I’ve been absent from these pages for ages (bit of rhyming there, snicker) mainly because I had a very quiet period when I felt completely unenthused and uninspired about anything for ages. And as I swore when I started blogging that I wouldn’t write for the sake of writing, I just didn’t write, which is a weird feeling as I love writing. But I’m back, feeling very much more alive after a very debilitating hot spell in this neck of the woods – over a week of very hot, slightly humid days when the best thing for me is to stay quiet, out of the fierce sun, and keep cool under the air-conditioning. The nights have been very warm too – between 23-27C – and interrupted sleep from the heat also drags your energies down. The return to cool weather is, believe me, very welcome and also highly energising. But it’s also a reminder to you all that sometimes it is quite okay to sit quietly, take it easy and rest. Yes, just rest. It’s a bit of a dirty word in our society where you’re supposed to be on the go and “doing” things all the time. Sometimes, maybe often depending on your circumstances, time out is what you need, so take time out without any feelings of guilt and just tune into what you need from a period of rest, withdrawal and replenishing your spirt.
Anyway, on to the main purpose of this post, which is about how your body absorbs emotional pain into your emotional and physical memories. I know, I know that the big thing these days is that, if you think the right thoughts, all will be right in your world, love and happiness will reign, your health will be hunkry-dory overnight, and money will shower over you like manna from heaven. Okay, I’m simplifying. If you can think positive thoughts, your sense of well-being will naturally improve. but I sometimes think that the “right thoughts” brigade ignore the fact that we live in a community with which we interact and which affects our world in ways we simply can’t control. We can’t be little bundles of light all the time because, whether we like it or not, the universe sometimes sends small hand grenades or whopping great neutron bombs into our lives and these can bring pain, sorrow, regrets, loss and all the challenges which life can throw up at a moment’s notice. Moreover, thinking the right thoughts reflects our society’s fixation with logical, intellect and factoids, at the expense of emotion, intuition and feeling.
So going back to the physical body, emotions and feelings, emotions to me are like roller-coasters: they rise and fall, positive and negative, joy and sorrow, and to my mind they’re why we are here on earth, to embrace emotions and learn from them at all levels – emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. I remember reading that people were monitored for their response to various scenarios and their heart and head electrical impulses noted. The first response came from people’s hearts, mini-seconds before their heads responded. So I’d like to ask you – do you remember when you have felt your heart turn over? When you have felt punched in the heart? When your heart has felt ripped apart? When you’ve felt your heart well up with emotion and that emotion has poured out of you? When your heart has swelled with joy or pride, for yourself or someone else?
Well, where do the emotions go when they”ve hit your heart? How are they recorded in your body’s emotional memories? I well remember when I attended a psychic art morning where we had to draw ourselves and the only picture I could draw of myself was my hands crossed over my heart. When the art teacher looked at my painting, she said simply: “This is someone who has gone through so much pain but hidden it inside”. I felt my heart crack open when she said that and tears well up. But I didn’t want to cry in front of strangers. Instead, a friend said something a week or so later which started a crying jag that went on and on, from my heart but much deeper within my body. Because when I’d finished, she looked at me and said in awe and amazement: “I can’t believe it, but your tummy has subsided, as if a balloon’s gone down inside you.” And she was right. My puffed-up belly had suddenly gone down a few notches, much to my amazement. It was if I’d released a tsunami of emotions that I’d buried in my body whenever I’d been hurt and not shown it, just kept a smiling face and never let on I’d been hurt by anyone. I also remember giving Reiki to a person and finding a freezing cold spot on their body. It was icy. When I questioned that person, they told me that it was where their parent had hit them with an iron bar when they were teenagers. I also remember feeling pain in the shoulders of a woman who’d been receiving Reiki from me, and that was where her abusive husband used to hit her.
Your body remembers emotions. So to start the emo-healing process, I’m going to suggest that, first off, you focus on your belly, which is your emotional centre, relating to your second chakra, the colour of which is orange. If you get the feeling (and honour your intuition) that this might bring up difficult stuff for you, ask a friend to sit with you and support you as you do this meditation.
Sit comfortably and take the time to breathe in and out slowly, letting out any tension with your out-breath, and feeling your body relaxing. As you do so, close your eyes and let the outside world fade from your awareness. Focus on our inner world.
Now just picture your belly, from below your rib-cage to your pelvic cradle, as a circle. Circles have a primordial resonance for us – so many things are circles – our cells, the world, tree trunks, the sun, the moon, our pupils, and so on. So put your hands on your belly and see, feel or imagine a huge, circular orange sun radiating out of your belly. As you feel this sun taking shape, note where in your belly you can sense feelings coming to the surface. It could be right in your belly button, in your pelvic area, on the right or left, or under your rib-cage. Don’t try to force this process. Let it take shape in its own good time. Now tune into how you feel about the emotions coming to the surface. Do you feel grief, sorrow, anger, happiness, outrage, joy, energy? There is no right or wrong. Just allow to happen whatever surfaces for you.
Now imagine, see or feel (depending on what sense you use) that your fiery, orange sun is pouring healing energy into whatever area of your body where you feel emotions are arising. Harmonise with the energy of these healing rays. As you do so, just surrender to whatever way your emotions respond to this flaming orange energy. You may feel the need to release grief, or perhaps open up to forgiveness, or tune into a feeling of joy and diffuse that joy through your body. Whatever turns up for you is absolutely right. There is no good, bad, right or wrong way for you as an individual to react.
Stay with this process as you feel fit. If you feel you need to cry, then cry and release whatever emotions you’ve been bottling up. If you feel the need to shout with joy, do so. If you feel the need to release anger, just relax and see how your body wants to release that anger and go with it. This process may take a long time, or it may happen quickly. Or you may well find that you feel the time isn’t right for you to process those emotions as it’s too challenging for you. You may wish to sit with these insights until the time is right for you to work further with them, when you feel you’re able to handle them. Or you may even wish to bring the process to a close and write about your experiences as a way of getting emotional stuff out of you, or discuss what’s happened with someone who’ll support you. This last bit about support is important. Don’t share your emotional experiences with someone you know won’t take them seriously and who may well undermine any good which has arisen from your contact with deeply buried emotions. You need someone supportive, sympathetic and helpful!
You can take yourself out of this process when you feel it’s complete for you. Take some deep breaths, stretch and, when you open your eyes again, make sure you’re really well grounded and back in the present before you get up and start moving around. Check in with your body and how it feels. If you feel the urge, have a dance around, spin in circles or just wave your arms around. Feel your body freeing itself from any stuck energies and lightening up. And then carry on with an awareness that emotions are okay, it’s okay to feel, it’s okay to cry, and it’s also okay to jump around with joy or howl with laughter.