When it comes to emotions don’t skirt in the shallows;
dive in deep, get wet, let their currents be fully felt.
Your feelings are gateways to your connection with anything, and to freedom, healing, and wholeness.
There can be resistance to self-intimacy/alone time/quiet/stillness/meditation… if on some level you are avoiding uncomfortable, painful or unwanted feelings. You might not be aware you are avoiding stuff within, which could be just under the surface, or more buried. A part of you knows, however, that in getting present and connecting with yourself more closely that ‘stuff’ may surface.
Shutting down your feelings cuts you off from yourself, plus numbness isn’t selective. Shut down to block out negative feelings and you can block out positive ones too.
Jamie Ferrell shares a guided practice for everyday mindfulness; a straightforward process for allowing yourself to get present, deepen self-awareness, witness your thoughts and feel your feelings.
It’s one approach to giving yourself permission and compassionate space to connect with yourself, accept yourself, and acknowledge what’s going on within, without judgement. What you accept you more easily let go of and release; it’s what you resist that persists, and judgement only compounds what it judges.
You offer an emotionally safe space when you come from a non-judgemental place.
Jamie encourages you to create that space for yourself in her inspiring share.
You obviously don’t need a process to feel your feelings; when in touch with whatever emotions are there let that experience be whatever it is, free and unencumbered (without dumping on another).
In day-to-day life you can stuff down, carry, store, and build up layers of emotions without realizing it, however, so working with an exercise like this can help you acknowledge and release those feelings in a general sense (and not just when triggered).
Jamie points out, “As all sustainable change begins within… we have to start by recognizing the ways in which we do not feel deeply. What habits, or safe guards, do we have in place in order to avoid our emotions? How do you numb and detach?…”You process emotions when they arise or are triggered and you let them be felt. You obviously don’t need a practice to feel your feelings; if you’re in touch with whatever emotions are there, dive in. Let that experience be whatever it is, spontaneous and unencumbered (without dumping on another).
Avoiding, numbing, or stuffing down your feelings doesn’t make them disappear. You may get a sense of temporary relief in the moment, but those feelings may get buried and show up in different ways in your being and life. They can fester, become toxic, leak out sideways, erupt, cause health imbalances, as examples.
It’s understandable to want to avoid unpleasant emotions. You wouldn’t consciously put your hand in a fire if you knew it was going to hurt. You might resist feeling hurt and pain that’s within you too. Feeling feelings frees feelings, however.
Jamie helps shed the unvoiced stigma that can exist around ‘negative emotions’ which can lead to avoiding, judging, repressing, or denying them.
The practice she offers also explores a connection between thought and feeling.
Your beliefs, thoughts and feelings are all interrelated. In this sense your feelings are teachers; you can learn from them about what’s going on inside (though don’t let any reflections get in the way of allowing them to be felt in the moment).
I’m sure you’ve noticed times when realizations, changes in thoughts, perspective and epiphanies shift and release feelings. Ever had a change in perspective and corresponding change in how you feel about something?
Feelings don’t need to make sense to be felt, and attempting to make sense of them can get in the way of processing them. Reflecting on and learning from your emotions about what’s going on inside can be valuable, but it may help to leave reflections to after if doing so takes you out of the feeling experience. You may never know consciously why you feel x/y/z. Your emotions exist, period. Accepting them allows them to do what they’re designed to do – move. When you free them, you free you.
I love how Jamie shares “Trying to force your way out of feeling a certain way is not only ineffective, it can cause more damage in the long run because you’ve stifled your authentic nature. Whatever the emotion you’re experiencing is, give yourself full permission to feel it through until it shifts on its own.”
Feeling and processing your feelings isn’t the same as indulging in them. You may get stuck or caught up in certain emotions or even harbour them, or you may use certain feelings to avoid others, or to avoid some truth your ego may be resisting, or a situation or story you are attached to and keeping alive through those feelings, for example. Don’t judge yourself either way.
There’s been a reference to negative emotions here as there can be more resistance to processing those. Obviously allow yourself to fully feel, relish in and harness, your positive feelings! Though less acknowledged, there can be resistance to doing so with them also. Give yourself permission to allow and immerse yourself in beautiful uplifting emotions. Let them expand through and bless your being and life.