March 13, 2016

How to Use Negative Emotions as Catalysts for Growth.

Natalie Jordan/Flickr

They are sticky, dramatic and got no chill!

I can sense them coming through my body-sphere in a smorgasbord of shapes, sizes and disguises. I’ve personally never met another person who could avoid their inconvenient but inevitable encounter.

Every single one of us will catch a case of ’em from time to time. Some to a different degree than others. Either way they bloody suck and are likely to leave things in such a mess it might seem impossible tending to the debris after the hit.
For the most part, I have gotten to the point of recognizing their approach and hearing their arriving at the gate of my mind, body and spirit.

Because I am perfectly imperfect (also known as human), my initial reaction is point all fingers and toes outward and project emotional vomit right back out onto everything in my immediate (and distant) proximity. “It’s you who made me feel this way!” “Why is this happening to me” “I’m not irrational!”

Most likely, if you are reading this article, or any other article on elephant journal for that matter, you are already at the vibrational match of desiring and seeking new ways of growing and evolving into your less monstrous and more empowered self.

So where the heck do we even begin the process!?

“Knowing is half the…”

That’s right, the old cliché saying. But truly, we can start by observing this unnerving pain within us with awareness. These aren’t just some hippy words, it is an intentional and invested action. We gotta own that s*it!

The reality is, these emotions exist no matter how agonizing or how much we “coat” the sting. Yep, I’ve gotta recognize this emotion as my responsibility to handle. Yuck!

When these emotions come to visit, my ego initially decides to occupy a bit of time and energy in a deciphering war between intuition and simply a trigger of, what Eckhart Tolle refers to as a pain-body. This is more often than not, a big fat waste of energetic resources.

“It’s a maintenance not an attainment.”

Once I give up this draining (and silly) fight with my ego and the deranged idea that I should be way further ahead in my practice to even come across these reactions in the first place or I should know exactly what to do when they arrive, I can finally proceed with the idea of integrating this information I’m receiving. I’ve got to stop shoulding myself!

This is the resistance in life that we meet with in order to evolve and understand the contrary in the world around us.
I reverse those outward pointing fingers and toes and pep talk myself “This is the stuff I need to deal with by myself!” Nobody wants these sticky feels rubbed all over them and I’m certainly not going to find comfort in reaction of someone else when I bathe them in my emotional filth.

The “focus only on the positive” path is definitely not your only option.

No matter how awful we would like to wish it into being, that same song and dance we’ve all heard, not everything is solely “love and light.”

Comparing myself to others has only led me further into a plethora of self-depreciating emotions. In person or online I’d come across, what I thought were people preaching “I am the ultimate embodiment of yoga with my perfect way of talking, diet, clothes, body and yoga-seriousness.”

I have to emancipate myself from the stories I have been told (or have been telling myself) about the people who I assume have it all figured out. As a matter of fact, I have to leave everyone else out of it. I have to walk through and around my own shadowy bullsh*t on the regular so that so I may honestly see and appreciate what is intrinsically good within (and without) myself. I need to get a taste of my own “lightness.” It’s tough work, but it’s called practice for a reason. A sincere practice in which outward appearances can hardly touch.

Sit down with yourself and be your own best friend.

I move further into this process of alchemy by taking a closer look at the feelings that pop up as a deeper message telling me something in my life is not in total alignment.

When I listen, whether it be in middle of a sitting meditation or in the midst of a heated discussion, I can usually hear exactly what it is I need to hear. Just as an instrument needs constant and proper tuning in order to play harmoniously, I realize that I too, need the same attention and care.

Contemplate the embodiment of all parts.

It’s a humbling task to accept every single dreadful piece of myself—including negative emotions—as part of my whole being, when laziness (or any other excuse) would much rather fool myself into believing they aren’t there. I don’t have to take what I perceive to be wrong, weak or unattractive, and throw it out with the trash. Without coming from a “glass is half empty” view, I can take those less desirable parts and transcend, or recycle them.

I can use these negative emotions as the symbolic green light to shift consciously, unleashing my own unique creativity and life force, creating change. Sometimes changing the situation or environment or maybe just my attitude toward it.

At the end of the day I remind myself that I am the driver and the seed of empowerment begins with me. As a laborious love, I care for and nurture my inner garden in all types of weather.


Author: Misty Green

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Natalie Jordan/Flickr

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