Hello dear Pinkies,
Joy here. Happy Mojo Monday. I thought I would contribute to the Pink Posse Green Juice Cleanse this week with a few words about cleansing – the emotional kind.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend (whom we’ll call Mary) who was describing a tense situation with another friend (Gladys). Mary felt victimized and done to by Gladys, though I well knew that Gladys didn’t intend for Mary to feel this way – that in fact Gladys was incapable of inflicting such feelings on anyone. It was just that Gladys herself had difficult things happening in her own life at the moment, and Mary was resorting to her tendency to be defensive and guarded. I knew too that Mary was carrying around some old guilt from her own past behavior toward Gladys.
I hated that both friends were hurting so much, and resented being in the middle of the situation, able to see both sides so clearly, and know that all that was needed to resolve the conflict was an honest conversation between them. I was frustrated because I knew they wouldn’t have that conversation, and that the situation would likely perpetuate.
Of course, I had no idea I felt any of this. After all, the situation had nothing to do with me, right? I was merely a witness to a feud between two people I cared about, but ultimately it was up to them to work it out.
Or so I thought. After the conversation with Mary, I went about my evening as usual, aware of an oddly intense energy swirling around my body but disregarding it. Then I sat down on my meditation cushion, a place where everything else in life becomes arrested, and all I can do is think and, more importantly, feel. Seconds after sitting down, it’s like the dial on that swirling background got turned way up, so that it became pulsing and loud. My yoga ball was next to me. Impulsively, I rolled it toward me, balled up my fist, and punched it. My hand rebounded off the pliable rubber, rose high, and landed again. Dissatisfied with the friendly, bouncy nature of the blows on the ball, I moved to the arm of the couch. Then the floor. I pounded and pounded. I snarled and yowled. Tears began to flow as the frustrated, angry, hateful energy flowed out of me and into the space around me. Then, tears still streaming, I sat back down on my cushion with whatever was left inside me. Turned out it was the same old monkey mind full of mundane thoughts – what to have for dinner, the movie I watched last night, my to-do list for the next day.
Twenty minutes later, I opened my eyes, a little surprised by the dried tear tracks on my cheeks. The issue that had previously been so present for me had been dissipated during my little tantrum, and I was back to feeling mellow and unencumbered. This was a far different feeling than acting chilled out while a storm raged just beneath the surface – a storm of which I wasn’t even aware until I sat for just a few minutes and checked in with myself.
It’s rare that what we are feeling inside matches what we are doing on the outside. This is for a number of reasons. A big one is that many of us simply don’t know what we’re feeling – either physically or emotionally. Most in western culture actually aren’t even aware that anything exists below the neck. We are trained to use our brains, train our minds, think, rationalize, figure, and sort. More than that, we’re programmed not to act too “emotional,” especially in public. Tears make people uncomfortable. Saying what you really mean may rock the boat. Best to put on a happy/serious/brave/stoic/blank face and save making anyone nervous.
Emotions and bodily sensations are vast and often untapped sources of profound wisdom and truth. And we all know what happens when emotions go unfelt and unexpressed: illness, physical pain, unwarranted explosions that hurt our loved ones. Like the years’ worth of crap that builds up in our digestive systems, we may not even know what-all is stopping us up.
Fortunately, there are ways to safely feel what we’re feeling so that our unneeded crap is out of us, making more room in our hearts and bodies for that which serves us.
So what’s going on inside that heart of yours? Are the channels clear and flowing, or is something dammed up that needs releasing? Reserve thirty minutes for yourself and do the following.
A regular meditation practice is a great way to get a handle on when things are flowing in your body and mind, and when things might be stuck. Consider spending five minutes a day scanning your body – it will put you in greater touch with yourself so that you know that something’s not quite right and needs to be expelled.
What about you, Pinkies? Anything brewing just below the surface that you do or don’t know about? What do you do to keep the emotional Mojo flowing?
Taking it out on the furniture,
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