TERA (The Emotional Resolve Approach) is a procedure to let feelings have their life.
As such, it is a radical reversal from the way-of-being (not being) with emotions that you may have been practicing for a lifetime.
It's an alchemical process whereby an unpleasant emotion is first reduced from a concept (for example, “fear”) to its reality as raw energy (clench, shake, etc.). Then the raw energy is allowed to run its course in the crucible of sustained awareness.
Why emotional resolving? So long as there is no resolution, there will be chronic involvement with the emotion. Involvement manifests as either suppression (some form of resistance) or expression (acting out). Involvement is the opposite of allowing. With involvement, an emotion—as raw energy—is not allowed to run its natural course as energy. It’s interrupted. But interrupted, interfered with energy doesn’t just go away; rather, it stays in your thought-and-feeling system as a blockage, circling around and around like an inner wound. It becomes an emotional button.
So long as you have (and sustain) emotional blockages, anything in the outer world of people, places and things will trigger it. The mind then gets very busy: judging, creating strategies to prevent “buttons” from being pushed, or managing them when they are pushed. After years of being an “emotional manager,” you'll realize your mind is thinking from morning ‘til night, how to keep you “safe” emotionally. It's exhausting, and unnecessary.
With increased awareness, you’ll realize that it's a failed strategy to try and “think” away inner, disturbed energies. You learned this strategy in childhood, during your formative years. You learned to hold your breath, when feeling intense emotions; or you learned to reach for relief (acting out, eating, distracting); or you learned to suppress—to shut down. Interference worked: you did indeed experience some relief from an activated emotion.
However, the activated (and then interfered with) energy did not go away. The proof is that the emotional pains you experienced in childhood are still running your life today. You still harbor these inner energies, now “safely” blocked—but not safe, since they come out as violent outburst when you least expect. You don’t control the blocked energies, but they control you, via established neuro pathways in the emotional (limbic) brain. These brain pathways dictate your thinking, your mindsets, your choices and reactions.
Further, so long as there are internal blockages, the natural and ever-present flow of life—upliftment, enthusiasm and well-being—is also blocked. Blocked well-being-ness is certain unhappiness. This was expressed by Henry David Thoreau more than 150 years ago: “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” Desperation is the state of unresolved inner turmoil, despite any number of outer strategies to avoid it.
Emotional resolving begins with identifying the learned tendency to involve with blocked (chronic) emotions. Trace back an emotional reaction to the tendency (the brain circuit) that has been running the show. Once this tendency is seen, it is investigated with inquiry. Through a cost-benefit analysis, clarity arises. It’s seen that the only intelligent response to break the spell of emotional involvement and chronic emotional pain, is to meet emotions with a “hands-off” approach.
As described, this is done by initiating alchemy. An unpleasant emotion is first reduced from a concept (for example, “fear”) to its reality as raw energy (clench, shake, etc.). Then the raw energy is allowed to run its course in the crucible of sustained awareness.
To facilitate effective alchemy, anything that would interfere with allowing a blocked energy to unblock, is identified—and also alchemized. Essential to alchemy is deep breathing, which allows the neural pathway associated with a blocked energy, to be dismantled. During the allowing process, assisted by deep, steady breathing and nervous system relaxation, the outdated brain circuit gets an update. Now, a new neural pathway opens. Intelligent understanding of “what is true” supports the experience of unblocked energy.
What makes TERA unique is that it precisely identifies anything that interferes with alchemy, with the “hands-off” approach, especially the interference of analytical thinking. Self-inquiry works synergistically with TERA to accomplish this. Once interference is identified, it can be systematically dropped.
When interference is dropped, the consciously-welcomed, warmly-invited, graciously-allowed energy has nothing to cling to, nothing to push against, nothing to give it seeming reality or validity, and thus it does the only thing it can do. It merges with the space in which it originated. As the energy unblocks itself, it reveals the peace (the gold): the radiant, unshakable peace of pure consciousness.
The dynamic of disturbed energies transforming or resolving naturally in the space of conscious awareness, is alchemy. Another analogy for transformation is weather. Disturbed weather—such as a hurricane, or windstorm, or rainstorm—all of these arise, reach a peak, and merge back into the space from which they originated. But imagine if you took a hurricane and contained it inside a gigantic structure. It would require constant maintenance to manage, monitor and control it. This is unnatural. Because it's unnatural, it is experienced as intensely unpleasant. However, the moment it is un-contained, it goes through its natural cycle, and merges back into the space in which it originated. It’s no longer “unpleasant.”
Unpleasant emotions are like weather, inner weather. They naturally resolve when offered to the space, the sky-like space of consciousness from which they originated. Inner resolution of emotional blockages (unhappiness) is one of two essential benefits of TERA. The other benefit is establishing new neural pathways—pathways that support joy.
“Everyone is capable of doing this. It's just that most people don't want to.” –Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul
Foundational Addressment of Unhappiness
Everyone can uncover the root of unhappiness—blocked energies. Blockages are the past in you, the past that’s determining your unhappy and problematic present.
The past in you—when you learned to be at odds with the facts of life—how life unfolds from moment to moment. When you learned to judge, to single out life experiences as “This shouldn’t be happening,” or “I want something different to be happening.”
The past in you—when you learned to be emotional, by involving with likes and dislikes.
The past in you—when you learned to suppress or express the emotions triggered by likes and dislikes, “shoulds” and “should nots.”
“Nothing is more exciting than to watch a fear fade from the mind forever. Nothing is more delightful than to possess self-command in a world of chaos. There is no greater inspiration than to know that you have found the true path at last."—Vernon Howard
In my experience, there is nothing more liberating than freedom from the past. Emotional resolving resolves the past, as if it never happened. It is also a cessation of accumulating more energy blockages in the present.
Stillness is the way–to access the past in you, and empty it out. There is no better teacher of being still, than an activated energy blockage, which will not resolve itself by any think-and-do strategy; which gives itself up completely, only to the presence of your immovable consciousness. People who “push your buttons”—unresolved blockages—are not enemies, then, but Angels in disguise, helping you to get unblocked and receive an ever-present flow of upliftment and well-being that is waiting to grace you.
Once you have a glimpse of the freedom possible through emotional resolving, the former habit to suppress or express emotions dissolves. You lose your identity as someone who needs to shut down to be safe from the natural flow of life. It is a doorway to a new life on earth; a profound way of “being in the world, but not disturbed by it”—fearless, joyful and worry-free. This is the process of self-realization.
I invite you to join the next The Work and EIQ Teleclass where you will learn how to use all the TERA Resource Materials in the EIQ Toolkit.
- Tail-End Exercise
- Deep-Dive Inquiry
- TERA Overview
- TERA Partner Facilitation Guide
- List of Sensations
- Press-the-Pause-Button Exercise
- Moment of Impact Fundamentals
- Inquiry into Resistance
- The Opportunity of Shock
- Holistic Resolving: Anger, Fear, Shame, Jealousy, Depression
- TERA Reality Checks
- Pre-Commitment: The Mast
- Going Beyond
- Inquiry into Labels
"When there is no way out, there is still always a way through. So don't turn away from the pain. Face it. Feel it fully. Feel it-don't think about it. Express it, if necessary, but don't create a script in your mind around it. Give all your attention to the feeling, not the person, event, or situation that seems to have caused it.
"Don't let the mind create a victim identity for yourself out of it. Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others your story will keep you stuck in suffering. Since it is impossible to get away from the feeling, the only possibility of change is to move into it; otherwise, nothing will shift.
"So give your complete attention to what you feel, and refrain from mentally labeling it. As you go into the feeling, be intensely alert. At first, it may seem like a dark and terrifying place, and when the urge to turn away from it comes, observe it, but don't act on it. Keep putting your attention on the pain, keep feeling the grief, the fear, the dread, the loneliness, whatever it is.
"Stay alert. Stay present-present with your whole Being, with every cell of your body. As you do so, you are bringing a light into this darkness. This is the flame of your consciousness."― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now