This morning I woke up feeling unsettled.
After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up late, feeling edgy and sad. I’d had some pretty intense, vivid dreams and awaiting me was a Facebook message from an old friend with devastating news.
All I wanted to do was get back in bed, sleep, or if I had to, plant my butt on the couch for reruns of Sex and the City. But not today, I had shit to do.
I’ve had a lot to process over the last few weeks and it seems every day brings something new to address.
During my first appointment of the day, these feelings were echoed by the women I was with…
“I just feel like I could cry at any minute”, said one.
“Me too”, said another, and another, and another.
Sadness, sticky and stagnant, seemed to be lying just under the surface for more than one of us.
The thing I’ve learned about uncomfortable emotions like sadness, is that they’re just begging to be allowed up and out.
Hiding in plain sight, sadness is often at the root of our various forms of discomfort, gnawing at our insides, collecting at the bases of our spines, crunched up within our chests. Like a serpent weaving it’s way slowly through our system, sadness in particular, can be silent and lethal.
It’s not something we LIKE to experience, so we hide it, push it down, cover it up or numb it out in an attempt to avoid feeling sad altogether.
As a beloved mentor of mine always reminds me, “What we resist persists.”
Like the hungry child who won’t stop fussing until she’s cared for, sadness can wrap itself around our hearts like the tendrils of a jungle vine climbing higher and higher toward the light.
I’ve found sadness to be a constant companion over the years. Only now, I relate to it in a much different way. I welcome sadness to the table in the same fashion I do joy and happiness because without sadness, we cannot experience the full range that life has to offer.
When it comes to sadness, my body is a trusted tool. She shows me where I need to go to move it. Sometimes, sadness lives in my chest, my throat, or my belly. Sometimes, sadness is disguised as anger, comparison or jealousy…
In reality, sadness, anger, anxiety and other painful feelings are simply energy, stuck in one place, until we are ready and willing to experience them fully in order to release them.
For years I’d heard the phrase, “feel your feelings”, but as many theories are, this concept felt much harder to put into action.
Here’s what I think it means…
So often, we long for our own attention. Our own recognition and love, all the while seeking approval and a sense of belonging from others. When we can give ourselves the gift of time and presence, to simply be with ourselves as we would any trusted friend, we can become aware of what is going on at the deepest levels of our existence.
When we can drop the patterns and stories around being “so busy”, constantly overwhelmed, guilty and ashamed of our mistakes and just BE with ourselves, quietly and gently as we would enjoy a comfortable silence within our most intimate relationships, we may find there is a rich amount of wisdom in these emotions…
As I travelled from my appointment to an afternoon yoga class, I could feel tears welling in my eyes as I landed on my yoga mat, taking the space and time to pause for the first time since waking. I placed one hand on my heart and silently asked, “What do you need right now?”
The message, SLOW DOWN resonated through my being.
Slow down, feel, breathe, move… I had no idea that I was being led to exactly the medicine I needed by heading to yoga.
As the hour progressed and I found myself seated, eyes closed, at the very end of class, I received just the message I needed to hear in that moment from the teacher.
“It’s so important to be content and grateful for exactly where you are. You have to accept where you are right now in order to do anything to change it.”
Where I am today is feeling sad and that’s ok. Nothing is wrong, I’m just human, thus, I am meant to feel it all, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.
It’s who I am. It is all of me.
Yours in love and care,
P.s. On a lighter note, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite holiday gift ideas for the wellness lovers in your life. Click here to see my Holiday Gift Guide.