“Feel all the feelings.”
– Katy Maher, Owner/writer at I Have a Dumpster Family
Part of the journey of living in Paris for me is the adventure and excitement of doing something different. Taking a risk and learning to trust I have within me what it takes to truly live in joy. And the other part of the journey is to expand and grow and stretch. And with this expansion comes the letting go of what no longer serves me. And in the letting go comes all the emotions.
Back in the day this would have caused me to shut down and go numb so I didn’t have to feel anything. It felt too much and too scary. So I learned to put up walls to keep me “safe”. But what this was doing was also keeping me from feeling the level of joy I’m able to today. Which was also keeping me stuck in this place of not feeling enough.
Now I understand that feeling what’s coming up for me is really where my growth takes place. It’s in sitting with the feelings where we’re able to let go, move forward and step into our power and inner happiness.
So welcome in all the feelings because that’s where the magic happens!
“You gotta feel it to heal it.”
A great way to feel into our emotions is meditation. There are so many great benefits of meditation. Meditation helps to calm the mind. It also brings us to a more balanced and peaceful state of being. It helps us to become more conscious of ourselves and more aware of what we are thinking.
While outer circumstances surely impact us, the truth is that much of our emotional stress is caused by our thoughts. So having a method to ease those thoughts helps us to keep stress at bay.
There are many forms of meditation out there. One of the simplest forms of meditation (and a great way to get started) is to focus on the breath. Not only does breathing meditation help you to slow down that pesky mind chatter, but it also benefits our awareness of what we’re feeling to help us heal and let go of what isn’t serving us.
Start with 5 minutes – that’s it! This is your time to connect to yourself, so make it meaningful and comfortable for you. You might want to light a candle or play some soothing music.
Here’s how it works. Choose a quiet place and sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Follow your breath as it comes and goes. As you breathe, you’ll be aware of your thoughts, but don’t worry about them. Every time you notice yourself getting carried away by a thought, focus back on your breath.
Now breathe into the part of your body where you’re feeling the discomfort (it might be in your chest, your throat or stomach). And just keep breathing until the feeling goes away. What you’ll most likely learn is that the feeling is not as scary as you thought.
Even after doing this just once, you’ll likely feel some sort of benefit right away. You may simply feel more relaxed or more at ease. And with a longer practice, you’ll see even more results.
If it feels uncomfortable at first, this is totally normal. Don’t expect your racing thoughts to disappear right away! Instead allow them to be just as they are. In time and with practice, you’ll be able to separate yourself from the thoughts, and the beauty of this realization will bring you even closer to the real you.
Photo credit: Jhoc via Flickr