Discovering Your Emotional Poem

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Face with a poem on it

If you want to communicate with your emotions you will need to learn a new language – the poetry of emotion. Don’t worry you are already speaking this language; you just don’t realize it.

When you say “My heart is broken” or “I have the weight of the world on my shoulders” or “I have a warm heart” or “I’m burning up with rage” you are speaking the language of emotion. These are cultural poems and we all know what they mean. You may not realize that these poems describe sensations felt in the body.

Types of poems

There are cultural poems and personal poems. If you want to discover your personal poems start by exploring the physical sensations in your body. Here is how to discover the sensory base. Once you have this list of sensations you are ready to discover your poem.

Often a poem emerges automatically when you are listing your sensory information. If you are struggling to describe a shape and it seems oval but not quite, you might find that an egg is the best description. The egg is your poem. A round shape becomes a ball. A rough brown shape becomes a rock. A fuzzy pink shape becomes a happy cloud.

The “like what?” question

If your poem does not emerge automatically gather more information. As you search for more details you may discover that only a poem will do. If more information does not result in a poem, then you can use the “Like what?” question. This question engages your creative parts and taps into your unconscious mind helping you find the metaphors, stories and images that describe your sensations.

Examples of the “like what?” question

Some examples might help. If your sensory based description is small, rounded, red and located in head, then your “Like what?” question is “Small, rounded, red located in head like what?” This one is easy. The answer is probably a toy ball from your childhood.

If your sensory based information is gray, fuzzy, all around my head. Your “Like what?” question is “Gray, fuzzy, all around my head like what?” The poem might be a gray cloud of confusion. A sensory based description of small, sparkles, pink, in heart becomes pink diamond in heart.

Are you ready to discover your own poem?

Select a happy memory. This can be from your recent past or your childhood. Get all the good feelings connected with this memory. Now, scan your body. Describe the sensations in your body using your five senses. Here is how to discover the sensory base. Once you have the sensory based description go deeper and discover your poem.

Since this is a positive poem you might want to make it even better. To make it better, try adding more color, inspiring music or sparkles. Be playful. Find out what makes your poem better.

Discovering emotional poems gets easier with practice. At first there is a tendency to use feeling labels (happy, sad, etc.) rather than sensory based descriptions. Simply notice or write down your feeling labels and continue searching for sensations in your body. Play with this exercise until you feel comfortable.

You use the same process to discover problem poems

Describing your emotion as a poem is Step 1 in the poetry of emotion process. You will use this same process to discover the poems for any problem emotions.

To read more… 

(Image: Dionne Hartnett @ Flickr http://

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