Periodically I blog about the fact that the body holds onto things for us.  It’s the place where we shunt things we can’t deal with in the moment.  Eventually those things come back out when we are ready to deal with them, hopefully sooner rather than later.  It’s when they don’t come out that we have problems that show up in a variety of ways depending on what’s been delayed in being processed.  One of the most common ways this happens is with stress.  People’s shoulders clench and rise up into their ears in cases where they feel stressed.  And over time chronic stress can lead to physical problems with the neck and back because the shoulders aren’t functioning as they should and the shortening of the muscles and lack of blood flow have caused bones to misalign, have led to injuries, cause headaches or migraines, etc, etc, etc.

Raphael Cushnir‘s book The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection provides lay people a means to understand the ways that their bodies have learned, over time, to protect them from emotions that seem dangerous, overwhelming, or harmful.  Many times we learn these behaviors in childhood as a coping mechanism and never go back to see if this mechanism is in any way necessary once we become adults.  Traumatic events also cause us to protect ourselves in the moment and fear can keep us from dealing with the emotions and effects they have produced long after the event has become historical.

Cushnir provides a simple yet profound practice that can help us see where we have learned to stop the feeling in its tracks using our body as a shield.  It then helps us to move beyond that reaction and put in place the balancing practice of feeling the emotion, processing it, and moving beyond it to harmony and acceptance and release.  I recommend this book to my clients who are dealing with feeling disconnected from their feelings, feel stuck in an emotion that persists or cycles over and over, or who have chronic physical issues that tend to be emotionally connected.