Bodies have a way of telling us what they need. Sometimes I notice mine SCREAMING at me, and I find that the times when I LEAST want to slow down and listen are the times when I MOST need it.
This has happened to me so many times right after coming home from a 9 to 5, and the day I realized what was going on changed everything for me.
It was clear that I was exhausted that day. But in addition, I just felt WRONG in my body. I felt uncomfortable. I tried to ignore it by having a drink. I tried to ignore it by watching Netflix. Nothing felt right.
I felt depressed. And scared about what that might mean when really, everything was fine… right? After awhile, it became clear that I NEEDED to check in with myself. But I could sense this intense aversion to checking in. To looking at it. To getting present.
I was only half aware that my mind was saying, “that shit’s scary, hell nope!”
But I pushed myself and did the one thing that always seems to help but that I never WANT to do : I started vocalizing my feelings. I started taking out my phone, pressing record, and just TALKING.
It felt like walking into a swarm of mosquitos. Or a sandstorm. Or just something that feels not just painful and gross, but fairly dangerous. This is emotional weight-lifting.
What happened very quickly was that I uncovered a long list of beliefs I’d been harboring about myself that all centered around the feeling of disappointment. I realized that there’s been a subtle voice in the background repeating over and over that I’m broken. That I’m completely incapable of deciding to do something because it would be healthy or fulfilling and then actually following through. That I’ll never, ever be anything but disappointing.
In past years, this would have triggered suicidal thoughts, and possibly even caused me to self harm. Instead, I shifted into a tapping session (tapping on certain meridians in the body while talking out my feelings and giving myself compassion and acceptance).
I shit you not, after maybe 10 minutes of tapping and yawning and crying, I felt better. It’s not that I’d changed by beliefs necessarily. But energetically, they no longer seemed to matter. I felt at peace. I felt loved.
And I think, beyond whatever tapping might ACTUALLY do from a physical perspective, I felt relief because I was willing and able to slow down and truly listen to myself. The person inside me screaming is probably a young version of myself, and they needed my attention.
Since then, I’ve tried various techniques for shifting my energy in moments like that. Sitting down on my bed and envisioning my child, teen, or early 20’s self (whichever feels in distress at that moment, and this is 100% intuitive and not a science), and just asking them what they need.
Often the first words out of their imaginary mouths are so accurate to how I actually feel but have been unwilling to admit it that I start crying. One time, my little kid said, “this is just SO HARD.”
You don’t like saying that shit as an adult. By now, we’re supposed to be strong, capable, and far beyond whining. But we’re emotionally driven creatures, and each of us has very core, primitive needs – to feel heard, to feel supported, to feel hopeful, and loved. And if you aren’t willing to admit you need those things when you aren’t getting them, your filter-free kid is going to be able to tell you.
So if you’ve been running yourself ragged, dissociating and avoiding yourself, take some time to check in today. Speak to you. Speak to your inner kid. Move your body. Touch your skin. Whatever it takes to reconnect with YOU rather than spinning on auto-pilot.
If you’re interested in tapping (also known as “Emotional Freedom Technique” or EFT), you could start by checking out some videos – have a look at either the basic version or the glam version. Happy tapping!