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Season 3 - Episode 12

Welcoming Emotions

15 min - Practice
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Description

Melody guides us in a meditation practice where we journey into our emotions, invoking memories and observing sensations. We explore themes of pride, unconditional acceptance, and shame—feeling and breathing into the emotions in order to let go, release, and transform, arriving renewed and available to this present moment.
What You'll Need: No props needed

Transcript

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(waves crashing) So welcome to this meditation practice on welcoming in emotion. So often it's difficult to let our emotions arise within us, without rejecting them. I know for me, if I feel something uncomfortable, the first thing I want to do is intellectualize it. I want to bypass the sensation and think about it. Some of us sometimes some of us want to defend against it by numbing out entirely, We are very creative in the ways that we anesthetize.

Through food. Through drinking. Through drugs. Through shopping. Through texting.

Through work addiction. I'm familiar with all of those things, and I imagine that some of you are as well. So what I want to offer now, is a practice of actually inviting in emotion. The sufi poet, Rumi, has a poem called "The Guest House', in which he talks about allow the emotions to come into you, and actually welcome them. Really invite them in for tea.

Get to know them and appreciate them, because each emotion is a teacher, and if we can sit with it and lean fully into it, and embrace the emotion, without trying to make it stop, or lessen it or change it, then we have access to understand how it's informing us, and then we can actually really use our emotions to teach us where to go and how to navigate. We have to be able to sit still, in order to allow them to come and allow them to inform us. In this practice I'm going to ask you to find a comfortable seat wherever you are, and when you're ready close down your eyes. If you have closed your eyes, find the ground underneath you. Find what's touching the earth, and allow yourself to root down into that ground.

Find the solidness in the ground underneath you, recognizing that you're held. You're actually held up by the forces of gravity lifting you up. And then feel for any sensations that are already in your body. Sensation is the precursor to emotion. Very often, if we have no idea how we're feeling, if we can tune into the sensations in our body, they teach us, they inform us, they point us in the direction of how we might be feeling.

There's been some research that has showed that if we can feel an emotion for 90 seconds, it actually dissipates on its own. So finding your breath. Slowing down your pace. Asking your body permission to sit for the next few minutes so that you can explore, and you can contain what comes up in your body. Asking your mind permission to get out of the way, so that you can tune in to the sensations that arise physically.

And asking your guides, the universal wisdom, your understanding of God, of truth and love, to be with you during this practice. Take a very deep inhale. Allow it to fill up your lungs, front, back and sides. And as you exhale, let all of your breath out. Slowing down your pace.

And now call to mind an experience that you've had when you felt proud. Allow yourself physically to remember the sensations that came with feeling proud of yourself, accomplished, like you had succeeded. Maybe you won. You finished a task. Completed a race.

What does it feel like in your body to be proud. Where do you feel those sensations? Do they come with colors, textures? Are they sharp, dull? Allow yourself to remember now the sense of pride in you.

And as you allow yourself to feel into that moment, of true joy and accomplishment, and pride, let yourself experience the feeling in your body so you can recognize it. And then give your body permission to release the sensations. Allow the memory to fade back into your mind, bringing yourself, through breath, into this moment. Now, take a deep inhale into where you are and how you feel now. And then exhale it out.

And just notice the power of your mind, and the connection between your mind and your physical body. The psyche and the soma. In drawing memory into presence. And next I want to invite you to recall or bring to mind a feeling of being unconditionally accepted. Call to mind someone who you know loves and adores you.

Perhaps it's a relative or a teacher or a student. Someone in your life, and maybe it's your pet, who absolutely feels joyful when they see you. And you experience their joy fully. Maybe in their embrace, or their huge smile, or the sparkle in their eyes when they witness your arrival. And feel for any sensations in your body that come up when you experience being witnessed by someone who appreciates you fully.

When you experience and let yourself feel into what it's like to be embraced by their warmth and by the acceptance and by their excitement. Where are the sensations in your body? What are their textures? Do they come with any color? Doing your best not to be judgmental or critical of what or how you're feeling, let yourself experience what's happening in your physical body.

How does being loved feel for you? How does being seen feel for you? Now allow yourself to gently release those sensations, by bringing yourself back to this present moment, and this meditation, through your breath, by allowing that memory to recede into the back of your mind. As you take a very deep inhale into the now, feeling the oxygen against your nostrils as you do so. And then exhaling it out slowly.

Now call to mind an experience or a situation that has caused or is causing anger, perhaps even rage. With courage allow yourself to feel the sensations that come up for you physically when you feel mad. When you feel a sense of injustice. Perhaps betrayed. Where does anger show up in your body?

Is there heat? Coolness? Are there colors or textures? Where does your rage come from physically? How does it manifest?

Give yourself permission to feel fully into that anger. Notice it. Track it. Is it everywhere? Is it in particular places?

Allow yourself to feel that anger physically, and then with a very deep exhale, see if you can begin to move through it, allowing that memory or situation now to recede into the back of your mind. Taking a very deep and clearing inhale breath. As you exhale it's an opportunity to let that moment be in the past, letting it go. And lastly call to mind an experience of feeling ashamed. An experience where you felt embarrassed or maybe even humiliated.

Maybe you have a situation in your life currently that you feel a sense of worthlessness about. You want to hide it. Have it now be known. Maybe you even feel like I am that mistake. I am that behavior.

Allow your body to experience the feeling, the sensations that come with the feeling of shame. Where do you feel it in your body? Can you locate it? Does it come with colors or textures? Is there any constriction or tension?

Any openness? Notice any defensiveness against the feeling of shame that you have physically? Any resistance? Without judging or criticizing it, allow yourself now to sense and feel into the physical manifestations of shame. And yes it's uncomfortable but can you continue to breathe and allow the shame to be felt?

And then on your next inhale, allow the humiliation, the embarrassment and the shame to slowly recede into the back of your mind. With your next inhale filling into the present moment where you are now, recognizing that that moment has passed. As you exhale letting it go, and as you inhale bringing yourself into the sensations that you feel in this new moment. Every time we exhale, it's an opportunity to release. To drop what has been and every inhale, it's an opportunity to renew, to invite in this present moment, the only moment over which we have any power.

Taking a very deep inhale. Exhaling it out fully. The relationship between your body and your mind is a powerful connected one. So often we've trained ourselves to disconnect, to disengage, to not recall and not remember and not want to feel the sensations that come up because we think that they're too uncomfortable. We can't process them.

We won't be able to contain them. In truth those sensations, they're a Google map. They're a Waze map, they're our navigation system. And hopefully as you've experienced in the this short meditative practice, you can allow yourself to sense what comes up physically without running or hiding or defending against. Without resisting, but leaning toward feeling into recognizing and being taught by these emotions as they come.

Knowing that the more often you're able to practice sensing and feeling and finally verbalizing these emotions, the easier it becomes, with commitment to awareness and to atunement of your sensations. Allowing them to teach you, so that you can grow and through that growth, so that you can transform, and through your transformation, so that you can help in the transformation of the people and the community in the world around you. Take one final deep inhale. Allow the inhale to permeate through your entire body. And as you exhale, dropping everything you have known, including this meditative practice, it's behind us now.

And when you're ready, slowly opening your eyes, bringing yourself back to this presence. Thank you for joining me in this practice. I hope this is one that you're able to return to again and again as you journey into feeling more comfortable inside of the complete discomfort of the emotions that we feel. Thank you for joining me. Namaste.

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