How Emotions Are Made

I’ve been reading How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lise Feldman Barrett.

It’s about the latest scientific studies about how our brain works to create emotions. It shows that a lot of our current cultural understanding of how emotions work is wrong.

And it confirmed that everything I’ve been doing in my work is right. Which is always nice! But, of course it’s right, I didn’t pull these ideas out of my ass. I developed them over many years of working with people.

Reading about this research helped solidify some things for me, which has been especially helpful during my divorce when emotions are flying, and often flying right into each other as they contradict each other so much. And then it’s all topped off with a heavy coat of peri-menopause anxiety.

None of my feelings are TRUE.

There is nothing in our bodies or brains that says we have to feel certain ways about certain things. Contrary to popular belief - there is no universality to feelings.

The way our brains create our emotional state is based on our own past history and patterns. We LEARN this.

All of my feelings are VALID. There is no sense in telling myself not to feel a certain thing - ignoring/suppressing feelings is extremely ill-advised.

The helpful thing to do with feelings we find uncomfortable is to get CURIOUS about them.


Yes, start by, validating that you ARE indeed feeling however you're feeling and then actually literally FEELING THE FEELING in your body helps you move THROUGH it.

But that same feeling WILL COME BACK the next time you’re in a similar situation. Feeling our feelings releases them but does not change the patterns.

Curiosity is an incredibly powerful tool for healing and changing patterns.

You can see it every time I share a post here using the Un-Sticking Station. I can be HORRIBLY stuck with something, and getting curious, sitting down and having a picnic with it to find out how we can work together - shifts it every time.

Since we LEARN our emotional responses to the outer world - our feelings are cultural.

And our culture is a flaming trash heap.

So becoming more skilled at the inner work is actually necessary for freeing ourselves of the ways our culture holds us back from being who we really are.

Which is so connected to creative dreaming there isn’t a way to separate them.

Your dream is your soul showing you who you really are, it’s how your soul lights your path for you.

Your FEELINGS ABOUT your dream are your conditioned responses that you learned from living in this culture - they are not necessarily true, helpful, or needed.

Come dream with us


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