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The Gifts in Your Emotions

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The Gifts in Your Emotions

Last week, we looked at creating a mindful middle ground for working with our emotions, which I call channeling. This week, we’ll look at a specific channeling exercise from my book, The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You.

When you can channel your emotions, you’ll discover something most people don’t know, which is that your emotions don’t disappear when you’re not feeling them; instead, each of your emotions moves through you at all times, and each one endows you with specific gifts and abilities. Let me show you what I mean.

Channeling Your Emotions

Let’s start with a simple flow-inducing exercise. You can be sitting, standing, or lying down.

Please take a deep breath and fill up your chest and your belly so you feel a little bit of tension – not too much. Hold your breath for a few seconds (count to three), and as you breathe out, make small, gentle spiraling movements with your hands, your arms, your feet, your legs, your neck, and your torso. Move your body in gentle, easy, relaxing ways.

Now, breathe in again, expand your chest and your belly until you feel a little bit of tension, hold for three seconds – and breathe out with a sigh as you spiral your arms and your legs and your neck. You can even hang your tongue out. Just let go. You’re a ragdoll. Let it go.

Now breathe normally and check in with yourself. If you feel a bit softer and calmer, and maybe even a little bit tired, thank the emotion that helped you release some of your tension and restore some of your flow: Thank your sadness.

That’s what healthy, flowing sadness feels like, and that’s what it does – it helps you let go and it helps you bring some flow back to your system. Each of the emotions has this free-flowing state that brings you specific gifts and tools. We’ve learned to identify emotions only when they move to an obvious mood state, but that’s not all they are.

You don’t have to cry to be sad; you can just let go. Sadness is about releasing things and relaxing into yourself.

Take a moment to notice how aware you are of your body.  Sadness is a very internal emotion that brings you back to yourself and makes you aware of your interior state. And that’s why we tend to avoid sadness in our everyday lives.  It’s not the right emotion to walk around with all the time, because it doesn’t protect your boundaries – and it doesn’t make you focused or ready for action.  That’s not its job – it’s not supposed to do those things.

Sadness brings flow back to you, it calms you, and it helps you release uncomfortable things you’ve been grasping onto – like muscle tension, fatigue, lost hopes, or disappointments.  Sadness helps you let go of things that aren’t working anyway.

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Read more: Emotional Genius, Health, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, ,

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Karla McLaren

Though Karla McLaren created her empathic approach to emotions to help people heal from trauma, she ended up discovering how emotions help us think, decide, and relate to each other brilliantly. Her newest book and audio learning set, "The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You", teaches you how to use your natural empathy and discover the gifts and messages inside every emotion you have. Karla and her husband Tino live in Santa Cruz, California.


+ add your own
3:15PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Very interesting. I liked the exercise...feel very relaxed now. Thanks for sharing.

10:45AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

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11:32AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

A lot of this really hit home.

5:55AM PST on Nov 9, 2011


5:54AM PST on Nov 9, 2011


5:54AM PST on Nov 9, 2011


11:42AM PDT on Aug 4, 2010

Thank you very much for this information.
Good post thanks for sharin.
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8:10AM PDT on Jul 25, 2010

Well, I'll be! Thanks!

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