A short story about a man who comes home every day and yells at his children. Every day he feels miserable, guilty, even repulsive. "Why can't I stop doing that?" He asks himself, every day. But every day, he still comes home from work, and he shouts.
"They probably don't love their father anymore, they must be afraid of me more than they love me," he said sadly.
This man had one part of him that "yells," and another part of him that isn't interested in continuing to do so. I asked him to turn to the part that "yells", and ask "him" what he wanted, knowing that his yelling is an emotional response, behind which lies a positive intention.
Together, we decided to discover the positive intention behind his actions...
"What's goes through your mind when you yell?", we retrieved a memory of his unwanted behavior. "I want them to stop the running around. When I come home, I want it to be quiet!", he answered.
He told me about a heavy gray cloud-shaped discomfort that begins in his heart area, rises up the chest, and explodes in the throat.
I continued, "And when you come home it's quiet, what else will happen?"
He said, "They'll notice their father's home. Instead of playing and fighting over the phone and the TV remote, they'll come to greet me with a hug and a kiss, it'll be nice". In one sentence he concluded: "I'll feel good about myself."
We used guided imagery, in which we added to the part that "yells", the good feeling (I call it, the "emotional outcome") that he wanted, and filled it with undeniable and complete self-acceptance. The gray cloud changed to a light blue color and was now light-weight.
Then I asked, "What else does this part, which yells at his children, want, now that it is filled with the self-acceptance that it wanted?
"Love", he said. Love....
Sometime in his life, probably in childhood, he felt he had to yell in order to win loving attention; from his parents, brothers or friends. As an adult, this reaction no longer serves him, and he can choose to replace it with a new one.
When we discovered the "positive intention" behind the "negative" behavior, we learned the "Power of Pause" technique, in which we stop to examine alternative options, for the usual and undesirable emotional response (in this case, yelling).
"Now that you know that when you yell, you're actually asking to be loved by your children, what are alternative ways of achieving this outcome? Are there more productive ways to get love? "I asked him.
"Of course," he agreed. We talked about several options. One that stood out was "to give love."
The method which I have developed, I call the"Emotional Equation".
Knowing our Emotional Equation helps to discover the outcomes that we deeply want in life, and equips us with what I call "Personal Transformation Mantra". Having this awareness allows us to effectively use The "Power of Pause" to rewire the brain, and to navigate away from the habitual emotional response, driven by our Emotional Brain, to a new reality, driven by the part of our brain which controls reasoning and self-regulation.
A brief guide to using The Power of Pause:
Pay attention to the physiological arousal of the undesirable response, images, sounds, feelings or thoughts that accompany it. Now stop everything (like in the movies, when everything all around "freezes"!), and think about your options for a response. Run them forward in your imagination, so you can choose the option that ends with the desired emotion al outcome. All that remains is to go ahead and do it, without delay.
The other conclusion we reached in our session was; when you want love, one way to achieve it is by giving love, even when it seems the hardest thing to do.
Some of my clients' Emotional equations are 8 parts long!
Sometimes we think that we have to go through a lot to get the emotional outcome we crave, but as I prove with my clients, it can be accessed directly...
I will not bog you with details about the rest of our session, which was particularly fruitful.
I'm including a photo of the Emotional Equation of the man who changed his life from one day to the next, and the lives of his children.