It’s been said that emotion = energy in motion, and there is a lot of truth to that simple statement. We know that our bodies are filled with energy, and that many different things can shift our personal frequency, like thoughts, environmental stimuli, and interactions with others. And certainly when we experience different emotions, as you probably know, we can literally feel them in our bodies. Emotions and feelings are pure energy, and manifest themselves in physical form, creating a wave of vibration in our cells that can even be measured by scientific equipment. Basic things like heart rate, perspiration, and skin temperature all change depending on the emotional state we are in! When we can step back and see our emotions for what they are- temporary waves of energy that we are experiencing, we can begin to see their inherent wisdom. Contrary to our popular language, our emotions are not an innate part of who we are, but are simply passing states of being (e.g. “I am angry” vs. “I am experiencing anger”), and this distinction allows us to gain a bit of distance so we can properly process and express our emotions. As the Buddhist teacher, Pema Chödrön once wrote, “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”And just like global weather patterns tell us a lot about the health of the planet, our emotional weather patterns can provide valuable insight too!
It takes a lot of courage to allow yourself to truly tap into the energy of your emotions, and explore the messages that they carry. We will delve more into this topic of how to find the meaning in your emotions next week, but for now just know that each and every emotion, no matter what it feels like in your body, is important and useful. In order to get to that place of empowerment, we must first address our tendency to label our emotions as either “good” or “bad”. A remnant from our societal conditioning, the notion that some emotions are more desirable than others is actually a very damaging belief.
We are taught that anger, sadness, fear, pain, contempt, and similar feelings are bad, and we should do everything in our power to suppress them. However, no matter how hard you try to deny and stuff down your anger, it does not go away- perhaps you have personal experience with this! Since your emotions are pure, dynamic energy, they have to move, and they will always find a way to get out. Much of the time, however, “bad” emotions that we try to suppress come out sideways or in an inappropriate fashion, and you may not even connect the dots to your original emotion, since you worked so hard to deny it!
Think of your emotions as water- a brisk mountain stream that is making its way through your body. When you try to block a certain part of that stream, perhaps with a giant rock or mound of sand, the water simply goes around your blockade attempt, and continues flowing. And you’ll notice that when you work really hard to make a big dam, the pressure of the stream just keeps building until the dam is broken. The energy of that water always wins. No matter how much we may want to control our emotions so that we only feel the ones that are pleasurable, every emotion needs to be felt, processed, and expressed in order to maintain health and balance in our bodies, minds, and spirits.
We will talk much more next time about how to lovingly work with your emotional energy, but in the meantime, here is your sacred invitation to tap in and pay attention to what your emotions feel like in your body. Next time you feel a strong emotion, notice any physical sensations (heat, buzzing, pressure, tingling, cramping, etc…) and where in the body they seem to congregate (around your neck, check, in your gut, etc…). When you can practice experiencing your emotions on an energetic level, you will be better prepared to process them in a healthy and useful way!