If you didn’t read my last blog post, here it is. It is called “Writing from inside a tender place” because I felt so compelled to share a bit of what it’s like for me to be in a dark and hard place.
I was so moved by all of the comments and personal emails I got back from everyone. Hands reaching out to me. It was a beautiful call-and-response; as ancient as the ocean.
Here is what I know about emotions:
- In their natural state, emotions are like water. Not ice. They move freely, they shift easily, they go from this emotion to that, no contradiction considered. If you have a chance to watch a child, that is what she does. She moves from anger to glee to bliss to sadness to anger to exhaustion. Easily and fluidly. Perhaps she has not been taught yet that she must turn her emotions into ice by not feeling them. Stop that crying. Go upstairs to your room until you are in a better mood. That is not acceptable in this house. Why are you making such a big deal about this? Come back when you are in a better mood. Inside voice!
But she gets no tools for how to deal with her strong emotions. How does she “deal with” her rage? How does she release this uncontainable joy bubbling up inside of her? What does she do with her heartbreak, all of her tears that seem endless? No-one teaches her how to feel and release. How to move them out of her body. She is told to just stop feeling. To hide them. To pretend they are not there. And so the water stops moving and settles. And in that coldness, in that barren landscape, that water begins to freeze. And it turns to ice.
2. Emotions demand to be felt. They will not make space for anything else until they have been heard. They do not need to be fixed. They do not need to be justified. Or solved. They need to be felt. And when they are truly felt and truly heard, through our body and our heart and our voice and our breath, then they melt and turn into water that then moves and shifts into something else. And where that ice was, now something new can move into. Growth. Freedom. Love. Joy. Surrender.
3. Being emotional is a huge gift when we know how to use it as fuel. To feel it all. Our big hearts hold the world together. When we stop feeling, the world stops feeling. But if we weren’t taught to honour and hear and release our emotions, if no-one told us that we were strong enough to feel it all, if we haven’t learned yet that where our emotions become uncomfortable is the greatest place of growth for us, we believe that we can’t let ourselves feel because it might break us. Our great sadness. Our eternal rage. Our disappointment. And our ecstasy. Our limitless joy. So we shut it down.
We become ice.
In my last blog, I talked about how I move emotions through my body. I cry. I wail. I rage. I dance. I open my body. I step towards it. Moving emotions through our bodies is not a mind trip. This cannot be done through the brain. This is a body exercise. And it is what I teach in my feminine movement classes. So, the next time you feel something uncomfortable or strong, how will you let it move through you? Your breathe? Moving your body? Letting yourself moan or groan or scream?