I recently set about the task of sorting out the mess that is my living space – piles of books, papers and unopened bank statements in one corner, suspicious cups of tea or coffee that have been sitting there longer than I care to remember in the other. Their little ‘Yogi Tea’ tags of wisdom faded and stuck to the sides. Cycle bags, hand bags, reusable bags, carry bags, over night bags and bag bags in another corner – half empty half full, the place where most of my lost items (like bike lights, deodorant, keys, phone chargers, forgotten naked bars, that small travel sunscreen) can be found.
I moved a pile of books here and a bag of random cables there. Made spread out piles of papers into less spread out ones. Then I started to get frustrated and annoyed at how easy this should be and how hard I was making it. I began to feel I was both a bit useless and wasting my precious day off. The sun was shining and I was re-ararnging my mess rather than just sorting it out and getting it done.
I picked up a lovely book I have near my Yoga mat by Judith Hanson Lasater called ‘Living Your Yoga: Daily Practices to shape your life’ (2006) I opened it to August 28th:
The emotions of everyday life are the stuff of our transformation
Spend today observing your emotions: irritation, boredom, anxiety. Let them rise and fall and remember, you are not your feelings. They offer you insight into yourself, that’s all. Let them go.
A wave of relief along with a sheepish smile washed over me. How our emotions can take over and make the smallest things seem SO BIG and life threatening! Sometimes all it takes is the space created by a few mindful and slow breaths to give us a clearer perspective.
The emotions running through us are our connection to the constant flow of life force energy. We can tap in to this, honour and acknowledge all these feelings and emotions and let them move through us. First let your emotions be FELT so they can then be observed, processed and let go.
I feel that by trying to stop ourselves from feeling anything, we in effect block our connection to a higher self and life force energy. If we hold on to and suppress our emotions they will leave a residue behind, which can build up and taint our experience. Also if we judge ourselves for feeling things that we deem to be ‘wrong’, unhelpful, embarrassing, childish etc that can get in the way of the subjective observation. Try not to judge yourself for your feelings, just allow them to express themselves and you will find the difficult ones most often dissolve just by being named and observed.
By speaking up about how we are feeling and allowing ourselves to feel whatever is coming up, then we can more easily observe and see that these feelings are not what or who we are – and they flow through us and away.