Bliss Broyard published an article in ELLE Magazine about her experience coaching with me. I found it fascinating that the most poignant take away, and hence her title was “Don’t Let Your Emotions Make You Their B*#ch.” Yup, much to my 9-year old daughter’s dismay, I said it.
How I ask clients to deal with their emotions goes against the grain for a lot of grown ups, too. (Warning, this blog is for healthy readers, not people with mental health issues.) It seems therapy and a lot of new-age teachers have worked VERY HARD to get us in touch with our emotions and not all of us are ready to just pack them up and send them trucking just yet. What I am implying could get me in a lot of trouble, so I really want to clarify.
How Handel Handles Emotions
The Handel Method cuts quite deep. We help you “unravel” everything from your past, from your last break-up to early childhood abuses to repetitive personality flaws you want to overcome. Our “unraveling” process results in you coming to see the traits or incidents in a very new light, and thus see yourself in a new light. Feeling emotions is a very big part of this. In fact, I remember when I was trying to come to terms with some of my father issues and some of my bigger fears in life, my Handel coach sent me to an energy worker who helped me literally emote (tennis racket to couch, screaming crying, ranting and the whole 9 yards!). It was awesome, more cathartic than years of talk therapy, yoga, chanting and meditating, for sure. I’ve had similar emotional releases from facing up to and having difficult conversations with people I care about, and from writing and reading letters of apology or forgiveness to someone from my past. This is all work we do in the Handel Method®, when appropriate.
It was so cleansing to feel fear and move through it, feel remorse and move through it, feel sadness or hurt and move through it. I don’t always have to do a dramatic exercise now to tap into and move through how I feel. Now I can usually just call my coach or a designated listener and warn them I am about to rant (thus they should not “believe” anything I say, but just listen and let it flow through). A verbal or written rant usually works to release me. To get me fully back to peace of mind, I might also have to “talk back” or write back to my rant, which involves using my intellect to change my thinking about the things that are causing distress. After all, thoughts lead to feelings and boy can those be erroneous! They deserve to be challenged in a systematic way (also something we do in coaching).
Many of you however, do not have these healthy processes for feeling your feelings set up. So instead, for you, “feeling your feelings” might look like this: sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating ice-cream and feeling depressed or finally confronting and yelling at your mother about what a poor job she did of raising you. If you think this is “being true to your emotions,” oy vey! I call that moping, wallowing, blaming and no new age spin should help you get away with it. You are too precious a human resource to get waylaid here on your personal growth journey.
Who Likes to Look at Vomit?
So you can see we are all for emotions and even catharsis, but not for the misdirection of these. Emotions are more like vomiting. Yup. Something didn’t go down right, something didn’t agree with you, so everything came up. Your job is to get everything out of your system and then take a look. What made you barf and why? Your emotions are sign-posts, clues to your distress. They will show you what you are thinking (especially if you write it down!) and then you can go in and start seeing where your thinking is wrong. That is the work that will actually free you, but that work makes you vulnerable. Having to admit we saw something or took something the wrong way, major things and minor things, is disturbing to our egos. But really, think about how often misunderstandings occur every day. Could it be you misunderstand a lot: about how your parents felt or dealt, why your break-ups happened, how people perceive you and on and on? Unless you are having in depth (graceful) conversations about these things, I swear you have no idea what actually happened. Do not TRUST your emotions about these things. They lie. They b*#ch slap you to keep you in check and maintaining the status quo. Thanks ego.
We live life in our minds far more than in actual dialogue with other people and that’s why we feel lonely and disgruntled so much of the time. We feel powerless. We feel like someone’s b*#ch and we are. Don’t let your emotions make you their b*#ch. Instead let a different voice guide you, the voice of your dreams. I know that is a much scarier path, but when fear comes up, you now know how to deal with it. This takes practice, I know and will never be easy, but you can live like this, a more peaceful and powerful human, if you want to. Do you want to?
P.S.- Feel all mixed up in your emotional stew? Don’t worry, I was there once, too. I recommend you come to our Design Your Life Weekend. It’s the fastest way to “Handel” your emotions and tap into that calm, powerful energy of your dreams. It’ll rock your world and change your life!