“Feel it. The thing that you don’t want to feel. Feel it and be free” — Nayyirah Waheed
The feeling of restlessness and overwhelm used to be a constant in my life; it is also a common theme with my clients. This restlessness leads to irritation and irritability; moving around in a constant state of irritation and irritability does not bode well for our bodies or our relationships.
Before I got ill, I was in a constant state of motion: working, taking care of the kids and our home and doing my best to be a supportive wife and partner. From the time I got up at4:00 AM until the time I went to bed at 9:00 PM I was constantly moving which made it very hard to feel settled in my mind and body.
Rather than feel the emotion of restlessness, I would seek distractions to help calm me down: start a craft project, make To Do lists, organize my desk – things that gave me control and took my attention away from doing things for everyone else and creating “Me time”. I didn’t realize that I was doing more harm than good until I broke down and cried over spilled milk. Yes: spilled milk.
I was in the kitchen preparing for a holiday get together. I was measuring milk into a measuring cup. The kids were entertaining themselves and I was rushing to get everything in order before guests arrive. I was on track until I accidentally dropped the measuring cup of milk. Milk splashed everywhere. Watching the milk go all over the floor, the counter, and me was like watching a film in slow motion. I remember dropping to the floor and crying uncontrollably. My husband looked at me in disbelief and not sure what to do.
I remember saying “My life is spinning out of control. I can’t do this anymore. I am a failure” – I had hit bottom. My supportive husband helped me up, cleaned up the mess and provided me with words of encouragement.
I had reached a point that felt like a volcano finally exploding after years of building up heat and lava. I felt light and free. I felt supported. I felt loved. I let emotions that I hadn’t felt in years course through my body to the point that I felt fully present and aware in my life. It was liberating!
When we allow ourselves to give in to the physical sensation of our emotions; when we don’t resist and instead, allow the body to feel the emotion in the heart, the gut, the hands – wherever the emotion goes – exploring and feeling the physical sensation is what sets you free.