“I want to get out of here! This is the 70’s all over again!” The year was 2004 and I was at a healing retreat, but it was a reprise of everything I had not liked in the 1970’s. In the 70’s, Esalen in Big Sur on the California coast, was becoming famous as a retreat center continuing in the tradition of Fritz Perls, the great psychiatrist and founder of Esalen. Groups promising emotional release were springing up everywhere and personal growth was in the air, but I, divorced with a full time job and four children, was having none of it.

I needed my repression to keep going. Some of you may feel the same way.

But it was no longer the ‘70’s and I could not conveniently escape from the retreat, given by Rahul Patel, a master healer. At that retreat, under Rahul Patel’s persistent probing, people were experiencing, often for the first time, their deep emotions, sharing, crying, hugging, and offering support to each other with heartfelt tears…

I was more of an observer than a participant. I couldn’t feel anything, and I was grateful that Mr. Patel left me alone. I realized how frozen I had become and how much I needed to unravel the knots in my emotional body, so I ignored my first impulse to run away and decided to continue working with Mr. Patel if he would accept me as a student.

Happy Little Child, Baby Girl Laughing And Playing In AutumnNow, 10 years and 20 retreats later, I feel like a different person. Actually, I feel more like the person I always was. I had become a different person through repression and I had to recover my own soul.

It works and that is why people have been paying thousands of dollars to do exactly that for more than fifty years. What happens? When we suffer a traumatic event, we may not want to feel our emotions of fear, anger, grief or shock. Instead of expressing, we store them in our organs or nervous system, where they become unconscious balls of energy. We don’t feel them, but they are operating “sub rosa,” in secrecy, and affecting our perceptions and reactions without our knowledge.

When we at last contact and release those emotions, we gain something precious – clarity. We see things we never saw before. A whole new light shines on our life and past events take on a new meaning.

Being unable to express how you feel, or continually sabotaging yourself are signs that repressed emotions are operating. Don’t hesitate. This is a job you cannot do alone. Be alert to find professional help. Become the One you always have been.

Recommended reading:
Molecules of Emotion – Candice Pert
The Presence Process – Michael Brown

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