We are emotional beings, we are sensitive and we have feelings. We have the ability to "feel" a broad range of emotions, that range from shame, guilt and fear all the way to peace, love and joy. Our bodies are like a radio antenna, picking up a signal and sending it to our brain, which then sends a feeling to our body. What we feel and experience can be overwhelming and scary, depending on the situation. It is a natural response to suppress or push away something that feels uncomfortable, unpleasant or unfamiliar. I believe, that our bodies are 100% accurate in the messages they are trying to send us, in regards to our emotions.
Have you ever seen a dog that seems to be barking at nothing? The dog is acting on a feeling. Our body knows something is happening and sends us a message. As I shared in my previous post "Let the tears flow" our usual response can be to suppress or ignore our feelings. Sometimes this is situational and other times it's because we can't be with that particular emotion. Can you remember a time when you had to hold back laughter, because of the situation? Remember how difficult it was to not laugh? The laughter wants to flow and release. The same is true for anger and other emotions. Our bodies are so wise and we allow our thoughts and our logical mind to interfere with it's wisdom. I believe that part of why we are here, having this human experience, is to feel and experience the entire range of emotions. It is a paradoxical journey, we must experience fear in order to know love.
Think of these "Five Ways to Be with Your Feelings" as a continuous cycle. It's a learning cycle, that allows you to get more comfortable along the way. There is no right way or wrong way, just your way. As you cycle through, you eventually find, peace and understanding. Remember, it's not about the destination, it's always about the journey. Important note: some struggle with allowing themselves to laugh and others with sadness, both can be equally as difficult to experience. The cycle is for all feelings.
Acknowledge the feeling ~To acknowledge is to notice. When we simply notice something, it is the same as seeing a flower. "Oh, I see a beautiful flower" The same is useful with your feelings. "Oh, I am feeling ______"
Allow the feeling to be there ~ Notice the feeling and then breathe into the feeling. Notice, where in your body the feeling resides. Then breath into that area. Continue to acknowledge the presence of _________ feeling.
Allow the emotions to flow ~ Sometimes. as we begin to create space for our feelings, emotion will want to flow. If there are tears let them flow. If there is anger, scream into a pillow. Your intuition will guide you.
Be present to the experience ~As you go through the cycle, you may turn to something that distracts you or takes you away from what is happening. Like, turning on the TV instead of staying with the experience. Presence is about being rooted in the experience like a tree is rooted to the earth.
Reflect on your experience ~ After the experience, reflect on what you noticed or learned about yourself. Notice what worked for you and what didn't work for you. It's not about huge steps it is about baby steps. You can simply process through your thoughts or take some time to journal. Again trust your intuition and do what is right for you.