How to Let Friction be our Teacher
What can conflict and change teach you?
Life is full of potential friction. We expect relationships to last forever, situations to have certain outcomes, jobs to last longer than they do. However, life tends to serve us what we need to grow and evolve rather than what will keep us safe. How we tend to the pain of those disappointments— both big and small—define whether we get stuck in an eddy of emotional turmoil, or ultimately evolve into our next level of growth.
When faced with disappointment, many of us go into a tailspin, brought to our knees by the pain of our experience. According to Sue Morter, author of The Energy Codes, struggling against our experience, being a “warrior”, and “marching on”, ultimately only serve to keep us stuck in our pain. She contends that this “Protective Personality, a product of the thinking mind,” is simply an effort to avoid the pain, and essentially keeps us stuck in our story about what is happening.
What must happen, according to Morter, is a surrender to our “Soulful Self”, or the “essential, energetic part of our nature.” This surrender cannot be done in the mind, but must be experienced in the body. The places that show us where we are still stuck in our story are experienced as places of friction in our lives. Morter offers a practice called “Take it to the Body” to help us experience the friction in our lives as a teacher.
“Whenever friction happens in your life and you have an emotional or ‘charged’ reaction, immediately ask ‘Where?’ rather than “Why?’—as in, ‘Where in the body do I feel this?’ rather than ‘Why is this happening to me?’”
- Bring your awareness into your body and notice where the reaction or “charge” is felt. Morter says “it may feel like tightness or tension, vibrating or buzzing sensations, jittering or quivering, dull or sharp pain, heat or cold. A shift will occur.”
- Consider these questions about the feelings you notice. Where are these feelings located and do they move around? What name would you give the sensation? “What energy center, or chakra, does the location of the sensation most closely correspond to?”
- Relate to the area of sensation by “internally squeezing” it. Essentially you are letting your body know that you are listening to it.
- “As you squeeze the muscles in that area, do the Central Channel Breathing, and include the specific area of sensation in the exercise.” Central Channel Breathing involves inhaling a deep belly breath as you feel the energy move from the earth into your feet, up through your legs, and into your pelvis, then exhaling up through your central core; your belly, your heart and up through the crown of your head. Then you shift the direction, inhaling as you draw the energy down from above your head, through your ‘central channel’ and exhaling from your pelvis, down your legs, and into the earth. Continue this type of breathing, including squeezing the area of sensation as you breathe through it until you feel a “shift in your energy.”
Morter promises that this “ is one of the most powerful practices for expediting your evolution in consciousness and embodiment. Instead of wasting time and energetic resources writing stories about the ‘rightness’ or ‘wrongness’ of what’s happened, or blaming yourself or others,” this practice allows you to focus in on “where you are activated in that moment and get to work resolving the issue in the spot that’s calling out for your attention.”
“You must be consciously present with everything if you want to truly process it,” writes Morter, and she encourages readers to feel what they are feeling even as they work through this practice. This requires vulnerability, and she writes emphatically, “your vulnerability is your power.” When we can work with our wounding at the level of energy, we have the possibility of integrating the parts of ourselves that are stuck. “Then,” writes Morter, “miraculously, the emotional charge around the situation suddenly disappears. Where fear and conflict once were, we suddenly have the inner resources of wisdom, resilience, and joy.”