Physiology of the Emotions

life's learning cycle

Life's Learning Cycle

Human beings are programmed to learn, and to continue to learn.

We transit this cycle millions of times a day, billions of times in a lifetime - effortlessly!

But we can get stuck - usually on Reflection.

Each experience = Facts (the events) + Feelings (our reactions to the events)

Feelings accompany every moment of this cycle.

Each episode, like every good story or piece of music, has three parts!



Sometimes things get blocked, usually because they are too painful to deal with at the time - and because we feel unsupported.

Three options for a blocked feeling, frame of mind, or issue:

  1. Get it moving again, and resolve it
  2. EX-ternalise it (throw it at someone else), or 
  3. IN-ternalise it (bury it in our suitcase, or shadow)

Externalising it at someone else cause...?

Internalised unresolved issues accumulate, awaiting resolution... tomorrow? - and stay with us always, often unconsciously, till resolved. (Like a big pile of washing up that nobody dealt with).

Ask a hundred people how they are: "I'm Fine".

Denial is the method many use to hide the baggage pile!

The baggage pile includes unresolved issues from today, yesterday, last week, last year, last relationship, childhood, school, and so on.

"Under pressure, men invade another country or drink alcohol, women go shopping or eat chocolate" (Barbara and Allen Pease, Why Men can only do one thing at a time, and Women never stop talking)

These are the four methods of avoiding dealing with the washing-up:

  • Projection
  • Blot out 
  • Distraction 
  • Comfort Behaviour

Too big a baggage pile and we become overwhelmed, or drift down into sadness or apathy - whilst pharmaceuticals such as -azepams may stop the wobbles, and -oxetines may lift mood, neither actually deal with the unresolved issues, though they may put us in a better position to do so.

Reflection needs:

  • time (though insight can be instantaneous)
  • intention 
  • support

Support includes:

Another person, touch, a listening ear, hobbies, nature, music, gardens - and, just as music can transform feelings, support can dissolve a blockage allowing an issue to resolve.

  • Experience
  • Express 
  • Resolve 
  • Integrate

(Experience, reflect, learn).

Or, for buried issues:

  • Relive, in order to...
  • Relieve, and 
  • Resolve (by supported re-experience and expression of unresolved feelings to resolution).

Key issues:

  • Awareness of invisible energy flows
  • Awareness of own unresolved issues (may be projected) 
  • Protection 
  • Cleansing

Energy Flows:

  • Accept
  • Deflect 
  • Protect 
  • Reflect back (not advised)


  1. Invisible shield (or golden bubble) - a very clever one!
  2. Around body, up to sky, down into earth 
  3. Shield stops everything disharmonious getting through, allows everything harmonious or for the highest good to get through 
  4. Shield is self-cleansing, and works at 1000% efficiency 
  5. Yuck goes straight out the window, to be recycled by nature 
  6. Bach flower Walnut, Heather, Red Chestnut and Chestnut Bud, in water, sipped frequently 
  7. Icons, pictures, nature, music, whatever lifts you up 
  8. Do you have any methods?


  1. Hand wash
  2. Conscious separation from patient and issues 
  3. Wipe off yuck, Bach Flower Crab Apple and Hornbeam 
  4. Exercise 
  5. Shower or Swim - and others methods 
  6. Which are yours?

Interpersonal Issues:

  1. We all need to be 'stroked' in life - and if we don't get nice ones, we'll play games to get nasty ones - much better than being ignored!
  2. we can act as a wise calm adult 
  3. or as a dominating parent 
  4. or as a manipulative (or creative) child 
  5. if someone else acts as child, we may be tempted or even forced into playing adult, and vice versa 
  6. once in role, each person ends up somewhere as either role - unless they choose consciously not to get trapped into the games!

Reference: Eric Berne, Games People Play.