There is so much to learn from our emotions. (From the Latin word emovere - to ‘move out’, ‘remove’, ‘agitate’.) Especially around this time of year when emotions are high - hanging with family and old friends can bring them on FULL FORCE! We must sit with them in order to allow transmutation. This is why many traditions fast - eating is simply another way we numb our emotions, no different than vices such as drugs and alcohol. According to Yoga Journal, “your base emotions are energy trapped in reactive and protective defensive patterns. Fear, anger, hatred and all their variations of emotional pain are all base emotions that are reactions to perceived danger, violation, or hurt.” Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) called this, `The Pain Body`. The more I learn about myself, the more I realize the deep set emotions that were never dealt with as a child but rather stored, need to be released in order to experience a more joyful existence in this limited place we call Earth! Bach flower essences like Rescue Remedy help tremendously as does grounding - barefoot walking! Thank you, thank you Mother Gaia!!! It is my desire that this become a focus for 2018! Out with the old means in with the new!!! We must make space for all the beautiful possibilities!!!
From long periods in silence and fasting I have come to learn that it is possible to respond to our emotions lovingly and with patience and acceptance, without reacting! This elevation of consciousness is possible for ALL!!! It does however take a little work! Meditation, yoga, breath work are all a HUGE benefit in this regard! Try also the 3 Steps below by Yoga Journal to see how you can do it too! (So you don`t absolutely need to go about it the way I did if silence or fasting doesn`t appeal!)…
“When fear is transmuted it opens you to the quality of courage. When anger is transmuted it transforms into an expansion of your capacity for reaching out into life, for setting clear boundaries, and for acting with loving fierceness on behalf of your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Pain transforms into loving compassion and kindness. Hatred transmutes into positive power and love, and paradoxically leads to inner peace. ”
3 Key Ways to Transform Your Emotions into Their Higher Qualities
- Don’t act out the emotion.
Acting out any emotion discharges the energy that is actually needed for the alchemy. Learn to contain the emotion you’re experiencing by breathing, grounding the energy of the emotion, and exerting the mindfulness practice of awareness.
But let’s face it, sometimes an emotion has too much “charge,” and you cannot easily process it. That is a natural part of life and being prepared for that situation will help you safely and consciously release that emotion and energy.
- Don’t suppress or avoid the emotion, instead experience it fully.
Invite and engage the emotion by taking the attitude of curiosity and allowing. For example, how does hatred or anger or fear feel in your body? Anger has a lot of dynamic energy, often in the arms or jaw. It wants to strike out. Hatred is cool, contained deep in the body. Hatred can be found in the forehead, the eyes, and contractions in your core. Anger wants to strike, but hatred wants to annihilate whatever threatens you in a cool, calculated way. (Think the cool, contained, calculated power of Darth Vader.)
Pain is another reactive emotion. There are many causes of pain and many kinds of pain. Pain is a hurt, a wounding and a sense of loss. Often when you think you are feeling pain, you are in fact more likely thinking it than feeling it directly. Pain is often sensed as a contraction in the area of the heart. You might have learned to cut off pain, or rationalize it, or discharge it through emotional drama. Humans often judge themselves for feeling pain. But when you actually feel your pain without trying to get rid of it, you open the door for compassion to take its place.
- Develop a sense of truth and understanding.
Everyone has different ways of managing their emotions. Sometimes you may judge them, thinking you are weak for having certain feelings. Or maybe being afraid to give them up because they have protected you for a long time. It is important to understand the relationship you have to your emotions in order to move forward.
Hatred is a great example here. As a society, we tend to judge this emotion as bad or think that feelings of hatred make us a bad person. Hatred arises from a deep hurt, often a perceived betrayal, or a deep fear of being annihilated. It’s a natural defensive emotion. Jealousy, self-rejection, disdain, contempt, arrogance are all variations of hatred. While it can be dangerous to act on hatred or turn it against yourself, the actual feeling of hatred is a natural protection.
Thank you so much Yoga Journal for this wonderful article! The final thing I want to say, that has helped me on my journey, is to go where you feel the best! Meaning, pay attention to your feelings wherever you are, whatever you`re doing! They are the truth! Follow them and you shall be guided toward your highest good!
Sending so much love.