As many of you know, I fell down a waterfall in Colorado last summer. When I returned there this summer and saw just how far a fall it really was, I sat down and wept. I cried for the grace in that accident, how I didn’t smash my head on the jagged boulders, how I landed in a shallow pool of water instead of falling off the little cliff behind. As I walked away this year, humbled by my protection, my legs were shaking just a little. Awe and terror are flip sides of the same vibration, the light and the shadow of a feeling so overpowering, we rarely go there by choice. Like euphoric joy and the deepest of grief, to permit this fullness of emotion is a release and a relief.
Of course, we all have blocks to feeling certain ways, and whether it is nervousness or terror, feelings in the fear realm are often guarded against with control. Have you ever been afraid to lose someone or something, so you held on even tighter? You can resist the vulnerability of anxiety, but it may just grow stronger, yearning to be felt and seen. The resistance itself can’t be ignored, fought, or even loved to death. Instead, like a waterfall, we can flow over, around, and through it. Cleansing every crevice, emotion flows wherever the tiniest spaces open for her. Even just a little release, the briefest acknowledgement, lets us continue on our way more easily.
I’ve wondered, sometimes, what would it be like if people went around expressing how they really felt all the time? Would employees collapse in hopelessness at meetings? Would fights break out in the grocery stores? The point is not to be at the mercy of fleeting emotions or to vomit them out on everyone else. The point is to create easy, private, loving spaces to feel and let go, so we can be relieved of tension, more clear and able to interact harmoniously with others.
These summer days in the mountains, I’m walking straight into the waterfalls and letting them drench me through and through. The more I walk this trail of life as a woman who feels her feelings, the more I see other women and men giving themselves this same permission. There have been times in our history when pretending to be OK was a form of protection. But it’s authenticity that frees us from that prison now. When we release, we can relax, and then we can actually do all those important things we need to do, like finding creative solutions to problems and having productive, healing conversations when there has been conflict.
Letting emotions be felt and released, returning to a natural peace, and loving ourselves the whole way through. I’m currently developing a women’s group to support this kind of regular emotional and spiritual hygiene. It’s bringing together the most simple, therapeutic practices I’ve yet discovered for getting back in easy flow, no matter what feeling state you begin in. I’m really looking forward to sharing it with you! I’m starting an interest list, so please sign up for my mailing list if you want to make sure you get the details.
Whether you’re feeling a trickle or a waterfall, may your true emotions cleanse you, washing away old beliefs that you are anything but divine.