How to Embrace All Your Feelings

My daughter started preschool the other week.

I didn’t anticipate how many different feelings I would have about watching her walk off into the school with barely a second thought.

I was so proud of her.
And I am excited to be getting time back to myself. Very much so.
And my heart broke knowing she is going into the world and will experience things I won’t always know about.
And I felt a sense of freedom I haven’t had in a very long time. I was elated about this.
And I felt time being marked by this new chapter so I felt nostalgia.
And I was sad she wasn’t going to school with the special crew of kids that she had grown to love in Brooklyn.
And I was happy she has her cousin by her side.

I could go on.

My point is, there were a plethora of feelings.

Did you notice that many of the feelings I had are in contradiction to each other?

But, they were all swirling at the same time.

We often experience many different feelings at once, particularly as it pertains to a life changing event. And yet, we want to categorize it as one thing.

I am either stressed.
Or I am sad.
Or I am happy.
I am in despair.
I am proud.

What if it were all those things, at once?

Our feelings are layered, complex and multidimensional. (Just like us!)

We must be willing to embrace the fullness of our hearts and all the beautiful textures and layers that it holds.

It takes practice to do so, but there is a tremendous amount of freedom that comes when we notice the depths of our own feelings.

Here is a two-step, short and easy practice to help you do just that.

Step 1: What else?

This week, when you are feeling something intense, uncomfortable or even really good, I invite you to ask yourself, “What else? Is there anything else here?”

You can even get more specific and ask yourself if you might have opposite feelings from the dominant one you are experiencing. This is helpful particularly if the dominant feelings are heavier ones. Is there any joy in there? Is there a sense of gratitude? Relief? Freedom? It’s ok if there’s not, but check.

Pause. Get still for a moment, and just see what comes up. See what else your heart might be holding.

It’s a subtle practice of noticing. You have to really tune in and be honest with yourself.

Step 2: Write it down

I invite you to share in the comments what feelings you noticed. You don’t even have to explain yourself. (Of course, you are welcome to!) You can just say: I feel X, I feel Y, I feel Z.) It’s good for us to record the feelings so we can refer back to them, remembering the many layers.

You must be willing to accept that you, the beautiful, layered, textured human that you are, can hold more than one emotion at once. And it’s ok, if they don’t all go together perfectly.

I promise, they actually go together more beautifully than you realize.

I hope that you are having a beautiful week and that this practice brings you some more ease and flow.

Big love,

P.S. Did you get a chance to do the workout I shared last week? Here is what a few people had to say:

“I really enjoyed this gentle sculpt workout. I love the way you guide us through the movements. Thank you so much Erin.”

“Did this workout today and loved it! Loved the music, the moves and hearing your lovely voice! Made me feel so much better about my day – thank you!”

“This was just the missing puzzle piece in my workout routine right now. Love the core and inner thigh work—I was definitely challenged and sore but not overcooked. Grateful for this offering!” 

If you are needing inspiration in your at-home workout routine that also helps tap into your emotional and spiritual life, I invite you to come check out The Movement.

Each month I share new workouts, meditations, soul strolls and coaching that give you plenty of variety so you don’t get bored and more importantly, encourage you to simply begin exactly where you are.

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