‘I don’t do emotions…’

I’ve heard people say this. And it just isn’t true. It might be true that some people don’t listen to their emotions, (until their emotions jump out of their throat in a torrent of anger to a poor sales person, or a colleague, or a partner), or it might be some people numb themselves from their emotions so as not to have to deal with them (cue alcohol, drugs, food). Either way, in reality we are all emotional, very emotional, that’s actually all we really are.

I have learnt, over the past few years, how to quickly ‘diagnose’ and verbalise my emotions in different situations. It involves accepting the emotion (something I still have a lot of work to do – it’s still hard to accept and be with frustration and boredom and rejection…) and noticing where you feel it in your body. It could be a sick feeling in your throat, or a tiredness in your eyes or a tightness of breath.

When you allow yourself to be with an emotion it becomes easier to let the emotion go. And if you verbalise what’s going on for you, without adding a mental meaning to it, (eg, I feel a tightness of breath, rather than I feel a tiredness of breath because I am stressed at work…) it becomes easier to just sit with and then easier for it to drift away.

Emotions are amazing. They are indicators, they are your best friend, if you feel uncomfortable in your body, something needs to change. By numbing or suppressing emotions you don’t navigate to a better place, you stay in the same scenario and you ignore the indicators that are trying to make things better.

So take a step back, close your eyes and do a scan of your body. Where do you feel tension? Where do you feel heat? Does it feel like you’re carrying something on your shoulders? Just be with the emotion, even imagine an image to clarify the way it feels. For example a weight on your shoulders could look like you are carrying piles of bricks, or buckets of water on a shoulder pole. Just be with that image, and the way it makes you feel, until the feeling changes.

It’s common for people to be afraid of being emotional, but they really are your greatest ally. And remember that often the fear of something is greater than the thing itself.

Go forth and connect to your wonderful internal cauldron of emotions and let them guide you.

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