Feel to Heal

What exactly does it mean to feel? How do emotions get stored in the body? What techniques are available to us to heal?

Your body is your subconscious mind. Suppressed emotions are literally stored in the body, trying to move up and out. Once expressed they can be integrated and healed. When we look and acknowledge the emotion, it is expressed. Allowing my emotions to surface into awareness and to be able to name my emotions is the beginning of the exploration.

The un-dealt with emotions can make you sick and cause drama between you and those closest to you. So open up to it, let it in, flow with it, love it, spend time with it, invite it in…the only way out is through.

To unbind ourselves, we must first unblind.

Here are a few things I’ve been doing to help feel through the pain—so I can re-connect with joy…

01. Journal

The therapist I was seeing last year told me this was one of the best ways to connect back to self. It’s a time carved out just for you to brain dump. No one is going to read it, it’s a non-judgmental place. It’a also great space to look back on where you’ve been if you’re falling into the same patterns. I actually found one of my buried away journals from 2012 and it stated the exact same things I was feeling in my relationship 6 years later. It creates an emotional timeline which can be very validating when you need to make a decision. When I feel like my journaling is going in circles, I’ll hop over to #02…

02. Meditate

Have you ever sat down in one place during the conscious waking hours? Sometimes journaling sends me in loops. So I go to meditate as secondary approach. Before I made a big life decision I played one of my favorite grounding teachers, Kyle Cease, then took that peace of mind into a 2 hour meditation. It sounds intimidating but in actuality its truly liberating. I’m not about trying to restrain the way you go about this, so here’s what worked for me. I put a journal within arms reach along with my phone timer.  I think it’s ok to move during the session; breath, rock, circle—whatever helps you feel more in the moment and connected with yourself.

03. Listen to Your Body

Do you have a pit in your stomach? Can you hear your heart beat in your ears? These all mean something. Our body is always communicating with us, sending us messages. Once you’ve come in sync with your bodies rhythms and responses, you can start to interpret what it means. Here are some heat maps to help visualize the energy rising and dipping in different areas.

image: source
additional info: Mapping Emotions in the Body

04. Music

Music can guide us to back to the feelings we can’t seem to connect with. I have this playlist that kind of created its self about 4 weeks and continues to grow each day. You know how Spotify creates a playlist showing your most listened to songs from the prior year? I turned on my 2017 playlist and was floored by the songs I’d been listening to but not really hearing that the lyrics were all related to my subconscious feelings.

05. Slow Down

I notice when I’m rushing, pushing or condensing my time—I start to slowly disconnect with my feelings. I ignore my body for the sake of accomplishment. I believe that accomplishment and feelings can work hand in hand when you’re aligned with purpose. Sure there are times you have to suck it up but if you notice a pattern in the way you’re feeling when you do a certain type of work, you should listen it. Don’t let it stop you stifle you but don’t ignore it.

06. Listen

Let the universe woo you. It has so many messages waiting for you if you’d open up and listen. I try to see every minute as healing. Every conversation, song, movie as an invitation towards that. Everyone I’ve met with over the past few weeks has been so generous about poured themselves into me and helped me heal. So honestly, thank you if you’ve spent time with me over the past few weeks—I greatly appreciate you.

07. Family

If your family is a safe place, I guarantee they’ll have massive amounts of support for you. I’ve had some really vulnerable conversations with my friends, parents and cousins recently. I’ve come to realize I’m not alone in my pain. There is so much comfort and support to be found in sharing our challenging experiences.

08. Avoid Numbing

Ah this one is tough, there are so many ways we numb ourselves, I’m equally guilty. From food, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, over socializing. For me it can be the avoidance of quiet alone time, which ultimate is the avoidance of negative feelings. But in and through that space is freedom and connection.

09. Let Yourself Cry

Some fear that if we let ourselves go here, we won’t find our way back out. Running and cramming our emotions down just leads to more suffering. Feel the depth of the emotion, because on the other side is freedom. You will not be stuck there forever. You’ll stay there just as long as you need. Somedays I cry once a day, sometimes three. You just never know what your body will be trying to process that day. You don’t know what triggers will show up. Everyday life is unfolding in front of us and we get to chose the role we play in it.

10. Dance

Yup, dance it out. When I’m feeling stuck, confused or lost—I get back into my body and out my head. The best way for me to connect? Get those hips moving. We have this round room in my parents house and I play music in there and just dance. Hug yourself. Find a reason to smile since you’ve chosen to enter into this happy free space.

11. Change of Scenary

Let yourself have some fun. You can heal and play with your life simultaneously. There hits a point where you’ve had just about enough journaling and talk therapy. Going to Tahoe was very healing for me. The deep blue water, natural all around and just time to soak in all that is good and pure about life. There is healing to be found in our surroundings, whether its the dance floor, nature, singing on the highway, windows down with the wind blowing through your hair.

12. Identity Work

You were chosen to be here—right?! Why we’re you born? You’re an extension of God. That’s beautiful. Remind yourself of that as often as you need. If you’re lacking awareness about your unique traits, try asking those around you for some insight about what they love about you.

13. Self Awareness

When we find ourselves in messy situations, we are left with reviewing our choices, beliefs and behaviors. Those can be tough to look at! It’s also important to own that we played a role in wherever we end up. How do we gain more awareness of self? For me it’s been about diving into the Enneagram! It’s a tool that breaks down our personality types, by showing us our basic fears, desires, stress points and growth areas. It’s a beautiful invitation into the deep down. Take the free test here!

14. Create!

Make a painting, poem, sketch, doodle…whatever lights you up! Play around for the sake of exploration. It can be a cathartic and healing process to let you brain and body flow through a space with less structure to it. You may find some hidden joy or a new hobby while you’re at it.

15. Talk Therapy

I almost didn’t add this one in but holy moly is it necessary! I’ve been avoiding going because I know it’s a slow process and I’m REAL impatient. I have so many psychology tools in my back pocket it can be hard to lay down my sword and just go talk with someone. It’s an opportunity to build better behaviors and emotional resilience. Check out EMDR or throat chakra work.

16. Speak Your New Life into Existence

Once you’ve started to connect with those past emotions you can start creating your new life. Speak to yourself in the direct you want your life to head. Abracadabra—translates to I create what I speak. Pray about what you want. Ask for it. Seek it out and you’ll find it. All of your body is listening to your thoughts so start adding good ones into the mix, let them become more powerful, bold and frequent.

 

 

Thanks for listening to my perspective, hoping a few of the notes will help you if you’re experiencing a shift in life. And hey, none of us have it all figured out so just keep being open and showing up for what’s unfolding for you moment by moment.

 

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Photography by: Vanessa Labi – editing by: me
Photo Equipment: Camera body: Canon 5D Mark III /  Photo Editing Software: Adobe Lightroom CC
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Comments:

  1. Val Leddy

    This is such a powerfully supportive post! Thank you for taking time and energy to share. Really impactful! And one I’ll likely revisit again and again! ❤️