A lot of the clients that I work with seek out coaching because they feel like they lost themselves. That they don’t even know who they are anymore. If we’re discussing what they like, or things that make them happy, they have a hard time coming up with a list of things.
A big component of losing touch with ourselves is that we are told by our culture that we are not allowed to feel. That if we allow ourselves to experience the whole range of feelings, that there’s something wrong with us. That we’re defective. That feelings are messy and therefore something to be eliminated.
Or we numb out from our feelings as a trauma response. Because at some point, it wasn’t safe for us to have those feelings or express them. And in order to function in the world we denied ourselves access to our feelings.
Reconnecting with our feelings is a power move.
Reconnecting with our joy.
The question is what do we do with it, once a feeling is present?
There are four options that we have when we are feeling our feelings. We can resist the feeling, react to the feeling, numb-out from the feeling, or we can actually feel the feeling.
In order to feel our feelings, we need to first acknowledge the feeling without judgement. When we judge, we are making ourselves feel “wrong” for whatever feeling is coming up. So we have to become the observer of our feeling and not attach a positive or negative connotation to it.
Then, we can notice where that feeling is present in our bodies and what qualities it has.
Is it tightness in your chest?
A vibrating sensation in your head?
Heat in your belly?
Describe it in detail.
Notice, and allow it to be there. And notice how by describing it, you are not it.
You are not the feeling.
Now we can name it.
Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s shame. Maybe it’s rage.
Notice how these feelings, once described, named, and deemed separate from yourself as a person, hold a lot less scariness.
Now we can sit with it. Experience the feeling all the way through. Allow the feeling to be present.
When we’re willing to sit in the discomfort of our own feelings, we start to notice that the feeling itself doesn’t actually last that long. The heat of it burns out quickly.
Feelings and emotions are guests passing through. It is our job to allow them safe passage and learn what we can while they’re there.