The wisdom of our emotions
Growing up, I was a pretty reserved girl. I didn’t wear my emotions on my sleeve to say the least.
I thought I was just a calm person and that nothing was wrong with that. I used to freeze when experiencing strong emotions, I didn’t know how to share them with others and didn’t trust anyone to hold space for me. I held up a cool, calm and collected demeanor, no matter what was going on in my life, no matter how intense and painful. This worked for a while, I got by, until my mother died at the age of 61 from breast cancer. The grief was too big to repress and I could feel myself get angry. I would have urges of road rage, I would lash out at my boyfriend, my brother, my friends. I felt completely alone, and I was. I couldn’t connect with anyone because I couldn’t connect with myself. It was torturous so I decided going to india and taking a spiritual path would offer me some relief.
My father passed away unexpectedly a year and a half after my mother and that gave me the final push I needed. I was going to take a year and travel.
My boyfriend quit his job and we set off. We went to India, we went to temples, stayed in ashrams, met gurus and swamis. It was a wonderful experience and adventure but inside I felt pretty much the same. Like John Kabat Zinn said “wherever you go, there you are.”
There I was. Images of my mother and father in their final days flashing through my head at night, regrets, guilt, fear, hopes.
This wasn’t working, I wasn’t free. I didn’t feel authentic, I didn’t really trust anyone, or myself.
In the hero’s journey, there is one clear moment where the hero can’t take it anymore, it’s do or die. But in real life, it’s usually a succession of moments, a realization that it’s no longer possible to live in the same way.
I can’t say there was one big aha moment that changed everything. It was each step of the journey that brought me to where I am today. In 2016 I met Natalie Christensen and started learning about emotions and the brain. It was literally mind blowing stuff. After each call, it was as if the veil had been pulled off my eyes and I could see the world completely differently. This lasted for a few days, and then I slipped back into my strongly wired patterns. Slowly, over time, it started to stick. My brain was making new neural pathways. Emotions were not registering as a survival threat. This has been the most incredible achievement of my life (other than giving birth to my daughters). I have changed myself from the inside out. I finally had been given the user’s manual for life. It no longer mattered what was or wasn’t happening on the outside because I was there for myself and with myself on the inside. This was the true superhero moment. I'm now honored to offer this tool to others in my 1-1 practice.