Do you want to make peace with your emotions? Then PATT the Messenger...
PATT the Messenger Exercise by Nina Bambina, Ph.D.
This exercise is to help you make peace with your emotions with a PATT for the messenger. Our emotions are messages from our body. They are messages from us, designed specially for us. However, they are not us. It is important to hear the message your body is sending AND it’s just as important to remember you are not what you are feeling. You are a soul made of divine, universal love. You are the awareness that sees, feels, thinks, and creates emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. This exercise can help you remember the separation between you and your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, giving you space to consider the message you are being sent, why your body is sending it, and how you want to respond, rather than fusing with the emotion and reacting on autopilot. There will be times when you do react on autopilot based on learned patterns of thought and behavior that are programmed into your instinctual memory. That is okay. Be gentle with yourself. This knowing is to help you learn to choose your response, not to give you more ammunition for negative self-talk. If you realize you are engaging in negative self-talk, that is okay too! The point of power is in the present moment. Be gentle and kind to yourself in the present moment as you learn a new way to respond. Changing old patterns takes time and compassion. Give yourself both. Always remember two important things that will help you stay centered and grounded in love and compassion for yourself and others. First, your purpose in life is to remember and reconnect to your true essence, the divine, universal love that is your soul, that is you. Second, in any interaction you are only responsibility for your own inner state. Keeping these two ideas present in your mind can help you navigate life from your heart center, which will bring peace and joy.
When you feel yourself reacting emotionally to a situation, remember your emotions are a message and PATT the Messenger: P – Pause – Breathe and create space. A – Ask – Ask yourself, what is the message? T - Thank – Thank the messenger, your body, for sending you an important message. T - Tip – Tip the messenger and send him on his way with love.
Here is the exercise broken down by letter: P - PAUSE – Inhale deeply, exhale completely. If you are not in a place where you can use your hands for this exercise, then breathe and picture it in your mind’s eye. If you can do it, bring your left pointer finger up in front of you, this represents your soul, and your right hand up in front of you, this represents your emotions and thoughts. Bring the finger on your left hand to touch the palm of your right hand. This represents how we think we ARE our emotions and our thoughts, that we are fused together. I am angry. I am sad, etc.
Inhale deeply again and, as you blow out your breath, separate your finger and hand. This represents creating space between you and your emotions and thoughts. Now you have the space to consider why you are having this emotion and how you want to choose to respond. Remember that YOU are responsible for your own inner state and ONLY your own inner state.
A - ASK – Think about the message your body is sending and why. Is it telling you that this is important and you need to pay attention? Is it saying, I’m not okay with something that just happened and we need to put up a healthy boundary here? Or maybe, I don’t feel good about the way I acted and I want to make sure I do it differently next time? Or any number of others things. Take a moment and consider the message your body is sending you. Sometimes you may not be able to figure it out right away. That’s okay. Just asking the question starts the process of understanding what your body is communicating to you and why it is communicating to you in this situation. AND it helps you see your emotions as a message being sent to you, rather than seeing your emotions as you.
T - Thank – Thank your body for sending you the message. It’s amazing that your body has the ability to speak to you. You want to let it know that you are willing to listen and are grateful for its counsel.
T - Tip – Tip the messenger and send him on his way with gratitude. Remember a tip is a gratuity. Let your emotions be on their way with gratitude and then choose how you want to respond to the message they brought you. They have done their job and delivered a message and now you can release them with love and gratitude. Inhale deeply again and blow your hand away leaving just your finger, representing your soul, your true essence. Blowing your hand away depicts letting go of your emotions and thoughts about them. You have heard and acknowledged their message and thanked the messenger for sending them. They have served their purpose. You can let them go in love. Bring your attention to your finger that has been liberated from it's attachment to your emotions and consider how you want to respond from the calm, centered place of love and light that is your soul. Ahhhh...doesn't that feel better?
I hope this exercise brings you peace and healing. Sending you love and good energy, Nina
Contact Nina Bambina to begin your healing journey