– Content that I can relax in a sunwarmed chair in my favourite coffee shop.
– Relief for having time to write my blog.
– Anxiety because I really should be doing something other than writing my blog.
– Sad that my gramma is in hospital
– Happy that after a 14 month marathon I have finished my Master’s coursework
Moment by moment I feel these emotions whirling and storming through me, each with different intensities and flavours. Depending on who you ask this may be considered a cardinal sign of a personality disorder or impending nervous breakdown. I like to consider it a vital sign that I am alive.
If I were 100% convinced that I needed to fix, change or analyze all of this I’d be in trouble (add panic to the list), luckily a small but tenacious part of me knows that there’s another way to relate to my heart. And it doesn’t require stoic detachment nor does it require daily cathartic frenzies (although either can be helpful when the moment calls for it). Instead, I think, it is about allowing the tidal force of emotion to rise like the effervescent tingles that burst in the first down dog of your practice. We are less likely to recoil from the sensations of a muscles working, blood flowing or oxygen pumping. And yet the sensation of emotion seems to be so uncomfortable that we do anything we can to get away from it. We tense up, distract ourselves, dump the emotion all over the next poor sap who crosses our path, we drink, shop and TV it out of our awareness. We do anything but feel it. And by virtue of this we lose the life force it is infused with.In yoga, we are trying to increase our mobility. To increase the range of motion in our body is to open up a sense of freedom and spaciousness. Why not do the same with emotion? The point is not to feel placid all the time, nor to always be caught up in emotional theatrics. Instead, perhaps, we are meant to feel a full range of e-motion where we are free to respond emotionally to every moment of our lives. Not so stuck in melancholy that we can’t feel the inspirational glory of a sunrise and not so stuck in “perky”that we can’t feel the despair of a suffering friend.
To feel, however, does not mean to act, or deliberate. Feeling means FEEL. To this we must slow down and have moments of pause in our lives that allow us experience the forces of emotion paint an internal masterpiece. We must cease the endless evasive manoeuvres that keep us from feeling
emotion and sit long enough to watch the emotion rise, live its truth and die. Emotions are intelligent – they tell us about our life and self. Emotions are energy –they offer us the opportunity to be infused with life force. And, emotions are natural – can you behold them with reverence?