Friday, July 28, 2017
We think we are clever. We think we are doing the right thing. We think we are being righteous. We think we are being good. How? By not allowing our emotions. It’s how we have been conditioned by our family, and by society. We are taught that it’s good to be calm and balanced all the time. We strive for this. We strive to be right in this.
When I was younger people admired how calm I was. I can tell you, that it was a big cover up job. Any hint of emotion and I stuffed it down. Too scary. Too unknown an area. And there was a cost to me. It meant that I sailed along in life without experiencing the richness of life. I didn’t experience any strong emotions, either the “negative” ones or the exciting joyous ones. Bland, I say. BLAND!!.
Do you know what to do with your emotions? Do you allow them to be felt? Do you find them scary and stuff them down before you even get a little feel? Is your life bland?
How about you do a little experiment with yourself. Have an intention to be curious about your feelings. Maybe when you are on your own so you feel safe. And see what happens. As you experiment more you will begin to notice more about how you are feeling. Allow yourself to feel the emotions in your body. When your mind jumps in with the story of why you feel this way, just ask your mind, where in the body do you feel this, and bring your awareness to that part. Your mind will try and jump in again, it’s what minds do. Redirect your awareness to your body. Your body is where emotions are felt.
These days, I am actually more genuinely calmer than I was earlier. Well, you know, in-between the other emotions!! My body has been learning that I will allow emotions to be felt. So they arrive. The good, the bad and the in-between. All emotions are welcome in me. This allows me to live life more lightly, because emotions come and then they go. Emotions do not hang around when they are welcomed to be felt.
Sometimes we want to have the thoughts about the emotion. We want to analyse them. Somehow it seems to justify them. Somehow if we can blame someone else or some circumstance for our feelings then we don’t have to own our own feelings. But really, give yourself some trust. Know that it is safe to feel feelings in your body. If you fall apart into vulnerability, so be it. It is actually okay. If you fall into anger, this is okay too….feel it in your body. If fear or even terror arises, feel that too. You do not have to do anything with the emotions, except feel them. Then they dissolve.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Have you ever noticed that after some work on your body, such as massage, bowen, physio, yoga, that emotions arise? Or when you have been to the doctor about an issue? Take note next time, because developing awareness allows you the opportunity to feel emotions that can then be released.
Research has shown that when emotions are stuffed down over time, something in the biochemistry of the cells changes. The cell receptors close in a bit. And if your immune system is down and if disease is going to come knocking, then these cells will be affected. If you have a chronic condition there will be an emotional cause buried deep inside. The World Health Organisation says that over 85% of diseases have an emotional component or cause. Add emotional release work to your health plans.
Recently, I had pain in my hip. When I went to bed one night, I was rubbing my hip…. Giving it some love really, or trying to distract myself from the pain!! But keeping my awareness on the hip. And without effort, an emotion came up and was felt. It was shame….certainly an emotion I don’t want to feel. Certainly one that I stuffed down. But in being honest with myself, I acknowledged it. And then a memory came. I then spoke and got things off my chest. I mostly spoke to my younger self ……..until her and I reached a point of understanding. Since then, the pain has been going.
You can bring your awareness to that part of your body and ask the question: If this part of my body had words what would it say? And how does this make you feel? This may give you a clue because arising from the emotion, there may be a memory. Have compassion for yourself. Know that all emotions are valid. In our society we usually learn to stuff emotions down. “be brave”, don’t cry”, don’t get angry, don’t be sad, time to get over it. And all this does us a disservice. We actually need to learn to allow ourselves to feel emotions. It is not about projecting emotions out there and acting out against other people. It’s not even about talking about them, because usually we get into the story of why we feel that way. We start trying to figure out why we feel that way and the reasoning becomes blame. And repeating the story keeps the emotion there. The ultimate treatment for emotions is to feel them in the body. These is where we naturally feel them, and it’s unfortunate that we have been brought up to think them, rather than feel them. So when you feel an emotion, subtly or strongly, let yourself feel it in your body. Bring all your awareness to the feeling, focusing on your body so the mind is occupied. Relax into the emotion and it will dissolve in a short time.