Emotional Exposure: Evaporation and Transpiration

The concept of evaporation and transpiration is a useful metaphor to describe what occurs when we pursue mindful emotional exposure, whether through the implosion or emotional surfing procedures. The evaporation and transpiration model depicts the spontaneous surfacing of buried or avoided material; whether that material be related memories, images, bodily sensations, thoughts and so on. We are unlocking a very powerful and natural process that allows material to be drawn up from our deepest layers to the surface where it can be mindfully witnessed.


OK, so in this metaphor, the sun is the light of your attention. It has power and energy. Now, when the radiant energy of sunlight falls on a leaf, it excites the water molecules in the leaf. The H2O molecules heat up, and they start bouncing around and eventually, the surface most molecules break their bonds to adjacent H2O molecules and evaporate into the atmosphere. So, as we pay attention to emotional material it becomes dynamic, which means it becomes free to have movement. As we withdraw attention and avoid emotional material due to fear, and shame, it stays stuck and unmoving.

Since adjacent water molecules are connected via strong chemical bonds, as the outermost molecule at the surface of the leaf breaks free and evaporates, all the other molecules going all the way down to the roots are drawn up. Now , the next molecules are at the surface and exposed to the sun.

And so, continuing our evaporation and transpiration metaphor, each water molecule is composed of one atom of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen. We can liken this to the memory/emotion complex that result from our experiences and conditioning throughout life. Some of these are deeply buried in the subconscious (avoided memory) due to their aversive nature. These avoided emotion/memories never get exposed to the light of attention. However, as we start this process of exposure and mindful attention, they start getting drawn up to the surface where we can consciously experience them. In this manner we can slowly “peel the onion” (see the post “Lessons From Shrek). Ultimately, we can learn to be comfortable anywhere within our own psyche and thus be free of the controls and avoidances that encumber our lives. This is not an easy path, but one well worth taking. This is natures way. We just have to have the courage to let it happen. That is the “path of the warrior”.

Please post your thoughts, personal experiences, questions, etc. your input helps makes this a more interesting and dynamic experience for all.


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