When our emotions are called up, it’s usually in response to some experience, some button of our’s has been pushed. When that happens, it’s truly almost impossible to interrupt the habit-energy response because it happens so quickly. And once it takes off we usually are carried away on its wave, without the ability to center ourselves until it runs its course and we drop exhausted.
The idea here is to itemize your fears and other emotions while you are present, not in an emotional state. By thinking about them free of their catalyst, you will be able to see things clearly. Make a list, both of the underlying facts that push your buttons and your habitual emotional response. Think about the cause and effect.
You may feel that the facts are in reality no big deal; not worth all the drama. Or you may confirm that the facts are truly serious, but you’ll see that your emotional reaction is over-the-top and harms you in at least two ways. First, it is emotionally exhausting. Second, it prevents you from dealing with the situation in a rational way, which would be in your best interest.
After you’ve made your list and thought about it, the next time you meditate, imagine one of these situations occurring and see how you could respond differently, not with the emotion of your habit-energy. Feel how the situation would play out differently, better for you, then it otherwise would.
After you’ve made the list and done the imagining exercise, it is less likely that when the situation happens again, you will respond with your habit-energy. This is a very useful tool.
And as always, I need to say that this is not a once and done thing. Your habit-energy is ingrained in you; its roots are very deep. So this is an exercise you will need to repeat. And that’s ok. Walking the path is not about perfection. It’s about having the intent to always improve one’s life by being in touch with your true self, your heart.