October 22 Image

There are those of us who feel too much.  And then there are those of us who feel too little.

When we feel too little after a traumatic event, we can look cool as a cucumber to the outside world, yet feel flat as a pancake on the inside.  We don’t just disconnect from our self and go to a safer place inside, we become frozen emotionally.

It’s when we can’t feel our own pain that we humans are the most dangerous to ourselves and others.

If we can’t feel what’s inside of us, we’re less likely to be able to bridge to another and connect with them empathically.  When we’re not able to connect empathically with another, the potential exists to lash out in pain and do harm.  And when we’re not able to feel our own pain, the potential also exists to allow harm to come us.

We can go for years in the numbed out zone, but eventually one, or possibly two things will happen:  our feelings will find a way of seeping out when we least expect it or, we enter a life changing moment when we realize we don’t feel, but don’t know what to do to feel again.

The good news is there is hope.  There is a way through.

One way of beginning to feel again is to consider one or more suggestions from a simple set of strategies that can help us to thaw out.  That is, melt the armor that is protecting a wounded place inside and preventing us from being present to our experience.  This same armour locks us up inside and prevents us from knowing real connection with ourselves, and by extension, our loved ones and other living things.

Here are 5 ways we can begin to melt our psychological armor and thaw out:

  1. The breath.  Breathing softly and deeply and while paying attention to what we’re doing while we’re doing it will help the armour to start to melt away.
  2. Yoga.  Hatha Yoga that is, and a gentle and subjectively oriented approach to the practice that will gradually soften and loosen the musculature of the body where the armoring is being held.
  3. Being present.  Resisting the temptation to turn away from a feeling and instead turning our attention towards it in the here and now.
  4. Transforming a destructive pattern.  There may be something that is being used to cope with the discomfort of not feeling.  It can take many forms like food, alcohol, drugs, internet, shopping, sexing, gambling.  The Universe has a wisdom all its own and can call us out to end an old way of being, transforming it into something fresh and new and life giving.  If you’re scared, and don’t know how to change a destructive pattern, then please, please, please reach out to someone in your community who can help you to do this safely.
  5. Talking.  That is talking honestly to someone trustworthy, someone who is emotionally safe and will not bring us harm.  This is a time honored way of thawing out, and with care and consideration for the magnitude of the changes that can take place through this process.

Make no mistake about it:  thawing out is serious business . . . yet it’s wondrous too, all at the same time.  It brings us back home to our bodies, our experience and our self.  From there, our world can begin to expand to include real connection to our loved ones, and from there, all living things.

What began as a problem can turn into a truly transformative experience.