Hello excellent human, how are you?
That was a pause for checking in by the way. What’s your vibe? Here's a spectrum of feeling chart in case that's useful:
I’m emerging from what feels like a dark tunnel, mostly sadness, mostly trauma processing, mostly practicing feeling feeling my feelings.
Which still feels new after 20 years of practicing.
When i was younger, particularly around the time i started having panic attacks (aged 16 after the sudden passing of my best friend) i really didn’t want to feel.
In fact, i wanted anything else but to feel.
I ran from my feelings, but they were always there, underlying every distraction.
Was ashamed of feeling. A lifetime of being told i was too sensitive. But to my fellow empaths, i hope you know sensitivity is a strength. You do know that, right?
These last few weeks/months have been a lot....and in these times of collective grief, when i feel enveloped in the sadness and wrapped in feelings, although it can be hard to do very much at all, i'm slowly learning over time the necessity of giving space to a feeling. Be it joy or sadness or whatever. That of course, is if it’s possible to do so.
And if it is not, i really, really recommend exploring trauma informed services that can support you.
And this week, when sadness meant a frustrating few days of constipated work flow - do you know this? Where you push and push and what comes forth is just meagre or downright disappointing?! I’m sorry if that vision gave you, um, “visions”!
- in the moments i caught myself push-push-pushing, annoyed my body wasn’t keeping up with all the things my brain wanted me to do, i staged an intervention with space for feeling what i was feeling.
I realise this is not new.
I recognise this is basically what i’ve been talking about for the past 10 years or so.
But it’s the truth. And i need reminding of this as often as possible. So i hope it offers a reminder for anyone who needs to hear it too.
can we have a moment for "the work"?
The work. My friends, the work. It’s a daily process. Which is so beneficial for us and everybody around us. To learn how to hold space for ourselves, how to take care of ourselves, create space and get free.
And so, this everyday work leads me even more clearly towards my mission. Of holding space to explore that for themselves too. To hold space for the spectrum of feels. Life experiences. Moments. Experiments. And in that, hopefully cultivate joy and freedom and a deeper compassion for yourself on the journey. Did you cringe at the word “joy”? I used to, too! But i’m realising that joy is very different to happiness. Joy is what’s underneath it all, and can be practiced at any time.
For example, i am still aware of sad feelings. The shit that’s going on the world, for example.
Grenfell on my mind.
And so on.
But amidst the stuff i hold heavy, i can also make space for other feelings to be there. I don’t mean conjure up false “love and light”, i mean, to be ok with the spectrum of feels that reside in all of us, at any one time.
And i think for so long i’d feel so guilty about that… Would enforce long periods of quiet muteness because i felt inappropriate for seemingly contrasting feels.
But it’s ok. To feel it all. To hold space for that.
My immediate intervention looked like this:
Clearing the slate where i could. Re-arranging meetings. Altering my deadlines. Taking time away from timelines. Scheduling in a big chunk of self care. For me that was a good 90 minutes on the mat. Exploring. Moving. Laying in stillness. Some decent songs for the ride. See below for more of that.
Reacquainting with myself in that moment with tenderness.
I’m not going to pretend the sadness went away. But i was able to give space to my feelings. To listen to what my body needed when it was grieving. And that meant when i went back to my work station, i was able to be present with what was there. It was like digging out some debris clearing a path in the tunnel of darkness. I found a route back to myself. So that i could live in my truth and produce work that was rooted in that. Which is always what i’m striving for.
I’m not saying that’s how everybody works, or that it’s how everybody should work. But for me, truth and authenticity are the foundation for everything else.
I’m into feelings. If something is off, i can’t go with it. People, projects, places. Know what i mean?
So. This week’s being offered a remembering of my truth.
The reason for doing what i do.
And it felt so liberating! I love that. You know, when i talk about connecting to your flow, i talk of feeling free. You probably know that if you read my Digest two weeks ago or two years ago or whatever.
Everything i create is rooted in supporting others to feel free too. In their own way.
These words are for anyone who resonates with that.
And to say, that although i’m intentionally practicing this stuff every day (and practice means reminding myself of the most basics of all of this every single day!)
And my friends,
Shit still happens.
Life stuff comes up.
And i’m not trying to sugar coat the hard stuff at.all.
I’m saying, to recognise that life can be flipping hard!
That things can feel really difficult.
And that you are not alone.
To allow yourself space for feels. All of them. If it’s possible.
To create structured support systems for yourself to help you to reacquaint with yourself in tenderness.
That might look like a support system of people. Practices. Dog videos. Playlists.
Create your strategy of spacemaking.
Write it down or tell someone about it or both.
Send me your list! Tell me what helps you to create space for yourself so that you can feel free.
And to those of you who are unsure of what that looks like;
Here’s your fun challenge: to experiment with it.
Guide notes: it doesn’t have to look like what other people are doing. It just has to feel good for you.
And for those of you who want to see a (very condensed version) of what my structured support system looked like on this particular week, here it is:
Take a shower!
- Speak to (DM) good people
Refer to my folder of tricks (images collected of animal videos, motivational words, my self care manifesto
Get out the self care box
Play this song
Then this playlist
Then go to the bathroom and have a dance party if so inspired. This is a good soundtrack/mood mezze for that
Depending on energy levels, either
a) head to the park and talk to a random dog or
b) get into the bed office for secret Tumblr time!
Ok! We good? I know, it’s basic, but i don’t care. It works for me!
a couple of resources to support you in case they are useful.
- Yoga for grief + sadness - a free video practice with love from me to you
- We all have off days - a reminder to connect to what's most important (it's you, my friend)
- A(nother) reminder: You are enough
- My linktree with links to mental health resources in the UK, Norway, US + beyond
- a final word from Chani:
And it wouldn't be a bumper blog post tangent from me without some kind of visionboard, therefore, BEHOLD!
I hope there's something here that's useful on the journey.
Let me know what you feel in the comments below!