The way in which we respond to events is what determines our experiences, both positive and negative. But sometimes our negative emotions overwhelm everything else.
In the audio program Emotional Freedom Practices: How to Transform Difficult Emotions into Positive Energy (Sounds True) by Dr. Judith Orloff, listeners learn how to overcome the negativity of powerful emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, inadequacy, loneliness, jealousy, and more.
Dr. Orloff offers several discussions on emotions, how they affect our well-being, and tips and techniques for becoming masters of our feelings.
Author & Psychiatrist Dr. Orloff
Dr. Judith Orloff is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA. She is considered one of the leading voices in several healing fields, including medicine, psychiatry, and intuitive development.
Emotional Freedom Practices: How to Transform Difficult Emotions into Positive Energy is the 2 CD audio program developed by Dr. Orloff following the successful release of her bestselling book Emotional Freedom. Based on biology, psychology, and intuitive medicine, Dr. Orloff teaches listeners how to not let negativity bring them down, constructive reactions to overwhelming experiences, and how to control every situation.
Emotional Freedom Practices includes:
self-care techniques and exercise;
discussions on emotions and where they come from; and
specific healing meditations that are designed to help listeners transform feelings of fear, disappointment, and anger into courage, patience, and compassion.
Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
Dr. Orloff guides listeners with her wisdom with the intention of giving people the joy of achieving balance with their emotions. This self-help program has assisted thousands of people with the realization of their own ability to achieve emotional well-being.
Listeners will discover their innate ability to achieve a high quality of life, one filled with peace, serenity, and the ability to handle stress and other overwhelming emotions. Emotional Freedom Practices is for people wanting to build on their energy power center, giving them true emotional freedom in every of life’s situations.
We are perceptive and intuitive beings who hold the power to transform and heal ourselves.
This is what Dr. Judith Orloff asserts in her psychiatric practice. Our spiritual health is a major component to our overall wellbeing.
In her book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Three Rivers Press) Dr. Orloff uses her personal and professional experience to provide insights on how to achieve a healthy emotional state, leading to greater mind, body, and spiritual health.
For more than two decades, Dr. Judith Orloff has worked with people on their emotional health. As Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Orloff integrates traditional medicine, intuition, and spirituality into her healing approaches to mind/body health and wellness. Her goal is to help people achieve inner peace by transforming negative emotions into positive ones.
Dr. Orloff has authored several books, including Second Sight: An Intuitive Psychiatrist Tells Her Extraordinary Story and Shows You How To Tap Your Own Inner Wisdom (Three Rivers Press), Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love (Three Rivers Press), and Guide to Intuitive Healing: 5 Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness (Three Rivers Press).
Guide to Help Empower Yourself
Emotional Freedom is a book written with humor and understanding, designed to engage and educate readers in the intricate relationship between body, mind, and spiritual health. Emotional freedom happens when stress has been mastered, there is control over emotions, and life is approached positively rather than with negativity. Dr. Orloff uses her wisdom to teach readers how to deal constructively with life and take control again.
Drawing from several fields, including neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychology, and energy medicine, Dr. Orloff incorporates several case studies into her discussions, and offers endless strategies on ways to pinpoint negative emotions and flip them into feelings of empowerment.
The book also includes:
methods on identifying one’s emotional type (intellectual, empathic, rock, or gusher);
discussions on the importance of tapping into the power of dreams;
an exploration on the power of one’s intuition;
a “survival guide” on dealing constructively with those who are emotionally draining; and
strategies on how to face specific negative emotions (such as fear, frustration, disappointment, loneliness, anxiety, depression, envy, or anger) and replacing them with more positive emotional transformations.
Self-Healing Action Plan
Emotional Freedom is a resource intended for anyone who struggles with feelings of stress, frustration, or a general sense of being overwhelmed by everything. Anyone who feels it is time to regain control of their life, emotionally and spiritually, will appreciate Dr. Orloff’s wisdom and guidance in her acclaimed book.
As Dr. Orloff teaches, the emotions we feel are directly linked to our spiritual health and rooted in our soul. By learning how to take control of emotional health, readers will have a new perspective on life and be able to regain health and wellness using a balanced mind/body/spirit approach.
Color is a language that allows people to express the emotional and social burdens of abuse, illness, grief, or stress.
Art & Creativity for Healing is an organization offering participants opportunities for healing through various fine art classes and workshops.
This organization was started by Laurie Zagon in Laguna Niguel, California in 2000. It is a non profit organization funded entirely from generous donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
Healing Through Art
Art for Healing Book - Includes Instruction For Starting a Healing Center
Emerging from the idea of artist and author of Art for Healing: Painting Your Heart Out (AuthorHouse) Laurie Zagon, this organization has flourished and assisted countless children, teens, and adults with various healing opportunities. Her Zagon Method for healing with art was first executed in a workshop in 1987. From there, Zagon went on to found Art & Creativity for Healing.
The mission of Art & Creativity for Healing is to “support emotional healing through art and creative expression for those living in pain, grief, fear, or stress.” This non-profit organization was designed to offer everyone from child through to adult an opportunity for creative expression using paint on canvas as a release from the emotional struggles of abuse, illness, grief, or stress.
Benefits of Creative Healing
The art classes and workshops offered through Art & Creativity for Healing give people a platform from which to express their personal experiences—from encountering chronic or terminal illness, child abuse, substance abuse, and more—in a creative and healing manner.
Art allows people:
to achieve a great self-awareness;
to recognize their strength for the ability to confront many emotions; and
an opportunity to communicate their thoughts and feelings when sometimes words cannot be expressed properly.
Art & Creativity for Healing operates from donations by foundations, corporations, and individuals. This non-profit entity has an online store from which people can purchase various items—such as Zagon’s publications, educational DVDs, workshop kits, art supplies, and more—with the profits from the sale of these items going towards the organization’s operation.
The following is the transcription of Laurie and some of her program’s participants talking about the program Laurie designed to help those suffering from various traumas move past them into a more resourceful state of being.
Young Girl: My name is Sarah and I’m 8 years old. And what brought me here was my little sister Elizabeth who died. I was sad and happy at the same time, because she was going to a better place, but I felt sad because she left us here, and I thought about how much fun a baby sister would’ve been.
Woman: We’re all kind of integrated, of some sort. And we’re all a big masterpiece of this giant painting. And each of us have a very important part in life. And how, if you allow it, there will be people and there will be resources and chances available to just kind of let you deal and heal and cope.
Laurie Zagon: There are so many people right here in our community that are hurting. There’s so many people here—children, adults, an entire family—that are hurting because they’ve had something traumatic happen to their lives. This program helps them to process those feelings.
Young Boy: Hi, I’m Gannen Eck, and I’m 12 years old, and when I was 8 I was diagnosed with severe aplastic aneamia—that’s bone marrow failure. And so I had to take 30 pills a day—15 at night and 15 in the morning—and get my blood drawn every night and get a shot every morning. So, it wasn’t very fun. I rarely ever got to see my family.
Yeah, I’m completely cured. I can do whatever I want. I’m a normal healthy kid now. I still come to Art & Creativity for Healing because it’s just so much fun! It’s painting . . . it’s my life. I love to paint and draw and I love to do art.
Art & Creativity is a help to children and adults, anybody who’s been emotionally hurt or sick in the hospital, so it’s a great program for all kids and adults and teens. For everybody to just get out their feelings on a canvas with some paints and stuff.
The Language of Color
Laurie: The beauty of the program is that you don’t have to be an artist to do this program. Anyone can do it, young and old.
But the beauty of the program truly is that it’s teaching people a new language. It’s the language of color and painting on canvas. You don’t have to be an artist. You don’t have to know how to draw a straight line. All you have to do is sit down and allow us to take you through a series of questions that you answer with colors and shapes on canvas.
It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a very cathartic experience. It helps people to release a lot of the pressure cooker steam that sometimes has built up from emotional things that happen in our daily lives.
Art Helps in Ways Words Cannot
Woman: I had emotional trauma growing up, but as an adult I had one of my children die of bone cancer. That was really the most traumatic thing that happened in our lives. My son Brandon was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 14 1/2. He was a really neat, healthy, active kid.
When the diagnosis came, my son Brandon kind of straightened himself up and said, “You mean I could die because my hip hurts?” I said, “Yeah, you could.”
I miss him awful. I have worked for years to try to help myself get past the deep grief, and I’ve spent a lot of money doing that. But until I came to Art & Creativity, I really was stuck. And doing a couple of the courses related to grief has helped me tremendously.
To the community, I would ask that you be generous to this organization which goes out and helps so many people in so may places, in hospitals, in institutionalized settings. They help people of all ages, from young children through the teens, and through mature in life.
Art does it in a way that words never can.
Laurie: It’s normal to have stress. Everybody has stress. So the Art & Creativity program really is designed for every human being that wants to take a class. The language of color and painting on canvas is something universal, and I think that’s why we’re successful. Mostly because it’s easy, and anyone can do it and it’s fun, but it also has a way of tapping into areas that maybe people need to release by putting some colorful strokes of paint on canvas.
Healing Families & Individuals
Mother of family: We found Art & Creativity a few years ago when we moved to California from the east. It just kind of sounded like a great organization, and I decided that I kind of wanted to get involved. And then the day before the Pallette of Colors dinner last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. So as I was going through chemo and everything, I kind of brought the family here to . . . so Art & Creativity could help them be a family and process everyones’ feelings about my cancer.
When I got the diagnosis of breast cancer . . . your world kind of stops. And it just went really vast. And then you have to come home and have a family meeting and tell the kids, and it was just really hard.
Son: One night we had like a big meeting. We talked about how mom was getting breast cancer, and then everyone started crying. Even me.
Mother: I think donations are needed to Art & Creativity because cancer and other diseases, I’m sure, really don’t just affect the person, they affect the whole family. And by going through this and by seeing other families and by going to support groups and just seeing that there’s such a need, and I think that there’s more work to be done.
Program Funding Needs for Art & Creativity for Healing
Laurie: We need your help. We would like to be able to have more and more programs and more and more places that we can reach people that are hurting. We need your help. We need your dollars. Any dollar amount makes a difference to us.
It is so important that you understand that every little bit helps. But I also want you to know that from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Because we could not have done it without you.
Hit By a Rainbow
Laurie Zagon - Daniel's Integrity
During the early days, Zagon’s illustrations were published in a well known table top, affirmation book in 1989 by Ballantine Books. It’s Never to Late To Have a Happy Childhood: Inspiration for Inner Healing was authored by Claudia Black, M.S.W., Ph.D. It was one of the early books on the Law of Attraction, and Zagon’s illustrations were chosen to accompany the use of the book’s affirmations. Black is internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. Along with It’s Never to Late To Have a Happy Childhood, Black has authored a very long list of self-help books, CDs, and DVDs .
Zagon created the Hit by a Rainbow film back in 1990, about the same time as her art was accepted for Black’s book. This 28 minute video is well worth watching. In this short film, viewers gain insight into the unfolding of Zagon’s life path that brought her to where she is today. She shares her insights and passion as an artist, her observations about light, color, and movement. Viewers can clearly sense how her “inner joy” brought her art alive and how taking each inspired step lead to the creation of the Art & Creativity for Healing Organization.
Many artists don’t act on their creative urges due to some type of perception or creative block. Most show up as self-judgment, anxiety, or stress. But, by allowing that initial step, a person can open a vast door of possibility. As you can see by watching Zagon’s Hit by a Rainbow many lives were touched along the way. How inspiring to witness how the simple first step of following joy opens a door to helping others, and goes on to create much more than first ever imagined.
The following question to and answer from Alana provides insight into the power of intention.
When we direct our intention through our attentive focus on actions like prayer or working with healing modalities it gives us opportunity to learn how to work with all facets of our being.
In this instance, the questioner is concerned that her body’s responses are not to be fully trusted.
Question for Alana: When I sit in a temple, or I move into a state of prayer, or even when I do something like Reiki or Pranayama my body responds in an unusual way.
My head or whole body begins to sway in circular fashion. The feeling is beautiful, but people around me do not feel comfortable as they think something strange has taken me over, or something has a hold of me.
Sometimes my body even trembles or shakes. I can also get very emotional. All this is beautiful for me but it is not acceptable to my family and peers. Can you please explain what may be happening to me, and if this is a distraction that keeps me from following my path.
Opening to Greater Spiritual Energy
Alana’s Answer: This is a wonderful question! The act of focusing the mind on a specific intent like when in prayer, or when practicing a healing technique can create physical responses in your body.
A sensation of calmness, or a feeling of lightness is very common when we enter mild trance states. Some individuals notice additional physical changes.
For example, the practice of meditation builds on one’s ability to quiet the mind and move their awareness to a peaceful state, free from external distractions. When centering the body and letting go the active state of consciousness relaxes and a higher perception begins to open to greater spiritual energy. It is not uncommon for the body to physically respond in some way to facilitate the release of any stress, or blocked energy to support this higher intent.
Some people perceive this shift we can call “letting go” as a transformative state that frees us up to expand into a greater awareness of our higher self and eventually the nature of universal love. The more expanded we become the deeper the trance state.
When we fill ourselves up with spirit (or whatever name you choose) our higher awareness guides us while in this trance and we can begin to consciously sense our connection to: universal love, the void, all that is, emptiness and fullness, universal intelligence, god, divine light and information, or as a quantum theorist might state, the zero point field.
Are all Physical Sensations Blocked Energy?
There are different schools of thought on how to facilitate this shift. And there are also different perceptions on how to work with the release of any physical blocks, or bodily responses.
A meditator might determine the physical responses are necessary as they occur, but to not focus on them because that keeps the mind actively engaged in the physical world. An energy healer might sense the response as validation that something is shifting, and use it to heighten the receptivity to intuitive information. Yet, an individual who is working with an energy medicine modality or a consciousness technique may interpret it as “entanglement” and use the state to promote change and transformation.
I think the key is to “allow” and not judge that anything is wrong but ask for greater insight. We all channel and receive information; we enter into trance states all the time. Some people will notice when they “drop down,” or “expand their awareness,” or connect to a higher power such as in prayer. Their body will respond. This is wonderful because your nature is wanting you to notice a change. When we notice something different it allows us to move past what we know into resourceful states.
Creating a Resourceful State
A few great questions to ask when physical body responses accompany an intention to help or heal are:
How can this be useful?
What am I wanting to learn?
How can this help me facilitate my intention?
Then follow the guidance you receive. There is nothing to fear. Your connected nature is conspiring on your behalf and the person, issue, or intent of which you are focusing. All you need to do is remain centered in your heart, while listening to the answers that come to your mind. This is called heart/mind listening!
When you hear the answers with your heart open you will remain connected to your higher awareness and the physical responses will be useful and not become a distraction.
So dear one, do not fear how your body is responding. If you are moving blocked energy to allow you to expand, that is good! Let it move. If you doing energy work and have a physical response then allow greater intuitive guidance to flow through you. And if you are working with a consciousness technology, like an energy medicine technique the physics term called “entanglement” is a natural phenomena where we experience our connection to all that is.
The more you work with the above questions, the more you will perceive how wise and brilliant your body is, and how it’s response wants to guide you.
Our conversations with Alana have spanned almost two decades.
We thought it might be fun to share some of our dialogues with Alana when we were first learning how to communicate fluently with Alana who is not an entity but the “frequency” of all of our hearts.
This is a timeless conversation Kirk shared with Alana back in the year 1997. He is curious about the nature of beliefs and how to assist people when limiting or negative beliefs are holding them back from creating their heart’s desires.
Insights for Changing Limiting Beliefs
Kirk VandenBerghe: Alana, can you provide some insight on how to assist people in changing beliefs that no longer serve them?
Alana: Teach your clients a concept of belief as a doorway.
Once a person can hold the picture of a door in their mind and sense the door as you would a belief, they will be able to open it and see what is inside the basis of their beliefs.
If they are slow to grasp the concept, then teach or help them realize they have the key to this door which acts as a symbol for unlocking and perceiving the belief they are holding. Mysteriously, when they are ready enough to open the door, the door will dissolve or open and provide insight.
The Power of Belief
Kirk: Some beliefs people have formed hold them back, while others help them grow and learn. Can you say more about this?
Alana: There are many different approaches to assist a person in belief realization. Some beliefs are hard to examine, hard to grasp the roots that lead them to be. A person may feel they hold hurtful thoughts. Let’s discuss the nature of beliefs to better understand the intention they hold.
Know all beliefs are essentially purposeful. They ignite emotions and emotional responses that allow people to learn themselves and about others.
When a person holds a belief that keeps them locked within themselves—what you term as limiting—they are creating a path to develop understanding of why others share the same beliefs they do. Usefulness is present because this creates a co-creative type of understanding. We are not judging if the belief is expanding or limiting, just that it creates connection.
Having understanding requires opening to a level of consciousness that has the intent to develop compassion. Without understanding and compassion, we would not recognize our connection. When a belief is imprinted internally then it can change and take a new form.
When a belief is resisted it will mirror back again and again and again. This is why the patterns within the universe of a belief that has rippled through the consciousness of each individual soul who has expressed and then accepted it
through forgiveness can choose to alter (elevate) to a new experience. A belief can collectively transform humanity. A belief offers an individual or humanity as a whole to gain experience and learn into possibility.
Belief Systems Expand Consciousness
Kirk: So you are saying we have our personal beliefs then we have cultural and even global beliefs we all share?
Alana: Yes! And beliefs catch on, and become morphic fields that hold information. Emotional responses are a beautiful fuel that is charged by beliefs.
An emotion is a beautiful expression. When fear charges a belief—which stems from a fear of separation—it affects the chakra alignment of the individual and reduces or inhibits the flow of love.
Fear does have its purpose. It keeps those bonded in belief, and when as a whole we can create that bond without fear as the connector then we will inherit the ability to expand our consciousness to attain more knowledge of our inherit mostly, untapped nature. This will help us collectively, raise our belief system as a whole to new heights.
Belief and Compassion
Kirk: Then on a more vast scale beliefs can be tools of our consciousness that propel us to learn and elevate our awareness.
Alana: Indeed, Kirk. So this is why we can not judge a person for holding a limiting belief, because it is what helps us create doorways. In personal development work, ask each individual to use the key that you offer them to find and eventually the the doorway will unlock and dissolve, and lack will be the first to go.
If you traced all belief that is limiting, or hurtful—such as that of victim—or grounded in not enough . . . that of pain, that of fear . . . I can go on and on. If you traced these fear-based beliefs back to their initial beginning they will connect to a belief in lack, and fear to express due to preconceived projected consequences. Compassion allows us to move beyond identifying with a belief as who we are, but rather a doorway we have created for the purpose of learning.
All emotional feelings are valid. Feeling that resonates within are there for a reason. The reason for the feeling or emotion is not to be judged, just expressed safely and it can transform because as a species we learn. This is why logic is not really our dominate state. It assists, but when it judges it keeps us from allowing our beliefs to continue expanding to embrace greater possibility. Logic is just an aid that is based on our minds ability to compare and reason.
I took a workshop at Esalen Institute, and when I arrived I had no what I was going to paint. I had been an illustrator over 10 years, and I was just feeling the need to paint for myself to do something different. I thought maybe I would paint the scenery. I was painting in a beautiful building on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and I stood there with a giant white piece of paper and my hand just started to move. And I was totally amazed at what came out.
And the more I painted, the more came out. Even though the paintings were very dark as far as imagery, it was a great release to do them. It was discovering a whole new part of myself that I did not know had existed. When I look at the paintings now, it seems that I had some kind of awareness, some kind of precognition, because that year my mother committed suicide.
People are afraid to paint because they don’t know where to start. Seeing that piece of white paper is very scary, but it is also very exciting at the same time.
I don’t think too much about what I am going to paint, I just try to go on intuition. Sometimes I just put a color down, and that color has a certain feeling which will make me want to put another color next to it.
After my mother’s suicide I felt like I was leading a double life: the internal life and the external life. It made me feel very separate from other people. As you can imagine it was a very, very dark and very difficult time for me. But I knew that I had to do something. I started to paint again, because I remembered how comforting the paintings had been to me when I painted at Esalen.
Healing Through Painting
In one of my favorite paintings called “My Healer,” I realized that my healing was up to me. The paintings became a practice, like meditation . . . like dance . . . like poetry.
It’s very important to suspend judgment at the painting. I still occasionally look at something and say, like, “Oh, I don’t like that color. I think I’ll move this.” But now I think of it more as it’s only a part of painting that I don’t like, and I know that’s going to happen.
And maybe it’s just the tension in the painting that helps me move on, that helps me finish the painting. And I really try not to judge it as though I would if I went to museum.
It’s about those early paintings . . . there is a lot of demons flying around. And the demons are really scary at that point, I am really afraid. They look mean. They look angry, because that’s really how I am feeling inside.
As the months progressed, the demons became my friends. For example, after her death, I had an incredible dream. The dream was very scary at the time, but when I actually started to work on the piece, the whole mood, the whole character, of the painting changed into one of benevolence and compassion, and kindness and healing.
Listen to the Paintings Speak
In the early nineties, I met a man named Shaun McNiff. He taught me that it’s really not a good idea to talk about paintings, and that so many of us judge paintings according to somebody’s criteria. He taught me: don’t judge the painting. Don’t talk about the painting. It’s just as if the painting has a soul and a being of it’s own. So when I look at the paintings, what I do is pretend that they are actually a person.
For example, you wouldn’t talk about a friend who came into the room and said, “Wow, that dress looks really bad with those shoes,” you know, or, “That hat is really the wrong color.”
What I like to do is have the paintings speak to me.
Most of the time, I stand when I paint. I feel like if my whole body is involved rather than my hand and my brain, things seem to flow better.
When you paint with no judgment, things happen that you don’t expect. And it’s a journey. It’s like going on a trip to a foreign country, a place like you had never been before.
It’s almost like a door. It’s really not the grief any more; the grief is turned into a door. Where I know that these images will come . . . I just know that.
I think it’s easier to speak your truth when you are not doing something for money. These paintings were created for me; they came from a flow that was inside. So I feel free . . . I feel free to create what I want to create without worrying about the end result.
When I first started doing these paintings, I was little nervous to show them to people, because I thought they would think I was really strange, kind of crazy. Slowly, but surely, when I started to share them with some people, it was really amazing to hear their reaction. I think everybody relates to them in some manner in their own life. Everybody’s had loss, everybody’s had some problems.
I never feel like I run out of things to paint. I have an endless well of imagery that I feel now can come out at anytime. I never felt like this before I started these paintings.
When I’m in a room full of my paintings, I feel that I am with my best friends. It’s like something else is at work and things are not as they appear, and that there is another force going on within us. And that if we just can connect with . . . I don’t know, just makes me smile.