anger might be misplaced, and simply recalled in the moment due to some other cause that I’m not addressing.
When I have a chance to focus on my emotions (obviously not while driving), I sit and contemplate where they are sourced. What is the root of it all?
It’s also important for me to find where the emotions reside within my body. If I don’t address this I will continue in the distracting feeling. This is useful to address immediately. “Where is my stress? Where is my anger?” Is it in the gut? Is it in my shoulders? My upper arms?
Putting attention on the body area affected with the emotion, I use that to tune to the emotion so that I can harvest it. Harvesting starts with the awareness of the emotional state. Then, using Will, I pull the emotion out of me on the breath. This is a visualization exercise. I imagine the emotion has a shape and color and it is pulled out of me to float before me, over my hand and so on.
Repeating the breathing visualization, I continue until the body area relaxes and the emotion feels to have been displaced or removed.
At that point I reaffirm the emotion pulled out of me, and treat it as an artificial elemental. For context, this is a terminology found in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is a raw elemental force that is summed through ritual and intent. The force is then given a simple instruction, and a license to depart (i.e. to return back to nature after the action has been completed).
I’m not suggesting anyone do this. For me, however, emotional harvesting has been working to create change in my life. This is perhaps something specific to me, and I encourage all readers to find their own mechanics for dealing with emotions.