May 22, 2021 by Molly Patrick
Tend to your heart
This weekend, tend to your heart.
Instead of reacting, avoiding, or resisting your feelings, try to be with them for a bit.
It doesn’t matter if they are positive or negative; one emotion is not better than another emotion. They are all just vibrations in your body.
If you can do this with relative ease, close your eyes, locate the vibration in your body and observe. Is it hard or soft? What color is it? Is it moving or is it still? Does it have round or straight edges? What is this vibration called? Do this for a couple minutes and watch it start to change.
This is how we feel our emotions.
When we react to an emotion, we tend to act out the emotion. If we’re feeling angry, we might yell, if we’re frustrated, we might throw something. It might feel productive, and there might even be a release, but acting out an emotion is not the same thing as processing an emotion. You can skip the reaction and go straight to allowing the emotion to be there and observing it without doing anything.
When we avoid an emotion, we tend to overeat, overdrink, overwork, over-Netflix, overshop, over-scroll, over anything that keeps our focus off the feeling we want to avoid and on something that feels like pleasure. The problem is, pleasure is numbing, which is the opposite of feeling.
When we resist an emotion, it just creates more tension. It’s the difference between pushing against a packed closet door to keep everything inside and opening the door, allowing everything to tumble out and create a mess. The mess is worth it.
Each time we react to, avoid, or resist our feelings, we reinforce those response behaviors and we are more likely to lean back on them when strong emotion inevitably shows up again.
When we practice feeling our emotions, eventually we won’t be afraid of them. And when we’re not afraid of our emotions, that changes everything. That's when we start doing the things we really want to do.
So tend to your heart, my dear. It needs you.
I told you last week to watch out for today’s email if you needed some help eating more plants. The thing I was going to do fell through (for now). This email may have been inspired by disappointment I felt in my chest on Thursday night. I felt it. I allowed it. I watched it shift.
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