Scanning beneath the surface of you
Your Magenta Monday Magic.
In your journey to reconnect with your own personal truth, being present and listening to yourself are key.
They’re the direct path to identifying the clues your body gives you about who you are and about what matters to you.
Most of us find it pretty easy to tap into our positive emotions and to notice how they feel in our body. Take joy or love for example. You may laugh with girlfriends until your belly aches, your eyes may well up when you’re overcome with emotion, or you may feel your heart swell or flutter when you see your son walk across the stage at graduation.
Those times feel really good.
During a mom midlife crisis, it can be tempting to push away negative emotions since they can be difficult to handle.
But what about when you experience emotions that don’t feel so great? When grief, anger, or fear show up, we’re not usually so eager to tune into how they feel.
In fact, it can be really tempting to push those negative emotions away because they can be so painful. We’ve also been taught that having negative emotions isn’t good. We should be happy and upbeat and put a smile on our face no matter what is happening in our lives. Everything is just ‘fine’ thank you.
But emotions themselves are not inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They are simply a clue that something else is going on - another clue to solving the mystery of you.
Acknowledging your feelings and making space for them allows you to feel them, process them, and then move through them.
Pushing them away or denying them is simply delaying the inevitable.
Why? Because what you resist persists – and that can end up resulting in more anger, grief, or resentment as they fester inside you.
Those repressed feelings, the ones you stuff down and ignore? They don’t just disappear. they can resurface as misdirected reactions (or overreactions), and they can undermine your relationships, or even result in illness, anxiety, or depression down the road.
So how can you process difficult emotions in a healthy way so they don’t come back to bite you down the road?
Body Scan – when you feel something that is uncomfortable, and your usual tendency is to numb out or avoid it, pause for a moment, and consider doing the opposite. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and ‘drop’ into your body.
As you go through the process of reinventing yourself after the empty nest, try to become more aware of any tension that arises from negative emotions. Is it in your stomach, your heart, or your head? Take note and use this awareness to help you move forward.
The goal of a body scan is to identify where you are feeling an emotion. (Incidentally, it’s also a great way to train you to be more present with your body in general!)
Start with your head – slowly scan your brain, then move to your neck, your right shoulder, your left shoulder and so on. The specific order is not important, just make sure that you ‘check in’ with every part of your body.
See if you can identify where the tension is that is caused by this emotion. Can you feel it in your stomach? In your heart? In your head?
Identifying and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment can be a powerful way to find purpose as an empty nester. It's important to take the time to explore what activities resonate with you and make you feel alive. While this may not completely eliminate negative emotions, it can help you move through them and create a more fulfilling life for yourself.
Once you’ve identified where it is, acknowledge it and imagine embracing it.
This exercise will not necessarily eliminate your negative emotion, but identifying and acknowledging it will help you move through it rather than letting it hang out and drive the bus without you even realizing it.
It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.
Take 10 minutes to do a quick body scan. Sit quietly and start with your head and work your way down. Do you notice any areas that are tight? Or sore? Get as specific as possible, even writing down ‘The inside of my left toe is itchy’, for example.
Then write down or voice record what you noticed. Practice this periodically – especially if you’re going through a challenging time or if you find yourself experiencing intense emotions.
For more information about the side effects of repressing emotions and additional ways to cope with them, check out this article.
Living BRIGHTer is...
B - Be Brave
R - Cultivate Relationships
I - Live with Intention
G - Practice Gratitude
H - Prioritize Health
T - Live your Truth
What is Magenta?
The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
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