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Sadness, pain, loneliness, anger… feelings we label as negative because they make us feel bad. We want to shake them off, escape from them, push them away, suppress them. And we seek a ‘quick fix’ outside ourselves: something to lift our spirits, to put us in a good mood. We chase happiness while masking true feelings with numerous activities that don’t let us breathe – hobbies, socializing, outings, work. We keep ourselves busy so we don’t have time to dwell on what we call ‘bad’…

Our life is a cycle: there’s no exhale without inhale, no night without day, no rain without sunshine; and we experience a range of emotions, each contributing to the richness of life. Our feelings are like our best friend: you truly get to know them when you spend a lot of time together, have honest conversations, allow yourselves to be vulnerable with each other.
The same goes for feelings: if you truly want to understand them, you need to spend some time in their company. How will you understand what the feeling of sadness or loneliness is trying to tell you if you keep running away from it? And how can you truly accept and love yourself if you deny half of yourself?

Here is an insight that changed my perspective of feelings and emotions: When a person has an emotional reaction, a chemical process begins in the body that lasts about 90 seconds. This means that we have 90 seconds to observe the emotion, feel it, and then see it disappear. After this time, any remaining emotional response is just the choice to stay in that emotional loop. It is our thoughts that are re-stimulating the wiring that results in us having this physiological response over and over again.

Here’s an exercise that you can do the next time you feel any uncomfortable emotions: find a quiet space where you can be completely alone and undisturbed for at least half an hour. Play some meditative music, close your eyes, and allow your body to start swaying to its rhythm. In your mind, scan your body and feel where you sense the uncomfortable emotion – place your hands there and just allow yourself to get to know that feeling better. No analysis, no conclusions, just be in allowing, remain curious. Imagine this is your best friend whom you want to understand so you can help her/him. E-motion is energy in motion so allow your body to transform it into an energy that freely leaves your body. Don’t interrupt the process, just be present and breathe. When you feel better, you can stop and relax.

Will this ‘unpleasant’ feeling return? Most probably. It will keep coming back until you understand and accept it. The more you practice presence and releasing, the less intense it will become, and the easier the letting go process will be. And someday you’ll reach a point where you realize the feeling is no longer there…

Let me know if you did the exercise and what it did for you. 💖

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