Naming our feelings to find calm

Naming our feelings to find calm

Have you noticed how good it feels when someone addresses you by your name?

“Hi Sarah, how are you?” feels so different to “Hi”.

Each time we are acknowledged by name, it helps us know that we matter, we have a place, that we are a little bit safer in the world.

Naming, requires knowing

In being called by our name, we begin to know that we have moved from object to subject in the eyes of the other.  It is in this shift in being known, that we begin to feel valued and safe.

The same applies for our feelings. 

The more we can begin to accurately name our self experience, the safer we can begin to feel in ourselves.

Naming our feelings can be challenging

However, if we have grown up in a world where only happy or upbeat emotions for example were valued, and vulnerable feelings such as sadness were shamed or punished, or perhaps the language of feelings was not something you were exposed to in your world ... connecting to, let alone naming feelings, may not be so easy.

In these instances, naming our feelings can be very challenging.

Create a nest of safety 

As an initial step set the intention to create a place where all parts of self-experience feel valued and welcomed. 

  • establish a safe space (think about smudging, ritualising as you prepare your space)
  • hold an attitude of gentle curiosity and welcoming
  • give permission for all that arises to be there
  • appreciate that all that arises is coming forward with the intent to support you

Ground yourself

As you sit in stillness, ground yourself as you connect to:

  • your breath
  • your body
  • the earth

What am I feeling in this moment?

Then begin begin to ask yourself the question "what am I experiencing in this moment?".

There will be times you feel very little is happening, and at others you may be awash with emotion and be tempted to shut away what arises. 

Regardless of what comes forth, as you can ... allow.

Whatever arises allow it to be there

Whether the experience be - blank, a sensation in the body, a glimpse of a memory, or a challenging emotion - as you can, allow it to be there.  There may be one overwhelming feeling, equally there may be many ... whatever is there for you, welcome it.

Think of your experiences as parts of you 

As you come into contact with different feelings, think of these as 'parts of you'. No one part is you, but simply a part of you.  In doing so this allows us to be in contact with experiences, but not overwhelmed by them.

Give name to your experience

As you begin to welcome what arises, using language such as "a part of me is feeling .... " start to describe the parts that are there, accurately naming the quality of the experience you are feeling.

You may prefer to do this within yourself, or you may want to free-write in a journal as your experience unfolds. 

We are not our self-experience

Whatever arises, know that it is only a part of you feeling this way.  Your feelings do not define who you are.  Instead, begin to see yourself separate from the experience, but alongside.  In accurately naming your experience, you are beginning to form relationship with your parts and in doing so making much greater space for your own self-energy.

Once done, notice how you are feeling now?

Make way for all that presents.   Let it unfurl from within your soul.  All the while accurately naming the quality of the parts of your experience.  Often in the naming of one part, clarity as to the story behind it, or what it is needing will become clear.

Continue to do this until all inside begins to quieten. 

And then once done, notice how you are feeling now?

Complete with gratitude

Having reached a quiet place, thank all that arose for being present with you today.  Let your parts of self experience know that you will be back to check in on them again.

Name your feelings and find calm

My invitation to you, is to regularly spend time gently checking in with the parts of your own self-experience, and as your parts begin to reveal, wonder with them what they would like to be named? 

Just as we tend to feel more at ease when someone addresses us by our name, the same applies for the parts of our self-experience.  

The more accurately we name what is there for us, typically the more ease we begin to feel within and the more calming self-energy becomes available to us.

It is through connection with self, with other and the world we heal. 

As always, take care.

Love Sarah xx

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