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The Way Out is Through

This article captures much of what concerns me about the mainstream spiritual movement. Be positive, raise your vibration, and attract what you want. The message repeated again and again is to focus on the good and more good will come to you. The unspoken message is that if bad things happen, it is your fault for not keeping your vibration high. The problem is life is not always good, and the truth is, it is not your fault.

We have bad days. To deny these negative feelings, to believe that feeling them is inappropriate and to be avoided, is to deny ourselves the truth of being human. No one is perfect. No one is happy all the time. We are meant to grieve. We are meant to get angry. We are meant to be sad. We are meant to experience every emotion humanly possible. To deny your feelings, bad or good, is only denying yourself and denying the truth of life.  

Feelings are like seasons. Without winter we can’t have spring. After summer must come fall. One season is not bad and another good. All are necessary to maintain the balance of life. The same goes for our feelings. Happiness is amazing to experience, and yet sorrow helps us know what we value. Anger is a great tool to help us identify and act against what is not serving us or others. Grief is an acknowledgement of love and the noting of transition – ours or others. If we do not experience all of these feelings, we are not truly living.

hiding our feelings
Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Often, we perceive feelings and being emotional as weakness. It is the opposite. As Fred Rogers said, “Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”

To hide from the unwanted and undesirable feelings, many of us numb our feelings. But facing our feelings, all of our feelings, is not only living fully it is also necessary to our growth. The last months of 2019 I was plagued with medical issues, and I didn’t like it. I stupidly cut my foot open, requiring stitches and weeks of healing. Once my foot was back to almost 100% utilization, I came down with a doozy of a cold, keeping me on the couch for another seemingly endless week. I resisted being ill. I was angry that I could not do what I normally did and begrudgingly had to ask for help. I created an awesome pity party for my predicament. To top it off, I tried to deny these feelings because they were not positive and helpful to me or others.

What finally released me from these emotions, was sitting with them. When I stopped, accepted my situation and how I was feeling, and then explored what I was learning from this episode (awareness of my codependent tendencies and finding gratitude for things I take for granted) then I was released from the experience and the emotions. Instead of ignoring how I felt, instead of trying to be positive when I felt crappy, the way I found release from these not-so-awesome feelings, was by feeling them. The way out of the negative experience was by going through it.

What do you find difficult right now? What do you not want to experience? What are you avoiding?

What is this experience trying to teach you? What can you learn from what you are going through?

Do you have the courage to feel completely? I hope so. For the only road to release, is through. If you need some support as you go through, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your support system. Hang in there; it is better on the other side.

Emotions and Health

In my book, From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop Doing Life and Start Living It, I share how I found relief to chronic physical issues, by uncovering and rectifying mental and emotional issues. In my early 30’s, I experienced various physical issues from constant pain and tension to low immune functions and digestion issues. I thought I had some undiagnosable illness. What I discovered was the root of the illness did not occur in my body, but in my mind. It was my being in the wrong profession with the wrong goals for life that were the triggers for the physical symptoms I experienced.

During this time, I learned about Louise Hay who wrote the book, You Can Heal Your Life. I found this book to be eye-opening and the companion book, Heal Your Body A-Z, to be a go-to resource. Ms. Hay’s premise is that “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Every thought we think is creating our future. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings. The thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experiences.” Two notes here.

First, I do not share this to blame or shame you into thinking you are responsible for all the bad in your life. I like to look at the other side of the equation. You have the power to create what you want in your life. If you find that things are not as you desire, make a change in your thinking and your actions to encourage a better result.

Second, the only thing I believe in 100% is that I don’t believe in anything 100%. I have studied and used Ms. Hay’s work for long enough to see a correlation in what she has found and the reality that I see with myself, my family, my friends, and my clients. And that does not mean that everything is the direct result of our thoughts. It may be, but at this point I see a correlation not necessarily a tried and true law. Even so, I see enough correlation in the mind-body connection to give it credit and use it in my own life.

Photo by Luke Braswell on Unsplash

A few years back, after many years of good health, I found myself having issues again. Being human, I first looked to my diet, movement, and age to see if any were at fault. Although probable influencers, I could not see a direct reason for why I felt like I did. Next step, I looked at my life. At the time, I was in a situation which was not positive. I believe we always have three choices when we are in difficult situations: A) We can try to change the situation. B) We can accept the situation. C) We can leave. In this circumstance, I had to choose option B as I had no power to change the situation and at the time, no ability to leave. The result was my poor health.

According to Louise Hay, my physical symptoms related to fear, anger and frustration – which very well described my reaction to the situation. I chose to use the affirmations recommended in the Hay books, take care of my mind, emotions, and body – focusing on them instead of the frustrating situation, and make strategic plans to leave the situation sooner than later. My physical symptoms lessoned under this plan and were removed completely after I was out of the situation.

Have you ever noticed a correlation between your emotions and your body? Have you tried shifting your mindset to resolve physical pain? Share with us here.

Empowering Your Mind-Body Health through Yoga with Chrysa Beck

A few years back, yoga was not very well known in the United States.  Now yoga is appearing on many popular movies and shows.  Yoga studios are popping up in most towns and often two or three in the same area.  And most of the population nowadays knows what downward facing dog looks like.  But do we really know what yoga is?

Melissa Heisler, Empowerment Coach
Melissa Heisler, Empowerment Coach

For some, yoga is the latest exercise trend.  Like aerobics in the 1980’s and the recent emergence of Zumba, many of us see yoga as a way to define muscle tone, improve flexibility, and affect the overall health of our bodies.  My first encounter with yoga was when I saw an amazing feat of strength by a dainty 100 lbs. friend of mine, all thanks to her recent yoga classes.  But physical strength and health are not all there is to yoga. My understanding of yoga is that it is more of a philosophy.  It is a way of living, thinking, and being.  It is not a religion but a discipline.  It is a way to maximize our minds, bodies and lives.  Our minds, bodies and spirits are intertwined so when one is affected, so are the others. I have been blessed to have been taught yoga by some amazing teachers like Chrysa Beck.  Chrysa does not only focus on the physical but also on the mental and emotion elements of the yoga practice.  Through her instruction I have experienced the power of breathing and concentration.  I have felt the release of a limiting belief by releasing a tense muscle.  And I have felt emotional stress fade away as I held a restorative pose. Join me on August 6th to learn more about the history of yoga, how it can help one heal and grow, and how yoga can help empower your life and health. I will be joined by Chrysa Beck visionary founder of Bodhi Prem Yoga.  Chrysa will introduce us to different styles of yoga from Hatha to Authentic Indian and also to Osho Active Meditations and Yuen Energetics (Chinese Energetic Medicine). Chrysa will not only be sharing her vast knowledge of yoga, but she will also share her personal journey of empowerment through the practice of yoga. Join us for this lively discussion on the power of yoga and how it can affect not only your physical but your mental and emotional life as well.