Embracing the Full Spectrum of Emotions

Last week was rough. Did you feel it to? It seemed like everything was falling apart, everything I was working on was crashing, difficult problems were coming up last minute, and challenging situations were abundant. I felt like a full-blown stress ball, and looking at the news around America it seemed that everyone else was too. My friends who are into astrology pointed out that ,”like six planets are in retrograde right now.” I knew things were getting out of hand when someone I barely know at work gave me a crystal for anxiety (which actually helped) because they could tell I was a walking pile of stress.

This is not the best version of me. It’s not the side I am proud to display. It’s not the person that I want to be, and yet it came in the middle of a 30-day commitment to daily yoga (asana) practice and meditation. What gives?

Things can’t always be the bright, shiny version that we want them to be. Or that I want them to be. I can’t always be the bright beam of light that I hope to be, because there are still a lot of things I’m learning (and unlearning). I am still a work in progress, and more importantly, I am allowed to feel the full spectrum of emotion. I first hear Rob Bell use that phrase, pointing out that you can’t just live a good life by feeling one way all the time. Life has it’s ups and downs, things ebb and flow much like the practice of yoga itself. Some days all I want to do is a challenging, powerful flow because I feel like I can take on the world. Other days, I need rest and respite and I seek a more gentle practice like yin–hoping to keep my eyes closed and never have to leave my back from the mat.

It’s okay to have bad days. Sometimes over the course of those days you learn how you might better handle situations, hold space for yourself, or interact with others. It’s all good. We are all human. Bad moments come and go, but we don’t have to hold on to them. We can let them ebb and flow. We can let go of attachment to feeling a certain way all the time. We can listen to these moments as signals for what we might be needing or craving. Maybe it’s a sign you need more time alone, or more time doing something that lights you up.Maybe it’s a sign that something isn’t working. Maybe it’s a sign that you can lean into and learn something from those difficult emotions. Whatever it is, be there. Hold that space. Ask yourself the right (and often difficult) questions, and get clear on what that emotion has to teach you.

with love,
Ashley

 

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