Taking into consideration that I was a wee-bit over tired getting up at 2:30am with a puppy every morning as a factor and my nerves being raw, this holiday season has proven to have been a highly emotional mix! For me, like so many of us, most of these feelings were fueled by the dramatic lifestyle, professional, financial, and personal changes brought upon us because of the Covid pandemic and highly charged presidential election.
I wish I could say that after 30 years of yoga, I never loose my sh*t anymore, and that 2020 was a walk in a Zen garden, but that would be a lie. There were some MESSY moments in 2020, full of tears, snot, sweat, and gut wrenching “UGLY MESSY MOMENTS!! These experiences are usually so intense, that all I wanted or could do afterwards is sleep. I literally crashed. Normally I would say that in these moments, all yoga flys out the window. BUT, I have discovered that it is actually during these highly charged emotional moments that “the yoga practice” is even MORE PRESENT. In these heightened states of being I am fully conscious and connected to my breathing patterns, as well as every sensation and feeling in my body. Rather than suppress these experiences because they’ve been labeled as bad, inappropriate or weak, I simply sequester myself in a safe space alone and let let them f*cking fly!!
The last thing we ever want to do, is hurt or harm anyone else or ourselves with our words or actions, but by allowing and giving ourselves permission to dance, wrestle and finally sit within our darker emotions, we can then hand (or throw) them over to God. We don’t need, nor are we supposed to carry all of that shit around inside of us. Lets face it, emotions will find a way out. When we continue to stuff or deny them, emotions will wreak havoc on our bodies and in our lives. Emotions are energy and need to be expressed and released, and we get to choose how they are expressed. Our yoga practice and humanness is contained within these transitional moments of choice. It’s easy to say, “always choose love,” BUT it’s an entirely different matter when we are in those emotionally charged places to think rationally. To just choose love, can be challenging, especially if we have been suppressing certain emotions for a long time and not allowing them to be expressed.
How do we express emotions like anger, jealousy, sadness, loneliness, distrust, worry, etc... in a loving way? First we have to let go of judging our emotions as good and bad, and simply allow ourselves to acknowledge whatever it is we are experiencing from a place of detached witnessing. Just be the observer of our own experience, knowing that we are not our emotions, nor are we even our experiences. We are that which is aware and unfettered by all of those things. We are the witness. We are the masters of our experiences, and within this realization we can begin to channel our emotional energies into how we want them to be expressed in the world.
We are creators. We are spirits, having a human experience, brought into being-ness to create! Personally, I am happiest when I am creating. Whether it’s creating a yoga sequence, making dinner for my family, writing, renovating a house, or planning a business venture...I am happiest and more emotionally balance in all areas of my life when I am able to channel my energies into creating something positive on a daily basis. If we add in the element of learning something new, because variety is the spice of life and also keeps our brains healthy, we will begin to experience an insatiable hunger for life and new found energy!
In the beginning it may take a concerted effort to plan and even schedule out daily creative activities and outlets, especially if you are in a rut, have unhealthy habitual patterns, or a job that is just not inspiring you. I find that by starting the day with intention setting, prayer and some form of physical exercise, helps tremendously. Usually it’s yoga, but lately it’s been walking our new puppy Ozzy and then a little later comes the yoga. These simple daily habits plug us into source, we remember that we are spirit, and we spark our creative fires, keeping us fueled and more emotionally balanced throughout the day. The key to all of this is consistency, which means making sustainable lifestyle changes. Keyword is sustainable. By setting ourselves up for success with a schedule that is doable, and activities we actually look forward too and enjoy doing are all very important. Especially if we are going to stick with it. Life should not be viewed as a chore or burden. Life isn’t a “I have too”, Life is an “I get too!” We get the privilege of living, loving and experiencing all the blessings and beauty of this world, and being part of all Gods creations and expressions. We are blessed.
Start now, attack the day, seize every moment as an opportunity to create beauty and love in this world. Explore new ways of expressing and channeling your emotions into creative outlets, and don’t limit or judge yourself. It’s also perfectly ok, and human, if and when you find yourself in need of a HUGE MESSY emotional wresting match with Self. Most of my best creative work and discoveries have been amidst sweat, snot and tears.
In gratitude and love,