Suzanne Guldimann is an author, artist, and musician who lives in Malibu and loves the Santa Monica Mountains. She has worked as a journalist reporting…
No, you’re not crazy. You’re just human.
Humans are complex beings, and very capable of feeling a variety of seemingly contradictory emotions all at the same time. It’s important to embrace all aspects of yourself. Everything you experience is here to teach you something, if you’re paying attention. Emotions are powerful teachers. What is your sadness, anger, joy, conveying to you? What do you need that you aren’t giving yourself?
We live in a culture that often tells people to not express their emotions, to “not cry,” or to “not speak up because you’ll upset someone.” In addition to being powerful teachers, e-motions are also energy in motion, and they require movement. Any psychologist will tell you how important it is for you to feel all your feelings. This isn’t because they enjoy watching you cry. It’s because they know how healthy it is for you to release those feelings so they don’t rule your life.
Here are two practices that can be powerful game-changers for moving that energy in a very high-vibe, conscious way that is beneficial to you, and kind to those around you. They are the practices of 1. Mindful observation and 2. Healthy release.
Here’s an excerpt from my own life:
Yesterday, I spent many mindful moments watching my own emotions. I made a very conscious choice to be an observer instead of blurting out whatever was on my mind. I knew that projecting my anger onto those around me wasn’t going to help me, and it certainly wasn’t going to feel nice for them. So, I choose to go into quiet observation and healthy release. This is what my practice looked like.
I felt joy thinking about my family,
and I observed.
Someone did something I didn’t agree with and I had judgments that they were not that smart.
I observed it.
I suddenly felt anger in my body and I wanted to take it out on someone else,
But instead, I observed it.
I saw a cute puppy and a baby and felt an outpouring of love.
I observed it.
I watched the person I live with be super indecisive and complicated.
I watched my reactions and judgments towards them.
I made a conscious choice to just sit with my myriad of emotions,
And instead of judging myself as crazy,
I just observed them—all of them.
This observation technique is so powerful. I simply directed my emotions back to myself and became what I term the Higher Self Observer who is watching my human self do the silly things my human self does. The Observer is beyond judgment. She just observes. That is all.
The second part of this process is to healthily release the emotions my human self is carrying. I went to a space that felt safe and supportive for me and I allowed myself to feel everything—the anger, the joy, the judgments, the love. I cried and I laughed. I felt the anger and I felt the gratitude. I danced, I sang, I did some yoga, I did some breathwork, I took a walk, I did some writing… And guess what? The emotions (energy in motion) moved and I was left with a clear-minded, calm version of myself.
Although my explanation here may sound simple, this is not an easy practice. Simple and easy are different things. It takes a good deal of self-discipline to go into observation mode when you’re feeling feisty. It’s much easier to lash out at someone else. And it’s not easy to sit with all the uncomfortable emotions either. Most people would prefer to reach for a distraction (a drink, a smoke, a shopping spree, etc.) than to feel all the feelings. It’s definitely an uncomfortable thing to do. But it truly is the healthiest thing for you to do, because, as I’ve already stated, e-motions are simply energy in motion, and they do need to move. This is why stuffing down your feelings is a bad idea because they actually haven’t gone anywhere. You haven’t released them and you better believe they will volcano out of you at some point, or worse, they will fester inside of you creating dis-ease in the body.
So, the next time you’re feeling lots of emotions, try this Observation + Release Method instead:
1. Realize that you are feeling very emotional (what the emotion is is irrelevant).
2. Calmly remove or excuse yourself from whatever situation you are in.
3. Find a calm, safe space (most likely by yourself).
4. Sit quietly and acknowledge and own all the emotions you’re feeling (I feel sad right now. I feel angry, etc.).
5. Allow yourself to feel them fully by crying, laughing, screaming into a pillow, etc.
6. Do something physical to literally move the energy in your body (dance, sing, take a walk, write, paint, do yoga, meditate, breathe, etc.). You’ll know when you’re complete because you’ll feel calmer.
7. Congratulate yourself for handling that in a super awakened, conscious manner that is healthy and kind towards yourself and all those around you.
8. Do something nice for yourself as it’s often a good idea to reward healthy behaviors.