Feel First/Think Later: Finding Your Way To Emotional Freedom with Raphael Cushnir

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Are there places in your life where you feel blocked? Is your career or your relationship not what you thought it would be? Are you still struggling with an addiction to smoking or food? Raphael Cushnir believes that whenever we struggle, or whenever we feel unable to accomplish the things that matter to us, there’s an emotion waiting to be noticed, a feeling that our limbic brain sees as so threatening that we resist acknowledging the emotion exists. He says, “Most of us are in resistance to one thing or another all the time. It could be something that happened three minutes ago, but it also could be something that happened three decades ago. We said no to the experience, and that experience is still living within us, waiting for us to accept it, and wreaking all kinds of havoc until we do.” Mr. Cushnir has taken principles from ancient wisdom traditions, plus his own experience with deep suffering, and created a framework that’s easy to understand and simple to apply, as you explore your own resistance. In this interview he offers techniques you can use today to begin unlocking the emotions that hold you back, as well to connect with your loved ones, your work, and your life with renewed vitality, joy, and freedom. (hosted by Michael Toms)


In 1996, Raphael Cushnir experienced an emotional and spiritual turning point when his career and marriage fell apart. Guided to embrace his suffering, he found the emotional connection and freedom he now teaches to others. He lectures worldwide, has been a faculty member at Esalen, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, and has written articles for O: The Oprah Magazine, BeliefNet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post.

He is the author of several books, including:

To learn more about the work of Raphael Cushnir go to www.cushnir.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How you can discover what emotions are governing your life
  • Why your brain perceives emotions as a threat to your survival
  • What happens when you say yes to suffering
  • Why you don’t need to understand an emotion to be able to release it
  • How you can “surf” your way through difficult emotions

Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 3/27/2009      Program Number: 3303

Music Playlist

From Album: Sacred Spaces
Artist: Judson Hurd
2008 Midnight Moon Music

Opening Essay: Track 10 Still Speaking
Music Break 1: Track 01 Sacred Spaces
Music Break 2: Track 01 Sacred Spaces (reprise)
Music Break 3: Track 10 Still Speaking (reprise)