You know those moments when you something inside you totally resonates with an experience or person or phrase in a way that has never happened before?
Motherhood did that for me. Over time I have come to see almost all the typical phrases I have heard about time and parenting as utter truth in my day-to-day life.
- "The days are long, but the years are short."
- "They are only little for a short time. Enjoy it while it lasts!"
- "It always rains before it pours."
- "It is only a season."
Something else that hit me in the gut recently was started by a free webinar I watched by Christa Black Gifford. My sister sent me the link after watching it herself and said I might like it. I pressed play while munching on my breakfast one morning with no background information on Christa or expectations on what I was in for (good or meh).
So when I had this deep feeling of "Yesssssss," I was surprised. You see Christa really focuses on heart work - using meditative prayers to pay attention to what is really going on inside you in order to bring healing to your mind, body and spirit. I have a pretty strong background and knowledge on emotional and spiritual health. I am a big advocate for health on all levels and feel like I am overall well informed and have actively worked through a lot of personal junk.
I mention all this because I've got the education, but my previous practices of trying to be aware and not run from my emotions have gone really stale, and I was afraid that those particular ways of engaging my heart were my only options.
Maybe you are a lot like me, a little or not at all. Regardless, I think this one simple step towards feeling your feels will not only be doable but effective.
How to Start Feeling Your Feelings:
- Take a deep breath, close your eyes and put your hand on your heart.
- Now ask yourself how you are feeling.
- Don't judge what comes out, whether that's nothing or all the things.
- Keep naming (whether internally or verbally) the emotions until no more come.
- Tell your feelings that they are welcome (even the uncomfortable and painful ones).
- You can close this time with a simple prayer or a couple more deep breaths.
This may be easy for you with emotions rolling off your tongue faster than you can keep track. Or you may feel sort of stuck, like you know there's stuff there, but you don't know where to start or the words to use. If so, use the chart below as a guide. Read through the feelings and notice the ones you linger on.
Doing this exercise is going to require some self-trust. No judgement here for whatever emotions come up, how many or how little.
Christa says she does this meditation daily before she goes to bed, and that's what has been working for me. While taking a minute to slow down and be aware of what's under the surface, I've found that even when the tough stuff comes out, I feel mainly relief that I acknowledged it, that it's out there (even if I don't know what to do with it). And doing something with it hasn't been my goal. I believe we can trust ourselves to really be honest without worrying about action steps right from the start. Let's start here.
I'd love to hear if you try this out and what you think. You are worth it and so are your feelings!