We all have emotions. Why then are we always told to control them?
“Boys don’t cry!”
“No one wants to hear you cry.”
“Quit your crying.”
“I’ll give you something to cry about!”
“Oh you think this is funny?!”
We’re taught to control our feelings because other people don’t know what to do with their own emotions let alone what to do when confronted with ours
Even I’ve said a few of these phrases to my 5-year-old, despite knowing first hand the baggage they create in our minds, hearts and bodies. But not that first one. That’s just bullshit. Of course boys cry. Men too!
If we can’t emote, what are we supposed to do with all the feelings we have coursing through us every day?
How are we supposed to deal with the angst and trauma of the unfair boss, the abusive parent, the nasty ex, and our own hateful inner dialogues? How do we justify laughing and enjoying ourselves in the face of death, illness or misfortune?
Maybe you’re the unicorn that feels hopeful for the human race despite its worst offenses. Your day is filled with emotions of love, opportunity and compassion for your fellow humans. But everyone around you is cynical and just wants you to stuff it!
Positive or negative, all emotions are stored energy.
We store that energy in our bodies, minds and souls. Emotions in and of themselves are neither good nor bad. They are just electric currents that course through our nervous system.
But what to do when we can’t utilize this energy at the time it’s created? If we can’t cry or laugh when those feelings are itching to be expressed, what then?
Think of a bud about to bloom or a butterfly just about to emerge from its cocoon. It’s the same with a coiled spring or a battery sitting in the junk drawer. All are examples of different types of stored energy on the cusp of being expressed.
If a flower or butterfly can’t do their thing, they will die. A spring could rust and remain permanently compressed. Even the battery will run out of juice if it’s never used. It’s pretty much the same with us.
We store this energy. We internalize it. We put it someplace to be dealt with at an appropriate time. But mostly we ‘let it go’ and intentionally forget about it. Right? Isn’t that the prevailing healer’s mantra these days? Heck I even did a radio episode about it.
What generally happens is this energy starts to cycle repeatedly through our nervous systems, and eventually starts to leak out in the strangest of ways.
It will show up in our personality. For no apparent reason we’ll start snapping at our kids, spouses or co-workers. Clients that are high maintenance are now feeling like complete thorns in our sides. We become overly critical of others and ourselves. We become anxious, tired or depressed.
Do you find yourself overworking, over exercising, over dieting or following an extremely specific eating plan? Are you isolating yourself, avoiding work, sex or social interactions a much as possible? Are you denying yourself pleasure?
Or do you find the opposite to be true – that you only indulge in pleasurable activities? Are you acting out by overdrinking or self-medicating with drugs, food or sex?
These are all symptoms of imbalance – of too much stored emotional energy. Personally I feel these symptoms can all be attributed to suppressing and faking our feelings for extended periods of time.
Do this for long enough and you’ll start to see real physical symptoms. The mind-body connection has been documented in numerous legitimate scientific studies. If this concept is new to you please take the time to Google and read for it yourself. Some of it is quite miraculous.
The great news is it is super easy to release this excessive energy.
My favorite way is through spontaneous creativity or play. If you’ve listened to my podcast Create More Love, you’ll know that I’m a Psycho-Creative Practitioner. The short version of that is we increase self-love and decrease self-criticism through emotionally creative exercises.
I help you release stored emotional energy by helping you to be spontaneously creative. You tell me what’s going on, and I provide you with some creative prompts in order to move this stored energy in a constructive way.
Instead of it cycling inside your body making you feel that you are in some way unworthy of anything good, we play with it and use it to create.
Now what you create doesn’t matter.
I’ll try and suggest something that will feed your soul, but it could easily be something completely absurd. It may pump up your confidence, or it may help you embrace and integrate all that energy.
Ultimately we keep doing different exercises, and you begin to realize you can do all these things you keep telling yourself you can’t – such as having and appropriately expressing emotions – and then you start to use this idea of being creative in a few other areas of your life.
At times it works and you get excited to try more, other times it doesn’t and you feel as if this creativity thing is a bunch of nonsense.
It’s about progress and practice. It’s life. Nothing works all of the time on every situation. Sometimes a glass of wine is going to win over a walk outside. That’s OK.
If you want to see how thinking creatively can help you deal with your life, use the contact form to email me and we can set up a trial session. Right now single sessions are only $97 for just under an hour. If you want to try it out in your own life, here are some suggestions:
• Go dancing (square, contra, sweat your prayers, nightclubs – there’s loads of dancing opportunities out there).
• Play with your children or pets for 5 minutes. Set a timer.
• The next time you do yoga at home, don’t follow a pre-recorded sequence on your TV or computer, just do poses as they come to your mind.
• Go for a walk or bicycle ride by yourself and with nothing plugged into your ears. If you already do this, then next time you go for that walk or ride, take a different route. Go right when you normally go left. If you normally ride, walk and vice versa.
• Write a half a page fairy tale about a frog and a turtle.
• Write a love letter to yourself, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and drop it in a mailbox.
• Sit alone in a quiet room for 7 minutes.
The possibilities are endless. If you try any, please write and let me know how it goes. Whatever you do (or don’t do) just make sure it’s easy. We have enough hard.