Feel it All or Feel Nothing at All
How in touch are you with your feelings and emotions?
When I was growing up, expressing emotion was not something my family did. In fact my sister and I used to joke about how we were ‘dead inside’! Seriously.
I’ve lived most of my life in a state of numbness because I learned early on to stuff down emotions that could potentially lead to outward displays that I knew wouldn’t be welcome. And as a result, I disassociated myself from my feelings.
The words ‘feelings’ and ’emotions’ are often used interchangeably but they’re not the same thing.
Feelings are physical sensations that manifest in your body as a result of experiencing an emotion. You can feel butterflies in your stomach from excitement or from anxiety. The feeling is the same but the emotion is very different.
Whenever an emotion threatened to get the better of me by creating a strong feeling in my body, I’d distract myself somehow. Usually with junk food.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I used to watch One Born Every Minute (if you’re pregnant, don’t do this! Go find positive birth experience videos online) and somehow I still had the ability to channel other people’s emotions and I’d get choked up watching all these women cry tears of joy when their baby was handed to them for the first time. Then, when Charlotte was finally born and she was handed to me… nothing. No lump in the throat. No tears. Just numbness.
I now realise that there are only 2 choices. Open yourself up to experiencing ALL emotions in life and the feelings that come along with them or close yourself off from it all. You don’t get to pick and choose.
I’ve now decided to go for the full experience.
I’m by no means an expert at it, my first instinct is still to shut it down but every time I sit with a difficult feeling it gets a little bit easier. In fact, it actually passes a whole lot faster when I give it a little attention.
If you’re in the same boat and want to become more aware of your feelings, I’ve included a little extra meditation for you this week. It’s designed to help you to bring more awareness to your feelings.
This week’s yoga is a spring flow sequence. It works into the heart space and solar plexus so is also good for helping you to tune in to your feelings and emotions.
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