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Engaging Expression

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By learning to engage with and practice expression, we can learn to better understand how we create thoughts, feelings and emotions.

tldr;

Struggle over none

What

Learn to engage with and express the intent of emotion.

How

Focus on the feeling of emotion by actively trying to produce it.

When

When you have a moment.

Duration

For as long as you want.

2019-06-02

Context

Expression is an important part of the human experience.

It’s what allows us to communicate who we are and what we want to the world around us, which is a pretty significant thing when you come to think about it.

In order to better understand this concept of expression, it’s important to understand that expression is an action.

It’s a form of “doing” which is deliberate.

And yet, part of the problem is that many people have developed this idea that expression is passive, as if others should be able to read your mind and understand what you’re going through simply by looking at you.

Something which extends as well to our ambitions, as we find ourselves dreaming more about our goals, rather than actually pursuing them with hard work.

Well, that’s what this exercise aims to address.

To help you better understand that all forms of expression come down to active communication.

So the moral of this story is that unless if you express your intention in a meaningful way, you’re not actually expressing yourself at all.

Of course, part of the reason for this is that you may feel afraid of expressing yourself in any meaningful way, or it might be something which makes you feel uncomfortable with yourself.

I know this is an area that I personally struggled with for years, in particular because it wasn’t something I did with my family growing up. I never really spoke much with my mother in any capacity, and those feelings simply weren’t discussed.

In large part because I felt as if I was constantly being judged by her. In fact, I was always surprised to see other families and how open they were with each other, whenever attending family dinners of friends.

Regardless, I digress.

The only way for us to truly understand what expression is, is to actually express ourselves and get ourselves involved with the process of expression.

Furthermore, to help you better understand what active expression means to you.

Of course, there’s a few things we want to consider here before attempting this exercise, otherwise we can end up developing unhealthy forms of expression, such as anxious distraction and blatant sarcasm.

Which is to say that what we want to practice is an open and honest communication with ourselves. You know, without the funny business.

Because the alternative is dishonest communication, which I’m sure you’ve already mastered through wit and other means.

In fact, chances are that you may never done this before, and you might not even know what honest and open communication actually is.

Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.


Instructions


An important thing to note about expression is that it’s purely about intention.

When you express yourself, what you’re essentially doing is acting with intention.

For example, when you smile, you’re actively acting with the intention of being happy. The same goes for crying when you’re feeling sad.

Now, here’s the thing about expression which people seem to overlook or even outright misunderstand.

Intention isn’t a reaction.

Intention isn’t created when something takes place around you. Instead, intention is someting which you personally create, which you willingly express.

Which is to say that you being sad isn’t the reason why you’re crying, no different to a happy event not being the reason why you’re smiling.

These are merely learnt behaviours which you have developed, in which you have learnt to associate with these events.

Instead, your response in regards to these events derives from your intention to feel those things, whether you realise it or not.

In other words, you create your own thoughts, feelings and emotions in life and that’s ultimately what we are trying to understand with this exercise.

In fact, you have the power to feel whatever you desire.

You can be happy right now if you want, just as you can be sad if that is your intention.

In essence, it is your intent of expression which gives you the power to feel.

So for this exercise, what we want to do is practice that intent.

For example, practice being happy for ten minutes.

Ultimately, what’s important is paying attention to how you do this, and gauging which actions make you feel which things.

For example, does smiling inherently make you happy? Is expression as much a mental action as it is a physical action? What is the mental shift which takes place when we feel different emotions?

This is the puzzle you will be working on.

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