I had an insight the other day during our workshop with the Reiki Lady, Diana Edwards, as part of our complimentary workshop series during COVID-19…
In the west we’ve learned to favour the intelligence of the mind over the intelligence of the heart.
When something doesn’t go to plan and we feel disempowered in some way…upset, disappointed, angry, frustrated etc., our tendency is to do one of two things. We either attempt to suppress the feeling by distracting ourselves with something else (such as Netflix, work or family duties), or we attempt to process it in some way.
However, our understanding of processing an emotion is to use our intellect, our mind. To start analysing why we are feeling the way we are, dissecting what triggered us, discovering who is to blame. And this doesn’t actually have us process the emotion at all!
The word emotion comes from the Latin word ’emovere’ which is comprised of two assimilated words: ‘ex’ which means ‘out’ (like exit) and ‘movere’ which means ‘to move’. That’s exactly what emotions want to do: move out of us. And when given the opportunity, emotions will do just that; they will pass through us naturally.
So to effectively process an emotion, we actually need to take a moment (or a few) to pause and feel what we are feeling. To allow whatever we are feeling to just be. To accept it, however painful it might be. To make room for it. To be ok with it. To trust that it will pass whenever it is ready to pass. Without needing to know where it came from or why it was triggered. And just by allowing, and accepting, and giving our heart the space to just be, the feelings naturally move out. The emotions take their course, they pass through us, they resolve themselves, they are complete.
This is very distinct from ‘intellectually’ processing an emotion with our mind or suppressing it so that it stays stuck within us and doesn’t get an opportunity to ‘move out’!
It’s so important to practice this healthy kind of emotional hygiene on a daily basis. Watch Danyah Preston’s on-demand workshop on ‘Being with Difficult Emotions’, and Robert Meredith’s on-demand workshop on ‘Surviving Yourself’ for two powerful emotional hygiene techniques to wind into your daily practice.