Feeling the Feeling
I cannot believe another week has come and gone. Time seems to crawl and then launches into hyperdrive at a moment’s notice. It has been challenging keeping up. Hopefully, this week brings some amount of a pause within a pause, and some time to connect with gratitude. This is such a powerful tool, as it is so easy to get lost in all of the worries of what could be and the thoughts that lead us down some dark roads. While I’m a believer in accepting all the emotions showing up within, I also believe we have a choice on which ones set up residence. I’m not talking about false positivity – there is a fine balance between holding emotions with care and enabling them to remain. There is a fine line between the two – or perhaps more like a pendulum. We can simultaneously hold on to the good without ignoring what needs to change.
I notice this in myself and with my kids (oh, the inward/outward mirror effect of being a parent!). When big emotions or behaviors come up it can be a signal that there is something that needs attention underneath. It can also be a signal that someone really needs water, food, or some sleep! I think the point is creating space for it to arise, but also not digging so hard that we get lost in the process. The trick is differentiating between the two, which takes effort, awareness, and attention. For a solid example, on Saturdays, I’ve started playing Minecraft with my older son. It is his favorite game, and he asked me to play with him. Now, I’m not a gamer and my attention only lasts 30-45 minutes (then I immediately need a nap!) but it truly is so much fun. This past weekend we had a great time, and later in the evening before bed, Micah was talking about how much he enjoyed it while making plans for next week’s adventures. As he was laying down, he started crying saying that he felt sad. I asked if it was something he felt like he needed or wanted to talk about, and he said he didn’t know what it was – he just felt sad. This happens relatively often, though with specific things to discuss; on Saturday night, I think it was just the tired talking. So, I reminded him that just 10 minutes before he was talking about what a great day he had, and asked if he could switch the channel to those thoughts and memories to see how they felt. Amazingly, his whole energy relaxed as his attention shifted to that good-feeling place, and he went to sleep with relative ease, without needing me in the room.
This brings up a few questions for inward reflection:
When big emotions or behaviors come up in me, am I willing to give the same comfort, awareness, and attention?
Am I able to show my own inner child the same kindness as I give my children or a good friend?
Can I put as much effort in to helping myself feel seen, heard, understood, forgiven, and encouraged as I do for other who I care for deeply?
Yoga gives us an opportunity to shift energy, and sift through some of the fuzziness in our bodies and minds to discover what lays underneath. Sometimes what comes up needs deeper reflection, sometimes it is simply residual dust that needs a moment of recognition before moving on. Of course, there are different levels to this, and I would never suggest that moving through trauma is as easy as doing a little yoga and simply choosing thoughts; however, I do think both can be useful tools on the journey of growth where we all find ourselves.
This brings me to the idea of the 21-Day practice that begins on December 1st. If nothing else, it is a time to spend focusing attention on something for 21 days which can be a powerful tool for manifestation. Continue reading below for more information. I also have an updated schedule for this week, that is also below.