“feel the feelings”
How often do we actually allow ourselves to feel the feelings that come up? I want you to think of the most recent example that you actually sat with discomfort.
I will share with you mine. I was chatting with my son’s basketball coach after the game. You know, small talk and niceties. I cheerfully commented that I was happy that they got a win. He turned to me and said that he was really disappointed in the team, they didn’t play well and it was mostly my sons fault.
What? I was taken back. I immediately felt a pit in my stomach and my skin flashed hot around my chest and up through to my face. This was so surprising. I managed to get out a question for clarification while I was reminding myself to take deep breaths and focus on my feet supporting my body.
After we chatted, I allowed myself to be in the moment and then take notice of all the different thoughts that were coming like, ‘he scored 1/3 of their points’, he got 50 % of the teams rebounds’ to ‘he is an excellent coach and knows what he is saying’, ‘I want the best for my boy’, ‘we all learn differently’, etc.
Have you ever just taken note of all the different thoughts that come and then you can select your favourite one? We have between 60 000-90 000 thoughts a day. Not all of these thoughts are true. They definitely don’t always serve us. We actually can choose what thoughts we want to believe.
So why is it important for us to process emotions?
Our body is wired to feel emotions to keep us alive. Love helps us connect with a member of the opposite sex and then we procreate. Emotions allow our race to continue.
But why do we need it to process though our bodies? If we are resisting the emotion we will intensify it which actually doubles the emotions.
When we don’t process the emotions it keeps us stuck in the situation.
Allowing us to feel all of the emotions allows us to live an authentic life because we are able to feel all of the feelings clearly. Turning to buffers such as food or social media ‘numbs’ our minds so we don’t have to feel clearly.
Emotions are just vibrations in our body.
Where do you feel these emotions in our bodies? We can feel them in our stomachs, in our head, in our skin, our chest, our hearts, all of our bodies. Pay attention to where it is showing up. Pay attention to it, label it, welcome it, allow it to wash over you. The more willing you are to welcoming the emotion, the more meaning and purpose your life is going to have.
My family has recently discovered surfing. It is a whole new experience with lots of fun. I feel like a kid as I body surf and jump in waves. But sometimes I get distracted and don’t notice a big wave coming up and I get knocked over. The wave goes through me. I feel it from my head to my toes.
Allow the emotion to do this- wash over you.
No one has ever died from feeling an emotion. We can only feel one emotion at a time. Sometimes they can come really quick, one after another, which could knock us down slightly, but we can catch our bearings and get up.
I want to invite you to think about the most recent time that you felt emotion intensely?
Can you take yourself back in the moment. Close your eyes. Replay it in your mind. Allow yourself to feel those feelings again. Describe where the emotion is and what does it feel like. Allow it to be in your body again.
Our thoughts are so powerful, they can recreate the same emotions.
Over the holidays I saw the movie, Little Woman. I found myself in tears of love and sorrow. At one point in the movie I reminded myself that this is not real. I decided that I was going to allow myself the opportunity to feel all of the emotions and be with them all.
The more willing we are to feeling all emotions, the more fully we will live. Our lives will be in techicolour because we will feel so intensely. Is this the life that you want for yourself? If you say no, how come? Are you afraid? Allow yourself to sit with it.
1.List your favourite emotions.
2. List your least favourite emotions. Why?
3. Why are emotions scary?
4. Imagine you are teaching a group of 5 year olds about the importance of emotions, what would you tell them and why?
5. Don’t forget about the principle of life being a place of opposites or 50/50. Knowing this, how does it lessen the discomfort of ‘negative’ emotions?
6. So the next time you are faced with an emotion (happy or sad) I want you to sit with it for at least a minute. I would love to hear about your experience.