Hi, and welcome to a new episode of our UNCUT, The Feminine Podcast.
If you’re new here, I’m Oana, founder of thefeminine.com, an online platform dedicated to women all over the world.
A gracious community of fabulous women who care and share questions, secrets, and stories about every possible thing that makes a woman. From life, creation, healing, nurturing, love, compassion and intuition, and everything in between.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been a transformational coach, entirely dedicating my last seven years to empowering women all over the world to trust their voice, follow their hearts and embrace their womanhood completely.
In this episode of the UNCUT, we’re going to exchange some views about a very important topic in our womanhood emotions. Call it EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING, emotional detachment, or even emotional education. Basically, we’re going to speak about how to deal with difficult emotions, how to understand them better, and how to integrate them in a healthy, feminine way.
My partner in this conversation is Ioana, my colleague.
We’re going to jump now into exploring more, what triggers us about emotions?
Why are they so important for us to discover, explore and navigate through them?
Let me start by saying that I’m not going to jump into this topic. I’m going to lean into it because it’s a little bit scary for me. I don’t know what I was thinking while preparing this podcast. It’s different from the previous ones. I find it difficult even to ask questions about emotions.
And I was trying to understand why this is happening.
Is there an explanation?
Why is it happening? You tell me what is so scary about emotions.
I think it’s part fear, part like I’m thinking about them like a big unknown. In theory, even if sometimes they seem clear, you can identify the fear, you can identify anger, and you can identify anxiety.
When it’s happening to you, it’s impossible to understand what’s going on, which is which, and what triggers what.
How can we navigate through this world of emotions, so that we can at least understand what’s happening in that very moment?
By accepting the fact that we as humans have emotions, and by accepting all ranges or spectrum of emotions – from negative to positive ones – and not judging the negative ones, this fear you’re talking about will melt, and dissipate. The moment we take this point of view that it is okay to have emotions!
Actually, emotions can give us a whole insight into our own humanity, into our own personal process. Then you can change your perspective from fear of the unknown into curiosity. And that opens up a new perspective, which makes you the detective of your own emotions and puts you in a much more powerful seat in your own process – the seat where I am observing what’s going on.
I really want to know. I want to find out. I want to discover. This is very important for a woman because it will bring a lot of fluidity to your own process. Both emotions and fluidity are important because they make up who you are as a woman. It’s important for all human beings, but for women, I think it’s critical. So jumping through the fear of the unknown into curiosity and letting your emotions guide you into a whole range of textures, notions, and interpretations about life.
Is there any magical formula? Because one thing I’m doing, I don’t know if it’s a common thing or it’s only me, but when you feel stuck with an emotion, you just seem to wait for a magical formula. But then, when you look at yourself from the outside, you have that moment when you realize that it’s rather more about practicing this process you were talking about, than finding a magical formula that’s going to help you get over something. How much is it about practice in learning how to deal with our emotions?
We get stuck emotionally because we instinctively try to negate our emotions or dismiss them, or try to put them under a cover, and that’s exactly what creates the blockage.
So whenever you are in an emotional state of being – and I know it’s easier with positive emotions because you just want to hang in there – the moment you are, for example, in a very intense charge state of being on an emotional level and you feel like you’re stuck, you actually want to dissociate yourself, you want to negate that you are experiencing that emotion, you want to run away from it, and that’s exactly what makes it stay longer, it’s exactly what makes it stick with you more.
We have power and freedom with emotions.
The problem is with the negative emotions. When we start understanding how they function and what their purpose is, they function as very intense energy charges. So whenever you have an intense emotional experience, your energy is bubbling up and it’s getting very contracted and it’s getting very intense. So by moving your body, by moving your awareness, you start shifting and becoming more fluid and start decontracting that energy bubble that started being created in your internal universe.
By moving your body, by dancing or just becoming more present with that emotion instead of running away from it, then breathing with it, creates movement on an inner level. This way, the emotion gets more fluid and you start becoming aware of what’s going on with you and you take control over your own state of being, and that gives you freedom.
And of course, through practice, through saying “Yes, I allow all the emotions, the entire spectrum of emotions flow through me and I’m fine with it, I’m not dissociating myself from it, I’m allowing it all manifest by accepting it and just moving, continuously moving”, you’re in the flow and you practice being in the flow, and that’s a very feminine way of living life!
So what I’m hearing is that even if it doesn’t come naturally from the beginning, when you just feel overwhelmed by any kind of emotion, stand up and do whatever you feel like doing with your body: dance, run, go to the gym, just move, because it has the energy flow and you get unstuck.
I want to point something out, the thought came to my mind these days, while watching Grey’s Anatomy – for those who are familiar with the series – there are some moments in the life of an important character in the series. Meredith Gray backs up when she finds herself overwhelmed by a positive emotion, love in this case. Even if the first impression is that most of us get crazy when we feel anxious or bad or we feel nervous or we fear something, many of us react in very strange ways even when we encounter positive emotions, but we don’t see that. Is it true?
Yes, it’s true! It’s totally true!
What triggers the blockage is the intensity of the emotion, not the charge, whether it’s positive or negative. And funny for us, human beings is that we long for positive emotions. We try to run away from negative emotions. But funny enough, the way to access more positive emotions is by allowing the negative emotions to be part of our inner state of being. They tend to be at the beginning stage of any practice, spiritual practice, more present than negative ones. And while becoming accustomed with their intensity and allowing this breath work and this movement work to be part of us, we should acknowledge that that educates us.
The moment we encounter deep passion, amazing love, legendary ecstasy, to just breathe and move with that. And it’s the same practice. And what do movement and breathing bring? They bring integration. They make you become present and aware of living that emotion. And because emotions are amazing guides and teachers, they’re not only just charged energy, they are charged energy bringing a message, whether it’s a positive or a negative one. And the moment we breathe and move with that, we start flowing. The integration happens because we become aware of the message it brings!
For example, the scene you’re talking about brings the message of love. And by breathing with that emotion, by moving with that emotion, you’re stepping into love, which is something you always wanted. So it’s funny, right, how important being fluid and flowing with your emotions is. They are part of our manifestation process of who we want to become, what we want to have, and what we want to live!
It’s amazing because we crave all these beautiful emotions, but when we really have them in front of us, we really run because we don’t understand them.
I was thinking probably one of the reasons this happens is because most of the time it’s a very new feeling. You get a very new, intense emotion or something you didn’t experience before and you don’t know what that is. What’s that, because it’s the first time I’m feeling this. Is it good for me? It scares me. So besides moving and breathing with what we feel, what’s the second most important thing we have to do so that we can really tap into the right meaning of what we’re feeling in a moment?
First step, turn fear of the unknown into curiosity!
Second step, activate your observer and allow it to empower you by becoming aware of what’s going on. Asking that question, what’s happening? What am I actually experiencing? Because if you address those questions to yourself and take the time and breathe with them, the answer will pop.
So what’s going on? What is the emotion I’m experiencing right now? What’s the message it brings? What’s the opportunity or the dysfunction that it’s showing me what would be an action that I feel called into doing, into being, into becoming?
All these simple questions can help you navigate and empower your observer to take charge of the situation and give you access to take the action that you want or that best serves you at that moment.
And how can we be brave?
Because another thing that happens is that we don’t express our emotions. It doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad, negative or positive, because we are afraid of what others might think of our emotions.
I’m afraid to tell him that I love him because, oh my God, what’s he going to think about it?
I’m afraid of telling my mother she’s getting me crazy with something, because, oh my God, it’s my mother and I cannot tell her this!
How can we empower ourselves to get over what people might think? Because it’s vulnerable.
In the end, we’re talking about the most vulnerable parts of us by understanding that we are the ones judging ourselves harder and harsher than anybody else.
When you’re afraid of judgment from others, you probably have a very strong internal dialogue of judging yourself and judging everything around you. So an access for you to step into emotional vulnerability and become safe with it. And it takes a while. It’s a process. Nobody becomes safe at the beginning or immediately with being emotionally vulnerable. But once you practice it, you cannot go back. It’s that kind of a thing. Once you go red, you always go red or something like that, because it’s so fulfilling to be able to be so free within your own skin that you are able to share whatever’s going on without fear.
The first thing to address is your inner critic, your own inner judge, because the moment you take it out of the space, you’re not going to be so focused on other people’s judgment, because you’re not thinking from that perspective. You’re just going to settle more into being authentic about what’s going on with you, giving the opportunity for others to step into their own vulnerability and give you feedback on the same level.
It’s all about this educational process. Most of us, in our own cultural background, were not so used to having emotional vulnerability as a value. In other cultures, it has become a norm. Actually, it’s the access to living authentical, fulfilling lives, because we’re free.
You’re just going to share what’s going on with you, and then you’re going to flow to the next stage, the next thing that’s happening. So you’re not carrying your story with you all the time. And that allows you to be more fluid with the present moment, and it allows more things to show up in your life in the direction of your dreams.
Yes, that’s a matter of education.
While you were talking, I was going back into my childhood years… I remember my teacher telling me, “don’t cry, don’t show that you’re sad, because you’re being vulnerable now”. What are the kids who are told that going to think?
When you fall in love for the first time and you are hurt, you say, “I’m never going to show emotions or be vulnerable again, because it hurts”.
I was thinking if you’re a young mother, how do you teach your little one to not be afraid of emotions?
I think that’s a Utopia… you will always be afraid of emotions. Whenever you’ll encounter a new, intense emotion, you’ll get scared. Fear of the unknown is something that kicks in in our humanity all the time.
Though, I think a way to empower kids to run with their emotions is to secure them by telling them it’s okay to have emotions. It’s okay to be angry right now! If you feel angry, take a pillow and punch it! It’s fine. Allow your emotions, and know your emotions! Experience yourself in all those ranges of emotions, because in that moment you will be able to know yourself.
If kids are taught or are living in a climate where emotions are part of everyday life and nobody is dissociating themselves from it, they’re not putting them under the cover. Then emotions become natural and kids pick it up and they become normal, natural, and vulnerable on an emotional level without this being such a big thing.
It makes me think about one of our listeners who wrote to us a few days ago, asking how she can show her emotions, positive or negative while working in a corporation where she has to face 80% of her colleagues who are men, all shut down in front of emotions. She’s afraid of showing emotions because she’s going to be considered weak.
How can we address this kind of issue of women who work in environments where emotional vulnerability is really a NO NO?
I think there are two steps to this. First, emotions don’t just show up. They always show up in a context. And the context is speaking to us about our desires or about our intentions. The moment we make that link between whatever I’m feeling right now and the intention I’m having, conscious or unconscious, or the desire or the outcome I want to create, then this link will give me a map of what’s really going on.
Then, by understanding more in-depth, hey, I have the intention to be powerful at work, but also to be okay with myself as a woman. In this climate of being a man, I don’t want to step over my femininity, but I also want to perform. When that intention is clear and I get pissed off with my boss because I don’t feel that he includes all that I am as a woman or he doesn’t address that I’m different than the other colleague that’s a man, then the anger that I’m experiencing is triggered by my intention that has been somehow blocked. So by going back to, hey, I’m actually angry right now because I have a commitment and I have an intention, then that creates a perspective!
How can I generate, and how can I create in my relationship with the outside universe?
What can I put in place?
What action can I take so that I can first give myself space for being a woman and then educate other people that I’m a woman so that I can perform and be supported in my performance as a woman?
So, when you link your emotion with your intention, whether it’s triggering a dysfunction or whether it’s saying, hey, you’re on the right track, go for it! Then that’s just mapping your own territory and mapping your own territory gives you access to manifest whatever you want to manifest. It’s very powerful!
Okay, so my next question, emotional detachment and emotional well-being.
There are two different concepts, and I want you to walk us a little bit through, to be just more clear about these two concepts and the distinction between them.
At the feminine, emotional detachment is the capacity to become neutral through awareness about whatever emotion you are going through, no matter how intense it is.
Usually, when they hear emotional detachment, people understand no emotions. And that’s not true! Emotional detachment comes when you become aware – which is a meditative practice of containing, owning, understanding, breathing, moving with your emotions. And it doesn’t necessarily come at the beginning stage of exploring your emotions. It’s a much more grounded, mature, and advanced way of living your emotions. And it guides you into emotional maturity, which is the capacity to be fluid with the range of emotions from negative to positive, owning them, containing them, flowing with them, breathing with them, expressing them, and becoming or remaining aware while this is happening, while you are experiencing all of those emotions.
I think there are three steps:
One is to understand your emotions by accepting them and living with them.
Second, accessing emotional well being, which is the capacity to be fluid and breathe with your emotions so that you find yourself with more velocity in owning your negative emotions and stepping into positive emotions, and increasing the quality of your life by living more positive emotions.
I think one of the biggest challenges here is the addiction to emotional intensity. In our conquest of emotional well-being, most of us have to face that charge that comes from negative emotions. Most of us, unaware at the beginning stage of the journey, find ourselves addicted to emotional intensity in a negative way. And by letting go of that intensity – because when you are in deep fear or in deep anger, you feel something – at least you’re not numbed. So addiction to the intensity of emotion is the second stage.
Beyond numbness, beyond you not feeling anything. You have to let that go so that you can rewire your brain and rewire yourself to tap into positive emotions, which are at the beginning less intense, they feel less intense. Positive emotions that come from self-care come from putting yourself in a place of harmony. No matter what happens outside of you, you breathe and become peaceful. It will enhance the experience of well-being and the experience of living positively for longer and longer periods of time, even if you don’t experience life so intensely like a drug addict. We tend to think that well-being is, I don’t know, having the roof get on fire with intensity, that’s just the pinnacle of an experience.
But well-being, fulfilling experiences of life, and quality of life, all come from the capacity to have positive, well-being emotions for longer periods of time.
I think the third stage is emotional detachment. When you are not attached, you’re like a Zen Buddha master. You’re not attached to spring or autumn, negative or positive emotions. You just let the weather come. And it’s a very important process for women. And I think women tend to access more of this emotional detachment if they do the breathing and the moving of their feminine energy. They don’t have to wait to become a Zen Buddha master, because it’s so organic for women to flow. If you go beyond your fear of emotions and you just allow yourself to flow, you will be able to contain your emotions and achieve this neutrality, which will give you access to a fully open heart, a full expression of that open heart, while being aware.
I’m not sure Zen master is something I meant to be in this life!
More practical, like learning by doing….you started saying that moving and breathing is the key to success and to learning how to decode your emotions. So to end this podcast like usual, could you give us a small practice that could guide us through this hustle of everyday emotions?
Some simple tips and tricks…
A very regular ritual that you can do is give yourself permission for 30 minutes or 15 minutes a day to either walk in the park or sit in your favorite coffee place and ask these questions:
What am I experiencing?
What are the three most important emotions I am experiencing right now in these situations in my life? What’s the intention I have in those situations in my life? What do I want from those spaces, those relationships, those situations?
Is the emotion giving me access to things going well in the direction I want, or are they addressing the dysfunction that I need to look at and find a solution for it?
And if I really breathe and become aware of that emotion and I let it flow with it and surrender to it in this way, what is the emotional growth I’m stepping into?
I think that if you do this practice, no matter how you feel, whether there are bad days and good days or neutral days, I think it will just educate you on an emotional level and you’ll become more aware and more able to deal with your emotions.
That’s one thing!
Second, when you get triggered and you have a very intense emotion, stop and take a deep breath from the belly for two, three, or five minutes. Allow the intensity to cool off. Then, you can either breathe with yourself and nurture yourself or go through the list of questions I just mentioned. It will help you understand what’s going on right there in that moment, or dance or shake your body or start painting or writing or walking in the park or going in a Lotus position with your spine straight forward and being silent.
All these little things, either in the long run or in very specific situations, can help you decipher what’s the emotion telling right at the moment.
And it can help you contain it and learn to live through the intensity of it!
And the most important thing is to just do it. Stop reading about it, stop theorizing about it, but take it as very personal advice. Just do the practice! Do the work, because it makes a difference!
I know this advice is for you, too.
Yes, it is. For myself, too.
I know that with the Internet and with the open-source information we have access to, we all tend to read a lot to understand a lot about how things work. But when it comes to practically doing it, we get stuck. We say we know all that in theory, but we are not able to actually do it.
So do it!
Do the work because it makes a difference!
Yet, doing the practice is knowing it!
Otherwise, it’s just a theory – you’re on a theoretical level about it. That’s the whole difference. If you really want to be a football player – and I use this analogy all the time because it’s easy – if you really want to be a football player, staying in the stands, talking about football, or having a very clear explanation about the logic of football will never make you win the jackpot. You won’t put the ball into the net and you will not win the medal. If you ever want to be a football player, you just have to go out on the field.
Screw it as many times as possible, but at some point, you will score and you will get the medal.
Yes. It feels awkward!
It sucks at the beginning, but then you’ll just get used to it and you will start being proficient.
It’s worth it! It’s totally worth it!
Okay! So I think it’s a wrap!
Yeah, it’s a wrap for sure!
Thanks for tuning in.
Don’t leave before jumping into your emotions and finding with curiosity.
What are they telling you?
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