Editor’s note: These posts were written back when my brand name was Remodel Fitness. I’ve decided to include them here without editing them, in the interest of…well… transparency. 😉
This week has been absolute madness.
After 3 months in Costa Rica, I flew to upstate NY and spent a week and a half with my family. I had a VERY long to-do list of Adult Things I’d been putting off while I was gone, and since I only had a few days in which to accomplish it all, I knew it was going to be chaotic.
Things went wrong, as things do. Plans failed. Things got forgotten. Important mail didn’t get places in time.
Strangely though, I didn’t really mind the chaos. I wasn’t particularly stressed or irritated. In fact, it actually felt totally worth it. I got 3 months of peace and ease, in exchange for week of errand-running and solving real-life first-world problems. *shrug*
Oddly enough, the only thing that has been weighing on me is how many big, important, positive emotions I’ve been going through!
Which is what I want to talk about today.
Even good feelings require time and energy to be processed.
Without the time and space to process them, even heart-expanding wonderful experiences will compound and make you feel overwhelmed or “off.” Nobody ever talks about that through. We’re taught to “manage” our negative emotions, sorta. (I spend a lot of time teaching women how to allow themselves to fully feel and move through each of the darker feelings.)
But what about the lighter feelings?
Most people assume that feelings like joy and gratitude and happiness are self sufficiency, and don’t require any “management,” but that’s not true.
You have to learn and practice fully feeling through and moving through your positive emotions just as much, IF NOT MORE, than your negative ones.
It takes conscious effort, and energy, to sit with, tolerate, and understand the depths of pleasure and gratitude that you’re capable of.
And when you don’t make the time and space to do exactly that, you will end up feeling almost as stressed or uneasy as when you’re going through the tougher stuff.
It might sound stupid, but trust me. You CAN burn out from excessive unprocessed good feelings.
Learning how to tolerate pleasant feelings can require just as much, if not more, work and practice than tolerating unpleasant feelings. And that starts with recognizing how/when you personally need to process.
For me, I’m normally a process-as-I-go kind of girl, alternating constantly between big experiences, and being alone to sit with, and feel through, my response to those experiences.
But that’s not always possible.
In the last two weeks…
-I spent time with my new nephew, which is an experience full of heart expansion, existential meltdowns, and “firsts” for me.
-I spent time with my family, having mind-opening conversations, sharing good meals, and basking in their warm affection.
-I briefly visited NYC, and fell in love with her all over.
-I soaked in glorious in-person best-friend time, with several of my nearest and dearest.
-I breathed in the same mountains which once awoke my soul to truly Live.
-I snowboarded for the first time this year, an experience of extraordinary rightness for me. (Fun fact: given my love of snowboarding, I was shocked and bummed out to discover in CR that I did *not* enjoy surfing!)
-I said hello and goodbye to multiple people and environments with whom I was once in love, and who (in one way or another) I ended up leaving.
As you can probably imagine, a lot of these experiences caused big and important and wonderful emotional reactions. Which is great!
But due to the back-to-back nature of it all, I haven’t had any time to sit with it. I’ve spent quite a big chunk of the week in tears, from joy and gratitude and pride and confusion and sometimes just because my feelings seem too big to fit in my body anymore, and crying seems to help me make space for them.
My emotional filing cabinet is a fucking mess.
The vast majority of these experiences were overwhelmingly beautiful and positive, but they still need to be felt, organized, filed away appropriately. For me that means daydreaming, talking, meditating, and/or writing about them, and once I’m settled this weekend in Thailand, that’s exactly what I’ll do. I’ll sit with, and notice, and tolerate the energetic consequences of being happy.
What about you? How (and how often) do you process your pleasant and positive emotions? Hit reply and let me know!
Jessi Kneeland Get strong. Feel confident. Look amazing.
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