Many of us have been raised to view "negative" emotions as inappropriate or unhelpful. As a result, we develop all sorts of tools to avoid or deny our feelings. Yet being present to them is such a rich experience that it's worth gaining some proficiency.
Also, denying our feelings doesn't make them go away. In fact, that's where our issues begin. Stuck emotions take root in our psyches and in our energetic bodies, and those feelings will keep resurfacing until we address them.
Feelings that are resisted or buried become energy blocks. These blocks can hold us back in our relationships and our way of being in the world. They affect virtually every area of our lives - health, professional, financial, romantic, familial, etc.
Blocks can become unstuck through repeated mindfulness exercises that involve noticing and welcoming emotions as they arise. While emotions may seem to be new or spontaneous, almost every emotion we experience is an echo of a past emotion, and it is energetically linked to that long chain of emotion, back to the first time we blocked it.
For those of you who are self-motivated, here's a tool you can use to excavate your old stuck feelings.
1. Notice where in your body it is. If you're visual, you may get an image of where it is. If you're more kinesthetic you may actually notice a tightness, ache or other form of discomfort. Or you may have an idea jump into your head.
2. Ask yourself, what shape is it? What color is it? How heavy is it? Don't worry if your answers are right or wrong, there's no such thing. Just go with your first instinct.
3. Observe the feelings. See how they impact you. The act of observing is powerful because the observer in each of us is our God consciousness. That quiet observer - not judge, but witness - is where your essence lies.
4. If step #3 doesn't seem to be "working" for you, intend to go to the center of the feelings. Go to the place in your body where they stem from and witness what's there. Ask if there's a lesson for you.
5. Step back into the observer role and witness your energy. As you watch it, just sit with any additional feelings that might arise. You'll find when you've really hit that sweet spot that watching your feelings will feel delicious, like an activity that you want to return to again and again. You'll actually be grateful you had them!
Working individually can be very effective, assuming you have the time and diligence to tune in. I've found that releasing such blocks is much faster with the presence of a skilled coach. I intuitively guide clients to the source of their withholding, using questions and instructions to facilitate your path to release.