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Why Not to Walk Away From Your Feelings




It was a rare cold ‘winter’ morning in Miami. It was raining and 70 degrees and you couldn't see the blue of day. It came out of nowhere because the days prior were clear and crisp. I had been planning on a long walk to the beach. But something about the musty air had me feeling feels. Stuck in my head. Stuck in the muggy clouds. I almost didn’t go.


I almost didn’t go.


But the feels had me stir crazy. I walked outside and looked up at the sky. It was churning. A few sparse drops fell on my head and the grey washed over. I breathed it in.


It was actually exactly what I needed. A long walk in this ominous air to a churned up sea.


In the cold, rainy, grey, I just walked. The weather perfectly embodied my mood.


I felt melancholy. Bittersweet sadness. Profound respect and awe. Solace and solitude. Strangely comfortable but eerie. I felt harsh realities of life, of change, of ‘everything is temporary.’ I sensed the beautiful chaos. The juggling. The mix of being lost at sea and grounded like coffee. The highs of things aligning synchronistically and the horror of dropping straight down on a roller coaster.


I wondered if I walked long enough if the feelings would stop.

If I walked far enough if I could leave them behind.




I’d started paying more attention to larger scale patterns in my emotions, and just as I’d suspected, I had yet again been sucked into an overwhelm of waves thrashing about. Of the feelings.


‘Melancholy' I thought, and tried to walk away from it into the cold grey soup.


Over the past weeks I’d caught myself. Several times. I noticed these moments of feelings sweeping in. Fleeting yet steady. Solid and high vibing sometimes. Heavy and low vibing, others. Ups and downs on a subtle level. Over longer periods of time.


It's not so much the moment to moment feels anymore that get me caught up: I like to think my yoga practice -sadhana- has significantly improved my ability to be harmonious with moment to moment fluctuations of emotion, and my ability to not get sucked into the momentum of them.


But, I’d begun to recognize bigger patterns in the feels. And caught myself sitting in them.


Thrashing about in waves.

And ego.

And even if I didn't succumb to the pull of the feels, I did want to walk away from them.

It felt yucky.

And sticky.

Like rainbow glitter unicorn vomit with bubblegum scent.

Like seeing work colleagues in public.

Like being around cats.

Like getting honey in your hair.


Manageable.


But also.... cud I just walk away from this scenario pls?

And...is that bubblegum scent? ....cud I just RUN away from this scenario pls?


And well, here's a big shocker: the things that make you want to run away, are always the things you have to look deeper into.


Ugh this bubblegum scented melancholy nonsense was call to dig deeper.





So I walked. But instead of trying to walk away from it, I decided to try to just walk with it. I looked about from the perspective of the melancholy. Play its' own game, I figured.


I tried to find its cause. But nothing apparent took credit.


Then took a different approach: I got really connected with a sense of gratitude. I thought of so many beautiful things in my life.


SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS!


How then, could I feel bittersweet sadness?


So I zoomed out and started turning over stones. Sometimes, it is the big picture stuff that evades us while we’re busy looking at details under our own nose.

Indeed, that was the case.


The waves seemed to indicate bigger movement happening in my life- larger scale shifts. Large scale shift usually creates a trickle down effect, and so the smaller, more subtle things shift too. That's where the stir craze came from.


I felt torn and crazed on that silly cold morning.

And tossed about.

I wanted the melancholy to go away. I wanted to walk away from it. I wanted to return to the joyful, unicorn like feelings. But, silly unicorn, you can't walk away from feelings. I should know, I walk everywhere. And everything can't be glitter explosions and rainbows. Melancholy, and an entire spectrum of feelings - some heavier than others- are inherently necessary. Sometimes the best thing to do is put down your battle weapons (rainbow guns, bubble shooters, stardust destroyer etc..) You must relinquish and surrender. Put your hands (hooves) up. I felt like I had to give in.  I felt the way a bud must feel right before it blooms. I felt the way the moon must feel when it is on its way to full. I felt the way a snake must feel, about to molt its skin.


But can you peel open the bud and find a flower?

Can the moon skip a phase and go straight to full?

Can a snake force off its skin by will?


My data shows no.


The flower must bloom in its time freely.

The moon must pass through each ascending step, until it can shine in fullness.

The snake must simply let the skin flake away to reveal the newest layer.


And in this way, the waves of feeling cannot be skipped.

You can't walk away from them.


The melancholy is a necessity.

The thrashing about.

The being caught up in my head about the thrashing about.

The large scale shifts and subsequent vulnerability.

The being raw.

Real.

Authentic.

#OwningYourShit and walking with it, not away.


The mysteries of why some days blue skies, some days grey. And how and when to hold on or let go. And how to navigate when it’s thrashing waters and you’d only practiced in calm seas? And how to give more when the feels and fear tell you to give less. How to go on with confidence when all around skin is peeling off, and this new raw exposed layer is left? Vulnerability. And melancholy. And unknown. And hesitation. And transition. And wanting to be a flower before it’s ready to blossom. And wanting to be full when it's still only waxing crescent. And wanting to emerge a newer and better being, but held back by the rough, peely, dry, flakes lingering of passed iterations of self.


It’s like cobra pose in a vinyasa yoga class. Everyone skips it. We rush right into upward facing dog. We think we can handle more. We just want it all at once. We forget about the fundamental and subtle offerings of easing into it, building in stages, one step at a time. We forget about being patient and being okay with the subtlety, the discomfort. The bittersweet solace that comes from tension. We forget to properly prepare for the openness. We try to skip the rain and go straight for the rainbow and maybe even a pot of gold. More More More.



We want to rip away one phase and be already flourishing in the next.


We want the rain to go away and the skies to clear, showing off its boundless blue.

We want to walk in summer sunshine, not silly winter grey soup.


We want to skip the pain. The melancholy. The thrashing. And be already the flower, the full moon, the slithering snake.


But.

You can’t walk away from feelings.

You can’t peel the bud. You can’t skip the phases. You can’t rip the skin off.


It is all inherently necessary, like grey rainy days.


And you don’t even have a say in the matter.

Just like you don’t have a say in the weather.

So the question becomes:

Will the rain keep you from walking?

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