Healing Arts Report

Practices for an Evolving Life

They Don't Tell You How

“You need to love yourself more.” “You shouldn’t feel that way.” “Always put other people first. Don’t be selfish.” The one thing that is missing from all this good advice is telling you HOW to do it. We introduce you to practical tools using your own character traits to support you in creating practical answers to those questions. Read more here.

Read more


Two memoirs tell about times of extreme personal growth in the author’s life. Sunny Side Up is a window into the early 70s when certain young adults were searching for a way to head off society’s path bent on materialism. The Transparent Feather tells of a dying author passing the torch of writing to her new friend cum student.

Read more


You can love yourself and other people as well. At Healing Arts Report we explore fulfilling personal development that at the same time serves to create the shift to a peaceful new world paradigm.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ―C.G. Jung

Read more
you're reading...


How To Use Feelings

BJ AppelgrenAs I described in the previous blog post, feelings are often complex and sometimes even contradictory. Most of us have already learned many bad habits regarding feelings such as: your feelings don’t count so you may as well not express them. This belief isn’t helpful or healthy because it doesn’t stop you from having feelings. The longer you don’t express them, the more chance of your “acting them out,” explosively and unintentionally.

If you learned that suppressing them keeps you safe from an abusive parent, suppression will be your reaction of choice. Not expressing feelings can make you physically ill or mentally depressed. The physical illness is real. The stress of suppression will accentuate symptoms produced by whatever system of your body is weakest. If you tend to have allergies, for example, you may find yourself with extreme allergic symptoms.

If you were hurt by a physically abusive parent or by a weeping non-functioning parent, you may have learned to keep your cool by telling yourself that their behavior is just an attempt to manipulate you. As a child you likely could not stand up to parents who behaved in these ways. Carry this attitude into adulthood and you’ll react the same way when anyone reminds you of your family’s behaviors, including children, who are not cognitively able to behave in more adult ways. By ‘behave’ I do not mean to pretend a situation doesn’t bother you.

I’ll give an example of a specific incident. A woman goes to the dry cleaners where she left her dress to be cleaned. It had a matching cloth belt that she had pinned to the dress. However, when she found it missing at pickup time and the clerk  said they didn’t have it, she became furious. She pushed over a pile of dry cleaning on the counter and fled with her dress.

Should she have been angry? Feelings are automatic. The issue isn’t whether one should or should not have a feeling. The issue is meaning. How do you use the information a feeling provides?

Being angry is the sign that something isn’t going well, but using the anger as an alarm clock to help her think of possible solutions may have created a better outcome than acting out the anger and then feeling bad about oneself. Meditative practices make it easier to do something productive with the anger. Practices might be something as conventional as counting to ten or breathing sensation into your feet. Achieving inner quiet helps you think of different possibilities.

Did the clerk look in their ‘lost and found’? Did another employee find the belt and put it somewhere unknown to this clerk. Could she speak with the owner? Could she be compensated for the belt? They still might not arrive at a good solution, but a change in the customer’s actions increases the possibility.

In another situation I know of where an angry customer wasn’t satisfied, she told the business owner in an ordinary tone of voice, “If this is how you’re going to treat me, I’ll pay what you’re asking, but I will be sure to tell everyone I know about this incident.” This was not an empty threat but an example of power she had in this particular situation. The owner relented and did not charge the customer unfairly.

PRACTICE: Next time you’re angry or hurt, find a non-escalating way to express yourself, even if it means putting it off to another day. Observe what aspects went well for you and what didn’t.

CONTACT: If you’re finding it difficult to imagine slowing down your reaction, contact me for a free 20-minute phone consultation and we’ll find a couple of techniques that will work for your particular situation.