Are Your Emotions Running the Show? Learn how to Reclaim Your Personal Power and Live Your Life Intentionally
For many years, I related to my body and my life like a controlling tyrant. I was always pushing myself intensely and without compassion. I was driven by an insatiable quest for perfection, and in the process, I only ended up feeling more and more inadequate, and more and more exhausted. Eventually I burnt out. And then I saw what it was like to live on the other side of the spectrum. Ruled by emotional states, always searching for the easiest, safest, and most comfortable route. Neither experience was empowering, and the feeling of freedom and flow continued to elude me. I wasn’t driven by vision in either experience but by fear.
So, naturally, I’m endlessly passionate about helping other women find this sweet spot where intention and embodiment meet. And a crucial part of that awakening is learning how to start listening to the body without being controlled by the emotional experience.
Learning to manage emotions and thoughts is a requirement for personal and spiritual evolution.
We, as a collective here in the Western world are fortunate enough to live in a time of great choice, but many of us are making choices based on feeling states rather than based on what is actually in alignment and integrity with our vision, our desires. We are ultimately allowing our thoughts and emotions to run our lives.
So learning how to feel our moods and emotions while still acting from a place of personal power and choice is essential to create the life that we want for ourselves.
Emotional reasoning shows up when we believe we need to feel a certain way in order to act. We wake up and say, “I’m too tired to exercise, I’m not inspired enough to write, I’m too anxious to meditate, I’m not motivated to do the work that I know I need to do for business success and financial abundance”. This all creates the day-to-day experience of being a victim to our moods and emotions.
And that’s a shortcut to depression.
We activate feelings WITH action, not the other way around. If you feel tired, and you move your body, you’ll activate the flow of life force that you’re missing.
Another way we disempower ourselves is by numbing ourselves to uncomfortable feeling states: Checking out with TV, numbing out with food and alcohol, distracting ourselves with gossip and drama, self-medicating with shopping. Even spiritually bypassing with affirmations, meditation, and more.
This pulls us out of the place where the action really is. Where the power is. And it keeps us stuck in a disempowered and reactive way of living.
When we allow and learn how to be, make space, and open to these energies (depression, disappointment, lust, etc) without checking out and self-soothing, we learn how to harness the power of the emotion and start creating and attracting what we really want in life.
So to connect back into power, it’s important to learn how to welcome and embrace emotions and feelings without resistance. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “What we resist, persists.”
If we are resisting feeling sadness, depression, boredom, anger, grief, lust, worry, disappointment, and more, then we’ll just perpetuate and strengthen that emotional experience.
Moods and emotions are feminine in nature, and many of us have repressed or disowned the power of the Divine Feminine over the course of our lives because of conditioning, trauma, and the messages we’ve received within life experiences. So with the disowning of the feminine also comes a deep discomfort with the murkiness of moods, emotions and feelings. A discomfort or fear of the vulnerable, tender, and raw underbelly of our internal experience.
It is important that we empower ourselves around moods, emotions, and feelings. We each need a systematic practice for dealing with emotions as they arise so that they don’t start to control us and pull us away from our most vibrant and loving expression in life (more on that below).
Having a systematic practice for feeling emotions becomes a rich and transformational healing practice. We start harnessing the mind and feeling the power in our emotions, using the power in our emotions for good. We make space for emotion, embrace them and get curious, and then we empower ourselves to take aligned action.
This is the distinction between listening to the body vs. being controlled by feeling states. When we give emotions love, attention, and a healthy container for expression, they don’t control our life.
To evolve spiritually and personally we need to stop overmedicating and start listening. In life, if we want to pursue our desires and dreams and evolve into our fullest potential, then we have to be willing to embrace and be with emotions of all kinds. Welcome your moods and emotions- release your resistance to what is. Feel and let the emotion flow through you. Get out and move your body.
We imagine that the feeling will swallow us whole, but this is just an illusion. Once we actually breathe into the sensation, we realize its not nearly as scary or consuming as we expected it to be.
When an emotion is suppressed and not allowed its natural expression, it eventually comes out as unwanted habit, unwanted symptom, unwanted disease. So on top of depression, you might also develop binge eating, female hormonal imbalances, fatigue, and more if you are in resistance to the natural flows of emotion.
An obsession with body image, a pattern of binge eating, or chronic dieting are all behaviors that can be used as coping mechanisms or compulsions that mask the presence of the emotion and dull the emotional experience.
Eating becomes a way to numb the emotional experience and emotions are never felt in their magnitude. Subconsciously, this is a form of self-protection. But it keeps those who are resisting emotions locked inside of the pattern of binge and overeating. The depression and emotions aren’t actually felt, so they aren’t metabolized.
With binge and overeating, it is essential to practice meeting your feelings. This will likely be a layered experience. Initially you may feel the anxiety, the compulsion of wanting to binge or eat. Then below that there may be another layer of feeling: perhaps disappointment, maybe boredom, maybe sadness, or grief. Just keep working with it.
Many women experience the range of human emotions, the ebbs and flows of the human experience as contraction and restriction around weight and diet. It’s just one more compulsion to distract us from the tender, vulnerable emotional experience. Uncomfortable with the full range of human emotions, we seek out the experience of control through an obsession with weight and health. But it keeps us from feeing the richness of life and it ultimately blocks us from our fullest expression of our potential. When we contract rather than expand in the face of challenge, the soul withers and we lose touch with a sense of freedom and aliveness.
Ready to make a shift from emotional imprisonment to intentional living?
Here are some simple but powerful places to begin:
1) Make a list of all of the behaviors you use to numb, distract, and self-medicate yourself. Notice how these behaviors pull you out of your power and often out of alignment with what you really desire in your life.
2) What on this list can you begin to let go of? Just choose one thing today. Can you use this behavior as a gentle alarm system, letting you know that you’re avoiding feeling an uncomfortable emotion?
3) When you notice that you are acting in reaction to a feeling that you are resisting, breathe. Bring your attention to the sensation in your body. What color is it? What temperature is it? What does it feel like? Don’t try to change or control the sensation. Just meet it with curiosity. Keep breathing. Feel your feet on the floor. What is it asking you to pay attention to? What is it trying to tell you? What do you really need? After the sensation and feeling have lost their power and pull, move on to the next step.
4) Make a list of practices to transform stuck emotions back into free-flowing energy. These are different in that you don’t react or check out of the present experience, but you engage and respond skillfully and compassionately.
Here are some Ideas:
- Getting out in nature
- Going for a walk
- Calling best friend
- Journaling at a cozy coffee shop
Thank you, as always, for reading. I’d love to hear from you. Any insights, aha’s or thoughts?
Tell me about it in the comments below with as much as you are comfortable sharing. Sharing helps us to create profound shifts. We free up energy spent on shame to use for the pursuit of our dreams and desires and we create connection and healing for others! So your story could create a breakthrough for someone else!
With so much love and gratitude,