When our own emotions become a threat and the work of dismantling the programming designed to avoid this threat

“Shift from pursuing pain avoidance to opening your heart

Allowing ease, joy, aliveness, and love to enter”

This has been my practice’s tagline for the past 5 years, and it continues to feel authentic and deeply meaningful to me.

It actually feels much more aligned to me today after diving into the deep end of my mindbody with Kiloby Inquiries 3rd dimension repression work. I like to share more about this cutting-edge somatic inquiry toolbox in future posts, speaking from direct experience, including how I discovered during this past year through increased skill in somatic inquiry some of the ways I subconsciously continued to pursue pain avoidance, instead of choosing freedom.

I like to start by clarifying what I mean by PAIN in this context:

For me, with pain I refer to repressed and buried emotions and/or energies that our mindbody once determined as too painful to be felt, too dangerous, or unbearable.


Instead of feeling these emotions/energies, we developed survival programming that includes belief systems, thoughts, and identities that we settle on as an intricate way to avoid accessing, feeling, and allowing ourselves to move those repressed emotions in the body. This often happens during childhood as innocent strategies to stay safe, get approval, or get love.

I say ‘survival programming’ as possibly our survival or perceived survival once depended on NOT feeling those emotions/energies.

All this is unconscious and drives a lot of suffering, manifesting in many ways like a sense of lack, disconnection and unsafety, anxiety, chronic pain, dysfunctional relationship patterns, recurring health symptoms, compulsions, addictions etc.

I do not want to vilify this survival programming, though, as there is a profound, inherent intelligence in moving away from pain or danger. It makes a lot of sense from an evolutionary and survival point of view as it is an essential skill to survive as a species. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t discern between an actual current threat or our internal programming that learned, often based on repeated childhood experiences, that certain (sometimes all) emotions/energies are dangerous.

And in my experience, we do EVERYTHING to avoid or bypass that pain (i.e those emotions that our psyche determined as PAIN, AKA repression). In my case, some of my ‘drugs of choice’ at various points in time of my life were workaholism, perfectionism, self-harm, extreme sports, food, alcohol, relentless goodism, fixing, approval seeking, ACIM, seeking peace through meditation and other spiritual practices, seeking Awakening, positive psychology, martyrdom and sacrifice, gratitude, meditation, nervous system regulation, and perhaps one of the stealthiest drugs of all: logic. Belief systems.

Some of these ‘drugs’ are more harmful than others, some are celebrated in our society. Some of these ‘drugs’ look better than others. Some have felt supportive at various stages of my life.

For many years, I covered all my scars neatly by meditation, practicing gratitude and invalidating my feelings by focusing only on silver linings and seeing the innocence in everyone acting out (driven by anger repression). The power of positive psychology provided a solid band-aid for the hurt mostly hidden by amnesia and dissociation (driven by repression of vulnerable emotions) … until it no longer worked.


All my training programs over the past decade, including experiential psychology, shadow work, inquiry, inner child work, clinical counselling hypnotherapy and various emotional agility programs led to many life-affirming shifts, besides dissolving of an auto-immune condition and cornea degeneration. However, by not having the skills to recognize the depth of repression programming nor address some of its critical parts (such as trauma and repression commands), besides creating situations avoiding these emotions (trauma shelters), I continued to perpetuate my own suffering.

I used reversing my auto-immune disease and cornea breakdown condition as evidence validating the complete healing of psycho-emotional root causes. Doctors called it a “medical miracle” and I am very grateful for those healing experiences.

However, there was a dark side to this as I continued to struggle regularly with overwhelm and shutdown, new health issues popped up, and some deep-seated fears, somatic reactivity and compulsions I didn’t seem to be able to overcome. I kept wondering why. A part of me took the bait and got stuck at an old and painful belief that ‘parts of me were just utterly broken’. Now I know through inquiry that this belief in itself is driven by repression so I learned how to process this when it pops up, but its charge has reduced so much in intensity and it hardly shows up these days. Another part of me has always kept seeking to get to the bottom of suffering. This is how I ended up with the Kiloby Inquiries Inside Out Path.

The Kiloby Inquiries 3D, developed by Scott Kiloby and Dan McLintock, are a set of tools laser-focused on the excavation of repression mechanisms preventing access to repressed emotions and energies, such as anger, hurt, sadness, fear, love, sexuality, intuition, joy and femininity.

Due to my work and training in the past year with the repression somatic inquiry tools, I realized that emptying reservoirs of emotions is not sufficient to reverse repression.

Reversing repression requires us to bring the programming into consciousness besides accessing, feeling, moving and expressing the repressed emotions.

I had no idea of the depth to which I was still repressing emotions such as hurt, sadness, fear and rage, instead of accessing, feeling and expressing them directly. The right tools helped me see this and start to move through it. I will write more about this in another post.

Quite a humbling experience.

It makes sense to me today that since I didn’t bring into consciousness the elaborate programming that prevented me from accessing, feeling, expressing and moving the repressed emotions/energies, I kept playing at the level of identities and shadows, and even though I had some profound healing experiences, symptoms of suffering returned.

Repression is hiding in unconsciousness until its programming is excavated and brought into consciousness.

Through dismantling the survival programming, meeting fully the repressed emotions/energies in the body has been the most regulating experience for my nervous system. KI somatic inquiry is not a panacea for all suffering, but I have found it to be incredibly powerful in targeting the core drivers of suffering. I have noticed in myself and working with clients that when emotions can come fully online, the need to rely on other modalities, tools and techniques has fallen away.

I have found that with full access to its resources, the full spectrum of our emotions, the body (including our nervous system) can rebalance itself. My direct experience taught me that dysregulation only occurs because our survival programming prevents us from accessing certain emotions. Once brought into consciousness by skilful somatic inquiry, neither a sensation nor a thought can stay. Dysregulation only needs repressed emotions to be met directly. The reliance on external tools to cope with dysregulation, such as nervous system regulation, then falls away.

I will write more about my personal experience in future blog posts, but for now …

The bottom line is: as long as there is suffering, we haven’t gotten to the bottom of our suffering just yet.