How old are you when you feel sad?

Us humans are caught in a cycle of running away from, dealing with, processing, and feeling mentally ill because of the emotions we experience. We judge ourselves and think our emotions are wrong, or there is something in fact wrong with us. Emotions are one of life's richest and deepest experiences we have in this body of ours. Our emotions are in fact experienced in our body and if not given the space to be felt and moved through us, they will stack up like old books in a library, collecting dust and taking up space in our body. The late Louise Hay studied stuck emotions and believed their manifestation within the body mutates into sickness of sorts. Closely connected with our emotions is our beliefs. I imagine the stuck emotion gets wrapped up in stories and beliefs making it even harder for the body to process the alive energy of the emotion.

If left unacknowledged our emotions build up, with each new trigger, we have the opportunity to deeply feel and process. Emotions are energy and they are meant to be in motion. Not stagnant, but we make them so.

Our conditioned way of dealing with emotions follows something like this.

We do not have time.

We don't want to show our vulnerability.

We won't let ourselves feel it.

We don't know what to do with it.

We squash it down and ignore it.

We blame others for the way we feel.

We feel wrong for having it.

Getting more intimate with our emotions gives us the opportunity to deeply feel the full range of life's experience, which offers understanding of ourselves and lets the emotions move through us.

I'm sure you know many ways to change your emotional state. Breathe, meditation, movement, talking with someone. etc These are in fact ways to move the emotion on, but sometimes when we do these practices, we are just changing the state, so we might feel better for a moment until it comes back, or we miss the opportunity to connect and understand the wisdom that our emotions bring us. Doing these things to change your state of mind, feels to me like emotional bypassing. I believe there is a better way, a more self-inquiring way.

Leaning into the emotion

With each emotional wave, there will be an unconscious belief attached to it, that when bought to your conscious awareness you are able to mutate into a rather new perception. You can treat this limiting belief with soft care and empathy and take its hand and show it something entirely different. Reminding yourself that you are safe. It's an act of parenting oneself.

This level of awareness requires a very easy practice of mindfully sitting with the emotion in a meditative like state and getting familiar with where you feel this emotion in your body. Can you explain the feeling? what does it feel like? How big is it? Is there movement or does it feel still? is it hot or cold? does it feel masculine of feminine? What does it say? By asking these questions we can begin the process of supporting this vulnerability that sits simmering inside of us.

What can you do with this information now? How does the emotion want to be expressed? Can you make space for the emotion to move through you by letting it out in a healthy way?

Emotions are the birthplace of creativity. Let the emotion lead you to what needs to be said or expressed. Don't let your mind talk you out of doing what the emotion is asking of you. If hiding in a cupboard is what your emotion wants, go do it. Set a timer, take in a comfy blankie, roll your body in a ball, hug your legs. The relief of the emotion will be felt. Feel your jaw loosen. Get curious in there, notice new sensations, one of comfort perhaps? This is not for you to make meaning of, just express and experience it. When you have expressed your emotion, your whole nervous system will be ironed out and you will feel calm and centred once more.

Our emotions are our child self

They are stored in our limbic brain, which is the part of our brain that starts developing in utero and is fully developed when we are eight. It is believed that by the time we are eight we have experienced the whole spectrum of emotions. It makes sense to understand that when we experience an emotion it is lodged back in the memories of our child self. We must treat our emotions like children and let them out to express themselves in their youthful way. We cannot logic our way out of an emotion. This is NOT the job for the mind. It's the job for our body.

I will leave you with this...

If instead of ignoring our emotion we could actually use it as a portal of awareness and transcendence, wisdom and freedom, then we would know the full expression of life. We would be less reactive and more settled within our body. We would have less disease. Our relationships would be healthier. We would in fact, thrive.

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