The things we say aren’t just words.
And I mean really matter.
Because the things we say are held in our very cell tissue.
Etched into the fabric of our being, and carried in our physical body.
What do I mean here?
Well, anytime someone I care about or am working with is struggling with something, I don’t ask them to break the thing down and explain it to me straight away.
I start by asking them this one simple question.
“Where do you feel that in your body?”
Because our words are directly linked to our emotions and we carry our emotional baggage, some of it very heavy, inside our bodies.
It’s the reason we can often end up depleted, emotional, and completely weighed down by life or responsibility that simply isn’t ours.
Ever feel that literal ‘weight of the world on your shoulders’? That’s often responsibility or baggage that you’re ‘shouldering’ for someone else.
Ever feel a sore throat or a tight jaw coming on when you’ve had a disagreement with someone and things haven’t been rectified? That’s the words you never got to say manifesting themselves as pain and frustration inside you.
I remember the first time someone asked me that question.
My yoga teacher Charlie asked me to inquire into where I felt an overwhelming feeling of stress and confusion in my body.
It was so easy to answer her, so much easier in fact, than trying to wonder and unpick why I was feeling the way I was feeling at the time, with my then relationship on the rocks, addiction issues at their height, and feeling weighed down by my career.
“In my neck and shoulders, and deep in the front of my chest”, I replied instantly.
Because that’s where I felt it.
Where I felt it all.
All that pain.
All that responsibility.
All that heartbreak.
All that frustration.
I felt it as a hot searing pain in the base of my neck, in between my shoulder blades, and as a constricting pressure down on the front of my chest.
And it hurt.
God did it hurt.
But it’s funny how until someone else gently brings our attention to it, we have no idea we’ve been feeling that pain for so long.
And that’s the thing.
That’s what really wears us down.
It’s not the thing we need to shift, it’s not the struggle, because ultimately we can shift that a lot easier than we give ourselves credit for.
Oh no, it’s our inability to let go of the struggle that’s the problem at times.
It’s our need to feel we have to stay and fight.
To put up with crap that’s not ours.
Other people’s crap.
To shoulder responsibility.
Other people’s responsibility.
It’s our in-built nature to assume we have to just knuckle down and get on with things because life is hard right?
Life is supposed to be a struggle.
Against the flow.
And just get on with it right?
Why have we told ourselves this is just how it has to be for us?
Well I’m here to tell you, my darling, that this ISN’T how it has to be.
So if you’ve been struggling with something lately and you have begun to hit overwhelm and confusion on where to go next, ask yourself this:
Where am I feeling this in my body?
Because that’s all you need to start with.
Start here, and you can then see where you might be carrying something that isn’t yours, but is actually someone else’s.
Start here, and you can then see where you’re struggling with something that you could actually more easily than you think, simply let go of.
Start here, and you can feel where in your body you’ve been spending your precious energy moaning or worrying about someone or something, when you could have been considering how to use it to make you feel good instead.
If you’re anything like me, you might sometimes find it hard to verbalise how you feel.
But by feeling where you’re feeling something in your body first, you can sit with it, breathe into it, and let it go on a cellular level rather than wrestling with it over and over in your mind and beating yourself up for not knowing ‘exactly’ what’s going on.
What I’m saying here is, it’s OK to FEEL.
Feel something in your body, and then release it.
Let it go.
And do that however YOU need to.
It might be running.
It might be crying.
It might be meditation.
It might even be screaming with some loud music on.
But by learning to feel something first, you’ll become much more intuitive on letting something go and making a decision to go in a new direction, versus holding it inside and sticking with something that’s no longer working, when you just don’t need to anymore.