I always thought I knew how to feel my emotions, until I realised that I was only willing to feel certain emotions–those that I deemed positive or acceptable. Everything else, I pushed down or away.
There can be a cultural reason for avoiding certain emotions. In my Eastern European heritage, you wouldn’t want to be seen as weak at any cost, even if that means shoving your grief down after your father dies. The British have the stiff upper lip they are proud of, and in modern spirituality we are often encouraged to transcend our pesky, earthly feelings.
But when you allow yourself to feel your emotions fully, the world becomes a more beautiful, colourful place, full of scents and laughter–and yes, occasionally full of pain and sadness.
So how can we navigate the beauty and pain of emotions? It takes time and courage to walk the path. I have been on this journey myself for many years now.
Reading books on the topic helped on a rational level, but didn’t make it easier to feel them. (The books I recommend are Emotional Agility By Susan David, How Emotions Are Made By Lisa Feldman Barrett, 90 Seconds to a Life You Love By Joan Rosenberg)
Softening into the embrace of my young nephew certainly helped as well, but it is better not to rely on another person’s soothing presence to get comfortable with your own emotions. That said, having a non-judgemental listener (like a therapist or a coach) has great benefits and I whole-heartedly recommend it.
Embodiment was where I found breakthrough. It has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years and there are many ways to define it. In my work with emotions, I focus on embodiment as one’s capacity to listen to and the ability to interpret the body’s signals, as well using the body for expression, release and connection. This can be through simple movement or certain embodied practices.
Putting all the above research, studying, practice and knowledge together, we at Centrd Life have created The School of Emotions.
One of our values here is to make this knowledge accessible and affordable to many. That is why instead of expensive coaching sessions, we offer simple self-study courses.
With The School of Emotions, we want to take you on a journey through your emotional landscape, and give you tools to help you cope with difficulties in the short term–as well as developing personalised practices to improve your overall emotional health.
Our upcoming courses will focus on how to identify and name emotions, emotional intelligence and resilience, specific difficult emotions (such as anger, fear, and anxiety). We will also touch on topics like trauma patterns, how embodiment can help you develop authenticity, self-leadership and what nervous system regulation practices we can use to create a more emotionally balanced life. Next year, we will also introduce a whole series on relationships through the lenses of emotions and embodiment.
We are so grateful for your trust in this journey. As we add more courses to the School of Emotions, we encourage you to create your own curriculum. As a self-study, there are no rules or requirements–do what you need to do to get the most out of the program.
We invite you to check out our first course, Cultivating Emotional Wellbeing: Using the Foundations of Emotional Health to Create Balance and Feel at Ease, now live here on Centrd Life.
As always, let us know if you have any questions, and how we can offer you support.