From Disequilibrium to Equilibrium In 4 Steps

by Leatrice Asher

These 4 steps can help you to turn around most difficult situations you encounter. The only requirement is your willingness to stay with the focusing process. Many are encouraged to seek authority and guidance from others. But the most astute guide you will ever encounter is within your own unique being. So this is also a process of learning to trust, and return to, your self. As you feel your life changing from implementing these steps, you will have all the incentive and inspiration you need to apply this process again and again, whenever it is needed.

We cannot really separate physical sensations from emotional states because they are opposite sides of the same coin. If you have physical pain there will likely be an emotional component as well. Likewise, emotional states are often accompanied by physical ailments. Since we most often experience disequilibrium in an emotional milieu, these steps relate to the resolution of emotional pain. Physical sensations are covered under Published Articles Pain―Bane of Our Life or Catalyst for Transformation? – Part I and Part II.

The best course―if you can manage it—is to stay with the sensations you are feeling without the need to do anything about them, except to be aware of your desire for those sensations to go away. That very desire is how you’ve unsettled yourself by trying to squirm away from your self and a lesson that is before you. Staying with the unsettling sensations may mean some momentary discomfort that adds to your anxiety or tension. If you can continue to just allow even those anxious and tense sensations, which are still just sensations, you will see how they too have movement and that you are not irrevocably stuck.

The 4 Steps:

Step 1:  Identify the source of the emotion that led to the disequilibrium

When an emotion such as fear, anxiety or anger is present, you will want to see if you can identify the source of the emotion. Start by asking yourself, “When did I first notice this?” You may recall you first felt the uncomfortable sensations after a phone call with your girlfriend, or Mother. Maybe it was after a confrontation with a co-worker or an exchange with a grumpy salesperson. You have the ability to focus and clarify this information for yourself. Once you know the specific circumstance that led to your present emotional state, you need to determine what exactly it was about that event that led to the disequilibrium. For example: Did you feel your girlfriend was becoming uninterested in you because of something she said? Did you think your co-worker was criticizing you? When you are clear about the exact catalyst for your uncomfortable feeling you are ready to go to step 2.

Step 2: Identify the main emotion

Now you can ask, what is the main emotion that is unsettling me? Anger? Guilt? Sadness? It may be a myriad of emotions you are feeling but see if you can zero in on the epicenter – the main emotion. Once you can name it “I feel hurt” you then have two pieces of information essential to your return to a more peaceful state – you know the circumstance that was a catalyst for the feeling and you know the exact feeling that is causing your discomfort. Oftentimes, just understanding the source of our discomfort will of itself be enough to return us to equilibrium. It is when we feel “out of sorts” and know not why that we lose our stability. Now, with this information, you are ready for the third step.

Step 3: Inquire what you need to do to return to equilibrium

Just identifying the source of our feelings of unrest may not be enough. I am often asked, “How do I know when I haven’t taken care of something?” or “How do I know when to confront someone and when to let it rest?” As long as you are still feeling disequilibrium—a sense of unease or lack of completion—there is something more to be done, which might mean doing nothing at all. If, however, you find yourself squirming uncomfortably then ask yourself, “What would it take for me to feel okay again?” If you ask, and listen, you will be answered—from within your own being. That you have identified the source of tension will in itself afford much relief. It is when we feel disgruntled and out of control or driven, and have no idea why, that all the uncomfortable sensations feed and grow. Calling someone and expressing our fear or concerns is just one example of what you might determine will balance the acting influences. Talking your concerns over with a friend is another or, having determined exactly what is bothering you, you may feel you need do nothing at all at this time. There isn’t a pat answer because not only are we individuals with different needs, but you are different in every situation that you encounter. When you come into a state of knowing – the best course for you to relieve the difficulty feelings – you must then follow through with that course of action … or inaction; otherwise, you will have engaged in this exercise for naught. Trust yourself. You have the ability to heal your discontent. You just proved that to yourself by completing these 3 steps.

Step 4: Feel the transition from disequilibrium to equilibrium

If you can practice these points whenever difficult situations arise you will soon realize – through your own reality tests – that you have the ability within your own being to bring yourself back to equilibrium. You will know when you have returned to equilibrium by a distinct feeling of well-being. If you do not have this feeling then you have more work to do on the previous steps. The main thing to realize is that you do have the power to change your life from within.

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