Have you ever found your emotions perfectly reflected back to you in nature? Sometimes for me that is a colorful sunrise as I start my day with hope and possibility. Sometimes it is the enthusiastic shimmering of the cottonwood leaves mirroring an excitement or joy that I feel. The other day my reflection came through thick morning fog.
I had received some very difficult news and just wasn't sure how to process it. So I did what I often do ... I went for a walk. I put the harnesses on the boys (the boys = my dogs, for those who wondered about that) and put in my headphones to distract myself with a podcast.
When I walked out into the early morning I was greeted by a thick, humid, and heavy fog. Less than a quarter mile into the walk, I realized that I was getting agitated with the "noise" of the podcast. I wanted quiet from my own thoughts and from others. So I removed my headphones and let the fog and silence envelope me. And it became the perfect metaphor for what I was feeling.
The fog was thick and created a feeling of beingstuck. The humidity felt uncomfortable and oppressive. The lack of breeze felt stifling. I couldn't see very far in front of me, which left me feeling disheartened. Every emotion I was feeling seemed to be represented.
As this realization washed over me, I let it hang there. I let myself really feel the heaviness, the discomfort, and the sadness. Once I gave it room,it started to shift. Anger, frustration, and shame all took their turn showing up with me around this topic as well. Was it uncomfortable? Yes. And then ... somehow, it wasn't as uncomfortable. It wasn't as heavy or frustrating. It had continued to shift.
We are blessed with a range of emotions to feel our way through our incredible lives ... and to greater appreciate those sunrises and shimmering leaves. That humid sweaty walk through fog actually felt cleansing. I had sat with my emotions, let them have a voice and a place, and witnessed the natural shift. While they didn't go away completely, they dissipated greatly and changed to something I could work with.
Just like the weather, emotions pass through. Emotions are energy. When we create stories around them and hold tight to them, that's when they become overwhelming. They (and we) become stuck. That's when they get stored in our bodies and manifest in physical ways (jaw tension, stomach ache, chest pain, etc.). The good news is that energy wants to move. We just have to be brave enough to let it.
I invite you to notice when you are uncomfortable or avoiding something uncomfortable. Can you take a deep breath and be with it? Even just for that one breath. And if so, can you be with it for another breath? I promise that you are stronger than you think. And you may surprise yourself with what shifts when you allow your emotions to be heard so that they can move on.
My coaching training (and much of meditation training as well) this weekend focused on being with difficult emotions and what we normally try to avoid. As coaches, we all had to discover and do the work around our own triggers. Being steeped in that for an entire weekend was emotionally draining ... AND it was empowering and freeing. Seems strange, right?
It was the same thing that I experienced when I worked through difficult topics with my own coach. Energy shifts. Coaching provides tools to help people shift their own energy. And it is beautifully powerful.
I am honored to do this work and would be happy to offer you a sample session if you would like to experience coaching. And if you know of anyone who might be curious or benefit from coaching, please share my contact information with them. Thank you.