Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The glory of emotions

I've been feeling very emotional this week. Like today, for instance, I was watching the last few minutes of Coyote Ugly while I ate my lunch. Not exactly a tearjerker, but I was totally welling up at pretty much any show of love, caring, or kindness the characters gave each other. It is a good sign for me. I am an incredibly emotional person but I was raised to believe showing that emotion was a sign of weakness. I cry when I feel any intense emotion, something that does not serve me when a boss calls me into his office to reprimand me or I'm experiencing deep frustration with a team member on a project. So over the years I learned to repress those emotions, shoving them down under layers of practicality. But it isn't like they go away. No, they act like volcanic pressure slowly building up until one day they explode with a passion all over some poor, unsuspecting, and most likely undeserving person. They also show up in the form of back pain, knee pain, headaches, stomach aches -- uncomfortable ways for them to seep out whatever their form. So experiencing emotion freely and in the moment is a relief, a positive change. Next up is to stop judging myself and feeling silly when the reaction appears to be an overreaction, to listen to what those emotions are telling me and follow their guidance.

I am far from alone in judging people during displays of emotion. Look at what happened to Hillary this week when she had an emotional moment while campaigning. People were talking about how this proves she's weak and that women won't make good presidents because they are too emotional. But I had the exact opposite reaction. I was so relieved to see her show her softer side, to have that emotion come to the surface and leak out. It made her more human and it made me like her more. Having a president with a full range of emotions who recognizes them as valuable and doesn't sweep them under a rug might be exactly what this country needs. Emotions are powerful guidance systems, especially if you are in touch with your intuitive and spiritual nature, and having leaders who are guided by ego and pride hasn't been working out too well for us. I believe that this new millennium is about transformation, about going to the next level and moving from merely surviving to expansive thriving. The consciousness of the country and the world is making a palpable shift, and I expect we'll start to see that shift showing up in our government too. I can't predict what the results of this election year will bring, but I do know that whatever happens, people are waking up, starting to pay attention in different ways, to focus on what they find to be most important and to make choices to bring positive change to their lives and the world. Just thinking about these opportunities brings tears to my eyes, and I am so relieved that I can feel those feelings right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And namaste.

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