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Sitting in the Fire Without Getting Burned

“If you’re feeling like all of this is too much—it’s because it is.” – Dr. Susan Biali Haas

Does life feel more intense than ever? Like this is the hottest summer, in all ways, we’ve ever survived? You are not alone! Between half the sky going retrograde, demonstrations, riots, pandemic, police brutality, global warming, etc…it’s nearly impossible not to feel the overwhelm or intensity of this time. Our tendency may be to blame ourselves or those around us. Perhaps we feel embarrassed by our stress level, or we are irritable with those we love most. But if we take a wider view- each of us is deeply affected by the world around us.

The bottom line is you are not alone and the ways in which we’ve tried to soothe, self-care, and tame our emotions may feel ineffective in this moment. “As fear increases within our immediate surroundings and throughout the country, remaining emotionally stable or secure could prove challenging.” Jan Erickson

So how do we sit in the fire of our times, and not get burned? We allow ourselves to FEEL what we feel, and grow our container. We create more and more space, so the intensity inside us doesn’t eat us alive, keep us up at night, and wear us down- but moves through us, enlivening and invigorating us! The fire we are in can either burn us, or fuel us.

“When we’re emotional, we can feel completely powerless, like we’re never going to gain any kind of control over our thoughts, bodies, or surroundings. It can feel so uncomfortable to be upset that we choose to numb ourselves rather than risk feeling any pain-Freedom comes when we can feel our tough emotions expressing themselves, but no longer let them rule our lives.” Ilene S. Cohen

Too often we avoid the intensity inside us choosing to numb out, distract, avoid, etc..But there is freedom in feeling. This is sitting in the fire without getting burned. Instead of labeling what we’re feeling as over-emotional, stressed out, overly-sensitive, overwhelming, we can tune in at a deeper, non-conceptual level. Literally- what am I feeling right now? Words like tightness, butterflies, heat, thrumming, vibrating, heaviness, lightness, floating, sinking are all ways to relate to exactly what we are feeling. By naming them and relating to them, we are welcoming ourselves to be as we are, feel how we feel, without shame, blame, or judgment. And then we make more space by allowing these sensations to move, because that is their nature. We can track the way the tightness shifts, maybe moves somewhere else, maybe dissipates, maybe becomes weariness instead. Or the butteries in our solar plexus may dim to a buzzing or move down to our feet where they are energizing and invigorating!

Tracking the intensity in our body as it shifts allows us to feel it and release it, which is all our emotions ask of us. When sitting still feels overwhelming, what is it like to go on a walk with a particularly intense feeling? Or to dance it all the way though. Maybe humming or singing is the way our system is asking us to be with ourselves that expresses the magnitude of what is inside without pushing it away. The urge may grow from there, is their art, journaling, talking to a trusted friend or family member, blogging, etc. that is bubbling up?

All of these activities create more space for our system to meet the intensity around us, by creating space to feel the intensity inside of us. As Carl Jung named many years ago, what we resist, persists. So we can try to chamomile tea-lavender essential oil-deep breathe our way out of the aliveness thrumming through our body-beings, or we can acknowledge, be with, and express it! And for those of us with children, imagine the beautiful modeling our kids receive as they observe us meeting ourselves, as we are, where we are.

Feeling anxiety, stress, numbness or overwhelm are all normal at this time, you are definitely not alone! If you would like additional support, please reach out to us. We are here, and happy to stay connected with you. At the Strength in Motion wellness community, we believe in a mind-body-soul approach towards finding and sustaining balance. We feel honored to be on your path in some way and are here to support you in living to your greatest potential. Click here to find out more information about who we are and how we may be a support to you. We are offering telehealth during this time and free consultations as always. We are here to support you.

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