Expanding Horizons

This world is filled with hurt people who, in turn, inevitably hurt others. Whether it’s done consciously or not, it is contagious. Each time we can remove the barriers we have created around our emotions, we free ourselves (and others) from mental and emotional slavery; even if only by degrees. In so doing, we become more resilient and flexible instead of stoic, hard and fragile AF; individually and as a species. In expanding beyond these confines, we also help free others to do the same. Please do your part to undo the harmful teachings of emotional suppression. Everyone needs you. Everyone. Today, I review a few strategies that you can add to your arsenal!

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions,”

Brene Brown

In past posts, I’ve repeatedly described “diving into” an emotion to observe it and to alchemize it. Today’s strategy focuses on expansion, because Love is expansion where fear is a contraction; two ends of the same spectrum. To move from a state of feeling overwhelmed by our emotions to a state of freedom with the same emotions frees ourselves from the spell, allowing us to see and feel more clearly.

The technique is simple to describe and can be somewhat challenging, at first, to perform. After identifying a strong emotion, do a “search” of your body and find where the emotions “lives.” While loosely holding our inner vision on these areas, imagine expanding laterally (or in any other or in all directions). Continue to breathe, out and in (the exhale or out breath is where we release) as slowly and deeply as you are able. It may take a few breaths to feel relief or a sense of release. Do your best to stay with it for as long as possible. It may require a repeated effort if the emotional baggage is large (makes sense right, the larger the suit case the longer it can take to unpack!). It’s almost as if the emotional cloud just evaporates and we feel as we do after a torrential rain has passed.

Yes, I see where this all seems contradictory and confusing. I ask you to trust me and try it.  As any new skill can require some practice, you may find that at first you only gain traction with this technique by degrees; which is still better than the alternative: sitting there with all of the shitty feeling emotions festering within. Really, what have you got to lose? But wait, this next thing may just help you even more…

Another strategy is to imagine yourself rising above the emotions or situation as if you were in a helicopter. This helicopter technique, given to me by my Creative Life Coach, Samantha “Sam” Allen, was what lead to my discovering of the expansion process I outlined above. In that particular coaching session, I was feeling completely stuck in a contracted emotional state and the “rising above it” in a mental helicopter helped free me from my self-imprisonment almost immediately.

To break the cycle of emotional suppression, we must learn to employ varying strategies to free ourselves from the habit of contracting against our emotions; which will not kill us, in fact, emotional suppression leads to dis-ease. Who wants to live with that?! Not I!

Happy Expanding!!! I say, it’s better to expand the mind than it is the waistline!

Namaste

Sidebar: Wish I had a good reason to share for why I have not posted in 6 months. The passion to write got lost somewhere in the mix of day-to-day, I suppose. I have also been working to distill observations and breakthroughs into memes on IG (@unfilteredheart77), on a more regular basis. It is my hope to publish at least one post a month in 2020.

photo credit: pixel

Being Okay With Not Being Okay

I asked God what it was that I was missing as I was “doing the work” and yet felt so unhappy. My message was “to be okay with not being okay.” I needed to accept that sometimes it really is OKAY to not be okay. This year has had more than its share of heartbreaks, heartaches and tragedy: things I also see as growth – and yet with growth there is also loss for which I had not allowed myself to fully grieve.

Wow! This was a real eye-opener for me. While I could see my desired goal of where I wanted to be “in joy,” it was completely blocked because I was refusing to allow myself to be okay with where I was: NOT okay.

Recovery is about surrendering into the NOW, even if where we are right now feels like a cesspool. We worry that if we allow ourselves to be okay with our misery, that we will stay there – WHAT?! Say that again! If we are okay with our misery, we fear that we will stay there. This fear actually keeps us stuck!

It is in allowing ourselves our misery, our mourning, our grief, our anger, our fears and our sadness that helps us to rise out of the muck! The release is almost instantaneous and is proportional to the amount of freedom we allow ourselves in our wallowing. Acceptance leads to freedom.

It is in denying ourselves our true emotions that we are blocked. Trying to be rosy and cute when we feel blue and ugly serves NO ONE.

Allowing the storm requires support in some form. Trusted friends & family, a good counselor, radical self-care and self-compassion help us to get through these tough spots. We are NOT alone, even when at the lowest points it can feel that way.

May you find peace today in the places where you do not feel okay. May we accept where we are so we can let go and embrace the bliss that is awaiting us when we allow the mess.

Namaste

#NoMudNoLotus

blowing the ballasts: a return to buoyancy

metal vessel creeks, moans

water seeps along interior walls,

under benthic depths pressure builds,

descending further, abysmic lightless

no sight.

~~

releasing my breath in bubbles,

nothing left to give, apathy sets in.

ballasts filled with cold heavy water,

the descent continues.

~~

like a wet blanket words and fires

asphyxiated. hard to hear muses

ears popping, muffling voices.

only faith and radar pings

navigation brings.

~~

feeling breathless, broken,

sinking further, uncharted

hull unbreachead, seeking,

searching, myself, beseeched.

~~

taking no more depth, now finally

surrendering the weight of my breath

and pain i turn now, ready to ascend

again. “blow the ballasts!,” i shout.

~~

sunlight penetrates murky depths

benthic below me, empathy returns

finding in heart spaces, forgiveness

for myself, hardest to give & receive.

~~

breaching, no longer beseaching.

lost; now found.

new heart spaces recovered.

another return to positive buoyancy.

~~~

Namaste

__/|\__ Metta

2016.02.25

Image: Google

the abysmal descent

the dive began over a week ago.

moments of bliss intermix,

Lucid dreams, sweet bliss

Now seem just a memory.

Diving headlong, how far

Down the rabbit hole

Before I forget how to

find my way back home?

~~

The pressure of the

Benthic zone presses

On bones and ears.

The pain, not quite excruciating

Makes it hard to hear my muse.

Left dazed and somewhat confused.

Resisting the surrender.

The very thing I know

To be the key to my release

And return to the surface

To breathe again

To see with emerald eyes again

To feel bliss again

(Know friends I’m slowly ascending)

•••

Image: Google

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