Healing Through Feeling: How to Sit With Your Emotions

Healing Through Feeling: How to Sit With Your Emotions

What if all we had to do to change our experience was simply feel what we feel? Unfortunately, the feeling is what can be most difficult. Simply feeling and not doing can seem strange and terrifying, especially when we think that in order to do something, we must do something “now”. It’s easy to imagine that some feelings may very well destroy us.

Whenever my life experience pushes me to face what I truly feel, my mind jumps in to tell me that I will never accomplish anything- that I need to give up this feeling thing, shut up, lose myself in another job and contribute to society. But I’ve done that…three times. What I’ve discovered each time is what does not work: it does not work to use silence, a job or even a noble purpose to distract myself from the discomfort I feel. To do otherwise goes against our very name. We are not doings; we are beings with incredible creative capacity. The fact that I have created elaborate situations three times to avoid facing myself is proof of this.

I have finally allowed myself to truly feel the quality of life I have created. Some days my only experience is fear, rage and shame. I watch in awe at the elaborate stories swirling in eddies and whirlpools in my mind. I feel self-indulgent and wonder how long it will take for these emotions to twist and turn through my body. I long to rush their progress. I long to sedate, ignore or run to someone to help me “fix” the discomfort, but I’ve already done all of these things and none of them work for long. They simply cover for a while until the familiar sensation rises yet again. So here I am, feeling all that is… no matter what label it has.

Some days I cannot do anything but sit, notice and observe. I feel useless and broken when I’m not “doing”, and no one telling me otherwise can change how I feel- it shouldn’t. We all must feel what we have created no matter how uncomfortable it is. A river can be dammed, but only for so long when a flood’s coming.

We humans have created a lot of difficult stories and circumstances that we think are the reason for the discomfort we often experience. But what is hidden cannot remain hidden forever. A gem under the mud of a raging river must, at some point, encounter the rays of the sun. The raging river of life can feel uncomfortable as it rushes over our attempts to sedate, medicate and hide what really lies inside, but at some point what lies within will be seen anyway. I can spend years feeling sorry for myself because it’s so uncomfortable for me to show you who I really am, but unless I do I remain hidden, chaotic and unable to interact with my world in new ways.

I long for a world where everyone feels safe. Where we’re able to allow a feeling to run its course without needing to jump to conclusions and create a story about why it’s there, or a need to beg another for “help”. I long for us all to be patient with the flood of discomfort until the authentic response-the gem-rises from the churning of the feeling.

Many days I still see myself choosing to react in fear, anger and shame when I encounter differences or areas where I initially felt uncomfortable. Some days I want to force my “authentic response” but the irony in this effort is not lost on me. Force will never ever elicit an authentic, truthful response to life. My discomfort in telling the truth will never bring forth the result I imagine. Only the truth will reveal the next step. So I feel, even when I tell myself bizarre stories about what the feelings mean. So I write, even when I know I may hear another’s story about what my words mean and that I may not agree. I write, not because no one has ever felt like this before or because no one has ever written this before, but because someone feels this right now and my words may sink in where others have not before.

If all human beings could simply sit with all the feelings we share for one month, with no requirement to act or speak but simply to feel, what would come? What might we realize? Would we finally allow all the suppressed energy under the surface of our “fines” and “okays” to move through us and transform us so we could finally experience how we are already immersed in peace instead of making the mistake of thinking that we have to “make peace?” Would we then feel the forgiveness that comes from realizing each and every one of us is attempting to experience unconditional love in a conditional world? What would we create then?

“Don’t hide your heart but reveal it, so that mine might be revealed, and I might accept what I am capable of. ”

Rumi

If you liked this article, be sure to watch our video Secret of Water to keep exploring.



6 Tips for the Best Bath & 12 Ingredients to Add

6 Tips for the Best Bath & 12 Ingredients to Add

When people think of an ideal way to relax, a nice hot bath is usually what comes to mind. However, there are a few lesser-known tips and tricks that can take your bath from a simple relaxation to a full-blown healing, medically therapeutic investment!

Before you dive in, however, be sure you follow these tips for the best cleansing bath you’ve ever had:

1. Some like it hot…but not too hot!

How hot can you stand it? For some, if it feels like bathing in a bubbling cauldron of bliss, it’s just the right temperature. But did you know that superheated baths actually get your nervous system revved up? In actuality, there’s a threshold of heat where the relaxation is just a bit of an illusion. If you’re pregnant, this is especially important; keep your baths to a maximum of about 37˚C (100˚F) — just barely above body temperature!

Not only is your nervous system…well, a little nervous, but homeostatically it can be a bad idea to start boiling your system. Contrary to popular belief, if you can’t sleep, a piping hot bath is actually more likely to keep you awake than soothe you to sleep.

The most relaxing baths are not quite piping hot. If you are bathing for sedation or specifically to help you sleep, keep the temperature easy on your body.

2. Keep it cool

Ever feel wilted and sluggish after a hot bath? You may have even gotten a headache afterwards. Avoid this post-bath syndrome by keeping your head, hands, feet, or all three cool with a cold washcloth, ice cubes wrapped in a towel, or pouring cold water on these spots on occasion. They are your body’s ideal spots to release heat, which is important.

Your body isn’t actually too fond of getting too hot when it doesn’t have a chance to release heat. This creates an artificial fever. An artificial fever has its uses, but it can also have some unpleasant side effects, such as headaches. Give your body some opportunity to shed some heat. Your core body temperature will still go up (and you’ll get the benefits of that), but it will cause less physiological stress. You may be quite surprised at how much this improves your experience.

3. Make it a massage time

Treat yourself completely with a little self-massage, perhaps to release tension in trigger points. You can try something like a self-abhyanga massage after your bath, or you bring a ball into the bath with you and trap it under your body to apply pressure to stiff and aching muscles. Simply run a warm bath, and trap a ball between your body and the bottom or back of the tub to rub your back muscles — your buoyancy allows for excellent control over moderate pressures without being too intense.

4. Stay hydrated, my friends!

Guess what? Even if your bath is only slightly warmer than your body, your systems start to attempt to cool you off in the way it knows best: sweating! You can end up losing a lot of valuable fluid this way, so do yourself a favor and drink plenty of liquids before, during and after to replenish your body.

Choose liquids that are indeed hydrating rather than any diuretics, such as caffeinated tea, alcohol (sorry, bath wine!), or coffee. Instead, try a refreshing cool lemon water! This way, you will also help avoid a post-bath headache.

5. Lower back love

If you have lower back pain, a hot bath is the treatment for you! It’s even better than trying to ice it (which might even be on the harmful side).

The myth that a hot bath will only worsen the “inflamed” back is simply not true. The great majority of low back pain is essentially muscular in nature, contrary to the popular and mistaken view that it’s usually caused by something “mechanical” like a intervertebral disc herniation. Specifically, the cause of most back pain is myofascial trigger points (“knots” in your muscles), which can cause far more grief than most people realize — and yet they are relatively treatable. A little reassurance, rubbing, and a hot bath go a surprisingly long way, even with the most horrendous case of low back pain. A hot bath is amazingly good therapy for back pain, and the price sure is right.

Once again, trigger points are eased by heat, and usually irritated by cold.

6. Deep bath breathing

What better place to “blow off steam” breathing than in the bath? Controlling your breath moves energy throughout your body, and with the right technique, can be a hugely helping hand in relaxation.

Conscious, deeper breathing is always relaxing, grounding, and embodying. It can make you more comfortable in your own skin. But it seems to be particularly effective in a hot bath.

Now that you’re a bath pro, discover what bath ingredient is best for you! For example, did you know that by adding tea bags into your bath, you can help your body balance its energy and hormones, aid in clearing it of toxins, and also provide the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants? Check out this infographic, and see what ingredients you’d like to start trying.

Bathtime

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