Lately I've been hearing a lot of people say, "...but I can't complain."
My answer to them?
Yes. Yes, you can!
You can allow the part of yourself that feels angry, frustrated, or taken advantage of to come alive. You can give it space to express and release. You are not your feelings. You are not your thoughts. Let yourself feel what you feel!
Because what happens if you don't?
You don't become a better person because you've bypassed those darker emotions.
Instead you create a disconnect and distrust in the body/mind. You teach your body that it can't express what it needs to express. You teach your body that it can't feel what it needs to feel.
And then you don't release it. It stays stuck. It stays frozen within you. This leads to numbness, physical pain, and disconnect.
What does that look like in life?
You tell me.
For me it feels numb. Grey. Flat. Listless. Disembodied. Colorless. It smells moldy and stagnant, like a swamp. It feels dusty and rigid and PAINFUL.
So what can you do when the — struggle — is — real — ?
Try my guided audio practice to express and release, or walk yourself through these three steps:
STEP 1: ALLOW
Allow yourself to take a moment to acknowledge what you're feeling. You might be frustrated by an email you've received. You might be angry at a text you got. You might feel grief over a change in life.
State how you're feeling by phoning a friend, texting your partner, writing it down, or even saying it out loud to yourself. When I want to share how I'm feeling with someone, I like to ask, "Can I share with you how I'm feeling about something that just happened to me?" that way I'm not bombarding her or him with my emotions before getting consent.
STEP 2: EXPRESS
Express how you are feeling with your body by moving your body.
Punch a fucking pillow.
Scream into a cushion.
Kick an empty bottle all over the room.
Curl into a ball and sob.
Feel what you're feeling. Allow your body to do what it does.
STEP 3: INTEGRATE
After giving yourself 30 seconds — or maybe you want 1-to-3 minutes — to express rage, anger, frustration, jealousy, or despair, take some time to come into stillness. Stand with your feet firmly on the ground, sit comfortably, or you can lie down on a bed, the couch, or the floor.
Feel the sensations in your body, the energy as it's been expressed and released. For me it often feels like a buzzing, expanding heat.
Stay here as long as you need until the experience feels complete.
If you need more support and more of a container, try my express and release guided audio practice.
We have all been taught (mostly) that it's not appropriate to experience our emotions, especially in public or at work. And while that can be true — there can be consequences to expressing our emotions in certain contexts — you can take self-responsibility and excuse yourself to a bathroom stall, your car, or wait until you get home to create the safety and privacy you need to express and release your feelings and emotions.
Holding them in may have more serious consequences.
So try this exercise, and let me know how it goes. Does it feel better than holding in the struggle and saying, "Aww. I can't complain"?
With much love, and I hope to hear from you soon,