Do you even work out your emotions, bro?
What brings meaning and fulfillment to your life? What makes you thrive?
Do you stop and consider this? I do it a lot.
At a particularly low period in my life that followed a divorce, I went to a make-yourself-whole-type retreat in the hopes of putting some of the broken pieces of my life back together. The people there were well-organized (important to my CPA brain!) and super positive (rolling my eyes a little). They used PowerPoint presentations and personal stories to prove to me that all I had to do was just change how I think and I would be back on the road to a fulfilling life. I felt alone questioning the advice in a pool of participants that all seemed to be jazzed to follow it, so I decided that I should try it too.
AND THEN, I tried. Tried really hard. But inevitably just started beating myself up because I couldn’t change my thoughts the way they thought I could AND presumably how everyone else could. Ugh, nooooo! This well-meaning retreat actually left me feeling worse about myself and certainly about my prospects of a meaningful life.
So, after yet another cycle of being hard on myself, I started to realize that I was so focused on how I was thinking that I wasn’t really considering how I was feeling through this whole process. Had I done that, maybe I could’ve been living more fulfilled?
I also realized that I’m not the only one that does this to myself – do you? Can you relate? In fact, it has now crystallized for me that what gets missed so often in our society (just like at the retreat), but makes us all actually thrive is EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE and EXPRESSION.
Why? BECAUSE THE MORE WE TAKE CARE OF OUR EMOTIONS, THE MORE WE BUILD THE RESILIENCE TO RESPOND TO SITUATIONS like the retreat WITH SELF-LOVE… WITH THE THOUGHT THAT ‘I MATTER.’ And as soon as we can say ‘I matter,’ our life seems better and more fulfilling.
So, how can we practice emotional self-care?
We have to start by becoming aware of our feelings (quick check – what are you feeling right now? No, really. I’ll wait. How are you feeling right now?), then we have to accept that the emotions are what they are and that it’s OK for us to have them. AND once we can let them exist, TO TRULY RESPECT OUR EMOTIONS, WE HAVE TO FIND A HEALTHY OUTLET TO EXPRESS THEM INSTEAD OF HIDING THEM.
So, maybe IT IS time to think differently as the dear folks at my retreat pointed out. Maybe it’s time to prioritize building our emotional muscles so that when crises or bouts of self-doubt hit us, we can flex resilience and knock them out.
I’VE PUT A LOT OF THOUGHT AND FEELING INTO how we can do this and as a result have founded ROOTED SELF EXPRESSION CENTER.
Knowing how hard it is for people (myself included) to dig into emotions, it’s important that we can express them in an APPROACHABLE and NON-INTIMIDATING way. So I’ve decided to make Rooted a new kind of a place with an age-old, proven, fun way of expressing emotions – with the help of THE ARTS.
IN A NUTSHELL, ROOTED IS A PROVERBIAL GYM FOR THE EMOTIONS AND THE ARTS ARE THE WEIGHTS TO WORK THEM OUT WITH.
Here’s something else that’s really important. You know how the retreat folks told me to do something and then I didn’t know how to make it happen? I don’t want to do that – I’d rather create a space where you can FIND YOUR OWN INSIGHTS. It’s paramount to me that you are able to say ‘I matter,’ that your emotions matter from your own strength and wisdom (which you have in spades!). That’s why, at Rooted, we facilitate your discoveries on your own terms without any judgments from us.
I’ve decided to start writing this blog with MY TEAM so that we can share our own experiences with emotional self-care with you. As time progresses, I hope that you will take from us what feels right for you because what you feel matters. YOU MATTER!
Sign-up HERE to try a FREE “Self-Care in the City