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  • Writer's pictureAndi


Do you notice how some days we wake up ready to take on the world, and other days we are slugs? Some days I find I am irritable and have no idea why? Through my trainings I know the only way to work through these feelings is to “feel” the feeling and sit with it to allow it to process through our bodies. So how do we feel and sit with something that has no tangible form?

Here is a guide, and I urge you to trust the process:

1. Notice where the feeling is happening in your body and place your hand there. Typically, when it’s emotional it lands in one or more of these areas: chest, solar plexus, throat, headache, neck, shoulders, upper back, or stomach.

2. Name your feeling. This sounds easier than it is. Often, we have discomfort in our bodies, and we can’t quite place it, so we are just in a foul mood and unconsciously spread it around to those in our proximity. Look at the emotional wheel above and see if you can find the emotion that depicts what you are feeling. You will be astounded at the number of emotions that fall into the broad categories, there are emotion wheels that further dissect our emotions to a micro level if nothing resonates in the wheel above.

3. Once you have named the feeling, can you imagine its size, shape, and color? Acknowledge this object sitting in your body and allow it to be there. It’s important to feel our feelings and not push them aside. Breathe and sit with the feeling without escalating it. Just allow it to be there and breathe to that area of your body to soothe the feeling. This is not a quick fix, be patient and honor the time you need.

4. If it persists or escalates, seek counseling from a coach to help you identify why the pain is consistent.

When I feel discomfort in my body, I acknowledge it like a visitor. I will make a cup of tea and sit with it. In the past few years, I had a chronic pain in my chest. I was able to identify it as a mango size, maroon and brown solid object taking up space in my body. Following the steps above, I was able to release the discomfort, but it persisted so I knew I needed to dig deeper to get to the root of my anxiety and anger. I hired my own coach and we identified that most of my day was not aligned with my personality strengths. I do love working and for several years in a past role, I woke up feeling abundant every day. We dissected this period in my life and I worked to make the shift I needed to claim that part of me. Since I decided to grow Parent Do Overs on a full-time basis, I no longer have this mango visitor. I still have emotional ups and “dips” (not downs). The dips feelings are smaller in size and lighter in color, and I still use the steps above to work through them.

For parents: I feel so silly for all the times I asked my young children what was going on and they would say “I don’t know”! This created frustration for both of us and we never quite identified the issue. If they were able to verbalize it, “a fight with a classmate or hating school”, I would minimize the situation noting that “everyone feels this way” and placate them with a distraction. Those “scars” were left unhealed. Now as young adults they will have to take the Do Over themselves and I am taking my own Do Over to release the guilt of not having the knowledge or tools to be more mindful in those moments. If you are lucky enough to still have young children or grandchildren, it’s important to know that tantrums are “big feelings” that they do not know how to process. Sit with them, hug them, (gentle squeezing makes them feel safe and calms the nervous system), use a soothing voice and follow the guidelines above to help them understand their feelings.

Click here to see a child friendly emotion wheel. Read through the feelings and have them identify the one that fits or let them point to the emoji that resonates. Talk about why they are feeling this way and then sit with it until they are ready to have their favorite superhero, princess, or dinosaur come and take it away. When we teach our children early on that emotions are part of life and to acknowledge them, it will make it normal for them to manage their emotions in the future.

Emotional stress is the feeling of “dis-ease” in our bodies. If left untreated, it will lead to “disease” as validated through many scientific research studies. It’s also very common to escape and numb our emotions with other activities such as a glass of wine, shopping, eating, excessive exercising, gaming, binge watching TV and social media, just to name a few. Unfortunately, a band aid will not heal this infection. It needs to be drained and cleaned out before it can heal properly.

Once we awaken to our feelings it’s almost impossible to go back into the trance of ignoring them. It’s like trying to unlearn how to ride a bicycle. As our feelings come to the surface it often feels worse before it feels better so keep repeating the exercise above. I found it easier to work with my own coach to permanently release my maroon and brown mango.

If you need help with any or all the steps above, I am here to guide you with a personalized and gentle Do Over.

For the rest of March, I will be feeling my feelings from abroad. I am honoring myself by staying in the present moment with relatives and will post if the inspiration arises. I will definitely be back in April when the cherry blossoms start blooming in New York City.


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