Taking Emotional Roll Call

Do you suppress, control, or do just about anything to avoid those more uncomfortable emotions? Our emotions carry important information about our needs and what we care deeply about. This exercise will guide you to practice listening to the messages of your emotions in a more skillful way. Let’s Practice.


  1. Justine

    I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. I couldn’t find the time or image of when I first felt that similar resentment in my life. Every thing felt like a blur and I had trouble staying with the visualization. I felt a lot of other emotions when I tried to focus on that one that I was supposed to. It seems to keep slipping away, which suddenly led me to feeling incompetent.
    I tried to talk lovingly to my inner passenger but I didn’t know how or what to say. I felt unnatural and fake like I was trying too hard.

    • Lara Fielding

      Hi dear Justine, Thank you for your share and question! I must say you are already an excellent Observer of your experience. Well done! And yes, it is quite natural that this practice is difficult at first. Us humans are just programed to move away from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. And then of course the judgments come. So yes, this practice is difficult. That is why I repeatedly say ‘let’s practice’ over and over again. Getting kindly acquainted with our difficult internal experiences takes practice. AND I’m super proud of you for trying. I hope you will keep working on it. And do not hesitate to ask any other questions. I promise to be more prompt next time.
      Very Warmly,

  2. K

    This was my first experience here. While I was offering my child-self an apology and acceptance, I kept thinking it was my parents who owed me this. How do I give myself something that is owed by someone else?

    • Lara Fielding

      Hi K, I can totally relate to your thoughts! It feels, and IS so unfair that we sometimes have to give ourselves the things our parents ‘should’ have. . . So, let’s just take a minute to let that set in. Your feelings are valid… (Self compassion practice in chapter 8 might be helpful). AND if there is something your parents might still be able to do, which will help you feel better (and they are capable of), see ch. 11. on how to skillfully get your needs met.
      When we cannot get the things we should have however, that is when, I’m oh so sorry to say… We have to offer it to ourselves and rebuild the foundation we were denied. You ask “how” can I give this to myself? That is the practice. Over and over again. We come back to the practice. Does that make sense?
      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    • Annie

      So I’m a fully grown adult (53) who teaches mindfulness to adults and some teens and reading yr book to get a better understanding of young adults as don’t have kids myself. I did this practice for myself and it was so powerful thank you. A carer for my 91yr old dad after losing mum last year and I just saw my sad 8yr old self in the passenger seat. V useful visualisation!

    • Lara Fielding

      Hi Annie, I’m thrilled that you tried it and it had the intended effect! I hope you will continue to identify and check in with little Annie… so she doesn’t need to scream to get your attention. I also hope the book inspires some creative ways to work with your students. I’d love to hear how it goes! Warmly, Lara

  3. Banna

    Best article i read recently. I will definitely share it with my friends

    • Lara Fielding

      Thank you for your kind words.

  4. S

    Hi Lara, I just tried this exercise for the first time and saw my passenger not as a child, but me as the age I am now. What’s that all about? 🤔 (inquisitive)

    • Lara Fielding

      Hi S. Thanks for commenting and reaching out! When the first image that comes to mind is you at your current age, this may indicate that the emotional experience is so relevant in your current life, it is difficult to see past, and into the origins. Be patient with yourself, and I hope you will keep practicing. Try asking yourself, does this emotion (find the one word label for the emotions) feel familiar? When in my history, and family did this feeling begin, or first show up strongly? Your adult mind has build a lot of structures to protect yourself from going back to those more vulnerable times. But the closer you move into little you, and offer the love and compassion you needed then, the sooner the structures can dissolve and/or become more adaptive to your needs, and the needs of your current situation. So you can be more effective! Hope this helps, and keep practicing! Lara

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