Befriending Your Emotions: It's Vital for Your Health.
Many of you know that I'm passionate about the Moon and all things Moon related. The Moon and its experience within one's jyotish chart says a lot about the individual human experience. An unhappy Moon can spoil the fruits of a chart or at least make it feel miserable regardless of the bounty. The nature of our natal Moon and its experience with the other planets is so fundamental to our life experience that I devote an entire column to it weekly.
The Moon is a powerful resource for us and can be a tool for self growth, awareness and spiritual development. Read more about the Moon from a Jyotish perspective and why it is so revered.
Unfortunately, the more I learn about the Moon and its purpose- within the cosmos and within our own beings- the more I realize how ignorant the majority of humans are about this awesome inner guidance system we have hardwired into us. As a result, the emotions are one of these "Moon topics" that are the basis of my work. I'm passionate about the emotions because I have found that most people are completely "dumb" when it comes to navigating their own emotions. In fact, our society is almost entirely clueless about this very real and important human function. Most people would like to skip the "feeling" parts of life all together and bypass this very important tool of inner wisdom. There are however very real and unfortunate consequences to skipping over the emotions.
Cultivating a relationship with our emotions can help enrich our lives on so many basic levels. Cultivating more awareness with our emotions can enhance our personal and interpersonal relationships as well as cultivate increased creativity, greater harmony and joy.
The human body has a fairly predictable response system in it. When we first have an emotional response it usually only lasts a few moments. Then the mental body attaches to the emotion and keeps it on constant re-play, looping it over and over in our minds. Finally, there is a physical response as a result. This three part process is either happening quickly or we are repeating this cycle over many many years until a very old "story" develops. When an emotion has made its way into a physical body response, we know it is quite engrained in our story or personal mythology at that point. This is why the body can be a wonderful resource for emotional wisdom as well
Ideally, we would have a relationship with the emotions that provides us the information we need and the awareness we need in order to make very informed action steps in our lives; before the mind attaches to them and they settle into the physical body. Once the emotion settles into the body, health issues can arise. So clearly the emotions are step number one in prevention.
When we skip over the emotions and the consistent work that it takes to create a relationship with our emotions then we bypass the most basic tool within us that is hard wired for our satisfaction and listening in our lives.
Do you have a healthy relationship with your emotions?
Here are some questions to ask your self about your relationship with your emotions:
-Do you pause to listen to your emotions, to check in with what arrives and then use this to inform your actions and choices?
-Can you be present (very present) to others' emotions and navigate which are "theirs" and which are "yours"?
- Do you dump your emotions on others as a way to cope with your own overwhelm?
-Do you hate tears? Anger? Do you wish it could be happy and "smooth" all the time for your Self and your relationships?
-Do you push past your own emotions, trying to skip to the "good stuff"?
-Do you cut and paste over your feelings- especially around others- in order to keep things "tidy" and not rock the boat?
-Do you allow time and space for discomfort and emotions like sadness, anger, depression, grief and loneliness?
-Do you use drugs or alcohol, food and other "feel good" methods to enhance your life? Especially when life feels tough?
These are valuable questions to ask yourself in order to determine what your relationship is with your emotions and the Emotional Body. It is in fact a whole body in and of itself and its very worthy of your time, attention and intention. Unfortunately, the majority of us are ill-equipped to handle the range of emotions that a human is capable of experiencing. Most of us are conditioned from very early stages of life that certain emotions are "good" and other emotions are "bad". Certain emotions will get a "good" response from our parents and our environment and certain emotions will get us a "bad" response. We may learn to shut down our capacity to feel the full range of our life experiences as a result. We may begin to make choices (over and over and over again) that continue to perpetuate unfortunate circumstances and feelings within our life as well.
This early conditioning requires some essential re-patterning, but the good news is that a simple technique called the 3 Level Check-in can be a helpful first step in finding a more conscious relationship with our emotions. We can then move forward in life with greater awareness about life choices, actions and our own personal embodiment. It is a practice, and as they say, practice makes perfect. So use the 3 level check-in to help you flex your emotional muscles so to speak.
A three level check in is easy, fast and helps us separate the three bodies- emotional body, mental body, and physical body- so that we can easily identify what their messages are. Interestingly, most people are constantly confusing the mental and emotional bodies. Many of my clients can not even find their emotional bodies because the mental body is overriding it and has been for so long! The mental body wants to take the wheel and keep driving you. And drive it does! On and on and on. To the point of, most people do not even know what is the mind and what are the emotions! They are very different and have very different needs, so making sure that we make room for the emotions and cultivating a relationship with them is really step number one.
Here are some ways life improves once we start working with the emotional body more directly:
We know what we need and what we don't need in our lives.
We know what feels emotionally supportive and we make choices and take action accordingly.
We create more healthy boundaries within our lives and our relationships.
We have more space in our lives for joy and inspiration.
We have more satisfying and wholesome relationships- with ourselves and with others.
The results are a directly related to being very acutely aware of our emotional body, what it is telling us, what it needs for nourishment and support, as well as what it doesn't need. If we don't know what it needs, we can't give it what it needs. It's quite simple.
Use these three simple steps to help you develop a deeper relationship with your emotions:
Step #1: Use the three level check in. Try to create a practice of "checking in" at least once a day but especially when there is a strong emotional response happening within you.
Step #2: Tracking themes and patterns that develop within your emotional/mental bodies and noticing how these show up in your physical body. Can you feel your stomach tense up when you feel angry? Does your spine hurt when you feel lack of support or encouragement in your life? Do you get a headache when overwhelm sets in?
Step #3: Use your three level check in as the impetus for your creative arts process in order to harvest more information directly.
Are you ready for more resources?
Listen to my free class: Ultimate Self Care for Sensitive Types.
*Photo credit to Taira Restar
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