The Permission to Feel: The Art of Emotional Effector Patterns, Self Expression and Healing

Choosing yourself may seem like a hard thing to do but once you start doing it for you, you will be able to see how to love yourself. Changing your own perspective on how you see yourself will give you the ability to practice what you’ve learned about using your life force for yourself. When you change your perspective about yourself, you openly give the right for love to come storming in. It will cause you to question what you have been going through and trigger past and present conflicts that are both internal and external. Many people have experienced trauma. Trauma briefly is an event that occurs that causes distress. There is no matter to the measurement of how severe or less it may seem to anyone. Once trauma occurs, it leads to disturbances from restlessness, anxiety, violence, mood swings, missing work, intentionally using substances excessively just to name a few things. 

Trauma is the wound impacted on your emotional body. According to Laura Bond, author of The Emotional Body: A Method for Physical Self-Regulation states that “You are an emotional body. You were born with a body primed and ready to express your needs through emotions, and they influence all you feel, think, do, and say. Everything you encounter triggers your emotions, and then influences your health, relationships, perspective and perception of the world. By learning more about emotions and developing skills to sense how they emerge and express through your body, you can become more adept at self-regulating emotions, managing how you express them, and consciously shifting from undesirable emotional states to more desirable ones”.

In order to regulate your thoughts and manage your emotions, you must know yourself or at least start to learn how to like yourself. You might discover you don’t like yourself and that you haven’t understood how to appreciate you. Try spending time learning how you feel. Bond goes further in on a method called “emotional effector patterns”, which “are precise breathing and muscle manipulation patterns linked to specific emotional feelings. Each effector pattern has three parts: (1) a breathing pattern, (2) facial expression, and (3) postural attitude. All three parts work together to create one effector pattern, or biological code, that directly stimulates nerves, cells and organs”. This means that what you think, is what you feel, is what you manifest and is your current reality. The way you think about you influences how the rest of you will see all versions of yourself and tend to them the same.

Bond went on claiming “The resulting pattern works like a key that opens the door for one particular basic emotion to express throughout the entire body”. What is this door Bond talks about and how can going through this process with yourself empower you? Once you start to know yourself, you will no longer perish. It is also written according to Hosea 4 verse 6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (KJV). Discovering yourself requires that you have a space that is healthy, supported and goal centered. Bond spoke about a method called ‘step out’, which “consist[s] of a pattern of slow, regular, and deep, breathing cycles followed by a total relaxation of the facial muscles and a relaxed and centrally aligned posture, is designed to return the person to a “neutral state” in order to fully release any previous emotional induction. (Bloch, 1993)”. Being comfortable with self means that you are incorporating tools to ground yourself in the human experience. To become comfortable, one must create space to understand self. Understanding self means to discover self and all that you’re already composed of.

Earlier Bond mentioned a door and this door represents access to self where realization is made aware. Stepping out into this neutral state will allow you to intentionally prioritize yourself.  A key to incorporating yourself is “to stop putting people in positions they didn’t earn” in your life, states Santita Castellano, Director of Bristol Black Collective. “People need to earn a way into your life and that’s a reason why there is trauma. We only reflect when it is already too late and when you’re in crisis. When you’re in crisis you’re trying to figure out how you got there and then you start replaying everything in your mind”. Castellano brings to light about the reason why many would have a hard time walking through the door Bond mentioned. This is reflective of how to become aware of your trauma, “prevent unhealthy access to self and make a decision to let access to a part of yourself that is broken”, states Castellano. “Exploring things that make you happy allows you to not depend on another for your happiness. And when you identify what makes you happy, you have less time to be manipulated” and distracted, said Castellano.

It could be inferred that getting to know yourself intimately starts with self care for grounding and managing your emotions in order to elevate oneself. Bond continued talking about how Emotional Effector Patterns is one of many grounding methods for this. “The discovery of these patterns helped to create a physical method for evoking and regulating emotion. The patterns are based on scientific findings, independent of gender or social heritage influences, and result in the expression of basic universal emotions and modes of expression”. Taking the space to have the moment to intentionally go within to understand your emotions is a practice that should be considered. This is called reflection. 

Reflection briefly is where one takes a moment to mindfully analyze a thing. Reflection must consist of not just being aware of a situation, but being bridged with the understanding of being comfortable being right there in it. Don’t look for solutions because they will come to you. Don’t force the feelings, because they are already there. The point of this practice is to bring forth what is already there and to give you an opportunity to give space to its awareness. Giving space to awareness allows feelings, thoughts and emotions to be expressed. Having a space that is supportive for your end goal is important. Not only does Bond understanding of emotions give space for the emotional body to be seen, heard and understood but it allows personal acceptance for the natures of self expression to be an integral understanding for people aware of their emotional bodies, states and empowerment.

Choosing yourself may seem like a hard thing to do but once you start doing it for you, you will be able to see how to love yourself. Changing your own perspective on how you see yourself will give you the ability to practice what you’ve learned about using your life force for yourself. When you change your perspective about yourself, you openly give the right for love to come storming in.To become comfortable, one must create space to understand self. Emotional Effector Patterns is a beautiful method from the understanding of the knowledge of emotions, thoughts and feelings and how we as human beings connect. At many points of connecting, not at all times are we truly effective in expression of such things. Some cultures even disapprove of emotional display of any sorts. These are influences that contribute to the mental struggle of how one looks at life. As we take time to reflect, and within it gain an understanding, we will then be able to let healing flow from a non-judgmental perspective. Until then, practice healthy wealthy thoughts.

Bristol’s mission strives to “inspire, educate and empower those who are interested in Black life to celebrate Black history, culture and advocate for the viability, equality and equity of the community”. For more information, visit https://www.bristolblackcollective.org. For more information about Laura Bond or about the emotional body, visit https://emotionalbody.co/.