“As has been the case with all effective processes, Penelope has created and tested this approach and process from deep within the center of her own heart space. Grounded in and woven throughout this book is psychosynthesis theory and practical application. She makes it so practical and doable. Including her own experiences and case studies awakened my own emotional healing. I found it to be an important contribution to healing in this day and age. Bravo, Penelope!”
– Judi White
“I LOVE this book – it’s one of the best I’ve read in this field in a very long time. I so appreciate the author’s process for emotions, so it just takes a few minutes to feel what’s there (instead of being in the dumps for weeks or years), and letting the body discharge the energy, until it’s ready to go into more. Love it!”
– E. Pope
“This book changed my life! After reading this book, I’m able to let negative thoughts pass by like clouds. I now understand my emotions as they relate to my body’s well being which has diminished a decade of anxiety and stress related insomnia.”
– Crystal H.
“The distinction you have drawn between narrative driven emotional venting and brief, body-led emotional expression is gold for me. This is going to be the doorway for me to moving forward in my life towards clarifying my desires, goals, and discovering & supporting undeveloped potential.”
– Jane B.
Emotional Medicine: A Personal View
by Roberta Werdinger
It’s not often that a work assignment presents one with a opportunity for personal growth and realization. Yet, to my great good fortune, that’s just what happened when I agreed to edit Penelope Andrade’s newly-released book, Emotional Medicine Rx.
As a practicing Buddhist with over a decade of residency in the structured lifestyle of a Zen community, I was ill-prepared for the more free-form, and yet less nurturing, customs of the marketplace. I knew I needed to integrate the profound spiritual teachings I had been exposed to with my emotions, yet I was having difficulty doing so. Like many followers of a spiritual path, I allowed “shoulds” to cover over the raw experience of feelings and sensations. Working intensively with Penelope’s book was a great gift, allowing me to see and experience emotions, in her own words, as “delivery systems for clarity, confidence and action.”
In Emotional Medicine Rx, Penelope explains how emotions are designed to move through one’s body in a brief, safe, orderly direction. Emotions are a natural phenomenon that have a life of their own. Rather than fear them, we can find efficient methods that provide for their recognition, honoring and release. This book astutely instructs us how to do this through a principle widely taught in Buddhism as well: awareness practice. Specifically, Penelope shows us how to distinguish the bare sensations that our feelings produce from the story that our mind makes about them. She guides the reader, using exercises (“Action Tips” are sprinkled throughout the book), case studies, and her own personable and knowledgeable voice, to tune into the body and its sensations and allow our basic emotions—grief, anger, fear, joy—to take their natural course. We are left with a feeling of well-being which tells us that all is well. We have done our job: we have surrendered our idea of what is going on and how we “should” feel.
This book is unique in that it is both a self-help manual and a theoretical and intellectual one as well. New findings about how our brains and bodies work are pouring out from laboratories every day. The author captures these insights to help ground and explain her method. For example, she writes, “The latest research indicates that the human mind is located not just in the head but throughout the body.” We are then guided to tune into that integrated unit, which she calls the “bodymind,” in order to access its innate wisdom.
Feelings of bliss and peace after an emotional release are now common with me since I have been taking my Emotional Medicine. It tells me that Penelope is right when she says, “Your body has encoded in it an intention for your well-being.” Emotional Medicine Rx shows how our emotions, and the body in which they arise, are wise tools we can trust to take us home.
—Roberta Werdinger is a Zen priestess, writer, and editor who lives and writes in the redwood forest of Northern California.