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When we’re Triggered: How to Stop Reacting Defensively.

Every single moment you live—awake and aware inside your life—is another tiny (or huge) opportunity for healing, even your moments on Facebook.

I recently opened up a discussion about this topic in one of my favorite healing groups on Facebook. In a virtual room full of healers and people doing healing work, you’re bound to get a treasure chest of ideas, information, opinion and experience. It turned out as awesome as I had imagined, until I was triggered—big time.

Awareness opens the door for curiosity, perspective and shift—the very things you need to change your thoughts and your life.

Being a warrior inside my own life has meant looking at the things that trigger me, anger and frustrate me, wound me, hurt me and depress me. It doesn’t sound like fun, but I’m here to tell you it’s life-changing to choose this journey of healing. Every step brings me closer to my purpose, a true feeling of what I was born to do.
“Without awareness there is no choice.” ~ John F. Barnes
My teacher’s quote floats around my notebooks and my brain, constantly asking me to go deeper. Unless I’m willing to feel it all, even the really crappy stuff, I have no choice but to sit stuck with my old thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.
Just when I think I’m awake and really have it going on—ready to share my wisdom with others—life takes me to a new level of understanding. It’s not about the criticism I receive, it’s about how I respond to it. It’s all about me. But not really.
I sat at my computer, reading the comment from my colleague and allowing myself to feel three. My tiny, cowering, bad little girl showed up and I instantly recognized that even Facebook was testing my discipline that day. I had a choice to let the feeling of fear paralyze me, or use the awareness to do something more healthy. I chose the latter.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” ~ Anthony Robbins
I’m done with identifying with my past, the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that keep me stuck, without choices. I’m ready to feel free, even if it means I first work through the layers of shit that cause me to feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when someone criticizes me.
Instead of frantically typing out a defensive reaction I sat and read the comment several times. I felt into it. Both the energy it was written with and the energy I felt reading it. I noticed that much of this energy wasn’t mine. I’ve learned how to tell the difference by practicing being mindful of the sensations my body sends in the moment.
The ability to stay awake for these moments, especially the moments you aren’t particularly happy to be in, is crucial. It’s the key to growth, change and healing.
In the middle of your awareness inside of these moments is the choice. When you feel a moment inside of you, allow the feeling to be there, and take all the story out of it, it’s just another sensation. When you observe yourself like this, you give yourself the biggest gift. You can choose if and how you’ll respond that very moment.
I chose to apologize and let this person know how I felt. I was able to step into the power of my current day warrior woman and respond from my truth, my heart and my soul—which is the place you connect to every single time you wake up.
Imagine how our lives would feel if we did this all the time. I do. Every day. I make this my practice. This is what it means to be a warrior.
My amazing colleagues creating this tribe of warrior healers are struggling with how to teach their clients these keys to healing. They tell me about people who come to be fixed, those who have a difficult time with deeper conversations about awareness, and those who don’t know what it means or feels like to be in their body at all. They are building trust with their peopleand slowly educating them. They are trailblazers—walking down the path with their torch on a journey into their own bodies and souls, and helping their clients to be brave and start their journeys.
Those of us who have started the journey to passion and power through awareness are facing these challenges every moment, every day. It doesn’t matter if we’re dealing with our own painful struggles, treating a client for theirs, or engaging in a discussion online, it’s all about feeling. It sucks sometimes. And it’s the most rewarding, fulfilling, soul-nourishing tool that exists.

Here are Five Healthier Ways to Practice Awareness When You are Triggered:

1. Zip your lip. Don’t react right away. Don’t speak, or write a reply until you’ve had a chance to feel and reflect.
2. Step into the person’s shoes. We’re really all one. Use the interaction or feedback you get as a learning tool. Allow yourself to understand where the other person is coming from and that nobody has to be right for things to work out.
3. Notice the feelings. If you practice feeling what’s going on inside of you when you’re triggered you’ll usually notice that you’re creating a mental story to go along with the sensation. Separate the two and just bring the feeling into your heart.
4. Don’t take anything personally. It’s never about you. Ever. Realize that someone’s feedback or comment about you is coming from their own unique lenses they watch the world through. It’s just another way to look at things. It doesn’t have to be personal.
5. Respond from your heart not your head. If and when you respond in the instance where you’ve been triggered, make sure it’s only after you’ve done the first four steps, and that you’re responding from a heart-centered place. Why? It’s all about love baby. If we want it we must give it, no matter how someone is judging us.
The planet depends on the evolution of our awareness. Wake up—even when you’re hanging out on Facebook. It matters.
Credits: Elephantjournal
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