“The goal of meditation is not to get rid of thoughts or emotions. The goal is to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and learn how to move through them without getting stuck.” Dr. P. Goldin
We all experience sadness, setbacks, let downs and obstacles in life. We wouldn’t appreciate all the richness and happiness in life without them. But how we deal with these emotional times are what can separate the emotionally stable vs the rest of us. I recently had a very emotional morning after a night filled with fun, laughter, tears and emotional bonding. I woke up with feelings of lacking, despair and sadness. Years ago, I would have taken all these feelings bottled them up and pushed them down. Eventually, they would have all come back up again with a vengeance. Instead that morning I decided to try something different. I decided to lean into my feelings and explore what these emotions were. Guess what, I felt better and stronger in the end. I think I may have even had a break through to a stronger sense of self.
I approached these feelings like an interested child in a newly found toy. I started on my yoga mat knowing that yoga always allowed me to get into my emotions. I haven’t always been big on knowing, recognizing or feeling my emotions, this was something I needed to train myself to do. Yoga was the vehicle that allowed this to happen. What better place to start than with a practice I knew and trusted. I did a specific sequence which included hip openers and chest openers as these poses help to elicit strong emotions. As I laid there on my mat with tears running down my face I started to feel a release. It was working! I don’t really know why I was sad or had these feelings of emptiness, I have everything I could possibility want but I decided to accept them.
I have a little issue with always being optimistic, always being thankful for what I have in my life because there are so many others that have less. I think it’s important to understand that you can be thankful and still have feelings of loss, sadness or emptiness. We are human. As I finished my practice I still felt the call for more release.
I turned on my chakra healing music and sat in meditation. I wanted to filter and clear my mind, to make more space. I have been attempting to redefine my meditation practice and weave it into daily life. Sometimes I find this difficult but I know that it helps me. It’s worth the time. I sat in meditation and felt my mind relax, it sorted through various images and colors. It was kind of bizarre but also felt good. As my ten minutes or so came to an end I felt a bit lighter and a bit brighter. It wasn’t easy picking myself up off the couch but I do know I feel better. My heart feels less heavy. I felt my feelings and I released something that was weighing on me. I didn’t bottle it up or push it down, I felt it. That is forward progression for me, I’ll take it.
I encourage all of you to embrace all your emotions, sad, happy, average whatever they are. One of the most profound phrases I ever heard in yoga was “we are not our feelings”, they are just passing through us. Acknowledge them and let them go.