We all hear or read these catchy phrases like, "feeling is healing" and "emotions are emotions." But, what do these sayings actually mean? Is there any truth to them? And, do they somehow hold the key to happiness?
The short answer is yes. Yes, feeling your feelings is the gateway to healing as well as true happiness. But if you're anything like me, this answer is not enough. You might want to know exactly why it's healing and how you can fully feel while still maintaining a sense of safety, wholeness, and sanity.
The trick lies in not only feeling but also noticing. Noticing what and how you're feeling is key. Typically, when an emotion shows up, we react. It's like we go on automatic. But when we notice an emotion showing up, and notice too our typical reaction to it, then we can choose our response. This choice is true freedom. Our birthright.
Take fear, for example. (By the way, this is the emotion associated with winter according to Chinese medicine). When fear shows up, many of us freeze in reaction. We can't think straight. We can't make a decision. We can't go on with our regular routine. Even our body, or some part of it, might feel tight and un-moveable (i.e. frozen).
But as we become aware of fear and the pattern of freezing, we get to decide: react or respond. Reacting means continuing to automatically freeze like we always do. On the other hand, responding means noticing the fear, potentially its roots, and listening deeply to what other action is possible here. What is really wanted or needed here? Is it speaking out? Doing something? Seeking professional help? The response depends strictly on the situation and what's right for each and every one of us. This is freedom.
I'm afraid (pun intended) that this topic deserves more discussion. So please consider commenting below and sharing your thoughts, joining me for the upcoming workshop "Feeling is Healing" and Other Truths about Emotions on Saturday, Jan 30, 2016, or via web/phone/in-person for a private session. There's so much more to this....
May you always exercise your freedom,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
Chinese medicine characterizes winter as a season for slowing down and replenishing our internal storage of vital energy. What I love about this wisdom is that you do not need to be an acupuncturist or herbalist to understand it; it's simply nature. However, life gets really interesting when this nature meets our typically busy, always-do-more, 21st century lives.
My suggestion? Find a way to make some room for deep stillness and rejuvenating rest. This could mean pausing for a few deep breaths, luxuriating in a hot bath, turning on some slow music, lounging on the couch, and doing absolutely nothing--among other options. Not only are you likely to enjoy this now, but your whole being will thank you for it in spring when things start moving very very fast.
So, with the intention of making some room for winter's nature and bringing balance to body, mind, and spirit, I invite you to join me for two special seasonal offerings: first, the Nourishing Yin Workshop THIS SATURDAY and second--drum roll, please--the Cultivating Presence at the Edge of Winter: Yoga Nidra Retreat. (Registration is now open!).
If you're looking for a gentle and private way to tend specifically to what's showing up in your life this winter, please consider an acupressure session with me. For those wishing for a way that doesn't involve touch or even leaving your home, check out the one-on-one co-meditation sessions (available over phone, web, or in-person).
With wishes for the simple joy of deep stillness,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
It's 2016. It's today. It's right now. This moment. Yes, it is here. An opportunity to take a deep breath. To exhale slowly. To scan your body. Briefly. Gently. From head to toe. And, to feel. To feel pain and ease, heartache and joy, intensity and calm. Whatever you're already feeling. To feel and notice it all. Yes, all of it. It's your aliveness. Your presence. Your birthright. And, it's all happening right now.
This, this right here, is what I'd like to offer you. A reminder. A gentle, kind, and compassionate reminder of your presence. Your vast and expansive presence. Your presence in which all of life unfolds.
Please join me this month, as always, in the many opportunities to cultivate presence. Check out the new class schedule or private sessions. Also, feel free to leave your comments, questions, insights, or thoughts below!
Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.