…that I didn’t before.
This past week has felt quite emotional. I could come up with some solutions to pin it on, but there’s value in not labeling it. Rather, holding space for the emotion, seeing what’s, so to speak, on the other side of the emotion i.e tuning in to what the emotion is trying to inform me. I remembered this question (above), which I actually learned as an exercise from Jason Goldberg (link to podcast with him), on determining one’s coaching niche.
Life is truly so different now. One belief I have now that I didn’t before is that life really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Although in the past this was unconscious (I was not aware that I overcomplicated things because it was just how I was), I had no knowledge of how to manage emotions.
Now, I do.
Whenever emotions are running amuck, there is no benefit in trying to get out of it by thinking. In fact, science on brain scans is showing that thinking when under stress actually makes the brain worse! It takes practice, but if I can just stop and make some space in my day - and even throughout the day - to hold space for the emotion, it will pass. It has a place, a purpose, and need not be resisted.
Isn’t that a transformational shift in approach to life? We actually don’t have to get out of the mess we’re in! By trying to get out of it, we can make things worse. Instead, holding space will guide us to solve the mess we’re in in a new, beyond imaginational way.
That’s inspiring to me and has me questioning where else in life are things really less complicated than I think they are?
It’s beautiful to witness the emotional rapids that as a child used bounce me around and reflect the rhythm of the rapids I grew up in, feeling them, but not knowing how to become aware of them🌊. The way to calm the waters is to, at least at first, stop what you’re doing and become aware of them. Holding space means not judging the thoughts and emotions subjectively, but to observe them as they are. For more on this, check out my article How to Achieve Emotional Stillness.
In the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions, known as the Mishnah, there is a teaching that is read in the morning prayers about the service of the priest in the Temple. During sin-offerings the kohen (priest) would “approach the southeastern corner, the northeastern corner, the northwestern corner … of the altar” and apply blood on each of the corners. One of the verses in Hebrew is u'fanah lasovev, which can be interpreted to mean “one looks around,” i.e to become aware of one’s situation. Afterwards, the priest “would approach the southeastern corner.” Based on Jewish mystical teachings from Rebbe Yosef Yitzchack Shneerson in Sichos Admur HaRayatz, the “south is associated with warmth, and the east with light.” When one can become aware of the situation one is in and hold space for the emotions, “life will be infused with Divine warmth and light. "Then, the priest proceeds to the northeastern corner. The north is associated with the animal soul, where we get caught up in emotions. However, after starting in the southeastern corner, one now has the ability to "refine the undesirable influence” and calm the waters. This enables him to “approach the northwestern corner.” The word for ‘west’ shares the same letters as the word for ‘sweet.’ Divine service that follows observing one’s emotions from a place of warmth and light, “arouses sweetness and satisfaction Above.”
Sure enough, by holding space and allowing the emotion to be without wanting it to leave, it guided me out of the seeming problem I felt I was in.
I hope it does for you too. It also applies to when someone else is experiencing the emotional rapids and gets angry with you. Hold space for them.
If you’re wondering, some of the other beliefs I have now that I didn’t before follow:
We each have our own voice. I am my own person
We have agency and free choice
We are naturally whole
Thought and feelings do create personal reality. G-d responds to how I am being.
Life is deep, meaningful, and loving
If you also have similar, more empowering beliefs (or want to have) and are interested in learning more. Sign up for a call with yours truly :)