Believe it or not, these thoughts occur to me daily. You’d think as a Life Coach I would be above these kinds of thoughts. I beat myself up with that thought too. Truth time. I still try to out-think my feelings. I strive to be above being human and feeling human emotions. I have deeply grooved thought patterns in my brain and they don’t seem to be in a hurry to change.
I have suffered depression off and on over the years and it is precisely because of ceaseless thoughts like these and a belief that I need to be perfect. I am extremely grateful for Life Coaching tools and I attest that they work, for realz. I have come a long way in my ability to observe, catch and change my thoughts, which has tremendously helped my ability to function and feel good. A very basic yet most essential tool is feeling feelings all the way to the end. In coach training I was taught to ask ‘how does this thought make me feel?’ I often gloss over that step. I have not yet mastered how to feel my feelings. I fail to provide for myself what I think is the key thing I provide for my clients and that is a safe space to process and de-code feelings.
Emotional navigation was not something that was taught in my childhood home. Our family motto was ‘take that outside, no one wants to hear it.’ I started early to process everything through my thoughts. In any given situation I am thinking about an appropriate feeling. It doesn’t happen naturally. I am so good at resisting feeling that I ‘transcended’ the labour part of the birth of my daughters. I literally blocked their deliveries and needed artificial intervention.
In a tele-class that I’m currently co-hosting with my daughter, we are practicing a daily mind/body connection meditation. Is it any surprise that behind all my aches and pains are blocked emotions? My first instinct is to shut those down! But, slowly and patiently I am coaching myself through their expression and a pretty cool thing is starting to happen. On the other side of the painful emotion/feeling is relief and intermittent bursts of joy and happiness. Who knew! I am finding that it takes more than once to process the emotion – bummer. But, like I said, I am offering myself what I offer my clients, patience, acceptance, and loving kindness. Rushing through to get ‘over it’ has proven to be a recipe for depression. Say it with me now; you can’t suppress the ‘bad’ emotions without also suppressing the ‘good.’
Feelings and emotions are valuable human experiences. They are gifts that offer information. I am the Queen of Denial when it comes to feeling ‘negative’ emotions. Any kind of pain triggers my survival instinct and I immediately numb it with food or run from it to nap. The ‘darkness’ is where all transformation happens. If I short-circuit the feeling process, I block the outcome. Labouring, even suffering, is part of the delivery process. It is WORK, that’s why it’s called Labour! It doesn’t have to take long-90 seconds, maximum, for most feelings. During the process, I remind myself that what’s on the other side is worth it.
My painful thoughts are not my enemy. They too contain valuable information. When I pay attention to them, I find it is my inner, real-self needing attention, reassurance. She wants to feel safe. She wants to feel loved.
Spring is all about cleaning out the old and preparing for fresh and new. This spring I am making space for my suppressed emotions to come forth and blossom into the path for the brighter and lighter me.
What will you make space for this spring?