Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Daily Om - Sitting with Feelings

This was the Daily Om from a couple of weeks back - I've been wanting to post it here because I think that learning to sit with our feelings (not stuff them down, not self-medicate them, not act them out in inappropriate ways) is something most of us - men and women - can be better at, especially when the feelings are challenging or we have little experience controlling our affect.

This piece talks about listening to our bodies and becoming more embodied can help us to know and accept our feelings more easily. Learning these skills, which are based around mindfulness, can help us increase our emotional intelligence.
As the Earth Allows the Rain: Sitting with Feelings
February 8, 2012

Taking the time now to sit with your feelings and acknowledge them will save you much distress down the road.

It can take great courage to really sit with our feelings, allowing ourselves to surrender to their powerful energies. All too often we set our feelings aside, thinking we will deal with them later. If we don’t deal with them, we end up storing them in our minds and bodies and this is when anxiety and other health issues can arise. Denying what our bodies want to feel can lead to trouble now or down the line, which is why being in the thick of our feelings, no matter how scary it seems, is really the best thing we can do for ourselves.

One of the reasons we tend to hide or push aside our feelings is that we live in a culture that has not traditionally supported emotional awareness. However, as the connection between mind and body--our emotions and our physical health-- becomes clearer, awareness of the importance of feeling our feelings has grown. There are many books, classes, workshops and retreats that can help us on our way to emotional intelligence. We can also trust in our own ability to process what comes up when it comes up. If sadness arises, we can notice its presence and welcome it, noting where in our bodies we feel it, and allowing ourselves to express it through tears or a quiet turning inward.

When we simply allow ourselves to fully feel our feelings as they come, we tend to let them go easily. This is all we are required to do; our feelings simply want to be felt. We often complicate the situation by applying mental energy in the form of analysis, when all we really need is to allow, as the earth allows the rain to fall upon it. As the rain falls, the earth responds in a multitude of ways, sometimes emptying out to form a great canyon, sometimes soaking it up to nourish an infinitude of plants. In the same way, the deeper purpose of our feelings is to transform the terrain of our inner world, sometimes creating space for more feelings to flow, sometimes providing sustenance for growth. All we need to do is allow the process by relaxing, opening, and receiving the bounty of our emotions.

Discuss this article and share your opinion

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of something I read about Qi Gong recently, where emotions are talked about as seeking their own resolution. We hold them (particularly the ones we experience as negative) in place partly because we fear where they might go. When we DO let them move as they will through our body+psyche without fearing the process, we find they seek and find their own resolution, unlocking the true bounty of pure feeling.