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Navigating Our Complex & Important Emotions
What are these feelings telling us?
What is the purpose of our emotions? Are they here to help and guide us? Or are they sometimes a sign of internal imbalance? What can we do to self-regulate AND listen and take them seriously?
I was super upset yesterday. Storm (my son’s husky puppy that I care for) had gone onto someone’s deck while we were on an off-leash walk in an open field on the edge of town. A bunch of us were all out walking and three of the dogs took off in a pack-like-teenager way and were so far ahead of us, we couldn’t stop them (or know what they were doing).
By the time we caught up, there was a woman on her deck screaming at the top of her lungs “THOSE DOGS SHOULD BE ON LEASHES!”… she screamed over and over again and then her husband took up the cry.
Honestly, I grabbed Storm, and ran into my car with my tail between my legs. I felt horrible that she had gone onto their property (it wasn’t the first time). I didn’t know how to fix it… and I didn’t want to go and talk to them. My inner child couldn’t handle being screamed at in that moment.
What to do chewed on me all night. The next morning, I was doing my yoga hoping that I could release the bondage of this emotional state. I was doing the “Kriya for Elevation”… lots of breath of fire. Lots of twisting. However, nothing was shifting.
Then, I realized that nothing was shifting because I hadn’t come up with the proper action yet. My emotions would haunt me until I came to whatever realization I needed to resolve this. Should I go and apologize and take them flowers? A gift card? Should I talk to a friend of mine who knows them and feel out how to make it better?
Then, during my Insight Timer talk that morning, someone said, “A heartfelt apology is always enough”. Then, I talked with my friend Tim and he thought that perhaps no gift was needed… And my heart relaxed.
After class, I drove over to their place and apologized. The woman was so nice. I knew her daughter - she had taught art classes at my train station. Her grandson went to school and was in the drama club with my kids. We had a lovely chat, a few hugs, and I went on my way… all emotions dissipated.
This is a classic example of when our emotions are telling us something. They are asking for an action on our part. There is something that we are meant to do to “bring the world back into balance”.
For me, the best way to do this is through yoga and meditation (I’m not trying to sell them here… it’s actually true.) Sometimes a long bath will help. Sometimes chatting with a friend will help bring clarity… and sometimes it’s a bit of all three.
In terms of determining whether this is the role of the emotions, the key is that we can actually do something. There is action that WE can take and there is a sense inside that if we could just find the right thing to do, we would feel better.
Hearing Our Truth (Satya)
Our emotions can be messengers from our soul through our body to our brain about whatever is going on. If something happens and we get angry, there’s a strong possibility that a boundary has been crossed. There is something amok with what is going on.
If someone asks us to do something and we instantly feel sad or low, it’s a good sign that it isn’t on our soul’s path. If our heart lifts, it’s a good sign that it is.
If we are depressed, it’s important to look around us. What is going on that is literally depressing/oppressing/repressing us? I always think of it as someone stepping on a plush rug. Our foot depresses the rug. So, what is depressing us? If it’s chronic, there is often something that seems to be a regular part of our life that we wouldn’t consider changing or believe that we can’t - like family dynamics or relationship or work or personal health.
Any of these emotions could become chronic states… or they can be messengers as to the next step of our journey.
As much as I believe that emotions are important feedback mechanisms for our lives, it is also possible that something is amok inside of us.
Personally, I struggle with anemia. My daughter is always the one who can tell when my hemoglobin has plummetted because I am more emotional than is helpful. I will be telling her a story. I’ll be spitting mad. I’ll be soooo frustrated… Frustrated to the point that I can’t find a solution.
She will be incredibly kind and say something like, “Mom. I hear what you’re saying and totally get why you’re upset. But… is it possible that your blood is low again?” Inevitably, I will go to the hospital and, sure enough, my hemoglobin and iron will have disappeared… and a new inner journey (plus a transfusion) will begin.
I’m not saying that everyone who is super emotional is anemic. But it’s interesting to look at - especially if you are a woman and have had heavy periods.
Menstrual Wisdom & Darkness
Yes… periods. I truly believe that our premenstrual time is a time of wisdom. This is a time when we are considerably more honest with ourselves about the things in our lives that aren’t quite right. The rest of the month, we can play all kinds of games and tell ourselves stories that things are “fine”… when deep down, we aren’t okay with them at all.
I believe that this is by design. I believe that this is how women were made in order for clans to be constantly healing, growing, and fixing whatever is amok. However, after millennia of patriarchy, this wise voice has been silenced and all of this power turned inward - often resulting in real emotional struggle in this time of the month.
There are two homeopathic states that we can fall into at this time: Sepia and Pulsatilla. If we are sepia, then we are furious - imagine woman on top of building with machine gun. If we are pulsatilla, then we are so sad - see woman curled up in a ball just wanting to be held.
So, it’s important to honour these feelings and to take whatever we are feeling at this time seriously. It’s not necessarily a time to take action or make big changes. We might be too emotional to see clearly. But to take the wisdom from that time forward is so important.
And then there is the darkness. For me, I always know that my system is starting its “downward descent” into bleeding because I just sense an inner darkness about things. I’m just generally down. I’m less optimistic. Hope isn’t so easy. Things feel hard - whether there is anything going on or not.
This is also interesting to navigate. Personally, when I’m feeling particularly negative about the world - and it’s a general feeling, I know that my hormones are dropping. For a few days before I bleed, things get quite dark… even if nothing is happening.
I take this as an interesting part of being a woman. I allow myself to go fallow for a couple of days. I take my foot off the accelerator and rest. I read. I write. I even have a special journal that I save for my premenstrual time called “Here’s what I REALLY think!”… lol. 😊
Sitting in our Witness Mind
These are only a few possiblities as to why we are feeling very emotional. But the key is always to connect with our witness mind - that neutral part of our mind that connects to our soul and observes us in love and kindness.
I believe that emotions are meant to overwhelm us. They are meant to get our attention. They are not to be ignored!
But if we stay in that overwhelm, we won’t be able to find the solution… And so, we must cultivate that witness mind within. We must find that still place inside where we can hold ourselves in difficult times.
Then, we can find out if the emotion is telling us something, guiding us to a new path, or indicating that something may be amok that needs attention.
How about you?
What emotions seem to always be cropping up for you?
How do you find your centre?
Are you kind to your emotional self?
I’d love to know your thoughts. 😊
Satya Academy Updates
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