Aspecting is an advanced application of the Emotional Release Tools. Use aspecting when you want to heal and integrate and aspect of yourself. It helps work with the Mind-Body connection.
For example if you identify a part of you that is behaving immature or selfish or jealous. Or perhaps you feel very angry at another person – say your mother. These people or emotions are aspects. Aspects include people, emotions, problems or issues, group consciousness (or systems in Constellations work), or your inner child or inner masculine/feminine.
There are three benefits to aspecting:
- Emotional expression and release—you aspecting as yourself in step 1.
- The chance to hear another side of the situation, and perhaps hear what you need to hear—you aspecting as the other in Step 2, 3, 4.
- The change to form empathy for the other's perspective and motivations—perhaps what you realise that what actually sits behind their words or action is love.
- Choose a pillow and pretend that the pillow is the aspect (“I pretend that this pillow is my mother”). Then apply the Tools as usual – expressing yourself to your mother. Vocalise the conversation out loud.
- When you start to feel a change inside you, swap positions – physically change the space you are using on the floor so that you sit where the pillow (mother) was before, and the pillow (mother) is where you were before.
- Now you become the aspect (“I pretend to be my mother and I pretend that the pillow is me”).
- Use the Tools but this time on behalf of the aspect. The aspect is vocalising, kicking, punching, screaming (at you if necessary). Keep going until there’s a shift. Swap positions if necessary to explore the different perspectives.
- If you get out of your head properly, you will feel emotions and insights which belong to the aspect (eg mother) and not to you – deep insights will come. To get out of your head properly, be present and use your breath to connected deeper, and pay more attention to the feelings and sensations in your body, not the words in your head.
- Keep going until you feel some calmness and then you swap back to the original position. Stop being the aspect and be yourself. Now ask yourself (or therapist asks client), “did I hear what the aspect said?” (ie “Did you hear what your mother said to you?”) If the answer is “no” then you need to repeat the aspecting cycle – swap back. Really hearing what the aspect said can feel heavy—landing with impact—a realisation—insight.
- If the answer is “yes,” then take some moments to integrate the new perspective. Sit with it. How does it make you feel?
- Use the Tools again and see if you get to a deeper layer inside yourself.
- You might need to repeat this several times, and you might need to include many aspects (different people or emotions) the session to fully integrate it.
Acknowledgment: These tools are taught by ISTA as part of their Shamanic Tantra workshops. The Tools are derived from and inspired by many great sources including shamanic work, Osho meditations and the Levine/Scaer work on survival instincts. The ISTA notes were added to by Simon Rose and Elaine Young. Also extended from the initial seven tools to twelve with work from The Soul Connection.