This was one of my favorite days of the Adventure Awake Jordan trip.
We had just come from a lot of super luscious muddy/salty play at the fanciest resort in the Dead Sea and then we moved out to this amazing ecolodge surrounded by goats with no electricity and nothing to do but connect with one another, and then all of the sudden everyone started to get really triggered.
I guess saying it was my favorite day of the whole trip sounds a little demented, but as a coach it felt a lot like striking gold.
Triggers are usually something we do everything to avoid. We distract ourselves from them (sometimes unsuccessfully) with social media, small talk, being politically correct, attempting to control people, being "nice" and "polite," lying, and other disconnected behavior.
Because of how triggers often make us feel (lots of sensation in our bodies), we often label them as BAD.
When we do that, not only do we prolong the experience, but we also are then way more inclined to take drastic measures to "make it go away" when it happens.
We cut off, we over-react, we withhold and disconnect, we play the silent treatment, we tell people we are "fine" when we are so obviously not fine, we get self-righteous and attempt to justify our position, we judge, often severely...all of which are symptoms of closing our hearts off.
And closing our hearts off is the thing that's actually causing us so much pain, not other people/circumstances.
This sort of way of being ends up ultimately ruling our lives, having us feel stuck, trapped, imprisoned by the worlds we create for ourselves that we think are keeping us "safe" and comfortable from the people/things/lives that trigger us.
Our bodies and our hearts are not designed to be closed. They are designed to be open and connected with the earth, and the people around us.
Freedom is feeling open, generous, loving, powerful, joyful NO MATTER WHERE AND WITH WHOM WE ARE.
And so WHAT IF we played an experiment where we consciously labeled our triggers as GOOD?
No, I'm not suggesting putting yourself in dangerous situations, nor purposely indulging in connections with people who have not healed their own wounds in order to see what you're made of. That is masochistic, codependent, and self-harm.
But I am suggesting taking a few risks. The next time you're triggered by your partner, your mom, one of your friends, the cashier at the grocery store, that guy driving super slow in the left lane (!!!), try hitting the pause button and checking in with yourself about how you feel.
You don't need to shift immediately. Just be present with the emotion (not the story about what someone else is doing to you). Let yourself feel how you feel. Create space for yourself to feel a new thing in the presence of yourself. It's really that simple. From there, everything else will begin to shift.
You might be wondering what happened with all the triggers while in the ecolodge in Jordan. Do all my clients just totally hate me now?
The good news is, no, they don't. I'm actually living with two of them in Las Vegas this month!
So what did I do? Well, I listened to them with zero agenda other then to have them feel heard, and created space for them to hear themselves. I opened my heart up wide and I received them in all their scratchy-prickly spots no one else would go near. 36 hours and a couple tightly-knit coaching circles later, after the energy got SUPER THICK in Petra, we all made it through to the other side, with breakthroughs abound.
Hence, the gold-mine.
It's funny. Over the past few years as a coach I have definitely thought about quitting being a coach when things got really tough. But at no point has that thought come up during one of these moments of high-sensation with clients.
These are the moments I live for. It's in these moments that I feel like a bonafide fairy godmother, gifting my clients access to their own JOY, often times for the first time in their lives.