As festive and magical as the holiday season can be, it can also be really hard. A lot of people find themselves having to attend events they don’t want to go to and seeing people they wouldn’t choose to see at other times of the year. It leaves them feeling disconnected.
When we are in disconnection mode, we don’t tend to make as great choices. We push aside our feelings, meaning we push aside our authentic self. But this week, I’m showing you how to feel your feelings and the importance of doing so.
In this episode, I’m sharing some exercises to help you prepare for the holiday season and supporting you in this experience. I’m sharing what you can do for yourself to help you reconnect and feel your feelings, and how doing so will help you make better choices that truly serve you.
What You'll Learn from this Episode:
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Full Episode Transcript:
With this episode I want to start it off by wishing all of you who are celebrating Christmas, a very merry, merry Christmas. This episode is dropping on December the 23rd, so it will be a couple days for some of you. Others of you, you'll get to it on Christmas or just after Christmas. So whenever it is, I wish you all the best and all the magic of the festive and holiday season.
I'm also aware that during this time it can be really hard. That as festive, and as magical, and as peaceful as the season can be, it can be really, really hard. And earlier this week we had a session in the Healing And Revealing Human Potential program talking about how you work with yourself when you are going to events that you don't necessarily want to go to. That you're seeing people that you wouldn't choose to see other times of the year and this is a time of the year where it's necessary to do that.
So there's a certain level of discomfort, and angst, and tightness, and tension. So with this episode I want to support you in the experience of that and what you can do for yourself to help you reconnect. Because if there's one thing I've noticed over time with my clientele and with myself, it’s that when we are in a disconnection type of mode, we don't tend to make as great choices for ourselves.
And we leave ourselves to the side, we defer our inner authority, we don't listen to that inner compass, which is just another way of describing the inner authority. And so I want to support you in being able to do that through this season.
One of the common things you hear me talk about on this podcast, and I talk lots and lots about in all the programs that I run, is that that feeling is fundamental. When I look back over my almost 30 year career and evaluate what's contributed to my clients getting well and my professional trainees creating remarkable results, the key characteristic amongst them all is this ability to connect and listen to their body.
And they're the ones who get better the fastest. And they're the ones who create remarkable client results. The key to that, the key to being able to listen to their body is being able to quiet the mind. Right? It's recognizing the power of thought in both its positive and negative attributes and clearing out the mental clutter.
And that mental clutter can almost surreptitiously build up over time. But when you can clear it out, then you can connect more clearly with your body. And then you can tune into this inner wisdom, and that inner authority can become wholly your own.
So the key here is that you're feeling. You're feeling and tuning into your thinking, into the clutter, into noticing how those thoughts make you feel. Noticing emotions and how they resonate in your body. Notice when you're bracing or you're gripping against a scenario. And this might be kind of sadistic, but the season that we're in is a great place to experiment with this for many, many people that I know. So it really helps you train it, it helps you build up your capacity. So it's one way of being able to look at it.
So with this episode I want to help you connect, and I want to help you feel because the reality is that I've noticed with my clientele is feeling is not something that tends to be taught. When we think about feelings, we hear subjective experiences. And subjective experiences don't tend to have the same weight as objective experiences.
And to distinguish between those two, when I talk about that which is objective, I talk about facts. I talk about things where whatever political spectrum you're on, whether you're left or right, whether you are in the court of law, whether you are plaintiff or defendant, you will all agree on that which is objective. You will all agree on the facts, it’s black and white, it's clear, this is what occurred.
The opinion you have about it, that's different, that's subjective. What you experience in your body around pain or symptoms, that's subjective. And you and I might have similar words to describe a subjective experience, but the reality is, no matter how intuitive or empathic I am, I am not in your body. So we might say the same words, but how we actually feel those words is going to be different because it's truly a subjective experience.
So to be able to tune into one's feelings and one’s subjective experience is really key to be able to tune into your own inner compass and your inner authority. It's key to tune into your emotional state. It's key to tune in to what's going on in your brain with your thought process. It's key to noticing that as an event or as an experience with another person, whether it's family or friends that makes you a little uncomfortable, it's key to noticing that level of discomfort.
Because so often we have been taught just to shove those negative feelings aside. Our brain is somewhat trained to do that too, because our brain tends to go for positive or pleasurable sensations rather than negative ones or uncomfortable ones. And so we are a bit wired up to do that.
And certainly, in many Western cultures, we are trained to not experience feeling that is uncomfortable. We are trained to bypass it, we are trained to fix it, we are trained to find the positive thought, find the silver lining.
It's all really great, and again, the key to a healing process, I have found, is to get very real and realistic about what it is that you're feeling, to be able to discern it, to be able to describe it so that you can make better choices for yourself. It's so fundamental to the point where the way I look at feelings is that they're very sacred.
Feelings are sacred, they run our lives. Our actions and behaviors are driven by how we feel. Whether we feel good, or whether we feel bad, or anywhere in between, that is what drives what we do or don't do. Feelings don't go away. Try as we might to try and push them aside, they will only come back louder if you're not paying attention to them.
They're interesting that way, right? Because they are sacred calls to awareness, to evolution. And a reality that I buy into is if we push them aside, we're pushing aside our authentic self.
So it becomes really interesting, because feelings really are this opportunity for us to grow and to evolve into the next version of ourselves. But we're not taught that very often. And yet, as I mentioned earlier, my clientele who really takes this on are the ones who get better the fastest.
Hands down, it is the common characteristic amongst them all. Because when you can connect into your brain and body and respond to them with deep care and support, it really is the ingredient for how self-love fuels self-care.
Now think about that in terms of Christmas. Think about that in terms of family events. Think about any event that makes you super uncomfortable. And now you can discern what's going on in yourself. Now think about the action you can take, how can you support yourself, right? It's so amazing and powerful and can really be supportive.
So an experience that I walked a group of my trainees through who are in the Healing And Revealing Human Potential program, which is a program that takes these concepts that I teach on the podcast and we dig into them and go deeper and we study them and explore them.
We meet two or three times per month, there's a whole curriculum that I have within the program, plus like over 200 videos to really bring the concepts to life inside of Susi's resource library. It's a remarkable place that you can really play with these ideas and support yourself on your path of healing.
I took an element of what I taught in a previous session last week, I'm going to teach you here on this episode of what you can do when you are going to an event and you're imagining what it's going to be like. And then when you're actually at the event and notice in yourself how can you support yourself? And it becomes really powerful because of something that you notice along the way.
So what I'd like you to do to begin is just to notice your body right now and to notice yourself breathing. And notice how it all feels, like noticing the inhale, noticing the exhale. And pay attention to if the inhale is longer or shorter than the exhale. And not that it matters, it's simply bringing your awareness to your body. It's tuning into the feeling state of your physical structure of that of your body.
Okay, so now where I'd like you to go next is to think about an individual or maybe a group of individuals and have a memory of maybe last year at Christmas or at another event. And you're going to be seeing these people again, very soon perhaps. And they or something that they did that had you feel really crappy. It was very uncomfortable. And I want you, if it's safe and it feels okay to explore, is I want you to experience that feeling again.
So the idea is that you're imagining and remembering, you're having the memory of something that occurred. And then you’re experiencing your feeling about it. And notice where you feel that feeling in your body. Maybe there's an emotion that's tied with it. Notice the emotional resonance in your body, the vibration of it.
So depending on the experience you might simply notice like tension, bracing, tightness. You might also notice an emotion like worry, concern, anger, irritation, resignation. So if you're noticing the emotion, can you now feel that physical sensation of the emotion? Because emotions have a physical vibration inside of ourselves. So can you feel that emotional resonance in your body, that vibration?
So you're coming into this place where you can feel the physical experience of that memory. Okay, now come back to your breath. Feel your feet, we’re just going to tone down because that may have sort of spiked some stuff inside of you. So we're just going to settle that out, wash it out a little bit by feeling your feet. Connecting your feet to the ground or whatever they're touching on. And feeling your hands. Connecting to your belly or other parts of your body.
So just kind of come into places of your body where you feel very comfortable, you feel very welcome. And then coming back to that inhale and exhale. If you have to shake things out or move things around a little bit.
Okay, so as you're doing that, let's just recap what occurred. So there was a memory that I asked you to think about around somebody and their behavior or their actions. And you noticed your reaction to that.
Now what I'd like you to do is a similar thing, but different. So you're going to bring up that same memory. But instead of noticing what you're experiencing in terms of feeling, I want you to bear witness to it. You're watching the action of that individual.
So it's similar to watching a TV show, or Netflix, or Disney Channel, or Prime Video, or whichever of the many streaming services that are out there. But you're just watching it. So you're watching somebody having the experience. You're watching them having their behavior, you're watching them doing their thing. But you're watching it as if you're watching a movie or a TV show.
And now notice what you're experiencing in your body. Now notice what's going on emotionally. When I did this exercise with the group in Healing And Revealing Human Potential, what was really paramount and clear was in the former, when people felt the response that they had to someone's behavior, they felt it tight or braced. The emotions came up that were more of the content of like worry, concern, resignation, anger, irritation, of those types, right?
When they bear witness to someone and just watching them, kind of think of like Buddha watching. Watching the movie of it, now the experience was lighter. There was easier breath. There was less of a reaction. What was really interesting about the experience for a lot of people who had not done this before was that they realized that A, this was a memory. B, It was imagination. This wasn't something that was happening in real time. So they were conjuring it up in their own brain, which was really interesting, yeah?
The second is, is that in the first scenario, they felt the response to it as if they were in it. And then the other was they just noticed it as being watching it. So one was like very much in the experience, and one was that they were watching the experience from afar.
So it's different, we like to talk about it in the certification program as zooming in or zooming out. So you can zoom into the experience and being in it, almost like being in the pool of it. Or you can be on the side of the pool of it and watch the people in the pool doing the behavior.
So here's what's really cool about it, you get to choose really where you want to be. Now I know that can maybe sound a little simplistic. We're all humans, we all get caught, we all find ourselves in scenarios where it's like, “Oh, I didn't need to be reacting this way.”
So the next part of this is imagine that you were or you're at the event, this is happening, you're bearing witness to it. Like you can feel it, you're feeling the easiness of it, you're feeling like, “Oh, interesting, look at them doing their thing.” And then something happens and you get triggered.
Something happens and you feel braced. Something happens and it’s like, “What?” And you find yourself in that space. So now you you get to bear witness to yourself. Bear witness to yourself in the experience that you're having. Now, it might be that you need to take a walk to the bathroom, or you need to go for a walk around the building or something of that sort. But where can you or how can you just bear witness to yourself?
And when people can bear witness, when they can take that zoomed out view of themselves and just watch themselves in the process, something begins to change. Things begin to down regulate, breathing starts to settle out, more connection begins to happen. More care can happen, better choices can be made that really serve you and yourself.
So now from there, come back into your breath. And feel your body and remember that your body doesn't lie. So the sensations that you're experiencing are real. And when you can name them and recognize them as the reality that they are, then you start to be able to work with them. And they can help guide you more clearly in a direction that you could go.
So this leads to another exercise that you can play with. It is to experience your body and your breath. And notice, maybe it's an emotion or it's a physical sensation that you're experiencing. And if it's an emotion, again, can you feel the physical vibration of where that emotion resides?
So again, if it's an emotion like anger, or worry, or sadness, or concern, or irritation, where does that vibrate in your body? Where does that feel? Where can you feel that? Maybe it's in your head, maybe it's in your belly, or your feet, or your pelvic floor. Just notice what's happening in your body when you feel that.
And I want you to ask yourself a few questions. And the first question is, “Hey there, sensation. Thank you for showing up.” I realize that might sound corny but go with me on this one. “Tell me what it is that you need. Tell me what it is that you want. And tell me what action I need to take.”
Now initially, you might not get answers right away. But as you practice it and you do it from a very heartfelt place not like, “Come on, effing body, tell me tell, tell me.” If you can just come at it from just like really, really caring it might surprise you what arises.
Okay, one final exercise for you. I like to talk about the hands being a connection to the heart. And some people will ask me how is that possible? And how I make it meaningful for myself is that when you look at acupuncture meridians, there are meridians that connect from the heart to the palms of the hands.
So before the pandemic, when I was seeing people live and in person and I would touch them with my hands, I would feel them as if I was touching them with my heart. So what I offer to you is this, let's start with placing your hands on your heart and then placing your hands together so your palms are touching. So in yoga, we call it a namaste position, it might be a prayer position, that's another way of looking at it. So palms together.
And now whether it's placing your hands on your phone or placing your hands on your keyboard or computer. Or placing your hands on the turkey or on the pan that the turkey is roasting in. Or on the spoon that is blending up the mashed potatoes, or the Brussel sprouts, or the carrots, or the beans, or whatever it is that you're eating, whatever utensil it is. As you hold on to the cutlery as you're eating, think about your heart in your hand. And it's touching each of those tools.
As you play a board game, as you move the chess piece, your heart is touching each of those pieces. Just consider how that can shift an experience inside of yourself. It's not asking you to not feel, it's just providing you contact with your body. Something below your brain in terms of thinking, where you can simply just feel love. Love for the food, love for yourself, love for the tools and the utensils.
And what I find so fascinating, when love is present something shifts in the space. Sometimes it's more nuanced, sometimes it's really quite magical. Just notice it, play around with it, take a mischievous sense of wonder about it. I'd love to know what happens for you if you play with that exercise.
All in all, I wish you just a lovely time, the time that you are most wanting for this time of the season. And I look forward to connecting with you next week. Merry Christmas.
If you have found this episode nurturing, resonating, you feel it in your bones of like “Yes, this is so right.” And you want to dig into these concepts and really study them and work with people who are on this path of really feeling, recovering and healing, and connecting to their best self, you will love Healing And Revealing Human Potential.
This is my membership program, it’s a one-time membership fee. And we go in deep and explore our feeling. We explore our movement, we explore thinking, we explore the experience of being human and how that contributes to ourselves getting out of pain into possibility. Just send us an email to [email protected] I would love to be able to work with you. Take good care.