It's OK to Feel Sad: A Conversation with A Client
People say I always seem so happy. Well, I am a happy person. And I feel sadness too. I feel the whole spectrum of emotions. The difference is the way in which I choose to interpret and react to these feelings of anger, sadness, frustration–those deemed less desirable–but are they really?
Unfortunately there is an epidemic happening in our society where people are numbing out on prescription medications, alcohol, drugs, and sex to not feel the pain of sadness or depression. As children we are taught not to cry and not to express this other side of our being. Please understand that life is both light and dark. If we choose to live in a way that fosters learning and growth in every possible way, then we can create a different experience with the tragedies and battles we are all fighting this lifetime.
Since choosing to become more self-aware and committed to a path of self-development, I see sadness as an opportunity for growth–to understand deeper layers of my being. I also channel it into my work. Sadness is often a source of creativity for me. I enjoy writing when I’m feeling blissfully in love as well as when I’m feeling sad.
I also know that emotions come and go like the ebb and flow of the tides. I choose to feel them–processing and releasing them–without holding onto them. When we suppress our emotions they have to go somewhere, and oftentimes they burden the body and cause muscle tension, aches, pains, stress and dis-ease.
Emotions and feelings–“good,” “bad,” “positive,” “negative”–are a part of this human experience. And remember, they come and they go. This too shall pass. All things do.
Recently a client sent me an email regarding some of these human emotions that were coming up for her. Below is our email exchange:
I would love your opinion about something...
As you know, I did part of my kundalini teacher training May/June, which went great. After, I started a 40-day practice on my own, and about 30 days in, my mood plummeted and I felt very depressed. It coincided with my menstruation, and I was a little better after it passed, but I still have frequent ups and downs and haven't felt myself. And I randomly had a friend over who just happened to mention that she had gone through the same thing, and warned me about continuing with my kundalini training.
Now I am wondering what to do-- if it's really related to the kundalini-- and whether to continue with my kundalini teacher training. I'm feeling pretty conflicted about it and wanted an objective opinion.
I would love your thoughts! xo
N: Ultimately any work on the self, such as Kundalini Yoga, is going to dig up your darkness. Perhaps it is stuff coming up to be healed. That's what I feel it is.
As we grow stronger so too does our ability to heal through the darkness. The stronger we get the darker it gets until we are done. And it may not be this lifetime that we finish.
If you are inspired to continue with Kundalini do it. Face what comes up. Meditate on it to understand it. Ask questions in that stillness and see what comes up.
If Kundalini training feels like an obligation or doesn't feel right then stop. Listen to the body and your intuition.
It's ok to feel depressed at times–it’s part of the human process. My days are all over the place. Even in this moment I'm down. Two mornings ago I was exploding with love. It's the natural cycle of being human. Perhaps the emotions are not yours and you're empathy is sponging it in too....
Perhaps this will suffice or you want to talk more. Love you beauty and love all your parts and emotions too, they are all perfectly you. Xoxo
Also can I write a blog about this and keep it anonymous? So that people know it's ok to be sad sometimes.
C: Very true. I do feel it's just digging up darkness and emotions that I need to face and work through.
And also a great point that ups and downs are natural part of the flow of life and not to be feared, but gracefully welcomed and let go. Nonetheless, I hope your down mood passes quickly and that you are back in love again soon.
This was very helpful, thank you for sharing your thoughts and helping me work through this.
Sending you lots love vibes xxxooo
Great idea. It is very helpful to be reminded. [about the blog post]
N: Thanks love. Writing is a good place to channel this sadness as I am often times more creative when I'm tapped into a more depressed mood. Many great artists experienced it too. Some so extreme they committed suicide. I call it creative sadness. I once wrote I really dramatic piece about it but never shared it out of fear it's too much. I can share it with you if you like and let me know if it's helpful or not... And if I should post it at some point too...
C: Beautiful, Nikki!!! I don't think it's too much, but it definitely has to feel like it's written in a way that feels comfortable for you to share. Maybe in a discussion about the place of sadness and pain in our personal growth and development... and even more simply just a natural part of being human. We can't experience happiness without sadness, light without darkness. Contrast is what makes life possible.
It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Khalil Gibran:
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility."
And also: [pictures attached with quotes by Cynthia Occelli and Eckhart Tolle were sent by Client]
N: I feel you have found some peace with it now. So happy! I think I will write a book on suffering thank you for sharing these pictures I will post them too.
So perhaps if you have been feeling down, know that it is ok. I feel it too at times. We all do as humans. Even those of us that are full of love and happiness. And remember, we don’t have to go on prescription medication if we feel sad or run away from it, just ride the wave because eventually it will break.
Sadness brings with it messages for us–just as happiness does. What is causing this sadness? It is time to change a situation? Is it time to get more clear about what it is we want? Or is it time to look within for some answers? What is the lesson to be learned? Why is it happening? Tap into that sadness and understand it! It is actually a blessing to be learned from–so feel it!
Stay tuned for the Creative Sadness post I will be publishing next week! Have a beautiful emotionally expressive week! Would love to hear your thoughts and comments below!