I had learnt a long time ago (subconsciously) to shut off connection to the body. My body.
Apart from superficial things like being ‘frustrated’, I had no idea how I felt.
I didn’t know how to connect with anger; sadness; shame.
I didn’t know how to deal with big emotions, apart from to bypass them; numb them; suppress them and generally make them go the hell away. ASAP, preferably. I had lost my feelings. This is the story of how I found them, and now you can too.
I actually didn’t even know what the emotion was that I was trying to get rid of, because the reaction just happened automatically. Open a bottle of wine and keep drinking. Eat chocolate or Tim Tams or anything else that felt like comfort food. Do some retail therapy. Work later.
It might sound weird. Or maybe you can relate?
So how do you LOSE your emotions?
I grew up in a household where, like many, as soon as I hurt myself or was upset, I was given food to make me ‘feel better’. This happened from a very young age. Exploring emotions and allowing them to be felt wasn’t a thing.
There was a sense of just moving on; pushing the feeling away and getting rid of it. There wasn’t the concept of sitting with me through an emotion, to just be there. It had to be fixed so everyone else could feel comfortable. (FYI – there is zero blame or shame directed towards others for this. We all do what we can, carrying our own coping mechanisms until we choose to learn how to do it differently. Or not, and this is how it perpetuates).
The more this happens, the more automatic it becomes. We’re taught that certain emotions are undesirable at the very least; ‘bad’, even. And we avoid them at all costs, because they feel uncomfortable. We tell ourselves that we’re ‘supposed’ to feel happy. Because we take a look around, and isn’t everyone happy?
We do a mental stocktake on our lives:
Don’t we ‘have it pretty good’? Aren’t we the lucky ones in the lucky country with a privileged life? Shouldn’t we feel grateful? ‘There are plenty of others worse off than I am’.
Any time we get a whiff of an emotion that isn’t one of the ‘positive’ emotions that are so readily reinforced by others, we squash it. It is not allowed to be there. Of course, it still actually IS there, but we deal with it in such a way that we no longer feel it. We tell ourselves that we need to just get on with life, and have a sense of ‘well, what have I got to complain about anyway. My life is actually pretty good’.
But you don’t feel good. You feel like something is missing. You are out of whack. You’re not happy and you certainly don’t feel fulfilled and loved up with life, no matter how great it looks from afar.
The Road I Took When Nothing Else Was Working:
2 or 3 years ago the coach and mentor I had been working with suggested I do some work with an embodiment coach to work out how to connect with my emotions. Because, for the life of me, I couldn’t do that in a traditional coaching session.
I knew that I wanted to deal with my emotions. I knew the benefits. And I knew it was important for my own mindset and inner child coaching of others.
Because the thing is that if emotions aren’t worked through, they stay stuck in the body. They can’t fully get completed and therefore released.
So I started on this journey:
- Learning to be present in the body.
- Understanding the breath of different emotions.
- Developing the movement within the body of different emotions.
- And learning about the use of sound that goes with the emotion.
It was a game changer. It was also very strange to start with. Awkward and uncomfortable and weird. But also freeing.
And right now the biggest theme I’m seeing a need for (massively) is CONNECTION. I’ve realised that connection is at the core of everything I offer. From my Not Networking events to my workshops to my new EXPAND group program to my 1:1 coaching.
- To self.
- To likeminded others.
- As a collective.
This comes from witnessing a pattern of disconnection, I guess. And deeply knowing the feeling of being disconnected.
(And of course this is happening at a global level in a huge way right now also. But we change the world one person at a time, and it can start with you. With me. With us).
People who are very much stuck up in their heads, just like I had been. Where there is often a tendency towards overthinking and self-doubt and procrastination and well…. disconnection. Turning to everything and anything else that will make it go away (the feelings).
Women who feel guilty that they’re not happier, and learnt to abandon themselves a long time ago to feel like they belong – one of the most basic of human needs.
This is something they (and I and maybe you?) learned to do subconsciouly and was nobody’s fault, it’s just what was needed back then for emotional survival (more about that here). So you show the world that you are ‘fine’. Great! Look how well great things look from the outside?! But underneath all that – let me tell you – it is f%cking exhausting.
The truth is, no emotion is bad.
You are 100% enough just as you are, no matter what thoughts and feelings are going on underneath. They just need to be fully felt; expressed. The temptation is to mask or numb them, but we want to aim to allow the feelings to be welcomed with open arms (yes, even the emotions you really don’t want to feel. In fact, especially those, otherwise we are rejecting a part of ourselves).
Embodiment practices are included with my 1:1 coaching and an introduction to this is part of the WELLBEING pillar of my new EXPAND group coaching program. To learn to feel; notice what is present in the body; get curious and to accept these feelings.
Ultimately, learning embodiment helps us to move forwards. To experience different results. To find more peace; more wellbeing. To shift from judging the hell out of ourselves, and finding peace within instead.
If you figure you might have lost your emotions too, you might love EXPAND. There is only ONE SPOT LEFT! You can read more about it here . And remember to get in touch if you have any questions or if I can help with anything else. As you can see, I’m just a regular human, working out life one piece at a time ❤
PS – To read more around how and why as children we can abandon ourselves to feel accepted, you might want to check out this blog post: Who Were You At 2?
PPS – An amazing book around emotions and how we deal with them is Letting Go – The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins. Check it out if you’re curious about how we suppress and repress our emotions; the vibrations of different emotions and heaps more.Tags: embodiment Emotional Wellbeing Inner child