I grew up in a family where emotions and feelings were not suppressed but most of the time freely expressed. It was okay to be sad, it was okay to be angry, it was okay to be frustrated, cranky or to be even hysterical at times. We didn’t have to pretend all was well when it was not. It was sometimes overwhelming and intense as a child, but it also gave me the space and freedom to express whatever was alive in me too.
There was no shame in crying or screaming. There was no shame in feeling. In my childhood I saw it as a part of being human, a part of life. And what I found especially fascinating about those intense emotional moments was that as soon as they were played out, there was always this big field of Love.
I am very happy that I grew up in a place where it was overall safe to give space to what I felt. Because later on when I got older and be more in the world I realised it was not so much appreciated anymore to show how you really feel. You were far more likeable if you pretended that you were always happy and never jealous, frustrated, sad or angry. And that is where the problems start if you ask me.
Suddenly it didn’t feel so safe anymore to express my self, because I immediately would be judged about my behaviour. I was too direct or too hard or too emotional when I showed how I felt or what I thought. That was painful because I felt I could not really be myself anymore. I did my best to suppress my feelings, but the problem was that the harder I tried to suppress them the stronger they would come out, when they eventually did. I was like a volcanic eruption destroying everything around me. So I decided maybe it was safer to give my myself permission to feel all the feels and to come to peace with my natural way of expressing myself even though it meant losing some friends and boyfriends along the way .
Fighting against what I felt was actually costing me a lot of energy. And did you know that suppressing your feelings and emotions can eventually even make you sick? It is all heat that you store in your body that can cause inflammation and illness. I understood that for my own well-being I had to give space again to my emotions and feelings. And I realise now that what I thought to be my weakness is now actually my power.
Feelings and emotions just want to be seen and lived. Over the years I realised how extremely important it is to give space to whatever is arising in you. And it all starts with accepting that it is there. That it is the truth of what is.
Can you welcome it? Can you embrace whatever is alive in you? Can you see that all feelings are valid? However painful, uncomfortable, dark, intense or subtle? And lets not forget about feelings of extreme joy, pleasure and ecstasy? Can you allow them to be? Can you give them space?
What often happens is that our mind right away kicks in with an opinion about it. I do not want to feel like this. This is wrong. Go away. This is not me. I am a bad person. Etc etc. And we push the feeling away or ignore it.
But the thing is, whatever arises in you is the Truth of that moment. And in Truth lies our True Freedom.
I want you to know it is okay to feel scared, it is okay to feel vulnerable, it is okay to cry, it is okay to be angry. And it is okay to give expression to that feeling in whatever way it comes out authentically. Just feel it. Accept it. Own it.
But be aware, I am not saying you have to project these feelings onto another person by blaming them for what you feel. This is something I learned later on in my journey and is actually something I am still trying to fully master.
By expressing your self freely I don’t mean ‘Go to your boss yell at him that he is a complete a*sshole and kick him in the balls as hard as you can because you just felt so angry because of something he said to you’. No, I mean acknowledging that you feel anger inside of you and stay with that feeling, giving yourself permission to feel angry and then maybe scream in a pillow, punch a boxing ball or go somewhere in nature and yell.
What is also really powerful is honestly expressing how you feel to that person who triggered the anger (or any other emotion). For example by saying ‘I feel angry inside because of what you said, it makes me feel I am not appreciated for my work’. When we do this we own our experience without violating others. And by showing what you feel to others, you give them the safety and inspiration to do the same.
I believe we all long for this freedom to be authentically ourselves. To welcome all parts of ourselves. When we stop pretending and stop suppressing what is real, we can finally truly meet each other. In our Humanness and in our Divinity.
My Retreats are mainly about that. Our yoga practice is a great way to see the beauty in all that is and to learn to get comfortable with all aspects of your self.
It starts with welcoming all the sensations that you feel in the body while in the yoga asanas or sitting in meditation. Can you find ease in the unease? Can you stay with the sensations even though it is intense? Or do you have the tendency to quit? Check out and let your mind wander off into the past or future?
My invitation to you is to stay present and just be with the sensations/feelings/emotions that come up. The retreats are a safe space to explore this and I guarantee you it will change your life in many ways for the better!