Over the past few years I have been doing a lot of work on my emotional health. I have a long history of depression dating back into childhood, but not diagnosed until just over 10 years ago when I developed post-natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder after the birth of my youngest son.
I have come to understand that a combination of factors over my lifetime have contributed to the difficulties I have in both recognising and actually “feeling” emotions.
I come from a birth and extended family where emotions beyond the baseline (either too far towards the positive or too far towards the negative) are discouraged. I carefully cultivated a state of sameness in order to be safe and fit in within this dynamic.
In addition, as I have recently discovered, I have Asperger’s Syndrome which amongst other things means that I process emotions differently from others. I also have difficulties in identifying internal physical responses to physiological processes. (In other words, I don’t always recognise the signals that my body is sending to tell me that I am tired, hungry, need to use the toilet, etc)
A few years ago, whilst doing shamanic journey work to find out what I needed to do, I was given a very clear message – Don’t Do, Just Be.
Because of this message I began practising being inside my body. At first I could only do this while in Journey Space. I would journey to my Sacred Garden and while there would spend time (sometimes more restless than others) just sitting, doing nothing. Many times they would have me lie on the grass within this setting and I would sink into the soil with grass growing over and through me. Over time this exercise in “being” became less strange to me and I was able to feel safe spending time inside my own skin in real time. I try to check in with myself periodically throughout the day to first of all make sure I am still present, but also just to ask – am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I in pain? How much? Do I need to move/go pee/drink something?
It was only when I began spending more time inside my body that I was able to recognise just how debilitating this disassociation can be. Imagine going through your day with your conscious awareness slightly out of sync with your physical self. Clumsiness and awkwardness to start, and a constant sensation of not quite being incomplete control of my body parts. But it also has contributed to the difficulties I have already in recognising when I am in physical or emotional pain, when I am hungry, tired, angry, happy, …
At the end of 2014 my spirit helpers gave me further instructions on the work I need to do for self-healing. Amongst other things hey suggested that I do some sort of body work which would help me to practice moving inside my body. I spent a couple months considering the idea, and had a look round for appropriate classes or activities I could do at the beginning of this year.
In February I found a Tai Chi/Qi Gong class that was being held at an ideal time and place for me at a price I could afford. Seeing it as a sign, I contacted the instructor and signed up for the class. I still feel incredibly awkward and uncoordinated as I fumble my way through, but at a visceral level I am also remembering some of the stances and movements that I learned over a decade ago while taking a Qi Gong class.
That’s taking care of the physical side of things, but what about the emotional?
For that I have been doing a lot of theoretical reading with two books that I picked up recently. The first is I Heart Me: The Science of Self-Love by David Hamilton, PhD.
The other is The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More by Jessica Ortner.
I am making my way through the latter book currently, and once I have read it through will go back and read it again and begin practising some of the exercises and tapping sequences.
I am also doing a lot of daily work on releasing trapped emotions. Emotions are felt and processed throughout our entire bodies, and as we go through life emotions can become trapped within our cells. Over time, as this emotional energy continues to stagnate it can cause illness and injury. Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness by Dr Bradley Nelson explains this more.
I am using The Emotion Code now help me identify what emotions have been trapped within my body, even if I don’t fully feel them. This cognitive awareness is helping to bring new understanding of past behaviours and events. More important though, through using Emotion Code I am starting to become aware of which emotions were “mine” and which were acquired or inherited from the people around me.
After doing a round of Emotion Code work, and releasing the trapped emotions I am doing Reiki self-healing work to get the energy flowing again through that part of my body.
I’ve still got a ways to go. But, in learning patience and forgiveness for my own self, I keep telling myself that it took me 49 years to reach this stage in my life. I can allow myself 49 more to become emotionally healthy.
What are you doing for your own emotional healing?
I offer a mobile Energy Healing service in the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich, and Bexley. Distance healing sessions are also available. See Healing Practice for more details.