“Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.”
Whether you are well established in knowing the peace of your true nature—or you’re new to the spiritual path—if you’re human, then you experience emotions.
We grieve and feel sad, we’re fearful at times, or we feel the burn of anger and maybe even explode. So far today, I noticed a jittery feeling in my chest when I woke up, and I felt the immediate rush of frustration in response to an email I received.
Emotions Are Normal
Our human bodies are designed to react to the outside world. Here’s how it works.
Our brains process information that comes in through our senses and sends signals out to the rest of the nervous system to prepare us for fight or flight.
If what we perceive is familiar and comfortable, we relax. But if there’s danger, the nervous system goes on high alert, ready to react.
Things get complicated when our thinking minds try to make sense of what’s happening. This leads to rumination, worry, confusion, and irritation.
And for those of us who’ve had traumatic experiences when we were young, our nervous systems are highly sensitive and subject to strong reactions such as terror, rage, hate, and chronic anxiety and hopelessness.
Returning to Being Aware
If you’ve made it a practice to study your emotions with curiosity and meet them with deep acceptance, the emotions won’t grab hold of your reality—and the natural state of peaceful awareness illuminates quickly.
Emotions still occur, but you notice them like clouds floating across the sky—and they don’t disturb you.
This happens to me a lot with fear. Fear is a highly conditioned reaction in my mind and body. I’ve studied it and felt it thousands of times, so usually when I notice it, I take a few breaths with the sensations in my body, then move on. The fear doesn’t create an inkling of a problem, and there’s peace.
Emotions are asking for our tender loving care. Left unexamined, they leave us in pain and are the culprit behind behavioral choices that get us in trouble.
We’re frustrated because we want them to go away, but we just don’t know how to make that happen. They detract from our quality of life and block us from knowing the peace and happiness that are available in any moment.
So let’s take emotions out of the shadows and bring them to the light of consciousness—even the hard ones. Because only then will you be able to learn what to do with them so they don’t overtake you.
A Slow and Conscious Breath
We’ll be talking about emotions in the next couple of Fridays, as there is a lot to say. What I’d like to leave you with today is the simple practice of taking a conscious breath.
Whenever you feel tense or grabbed by an emotion or any conditioned pattern, stop and take a slow, conscious breath. Put your attention on the breath and take a slow inhale and exhale. You might put one hand on your heart and one on your belly as you breathe. Enjoy a few breaths as it feels right for you.
Conscious breathing is a reset for your experience and right away brings your attention back to the here-and-now. What’s happening? You’re just here breathing, and all is okay.
It’s a very helpful tool for when you’re caught by an emotion. By taking a conscious breath, you’ve stopped the momentum of the emotion and you’re in a position to let love and wisdom show you the way forward.
For more—and a guided audio meditation to support you, you can check out this article.
Wishing you expansion beyond your problems to the peace and ease of this now moment…
What About You?
Do emotions overtake you? How do you relate to them? I’d love to hear…
I have a few openings for one-on-one sessions. If you’re interested, please click here for the information or reply to this email. I would love to work with you—and you can be anywhere in the world! Our conditioned patterns can be very embedded and tricky. Conversations tailored just for you and the ways you get stuck are so useful! Private sessions have been—and still are—an essential part of my path.