What does taking time for yourself mean? When you want to grow as an individual where do you begin? When I find myself stuck with a problem, unable to move past it or accept it for a concerning amount of time, the true source of the problem, more often than not, is attachment. What emotion are we subconsciously covering up with this lingering roadblock? How is this “problem” and our fantasy solution for it filling the void and nurturing this buried emotion?
I have this friend. This fearlessly vulnerable, passionately loving, in tune with all that chirps, guided by the brightest light, one of a kind guru type of friend. She is my go-to whenever I am feeling lost, confused, uncertain or in need of direction. Her perspective and delivery sharing insights is a boost of energy to my soul. She recently said something to me that has opened a myriad of doors I can’t wait to explore. She said, “Elevate the consciousness that exists.” She was referencing a specific scenario but giving permission to see this through however fits.
Elevate the consciousness that exists. Not only dig at the roots of my emotion, but guide that buried emotion up into the universe. Give it air, let it breathe. Wounds need oxygen to heal. In life our emotions and our soul are connected, just as our bodies and souls are. Some believe burials after death provide the soul with the comfort it needs to enter the purely spiritual world. Our body is a tool to fulfill our soul's mission and when our body no longer works, it becomes detached and our soul has permission to carry on. Why isn’t this the same with our emotions? Have we buried an emotion so deep that it is separated from our soul? How can we bury an active emotion then tell our spirit to stay soaring? We must bring all our life to surface. Cultivate the tools we have, giving ourselves full potential to connect, to understand and to take on a direction simultaneously. We are the operators of our lives, we have the power to keep everything together and working properly. Just as a remote doesn’t work without batteries, or plants need water to grow, all our pieces must be present and accounted for. To function at our highest capability we must locate and connect each of our emotions; this is our power source.
So where should we begin when we want to focus on self-improvement and strengthen our confidence as individuals? I’m starting with a hunt for each and every emotion that could be buried. I’m using this “Wheel of Emotions” (pictured below) as guidance. Giving recognition to these buried emotions permits them to be dealt with. Identifying our emotions is a practice while dealing with them is strength. As I connect with these emotions, I can lead them to elevation. Understanding their roots so I can nurture them and set them free. This process will gather a checklist of each and every lingering weight pulling you down. I’m going to write them down as I discover them. List their connecting emotions. Delve into all the situations they can apply to, and work towards balancing and uplifting them. For example, I feel sadness as I grieve the loss of my brother. I also feel sadness over a relationship I am uncertain I’ll be able to keep. In both of these scenarios I am battling the feeling of missing someone I love. The opposite emotion to sadness is joy. A source of joy for me is going out and exploring the earth and its wonders. Focusing on strengthening my relationship with the earth lessens the pain I feel from those relationships not as present. Another emotion I found through this activity is fear. I have been fearful of my safety where I live. Santa Monica is home to a huge population of homeless people. Homeless people who don’t have any plans to leave the area and spend their time using drugs and creating dangerous situations. This fear connects to feeling anxious, weak, and threatened. As I move further out on the “Wheel of Emotions” I see I am also feeling helpless, overwhelmed, worried, and exposed. How can I tend to these emotions? I decided to go to city hall, offer help to the homeless division as well as stay active in reporting threats when I see them. I’m not so helpless when I prove to myself all the ways I can be proactive. If I am exposed, I can choose in what way. Instead of showing weakness and revealing myself as an easy target, I home in on my toughness. I tell the harassers to stop harassing me. I now feel powerful. I feel hopeful and I feel inspired. Just as leaving chores or a lengthy to-do list can subconsciously overwhelm you, leaving emotions unaddressed does the same. The empowerment that comes from this work will grant access to your strongest, most free self. No longer afraid of moving forward. Stand tall to what passes through out of your control, but take ownership and responsibility for changes you can make to care for your unwanted emotions.
Wheel of Emotions
Image via www.classtools.net
I also created my own "emotion wheel" focused on the messages each emotion conveys, a clearer understanding of where each emotion is guiding us. It is our job to align an appropriate action in response. It is so easy to ignore or bury our emotions when we don't have direct instructions on what to do with them. My hope is to spend less time evaluating and more time practicing. Our mind, our feelings, the emotions that present themselves are all vital pieces of self-care. Pay attention to them, support them. The best way to understand and grow as an individual is to build a mutual relationship with your emotions in which you trust them to guide you in a better direction, and they trust you to take them there.