“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.
A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
Christopher K. Germer.
I’ve been going through a period of change. The reality is that we are always going through change but there are certain situations and seasons that make these changes a lot more obvious. That has been my experience in the past year or so and I truly didn’t think that it could extend or stretch so much to the point that it feels that I’ve been for almost two years in this season. I’m surprised and at the same time I’m not.. to recognize, to notice and be a witness of changes in my life on a daily basis.
If you have read my blog posts or listened to my podcasts you are probably up to date, you know about the change, if you haven’t and are curious you will find lots on that on my first blog posts or podcast episodes. So, during this time, to say that I know exactly where I’m heading, what I’m doing and what I want to create would be a lie. I have no idea how the details of all of those aspects will look like, all I know is that I’m still going through a transition that still feels like part of what I’m leaving behind hasn’t ended and that still needs more time to fully culminate.
I have been living in the moment, minute by minute, day by day and I have been enjoying it very much. It has definitely felt like it is the right approach during this time and I have been feeling my intuition truly guiding me towards a slow pace of life. For the most part I have been feeling incredibly guided, supported and as though I don’t need any validation to keep enjoying the approach I’m choosing.
However, once in a while doubt and questioning will creep up and it will find me laying on the ground, most likely with tears on my face, staring at the ceiling saying out-loud “I have no idea how to do this, how do you do this? how? how?” Last week that was literally me. I found myself with these anxious thoughts and feelings about needing answers to where I should be heading and how. I felt as thought it was about time to have a clear direction, a clear approach, a clear system, a clear everything. So, naturally these expectations left me feeling inadequate, as though something must be incredibly wrong with me since I still don’t have the answers.
At this point in my life I’ve recognized that these moments and episodes will come, the moments of contraction are necessary for the learning cycles that we go through. But, if you can relate to this you know that right in the middle of those anxious feelings it seems as though there is no way out and no one understands what we are going through because in our head everyone knows exactly what they are doing.
Perhaps you haven’t laid on the ground talking to the ether and hoping for answers like I found myself and maybe you may consider this a little extreme but here is the thing… although this may sound like a drastic and perhaps dramatic approach, I have also learned that this is the best way in which I can completely surrender to my feelings. Because, in reality I’m not going to be able to stay on the ground for hours, at some point Vienna will need to go out, the Amazon guy may knock the door and so on.
But, in the few minutes that I allow myself to completely surrender to that feeling of uncertainty, I am giving my feelings and emotions the attention they are calling for. Every single one of our emotions is here to signal something. Emotion is energy in motion and energy can also be described as vibrational frequencies that carry information. So really what we are experiencing is this feeling of motion within ourselves or our cells and in some cases it makes us feel contracted and in some other cases it makes us feel expanded. And our job while that feeling is active is to allow it to flow, to notice it and pay attention to what is here to communicate, what is that information that is carrying with it? Our job is NOT to judge those feelings or to label them as good or bad because in doing this we are blocking the possibility of truly understanding what these emotions are hear to show us.
The majority of us have been raised to believe that there are good and bad feelings, which in turn has filtered the range of some of these emotions as valid or invalid. Because, of my own conditioning of labeling these emotions sometimes my default reaction is to want to change the way that I feel when contracting emotions are coming up.
When I had this incident last week and I found my self on the ground I was also feeling like a fraud because I was going to be a guest in a podcast, the name of the show is “Just Begin”, in which I was going to talk about the decision I made to switch my career, close my successful business and begin a new journey in something that I feel passionate about. I was thinking… how am I going to talk about this if here I am, on the floor, crying and desperate because I don’t know what I’m doing.
As expected, Vienna wanted to go outside, and I got off the floor and decided I was going to record a voice note to send to my friends and share the emotional crisis I was finding myself in… but something hit me as I was recording it… I realized that that day and in those feelings I was truly embodying the process of transition, or any process for that matter. Processes are not linear, they don’t always feel expansive.
At this point the podcast interview was quickly coming up and to prepare for the conversation and to clear my head a little I put my headphones and played a guided meditation. The guided meditation started with the teacher saying “are you allowing yourself to be a beginner?” I started laughing and ugly crying because it was exactly what I needed to hear. In that moment I went from feeling despair and holding all of these expectations over my head, to actually understanding that any process has moments of a expansion and moments of contraction and that it is normal. And that the more we allow ourselves to truly navigate in the journey of that process, the more fruits and lessons we are going to be able to gather along the way.
I feel as though it is part of my purpose in this life to encourage others to allow themselves to feel their feelings. I’ve always been a very emotional person and it has only been through the practice of noticing, observing and allowing space for these feelings that I have been able to understand in many levels what these feelings are trying to show me. It is so important for us to remember that when information has found their way through us and is signaling something through our emotions, all it needs is attention.
Whenever you find yourself wanting to share your thoughts with others and they shut you down or they tell you they are not interested you will most likely start closing down and harboring resentful feelings. This is my reminder that our emotions and feelings are not only here to share with us important information but they are also here to teach us self-compassion. When we make peace with them, we make peace with ourselves.
© Nat Otalora 2022. All rights reserved.
The more I do and create the more I want to share with others.
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