This post is chock full of yummy love healing energy. First we’ve got a new video with me and yogini Donna D’Cruz. Then comprehensive advice on working with emotions like sadness and anger and how to find a solution to get better. By the way, the upcoming Hay House World Summit will feature healing modalities and tools from coaches, teachers, therapists and gurus. Don’t miss it!
A few weeks ago I introduced you to Yoga DJ Donna D’Cruz, the queen of spirituality, sensuality and style. We talked about the magic that she was making via her company Rasa Living and the healing work that she’s been doing with addicts at Phoenix House in New York City. Yoga is an incredible healing tool no matter what is happening in your life. I thought that Donna would be the perfect person to share yoga poses or moves as well as meditation advice in response to a “Dear Abiola” letter that I received.
Watch the video below, then find helpful advice after the jump from our blogger Ashley Berry on how to deal with difficult emotions. If you can’t see the video, click here.
How to Deal with Challenging Emotions Like Anger & Sadness
I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine about how he was coping with some difficult personal circumstances, and it made me think about the ways that we, as a society, approach our feelings and emotions. Fear, sadness, joy, anger—they come and go, sometimes with no warning before their arrival or departure. While it is easy to sink in and really experience emotions that we commonly deem to be “positive”, it seems that we are often discriminatory about what emotions we find acceptable to feel. Anger and sadness can be difficult emotions to experience. They are often seen as unattractive, parts of our shadow side that we should keep hidden if we want to be loved and accepted, but what happens if we don’t acknowledge and express these feelings?
We can avoid the issues that cause us emotional pain for only so long. Burying your head in the sand does not make the world above ground cease to exist; it simply delays the inevitable time that will come when you must face whatever is in front of you. The only way to truly resolve the painful knots that we find inside of ourselves is to actually feel our feelings, even the difficult ones.
Tending a wound upon injury may be painful at first, but we all know what happens when we don’t clean a cut. Without proper attention and care, a minor scrape can become infected and turn into a much more serious health concern. Ignoring our emotional injuries is just as detrimental as ignoring a physical injury. You have to take time to care for yourself, tend the wounds, and allow the healing that our bodies and spirits naturally move toward to happen.
In our fast-paced society, it can seem easier, and sometimes even necessary, to ignore our emotions, sweep them under the rug, and cover over them with substances, intense experiences, or overscheduled lives. Sometimes we even use one emotion to hide from another, less desirable emotion. It is common for men to feel more comfortable expressing anger, but not sadness or vulnerability and the reverse is often true for women. However, without expressing the authentic feelings at the core of any issue, it is difficult to find true resolution.
Despite the common messages that society often promotes about the hazards of being too emotional, research has shown that exploring our feelings, even the negative ones, actually makes us feel better, not worse. After all, a person can only be so happy, when they are constantly trying to fend off and repress emotions that they fear. While sorting through difficult feelings might seem to be a time and energy consuming endeavor, the energy required to keep these emotions at bay, not to mention misdirected feelings and actions, might prove to be more costly in the long run.
Of course, it is important to make the distinction between a healthy examination and expression of one’s feelings and the process of attaching one’s self so much with the negative emotion that you identify as that feeling state as opposed to simply experiencing it. Saying, “I feel sad because my dog passed away,” is different from saying, “I am sad because my dog died.” While the difference may appear to be only in semantics, the second statement conveys a much more pervasive message in which sadness is the subject’s whole state of being, while the first depicts an impermanent state that is only a portion of the individual’s experience.
Beyond helping us maintain a healthy emotional baseline, exploring our negative feelings can help us grow and thrive. The experience of being present with difficult emotions can be an amazing teacher. It shows us what we can do better, it helps us understand what doesn’t work for us, and it teaches us compassion.
In yoga, we often put ourselves into positions that are uncomfortable, maybe even a little painful, and we learn to work at the edge of the pain, feeling our way into it, delicately, not pushing too hard or throwing ourselves into something unmanageable, but exploring the feelings, opening up to the possibility that there is something on the other side, some growth or learning that may emerge from the discomfort.
When we accept our difficult emotions, we are sending a message to ourselves that all of our feelings are valid and that all parts of us are loveable. This is what makes room for healing, because ultimately, we are not a collection of different parts that can be separated out and interacted with in isolation. Like a prismatic spectrum, it is our infinite range of shades in combination that creates one complete whole.
Blogger Ashley Berry is a freelance writer, interviewer, and journalist living in Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with Bachelors of Art in Psychology and Sociology. She is currently working for ConsciousInk.
Featured photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Marchild. By the way, in full disclosure I’m a happy-happy-joy-joy Hay House affiliate and blogger but any opinion you see here is my big-mouthed my own! *See* you at the virtual summit. Post featured Donna D’Cruz: http://www.rasaliving.com
iCreateTV and Kristal Mosley: http://www.icreatetv.com
Meditation Music: Danosongs.com -aa
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