I was feeling so tender the other day. For a lot of reasons, but one of them is that over the last few months I’ve been really rocked by a couple of key deaths in my life. Friends who meant a lot to me and are now gone, vanished into the ethers in that mysterious way we all go. And other things too: Old wounds resurfacing– doing what they need to do in order to be cleared out.
I was at a concert, when one of the musicians, John Craigie, told a story, a parable of sorts that he had heard. It was the story of a man who carries water every day from the well to his home—on one of those across the shoulder sticks with a pot on each end. One pot was broken and by the time he reached home each day had hardly any water left in it. One day, the pot, said to the man, “It’s okay to get rid of me. I’m broken and you don’t have to keep carrying me. It seems of no use when I have hardly anything left in me by the time you get home.” Then the man turned around and showed the pot the pathway that he walked along every day with his pots of water. On the side of the broken pot the vegetation was lush and green. Every day, all the way home the water that dropped from the broken seam was watering the vegetables and plants on that side of the path. The broken pot, although it was damaged, was actually feeding his family.
Then John Craigie said this line, “It’s okay to be broken. You never know who you are feeding.”
I was so touched I started crying. And cried through the whole next song he sang (called Banjo Renews) related to this story too. Here is a live version like I heard. And lyrics.
It felt so true. The experience of truly feeling is such amazing healing medicine. Not just for yourself, because it is, but also for those around you. It’s hard to express this accurately in words but when you feel instead of stifle emotions, you show up more authentically in the world. You change the vibration in your being, even if no one knows you are doing it, and that in turn gives others permission to feel deeply. AND you don’t have to extend precious psychic energy keeping those feelings at bay. You get to experience them and move on.
Feeling is a part of being human. Every emotion is included. Every one needs air in order to keep the system running smoothly, and honestly.
So I wanted to share with you my formula for when I’ve got some extra deep emotions that need time, space, and air. Because I know you are like me– you’ve got a full plate. No matter how sad you may feel on the inside you’ve got mouths to feed, places to get to, tasks to accomplish. And sometimes within the regular context of our days, especially if you are a parent, it’s hard for deep things to get space. It’s hard to even find the time to process them and sometimes to even know what they are when you are full stream in activities that naturally and normally go from one to the next without end.
Here is my formula.
I use this when I have deep emotions that need space.
Choose the time.
My favorite, and most accessible is in the evening after my children have gone to bed and I have no more obligations for the day. Instead of hunkering down with my Facebook account I retire to my allocated spot.
Choose your place.
You need somewhere comfortable and private. I most often choose a place where I can lie down comfortably. Privacy is vital– you need doors on the room, or a studio to yourself. You need not to be interrupted in your process. If you live with other people ask that they not come into the space while you are in there. Their cue that they may enter is when you have come back out.
Set the space.
I light beeswax candles. I often put my diffuser on with Frankincense oil, because I like that sort of thing. You can do whatever feels good to you (or nothing).
Set up protection within the room. I have my own process, you can do this in whatever way feels comfortable to you—even just a simple prayer asking that this room and space be protected while you are in it is fine.
Then, go to it. Get in there. Feel it. Let it out.
What this looks like for me is that I lay on the bed and feel every possible emotion that I have regarding whatever is coming up for me. I’m deeply honest with myself and I let no feeling of inadequacy or grief go unnoticed. Sometimes I am aware of them in my mind like, “I am afraid my best is not good enough,” sometimes there are no specific words, it’s just deep deep feeling unidentified with any thought or circumstance. I allow any images that may arise to play out and I allow my body to feel the deepest feeling it can related to that experience. I’m usually sobbing. (Because let’s face it, you usually don’t need extra time and space to be happy– that emotion can spill out into any activity.) If anger is one that comes up for you go for that too—express it as your body wants to, punch the pillow, kick the bed. But whatever you do be safe—if you must punch something let it be soft. You want your body to have the experience that it is safe to feel. You want to give your body permission to express in a sacred container.
My experience is you that know when you are done. You’ve exhausted it in your body. You’ve gotten to the bottom of whatever grief you are capable of feeling at that time. And what then exists is a natural turning point, which gives way to a resolution in your body.
Final step, get comfy.
What comes after is as important as what comes before. The next piece is self- soothing. Make your favorite tea, get a cozy blanket, curl up with one of your favorite feel-good movies. Snuggle with your husband on the couch. Do whatever it is that soothes you–comforts you or makes you feel safe and good inside. I always think of this part sort of like comfort food for the being. It’s like having mashed potatoes and gravy, or you’re your grandma’s prized pie, in other actions. But by all means, if you’ve got your grandma’s prized pie on hand, now would be a good time to indulge.
Deep feeling like this is what keeps the airwaves of your psychic space and human being clean so to speak. There is no denying that sometimes this human living can feel brutal. Especially if you are a sensitive being, you need an outlet. It might surprise you what medicine scheduling an evening of grieving is.
There is a secret flavor to it, one that only comes when it is all said and done. It’s not really why you do it. You do it because you need to. And it’s never implied in the title “grief.” But there is a joy that arises from inside when you’ve given over to these feelings completely, no matter how sucko they are. It’s the after party in your being that arises when you’ve done this work of being fully and completely human and alive. You’ll know what I mean when you’ve done it. Shoot me a line then.
All my love,
Feeling or being in touch with your own personal needs for doing so and then doing it is a part of living an authentic and joyful life. It can absolutely be a part of following your own intuition and being in the flow. It is particularly key for empaths, or humans feel other’s emotions inside their own skin and who have a lot of emotion cycle through their bodies on a regular basis. Aimée Cartier is a psychic and the founder of Intuition University. She teaches others, empaths and non-empaths, how to access and learn to trust (through experience) their own innate power of intuitive knowing. More about her and her work can be found at AimeeCartier.com.