Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

What Triggers You?

By Liminalspace @Liminal__Space
What Triggers You?

Emotional triggers are a physiological response to your personal interpretation of a comment, event, or situation. I underline the words: “your personal interpretation” because what you’re reacting to is a story of what that comment (etc.) says about you, not the comment itself.  If you seek my help to resolve a communication breakdown you are having with someone, I am less interested to hear what went down than I am in the stories you are telling yourself, about yourself. When you are aware of your mind’s go-to stories, you liberate yourself from being emotionally hijacked by words or events.

When I first started my business as a mindset coach and yoga teacher I supported myself managing a wine bar in the evenings. One night a man came in and we chatted about our work. When I told him about my business he said, “Wow, you don’t look like a yoga teacher!” To which I responded, “Oh yeah, what does a yoga teacher look like?” He made a gesture indicating tall and said, “bendy”. He then proceeded to put his foot further down his throat by saying, “You look like you belong here, behind the bar.” To which I responded, “Oh yeah, what does someone who ‘belongs behind the bar’ look like?” He gestured (what I am going to call) full-figured.

If I had this conversation two years prior I would have most certainly leapt over the bar and wrapped my hands around his neck. I would have lost my temper and then replayed the moment over and over in my mind while swimming in rage for the rest of the evening and maybe even the next couple days.  It would have triggered a negative-self-image story that has always been with me. LUCKILY, by the time I had the interaction with this dummy, I already identified that story and done a lot of work exploring it, so I was no longer beholden to the negative-self-image storyline. Instead of losing my emotional balance to this one interaction, I was able to laugh at it and even feel a little pity for his social ineptness.

We are living in a time where topics are causing our old stories to re-surface and trigger us emotionally. It’s a great opportunity to look at what stories are behind the triggers, so we can free ourselves from their emotional/mind grip.

When you find yourself triggered, use these questions to locate the story that set you off:

  • What is it about the situation that sets you off?
  • What do you think the event/comment says about you?
  • What do you think the person is misunderstanding about you?

Our mind is full of stories that get in our way and cause us all kinds of fear, worry, conflict and discomfort. September 13th begins the next session of my course, Uncover Your Stories: An Exploration of Inner Shadow, where you learn how to identify your stories; where they came from and how they limit you. In this course you will gain:

  • A framework to process emotional triggers
  • Guidance in exposing and exploring old and limiting story-patterns
  • How to take advantage of the lessons of this time so you can learn from them and grow forward
  • An opportunity to deeply connect with other like-minded individuals in 5 group sessions
  • One-on-one coaching sessions with me
  • A tangible tool for ongoing personal-growth

Check out what people have said about Uncover Your Stories:“I enrolled in Catherine’s Shadow Workshop because I like her yoga classes and I like to learn. I expected that I would enjoy the workshops. It didn’t enter my mind that the experience would be transformative.  But it was!  In the short three week time span of the series, Catherine offered me the tools and, most important, the support to uncover unknown parts of myself.  I feel hopeful and excited about continuing the excavation. Catherine offered her students a great deal of excellent information so that we could understand shadows. This is not to say that her teaching style was rigid. Quite the contrary. She presented the material with passion, gave us many opportunities to share our ideas and questions, and listened carefully and respectfully to us. Above all she created an atmosphere of trust, love, and community. Catherine is a gifted teacher and a loving human being.  I don’t think I am overstating when I say her work will make the world a better place.”

~JL, Sacramento, CA (Workshop taken Dec. 2019)

“Catherine’s [Uncover Your Stories] workshop changed how I move through the world. The tools I learned help me to navigate the triggers and stresses of life more effectively and with more positive results. This process gave me valuable insights into my relationships and led me to a greater sense of ease and flow. I recommend [Spirit of the Shadow] to anyone looking to understand themselves and others better.” 

~KM, San Francisco, CA (Workshop taken June 2011)

It was wonderful to work with an honest and authentic facilitator. Catherine’s ability to encourage vulnerability with her own transparency was the true magic of this workshop.”

~TC, Sacramento, CA (Workshop taken: Sept 2019)

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to chat about whether it’s the right fit for you or if you have any questions or comments in general.

Be Well,

Catherine la O’
E-RYT-500, PCC

What Triggers You?

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