Day 1 on ‘Feel Your Emotions’ of ‘Emotions’ Chapter
From ‘Remembering’ Series
[Listen to the guided alignment at the end]
This week, we will focus on exploring and understanding our emotions.
What is emotion to you?
The Origin of ‘Emotion’
The word “emotion” dates back to 1579, when it was adapted from the French word émouvoir, which means “to stir up”. Which is based on Latin emovere, from e- (variant of ex- ) ‘out’ + movere ‘move’, meaning moving out.
The word ‘e-motion’ brings the meaning of movement or moving out. Emotion is said to be a conscious mental reaction and a state of feeling. [We will look deeper into this next time]
Now, being a highly sensitive empath is a two-sword thing because being one can feel and experience the emotions and energy around us, deeply, so this can be a gift which also, can be a stressor especially when one does not master its gift yet.
The journey of a highly sensitive being.
Since young, I learned that expressing anger to others will hurt others, because I know how hurtful it is, therefore I do not show anger in front of others, excluding some extreme cases with my family members and my partner.
In some cases, I would always perceived I am the cause of the problem. I remember there was a time when I met a friend and this friend mentioned about how tired I was looking and so this friend said, “Why didn’t you tell me you are tired, if you are tired, we can meet few days later.” This gave me a perception that, I feel my friend does not want to meet me during my tired, low vibration state, regardless of how my friend actually thinks.
Another time, also feeling tired and overwhelmed, I was meeting another friend, knowing this friend sensitivity level, which can feel my emotions, therefore, I was very conscious on how I feel with the emotions that I am holding on. Because I do not want my friend to feel my so-called negative emotions, so I did my best to release and shake all the tensions in my body, yet it shows, and this friend could feel how tired I am.
So I noticed, I have the habit of only wanting to show the best side of me the cheerful and fun, instead of the emotional side of me.
Realising I have not been showing my vulnerability to others, afraid that my emotional turmoil will affect others, and so I choose to keep most of my emotional pain and hurt to myself. Eventually, after being guided by others, it has led me to learn how to be vulnerable by expressing it healthily to others.
Due to my sensitivity, nature I constantly perceived others’ emotions, especially when one feel pain and hurt, therefore I tend to over compensate people so that they do not feel the pain. As it hurts.
And, because of being afraid being hurt by others, I would keep my distance with others, so that I will not be hurt. That is one of my defence mechanism. Realising my Mercury aspects with Chiron, the wounded healer in Astrology, I am being quite harsh to myself, because whenever I receive notification from text messages, the first impression I have is that this person is going to bring me bad news or this person is going to criticize me. Whenever someone raise their voice as they speak, I would interpret it as I am being scolded. Whenever I receive ‘ok’ reply or no reply from text messages, I would assumed I did something that does not please them so they do not like me.
Only in the recent years, I found that these were only my programming, it is just how I interpret the world but it does not represent the whole truth. I have been playing a role with this default system and with the sensitivity, my defence mechanism would protect me, so I remain safe, also, close with the same options and reality of life. Unknowing, at the same time, I forgo other opportunities.
It is when I learned how to allow myself to feel the emotions, how to be with it, then, it clears off and make space for newness in life. First, I learned to acknowledge my emotions, whenever it arises. Positive or negative, they are both valid. Instead of clinging to the positive and denying the negative, I learned to embrace the negative. There are healthy anger and sadness, when we know why these emotions arises, it will lead us to a deeper level so we can transform them as our tool, as our source of energy.
Plus, knowing when I feel resonated with the emotions that others are portraying, it is me that I need to work on internally by finding the source of it. Huge credit to my circles who know how to hold space for each other, as we allow each other to express ourselves, acknowledge the emotions and simply being with it. Thanks to these beautiful beings, I know my emotions and learn to work with the emotions day by day.
Do you allow yourself to feel your emotions?
“Without access to our emotional selves, we grow in this culture like trees in the wrong soil, becoming tall but not strong, and old but not mature.”Karla Mclaren
Working on our emotions
Excerpt From the book “The Language of Emotions” by Karla Mclaren, she describes there are 3 ways to work with our emotions: express, repress, and the middle ground.
When we express our emotions, we are moving out to the outside world to decipher our emotions. Sometimes if we depend on the external support to process our feelings without knowing how to regulate own emotion, we might encounter difficulty by having no one to talk to or feel trapped in our own emotional states.
When we repress our emotion we are keeping them in our inner world, if we do not express or process the emotion, we will interfere with the natural process, by either increasing the intensity of the emotions where it will arise again when triggered or it is stored in the deep emotional energy within our psyche.
Karla McLaren introduced a middle ground to work with emotions in a respectful and honourable way where she called the process: channeling the emotions. With the word ‘channel’ is to direct the emotion in vibrant and ingenious way. Because emotions are always true, they tell us how we are actually feeling, but they may not be right or appropriate in each situation.
The 3 Exercises
She introduced 3 empathic exercises to work with emotion, starting with a simple flow-inducing exercise where you can sit stand or lay down.
[Listen to the guided exercise]
The first exercise:
Take a deep breath and feel up your chest and belly feeling a little bit of tension. Hold your breath from the count to 3 and as you breathe out, make small, gentle spiralling movements with your hands, your arms, your legs, your neck, and your torso.
Breathe in again by expanding your chest and your belly, feeling a bit of tension, and hold for 3 seconds and breathe out with a sigh as you spiral your arms, legs, and neck. You can even show your tongue out. Just let it go.
Now, breathe normally and check in with yourself. How do you feel? Softer, calmer or tired? Thank the emotion that help you to release your tension and restore your flow, thank your sadness.
A healthy flowing sadness feels like this. It helps you to let go and bring some flow back to our system. Sadness is about releasing things that are not working and relaxing into ourselves. It is an internal emotion that brings us back to ourselves and make us aware of our interior state which is why we constantly avoid sadness in life.
Just by breathing in, gathering tension and breathing out gently with spiral movements, shaking them off, yawning or sighing, we can channel our sadness by letting them go.
The second exercise:
Sit up straight, open your eyes a bit and smile, as if you are greeting a good friend. You can say hi, stretch your arms out and stretch your torso. As you keep smiling and keep your eyes open, take a comfortable breath and thank your happiness.
Happiness is a temporary emotion to help us identify things that are fun and rewarding, it is a good rest and stop, where we can share with others. When we smile the brain will perceive that we are happy because of our facial expression. She shared an example, when we cry ourselves out, we will often find ourselves laughing or when we have gone through an intense conflict with someone, we will both tend to laugh and smile a lot when it is done, because happiness is a little rest stop and yet we shouldn’t cling to it at all times as we need all our emotions.
The third exercise:
Find a quiet place where you can sit or stand. Lean your body forward a little and try to hear the quietest sound in your area. Keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears as good posture helps with our hearing. Open your mouth a little, relax your jaw and gently move your head around as you pinpoint the quietest sound and filter out the most obvious ones. You may keep your eyes open but focus on your hearing now. When you have located the quiet sound hole still moment. Stand up sitting a move towards it by locating the sound with your eyes. Time may feel like it is slowing down, your skin may feel more sensitive, and your mind may clear itself of anything that is not related to the quiet sound. When you pinpoint the sound, thank the emotion that helped you find it. Thank your fear.
Fear helps us to focus on all of our senses, scans the environment with our stored memories, and increases our ability to respond to the external situation. When our fear flows nicely, we will feel focused, centered, and agile. Thank you fear.
When we are confused or upset, by bringing our fear forward, access the information we need to calmly figure out what’s going on, without the need to feel afraid to access the gifts our fear is bringing to us. Fear helps us to focus on our internal knowledge because it connects us to our surroundings. Fear also allows us to bring our instinct and intuition to the moment, which helps us to sense and interact our environment and people. If we can rely on the fear’s calm, as we listen and sense, it will help us to read people and situations empathetically.
To see sadness, happiness and fear in a new perspective.
Now, give yourself undivided time to experience these exercises by allowing our sadness to flow, welcoming happiness, and sensing our fear. With patience and practice, I believe we can be the master of our emotions.