Listen up, kids, because today we’re talking about Creating Space to Feel Your Feelings. We know, this sounds like a drag, right? If you’re like us, you are probably professional avoiders of pain, and have run the gamut of avoidance rather than actually deeply engaging in your feelings and emotions. This is a problem, because over time, when we become conditioned to divert, avoid, and repress our feelings, we start to develop energetic blocks, emotional and mental health issues, and even serious physical illnesses.
On this week’s episode of The Psychedelic Integration Podcast, we’re having a conversation about all the ways we try to get out of engaging with our feelings, and how some of these coping mechanisms can really harm us over time. We’ll also share about how to move through your feelings with grace and empowerment, why throwing tantrums as an adult is a good thing, and discuss how ceremony with plant medicines teaches us presence and surrender to our feelings, allowing us to make space for the things we truly want in life.
Good Vibes Only is Bullshit, Y'all
It is completely natural to want to feel good. In fact, most of us find our way to healing with psychedelics because we want our life to feel better. We want to move away from suffering and toward more love, joy, health, and compassion. We want to connect to our purpose and find a higher connection to the meaning of life.
Our modern society conditions us to go around, divert, and sidestep hard things. We don’t like doing them, and we really don’t like feeling them. In personal development, feeling better or improving your life is generally the goal, but sometimes the practices we use to help ourselves grow can be used to bypass and hide from our pain and suffering in unhealthy ways.
In the spiritual community, there is an expectation (and even a promise) that IF YOU JUST DO ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, you will be a zenned out bliss babe and you will feel good all the time. This “good vibes only” strategy can be pretty toxic, and cause us to shove down the very messages our body and heart are begging us to pay attention to.
So what are some common, but ineffective or inefficient ways of feeling our feelings?
- Feeling it a little at a time (the drip method)
- Compartmentalizing (sometimes necessary, but only works well if you make time to feel the things later)
- Stopping yourself from crying
- Spiritual bypassing (I’m fine, it’s fine, good vibes only, faking it)
- Using spiritual practices to avoid feelings
- Spiritual narcissism (I’m fully healed, nothing to see here)
- Getting high or altered
- Avoiding through exercise, sex, eating, social media, anything that distracts you
Sit With It – Accept, Surrender, Allow, and Release
When we feel bad or stuck, a lot of times we will throw every tool that we have at it. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, nothing is working, and you’re still not feeling any better. Your body will let you know that you have feelings in the bunker that need to be felt. Our bodies are always talking to us, gently alerting us to places that need our attention. This can look like depression, fatigue, anxiety, anger, chronic pain, illness, insomnia, and more. Our bodies will force us to rest if we need to, and the messages continue to get louder when we ignore them.
It’s ok and normal to have a backlog of feelings, we all bypass and avoid, it’s human nature. So how do we move into creating space to feel our feelings?
- Sit with the frustration, the anger, the sadness, the hurt. Accept that this is how you feel. Dive into it. Allow it to be there, and surrender to what is. Let it take how long it takes to feel it. Even weeks or months. This is ok.
- Set a feelings timer and feel what you can handle in one sitting
- Sit down with no distractions alone, sit with yourself and feel it
- Have a temper tantrum – this can look like crying, feeling pity party, and experiencing the feelings
- Express yourself
- Enforce your boundaries
- Ask for what you need when you need it
Creating Space to Feel Your Feelings with Psychedelics and Ceremony
Ceremony is a safe container to go into feelings, it’s a microcosm of life. It teaches us tools to take into our everyday life and really feel and embody the medicine experience. Plant medicine retreats and ceremonies are tools to set aside time and energy and space in a supportive setting, with amplified senses, to REALLY feel and process our emotional backlog. Plant medicines help us heal and become more sensitive to our hearts and our true nature, and we become unable to ignore our feelings as much without doing something about it. We are emotional beings, we have to release these emotions or they create energetic blocks. Feeling your feelings allows you to purge and expel the feelings through a cathartic release.
Allowing space also means allowing space for yourself to be where you are, to change, and to grow. Feeling your feelings with plant medicine is a learning process that takes time, patience, and compassion.
Just because we become awakened with the plants doesn’t mean everything is rosy all the time. It means we are committed to doing the work. It means when we behave or respond in a ways that don’t feel good, we can observe and understand why and take responsibility for ourselves. It means that when hard things happen we are gentle with ourselves and others because we are doing the best we can.
The plants connect us to the felt experience that we are a piece of the ALL. We are nestled inside the everything, and that can create a faith in ourselves and our Highest Self will take care of us. The Universe is conspiring in our favor. Faith that everything is exactly how it should be, even if we don’t totally understand. Our job is to choose the next right thing, and that can help us feel safe in knowing that whatever is going on, we can feel it, and it will pass.