Lately something has been triggered for me, but I’m not exactly sure what it is or how to deal with it. In this vague, ambiguous state I feel a bit stuck. What is holding me back? It isn’t big or dramatic. It isn’t agonising. It’s more like a splinter in my chest – of fear or doubt, of past pain. Like a physical splinter, it is inflammatory. For me it is connected with insecure attachment issues and feeling vulnerable… but probably, you have something like this too – that might come up at some point in your life, triggered by someone being a dick or not answering your text messages or something. Western society is not particularly good at emotions – probably because it is founded on denial and a false dichotomy between the body and mind – which is, ironically not very scientific… so we might as well develop processes to deal with our emotions, right? This is something I just made up, and as a qualified hypnotherapist, I’m totally allowed – this also means when you read it you can make the voice in your head sound very relaxed and hypnotic 🙂 As we know, to clean emotional wounds you need to focus on them. It’s not pleasant, but it’s important work if you actually want to get over something. Focus on the sensation and where it is in the body. It might feel uncomfortable. Focus… focus… When your attention slips, that’s okay, just focus again. It’s a bit like a surgeon, or a mum removing a splinter from a child’s foot. Focus. Can you name the feeling? Let it well up Submerge yourself in it. Keep focussed. What’s underneath? Let it well up again – feel it out – go through the middle… again… that centre of the splinter… the eye of the storm… splitting discomfort fear/pain/trauma Separate this from anything external. This is part of you. It’s all about you. Focus. Focus. Feel it. Has it moved? Has it shifted? Sneaky little splinter. You could keep distracting yourself – numbing the pain with facebook or beer or movies or whatever floats your boat, but unless you really get in there and focus it will stay there – keeping you stuck. Stretch from side to side. Focus. As you focus it may grow or diminish… maybe both, alternately. It may hide and re-emerge. Eventually it may crystalise so you can see the damn thing. What is it? A fleck of wood? A shard of glass? A prickle? A dagger? A mighty spear? How big is it? What colour? What does it look like? Does it change? Distractions are important coping mechanisms – let them come and go. Re-focus every time. What more can you find buried here? Memories? Baggage? Focus Stretch Focus Walk it out… Go for a walk alone, in as peaceful place as possible, with as much of a clear horizon as possible… …and feel. Every time your mind drifts off, Bring it back. Keep doing it until you can figure out how to remove the splinter. Then you can just leave it alone and let it heal.