The past few weeks I have been sharing the nuances of what holds us all back from thriving in our work, relationships, and goals. The BOO (Background of Obviousness) can be broken down and healed. It does take time, honesty, and effort to make positive changes. However, it takes more time and energy to stay the same. The tool I am sharing with you is called the Recapitulation Exercise. It is used to clear up the issues you have identified from your shadow self. The process requires courage and patience. But once you experience its power, I hope it becomes a lifelong practice. Remember, this practice will not likely heal deep issues in one working session. Also, it’s important to focus on one issue at a time, starting with the nastiest—all your other issues likely stem from that one anyhow! Recapitulation is a stacked practice that draws from therapeutic techniques such as visualization, breathwork, and cognitive behavioral therapy. I hope you already incorporated breathwork and visualization into your routine. If you haven’t, this is an opportunity to do so. Recapitulation and healing your BOO is a step up in the emotional mountain. To reiterate: the point of this practice is to stop your BOO from controlling your reactions to the stimuli you experience all day, every day. This is how we rewire our brains to behave in a way that complements our emotional well-being and builds resilience. (Please note here that this material is for educational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice of physicians and other medical professionals. Consult your medical professional in matters relating to your physical and mental health with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis, medical attention, and treatment.)
So what is Recapitulation? It is an exercise. Here are the steps: Get yourself into a good state of mind, grab your journal, and write down the biggest issue you’ve identified as a theme in your life. Write about the negative impact it’s had on your life and write about what you believe to be the root cause of the emotional-reactionary patterns that keep showing up. While you are doing this, practice box breathing, set an intention to clear up the shadow, and ask your witnessing self (or higher power) for guidance and support. You need to get out of your head for this to work optimally. Check your ego at the door. Once you have brought the issue to your conscious awareness, in your mind’s eye, travel back in time by remembering events where the BOO issue tripped you up. This is part memory and part imagination (because our memories are so much imagined). You should be able to list a slew of instances. Continue to “remote view” your past, looking for emotional storms that caused you to act out, feel victimized, or be weak and non-reactive. These are the moments that plague you today as anxiety, anger, or shame. And it’s these moments that can cause you to continue to have unhealthy, unsatisfactory, or abusive relationships. Keep tracing back deeper into your past until you begin to identify the underlying incident(s) that are plausible root causes. When you find a genesis point, begin to objectify the situation. Separate from it and watch yourself going through it from a second-person (I-you) and then third-person (I-it) perspective. Verbalize internally (or out loud): “I am not that. That’s an event that happened, but I am not that.” Let go of attachment to that energy…. You no longer need to suppress it as you have the awareness and skillful means to deal with it. Now, forgive “you” and “it” and any person who wronged you. Apologize to yourself for holding onto the negative energy for so long. Merge a vision of your current, mature self with that disempowered younger self. Approach your younger self from the perspective of your higher self and reintegrate. (What works for me is giving that version of myself a hug and merging the images, healing the “child within.”) You’re releasing stuck energy, and replacing it with the energy of your wiser, more mature self. In this way, you have become whole again. You just got a “do-over.”
If this practice sounds esoteric, it’s because it is. Most people never deal with these deep issues. They ignore them or accept them, thinking, It is what it is. Most people believe that who they are and how they feel is a culmination of genetics and circumstances without considering there’s a way to change all that. Trust me, if you practice recapitulation in earnest, I know you will find that it works. When I dealt with my issues, I found the emotional trauma experienced as a child as the genesis. I had suppressed it, then became numb to it. I came to think of that suppressed energetic state as “normal” and denied any problems. But I was not happy. I was drinking too much and couldn’t maintain a relationship worth beans. I also had an absurdly high emotional pain tolerance since I’d numbed pretty much every emotion, including joy to the point you don’t even recognize it. You think everyone goes through it, and oftentimes, you think you’re helping by being so open to emotional abuse. You think you’re being a good friend, an open-minded partner, and you convince yourself that the grass is never greener on the other side. These are the lies we tell ourselves to hold onto our origin stories and go-to emotions.
BOO that is identified and resolved is no longer BOO. It becomes part of your conscious awareness. When this happens, your emotional intelligence increases. You develop emotional power. Your heart, your courage wolf, oversees your actions and reactions. You make decisions based on all the evidence. You have high self-esteem and self-worth. You are happier and more content, which releases endorphins and dopamine into your system on a regular basis. And you are farther along on the path to your Uncommon Life. I look forward to hearing about your recapitulation practices and the freedom you create by releasing the emotional baggage that no longer serves you. Hooyah!