Do you ever feel like you do your yoga, meditation, running, breathwork, tapping, journaling… but you still feel stuck? It changes my perspective on this passage from Rumi’s beautiful and wise poem, The Guesthouse:
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.”
Sometimes we lock the door, bar the windows, and stick fingers in our ears to avoid meeting the shame, rage, or fear that comes knocking. But other times, perhaps, not only do we let these visitors in, but we also give them a bed to sleep in and three solid meals a day. Maybe these emotional guests have become roommates that never clean up after themselves or leave the house!
Anger is a good example. If you don’t let anger in the guesthouse, she’ll get madder and madder. You’ll need barricades to keep her out, and eventually she’ll bust through. But what happens if you let her in, and she refuses to leave? How does one honor anger and let her come and go as need be?
I often tell my children that letting out anger and stress is like needing to throw up. When you feel sick to the stomach, trying to hold it in is going to make you feel sicker. It feels much better to just throw up. However, it really is best to find a toilet or a nice tree to receive your purge. It’s not a good idea to throw up on your friends and family; they may run away from you to clean themselves up. Same with anger, which can make us feel sick with resentment, anxiety, or depression when we don’t let it out. Still, we don’t want to vomit anger onto other people; we need private spaces where the purge won’t mess with anyone else, and we can experience the relief of release.
As stress levels increase all around us, so must our attention towards de-stressing on a regular basis. Our nervous systems aren’t meant to be on high alert all the time. We can’t keep turning away emotions because they arrive at inappropriate times, nor can we let them start camping out in our closets. This is why I’ve become so passionate about simple emotional hygiene and the process of inviting it all in and allowing it all out.
I’m hosting a FREE workshop for emotional release on Saturday. While it won’t be the same level of depth and consistent support that we’ll have in the upcoming group program, it will be a gentle introduction to that work, a safe women’s space for letting go. It’s a chance to remember you’re not alone in your need to continually release. It’s just human nature.
The guests who come in as anger and stress may actually leave as clarity and empowerment. Anxiety and worry may say goodbye as excitement and prayer. We’ll never know until we let them in. We just can’t forget to also let them out!
Wishing you all the balance and well-being that your heart desires,