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Tag: feelings

Can I come out of my box now?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

I just realised how thoroughly I’ve boxed myself in. I’ve been diligently constructing the box I like to call my identity or perhaps, my personality, my whole life. I thought I liked the box and I guess I thought it was essentially ‘me’. It wasn’t until the other day that I even had the understanding that the box is separate from the actual, real Tricia.

So how do we define or even recognise this box? Our personality is really only our ‘outer self’ or what we might think of as our socially acceptable self.  We only need dig down a little into our inner, darker recesses to observe that many parts of us, including our beliefs, preferences, ideals, habits and prejudices form only the thinnest, most flimsy layer of who we really are. And while this may initially sound shocking and feel very destabilising, when we can get past our attachment to these parts of ourselves, it can be very liberating.

But oh how we cling.

Of course it’s not easy to let go of what we believe is true about ourselves, the world and our place in it. I identify very strongly with many aspects of my outer self, not the least of which is my body and how I feel in it. This is where the experience of being in an earth-bound human body is very instructive. I’m talking about the aging process and what it can do to our sense of self and our ideas of who we think we are over a lifetime. I might cling to the idea that I look a certain way perhaps until my latish fifties, but then, maybe come sixty, the changes wrought will be undeniable and if I’m to enjoy my life and carry on despite ‘looking old’, I must release this care and focus on other things. Goodbye body image box.

One of the other boxes I can now acknowledge and I want to shed is my habit of denying myself pleasure. I’m really good at this. I reckon I’m a bit of an expert…how do I know? Well it’s because I recently began finding ways to bring more pleasure into everyday moments and it made me pause and reflect. I was astonished at how vigilant I’ve been with keeping myself from pleasure.  

It kinda goes with the territory when you’re a Virgo though. We are known for our puritanical tendencies….And it’s not like it’s all bad. There’s a sick type of pleasure to be gained from denying, holding back, going without and then….all of a sudden, yes! I’m going to have a piece of chocolate. What a high!  But seriously, I’m sure my body is grateful for the many years of deprivation I’ve subjected it to. No really. I’ve never been overweight and have had only one hangover. EVER! I know, total square.

The other way self-denial can be a positive is having the discipline to endure long periods of toil in order to accomplish a goal. It probably contributed to my completion of two degrees and a post grad diploma before I turned 28. But….and this is a big but because, to be honest, having two degrees didn’t really equate with happiness and fulfillment for me …. There’s this. From whence we experience pleasure is from whence our creativity springs and from creative expression comes great pleasure. It’s the circle of life. Without creative expression of some kind, we’re kind of stunted in our capacity to enjoy life.

This is sacral chakra energy. Our sacral chakra is the energy centre for our reproductive urges, sexual and sensual enjoyment, feminine power, creative inspiration and integrated emotional expression. So doesn’t it make sense then, that to be creatively engaged with life and to allow pleasure to seep into every moment possible, we will have healthy energy in the sacral? And as women, we really want to be super-engaged with our sacral chakra because it’s the seat of our capacity to nurture ourselves and others, feel our feelings and be stable in our sense of self. Just think about the archetypal womanly figure, rounded hips and soft stomach creating a safe and welcoming vessel for a baby to form and grow. She is stable and strong in her sacral and the powers that dwell there are revered by all, especially herself.

The sacral chakra is all about receptivity.  Can we receive more?  Does it feel safe to open up and be the receiver of life’s abundant pleasures and gifts? Goodbye pleasure-denial box.

The way to nurture our sacral is simply to nurture ourselves. Make life fun, comfortable, sexy, pleasurable, soft, open-hearted and even a little bit naughty whenever you can. Turn music on when you cook and clean, eat some chocolate in the morning, take a bath in the afternoon and always say yes to spontaneous invitations that sound good.  Enjoy your five senses and be open to what life has to offer. For me pleasure is more time outdoors, more music, yoga, dancing and meditation. More time having fun with the people I love.

Pleasure, creativity and feminine wisdom are inextricably linked.  Enjoy. Create. Feel. Know yourself.

The Truth About Meditation – Sometimes it hurts

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing, and Uncategorized

Want to know why you keep sabotaging your daily meditation practice with distractions and excuses?

I don’t know how to tell you this, but one of the cold hard truths of meditation is that sometimes it really sucks. I mean, it’s mostly a self-nurturing and emotion-soothing activity.  Mostly.

It’s just that one of the most beneficial effects can also be one of the most upsetting and destabilising for those of us who have a past and have emotions.  Oh, that’s you? Yeah, it’s me too.

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Put simply, there’s just no running away from your true feelings about anything when you’re a regular meditator.

And when life is going off the rails and it feels easier to just abandon your meditation practice ’cause you’re “too stressed”, well I hate to sound like your mother, but that’s when you need MORE meditation, not less my dear.

Just because it sometimes makes you feel worse rather than better, doesn’t mean it’s not doing you good.  I sound like a health tonic peddler from yesteryear; “drink it all down now girlie.”

If you’re anything like me, when the stuff hits the fan it gets swallowed down so there’s only the faintest taste left in your mouth. And yet, you think you’re dealing with it and subsequently, you think you’re feeling okay.

Just last month I had to process some sad family news that left me reeling in ways I found quite surprising given my rigorous self-care regime and pretty healthy emotional state.  It was a few days after I was told the news that I woke up feeling very flat and sad.  I knew I had to take some time out to meditate and sit with the feelings that were weighing me down.

So I sat for about 20 minutes.  I later realised that this was nowhere near long enough because upon emerging from the room after my meditation, my husband asked me a simple question and then he responded with mild disappointment to my response and, well, I completely lost it.

There was some screaming and crying.  It didn’t last for long but it was pretty scary and exhausting for us both.

I’m sharing this with you for a couple of reasons.  Firstly to reassure you that I’m just like anyone else when placed under stress (perhaps even more sensitive than the average peep). Secondly to declare that emotional outbursts are sometimes necessary and healthy as a marvelous release of pent up energy.

And also, to acknowledge that had I been a little more in touch with the depth of feeling that was there that day, I would have sat in meditation for much longer and probably accessed the tears that needed to be shed in a much more gentle way.

Which way is better?

As my 12 year old daughter often says, “Meh? (shoulder shrug).”

Who knows.  Nothing we experience is actually wrong or bad, it’s just that with the benefit of hindsight we can reflect on what happened and then make a different choice next time around.

What I want to express here though is that although meditation taps into our deeper emotions which can make us feel less than calm and Zen-like, avoiding feeling them is not a great alternative.

What we’re dealing with here is a genuine human need to slow it all down and be REAL.

Our culture leads us to believe that distraction is the answer to everything that upsets us:

  • Eat something
  • Buy something
  • Watch something
  • Be outraged
  • Be critical of others
  • Talk non-stop
  • Overwork
  • Plan another holiday….

Sound familiar?

These distractions don’t serve us really though do they? They neither heal us, resolve our problems nor make us happy.

I don’t need to outline our mental or physical health stats do I?

They just mask what’s really missing and that for me is; inner peace, trust in a higher power and the wholeness inherent in every moment.  Plus the reality that we humans have emotions like fear, sadness, grief and anger.

How come we can feel it for a television show character but not for ourselves?

Something to ponder <3