Life Coaching

Embracing Emotions: Healing The Deeper Layers

Facing and embracing our emotions, especially the ones that we label as ‘negative’, is not something we’ve been taught how to do. Unfortunately.

There are innumerable incredible ways to distract ourselves and keep our attention outside of ourselves. But we have never been taught how to look within and often don’t know where to start.

And yes, the first step might not be easy. It’s about breaking a life-long habit of looking away and instead facing and embracing what’s going on inside. But the beauty of it is… once you do you’ll be rewarded big time.

Our emotions can actually be:

  • excellent teachers.
  • a portal to deeper healing.
  • a catalyst for spiritual growth.
  • a way to know yourself on a more intimate level.
  • the language your soul uses to communicate with you.
  • an early warning sign of areas in your life that need your attention.

Once your take your attention inside you might find: what you thought was Pandora’s box is actually a treasure box holding the answers that you had been looking for  outside all along.

Before we embark on the trip of exploring our emotions, let’s first pack the most important ingredients: Willingness. A little time. And a lot of love.

Here are four different ways to take the rewarding journey embracing your emotions:


1. Creative Expression

If you’re one of the lucky people who has found their art, you probably don’t even need to read any further. You pour your emotions into playing your instrument; singing, painting or dancing your heart out. You express your emotions in a creative way.

And if you haven’t found your specific creative outlet yet, well then you have all the freedom to experiment. Take a paintbrush or pencil and bring onto paper the dark clouds you might feel inside, turn up the volume of your favourite song and stamp out your anger or let your tears drop onto the paper as you describe your feelings in a poem… keeping in mind that it’s not about achieving a perfect result, but about the process of expressing your emotions.

And there are even more ways to deal with your emotions that are just as creative in the end.

2. Observing and Surfing

One of those ways is to observe and surf your feelings. You could observe your feelings from a distance, perhaps imagining that your feelings are behind a glass window, just as you would look at a pair of shoes in the window of a shop.

Or you could move one step closer by noticing the sensations that these feelings cause in your body. There is a mindfulness technique called the body scan, in which you bring your attention to all parts of your body. You can do the same with your emotions. Observing and perhaps naming the sensations that you feel, without judgment. Not altering them in any way, simply surfing along and wrapping them in love.

3. Loving and Transforming

One extra step I love adding is to let these feelings fill your entire body, almost like drinking them. It might sound contradicting, but in fact  your feelings can truly nourish you in this way.

Jack Johnson sings that ‘love is the answer, at least to all of the questions in my heart‘ and the same goes for our feelings. Putting your hands on your heart and saying ‘I love you’ to everything you feel, is the beginning of a love revolution according to author Matt Kahn, You can even imagine loving and embracing your emotions just like a little child.

And last but not least, there is the  Tibetan technique of tonglen. Here, you breathe in all your painful emotions (or even those of loved ones or other people) and breathe out love, compassion, peace or other positive emotions. You could also pray this way, transforming pain into pleasure for the benefit of all!

4. Sharing

The previous ways have been about creating and ‘holding’ a space for yourself and your emotions. But sometimes the emotions can seem overwhelming and too much to carry alone, and we need someone else to help us hold the space. Admitting and allowing ourselves to share our emotions can already be such a relief. The next step is to find a way of sharing that suits you.

You can of course decide to simply call a friend (or use voice whatsapp, great invention for this!), visit a sharing circle, see a therapist or explore your feelings in a coaching session.

Your pain can become your portal to pleasure.

There are many beautiful techniques to help you in letting your pain become your portal to pleasure. For instance ‘Focusing‘ by Eugene Gendlin, where you take a curious approach towards the feelings that arise and let them take you on a literal journey…. towards more consciousness and happiness.

Ultimately it’s all about letting our emotions be, not pushing them away as we are all used to in our busy lives, but allowing them to teach and enrich us.

Once we embrace our emotions in one of the ways described, they can enrich our lives and make us more healthy, happy, kind and peaceful.

How about you?

Have you tried any of these ways to embrace your emotions? Or do you have a different way that works for you? I’d love to exchange experiences in the comments below.

Nicky

PS. If you would like to experience a new way to relate to your emotions, you are welcome for a life coaching session.

When You Are Tempted To Give Up Or Give In

This is a letter from my heart to yours, for those of you who are in transition times. Those phases in life when you can’t see what’s next, when you’re tempted to give up, even though deep inside you know you shouldn’t.

Whether it’s a break-up or a move to a new city or country, the beginning of a new job or an old one ending, a health situation, a dream that didn’t work out (yet), a plan or a project you started or a habit you want to work on, but, it is all taking longer than expected…

Sometimes we get too tired to tell ourselves,
so this letter is to remind you that:

You are not alone, this too shall pass and it will bring blessings and lessons. This is a phase that you will probably look back on with gratitude, as it made you so much stronger and you wouldn’t have been the same without it, so hold on just a little longer:


Dear You,

Yes, you who are currently going through a difficult phase in your life… Whether it it is a heartbreak or a setback, tough luck or a waiting season. Whatever it is that has you tempted to become depressed, discouraged, defeated or down, first of all, it will pass.

You may be tempted to give up hope and return to what you were or did before. Tempted to no longer continue on the path that you chose, or that has chosen you, towards becoming a greater version of yourself.

Sometimes it’s just those last steps towards
the desired destination that are the hardest. 

Your situation may seem hopeless and immovable. You may have tried all you could and there is still no hope on the horizon. You may be tired of waiting. Tempted to give up faith. But before you do, I hope you can take these words to heart. Meant to remind you to once more, open your heart to hope.

Growth is hard. Life consists of  a series of chances
to make choices to change. 

It’s these crossroads that decide what our lives will look like, what direction we are moving in. Are you satisfied with yours? Just remember that you can always choose again.

Yes, circumstances may look gloomy, there are may not be many signs of improvement on the outside, and fear is raising its voice with arguments to choose the easy way out, to not take that risk, to not stretch, to no longer keep going into that direction.

Fear likes to keep you small… stressed… struggling… and stuck.

Because that’s its comfort zone, it knows how to navigate there. It’s what our past or a part of us is used to and longing for because it is familiar. No more challenges, no more change, no more uncertainty. Yet… change is the only constant in life. Life changes all the time. 

Seeds grow to saplings to flowers, caterpillars grow to cocoons to butterflies. It’s pure trust and faith that gets us there.

When we stop moving along with life, we wither… we can see it in nature and we see it in our own nature. When we hold on to a branch along the proverbial river shore of what we’re used to, we may stay safe for a while, but one day our strength weakens and we have to let go as the strong stream will take us along with full force.

So  in fact, it is not a question of whether will you go along out of comfort and into change, the question is: when and how.

Will you jump, and trust the process willingly while maintaining a hopeful positive attitude and perhaps having some fun along the way?

Or will you let yourself be dragged and complain about the speed or strength or stress of the stream?

It’s all in your hands, or actually, in your mind. 
You are the one who gets to choose your attitude and mindset. 

No one can take that power from you. How will you use it ? Will you fill your mind with hopeful, beautiful, encouraging, uplifting, faithful and fun thoughts?

Or will you let your kind be cluttered with thoughts of fear, futility, feeling down, doubt and doom scenarios?

You choose. Which path seems more appealing?
How will you choose to live?

It’s a choice that you get to make each morning, each moment at times. Your attitude is one of the few factors you can actually control in life. And if nothing else, this choice will determine your degree of happiness, optimism, confidence and likability in life.

So ask yourself, the next time you are tired and tempted to give up and give in,

Will you let fear and doubt win or do you dare to let love in?

I am here to believe in you until you believe in yourself once again. Wishing you strength on this part of your journey and especially the faith that all will be well.

With love, from experience, and with lots of encouragement,

Nicky

PS. If you need a little extra support, welcome to contact me for a free clarity call or life coaching session.