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Recently, I had a situation with a friend that left my head in a spin.
You know, those situations where you are awake in bed having a pretend conversation with the person who has hurt you. Searching for an answer in the confusion, or sometimes building an armor for defense. Sometimes questioning your own boundaries or worth. Sometimes mentally calling them names in frustration.
Not just me, right?
I was taught in my field of training that if an emotion is attached to a story and lingers for more than 90 seconds, it has not been processed. That is right, my emotions on that night were not getting processed at all.
My field of training is Ayurveda. It offers us a perspective on emotions that will want you to do the work to clean them out. For those who are not familiar, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science, a way of living life to the fullest. Fullest meaning your healthiest, happiest, and most vibrant self. Addressing all aspects of you, honouring the wholeness of you, with the understanding everything is connected.
Unprocessed emotions, in the world of Ayurveda, is toxicity that gets lodged within your mind, body, and energy. This emotional toxicity creates a veil over your pure consciousness that taints the way you see and feel the world. This is emotional Ama.
Emotional ama can form when we hold a grudge and when we don’t process emotions. Sometimes emotions feel sticky and they are not able to just flow through us with ease. So, for such emotions, I am going to share what I do to alchemize emotional ama. Transforming the yuk and uncomfortable into feel good.
Five Ways to Alchemise Emotional Ama
1. Get into a green space.
We have all experienced the healing effects of being in nature. The sounds of birdsongs and breeze within the trees. The sense of being enveloped within greens and blues. There is calm to be found in these spaces. Ayurveda teaches us that we are a part of nature, and reflecting on the lessons to be found within these spaces of nature can remind us to let go when the time is right—like the trees dropping their leaves. To let things die when they need too like the plants rotting down into fertile soil for the next plants to flourish. To honour the rhythms in life: the seasons, the sun’s rise and fall, the moon phases, everything having its time to shine and its time to wane.
When hurtful and difficult emotions get stuck, we can often feel consumed within our headspace, which feels like a washing machine on a high spin. Journaling puts our thoughts to paper, sometimes revealing a different perspective, as we give ourselves a chance to look at what we have written, instead of it being a part of us within our mind. There is a healing effect with a practice called purge emotional writing. Set yourself a timer for 12-20 minutes and write. Write without checking your spelling or grammar. Do not reread and analyse or criticise yourself for whatever you have written. Just let it flow through you. After that, safely burn your writing.
When we look up and let our gaze widen to take in the horizon, we shift our vision from a fixed detail-oriented state to an open state. This shift in the eyes helps to take us out of the focus and intensity of the sympathetic nervous system (commonly known as our fight-or-flight state) and into a state of ease. Not only that but looking up at the stars can remind us of the grandeur of life, the awe and inspiration of life, the magic of life. We can be reminded that we are all a part of the Universe, that holds so many mysterious. To quote Michael A. Singer in The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself: “You’re just standing on one little ball of dirt and spinning around one of the stars.” This can sometimes help us shift perspective and what felt like a stuck emotion no longer feels important.
This practice can vary vastly from person to person. In Ayurveda, everyone is honoured for their uniqueness as an individual and for that reason, practices are personalised. You can find endless options on the internet to find a starting point if you don’t already have a meditation practice. However, I will share two of the practices I do that might inspire you. I meditate on my auric field, creating an energetic protective bubble where things I no longer want can be pushed outside the bubble, giving me the space I need. I also sometimes have a conversation with myself as though I am comforting a child, this can help soothe those sensitive and tender feelings.
5. Move your body.
Emotions can get stuck in certain areas of the body. You might be awareness of where you hold your emotions or this might take some practice. Any movement will help move emotional ama as it increases the flow of energy where previously there was a stuck or stagnation of energy. Dance, jump, walk, run, stretch, box, whatever makes you feel good. In a particular recent situation I found myself in, I went to the gym and threw some slam balls around. I threw them at the wall, I threw them into the ground, I threw them as hard as I could, and I felt amazing for it!
I hope these five practical ways to alchemise emotional ama help you to shift any stuck emotions and feel good again. Remember, the approach of Ayurveda is never one-size-fits-all, and our emotions can vary drastically too, so if these don’t feel helpful for you today, I hope at least they still inspire you to take empowered action and remember you are not your emotions. There are so many ways to move those sticky emotions along.