Friday, 9 September 2011


I was recently chatting with a music therapist and we were discussing emotions.  In his work he seemed to spend a lot of time telling people its ok to be angry and to help them find suitable outlets for it so they were no longer 'problem teens/adults'.  Along with another very interesting chat around PMT type emotional 'outbursts'.

this got me thinking about how my clients talk about emotions. The 1st thing that occured to me was that they tend to use the word emotional to mean tearful.  I think this puts a negative spin on it as being tearful usually  means we're sad, which generally isn't a pleasant feeling, and as such being emotional is negative.  But in my opinion being emotional just means having emotions which albeit we can control to some degree - perhaps we shouldn't?

The acupuncture theory (TCM) perspective is that a true emotion lasts only 7 minutes as it passes through the heart, so true laughter, tears, anger, fear etc lasts only 7 mins and then we settle back in to the norm... now This took some processing for me cos I thought about the last time my heart was broken for example and it more than certainly took more than 7 mins to get over it!!! but then when really thought about it and the raw emotion it was only about 7 maybe 10 mins at a time that i'd cry for, then i'd maybe be a bit angry, then tearful again, then just sad, and occasionally even happy or laughing at something one of my mates said to me and so forth. 

I remember having a conversation with a friend who was feeling guilty for laughing on the day of a loved ones' funeral...

basically I just find it astounding afraid people are of their emotions - we rarely stop ourselves from laughing, even when its at someones misfortune... so why stop ourselves from crying or being angry - it is merely a response to the situation we are in.

i have had numerous conversations with people about giving themselves permission to feel... one of my favorite tricks - especially when im feeling a bit 'hormonal' is to watch a film I KNOW will have me sobbing - steel magnolias is a fav - then i have a nice safe way in which to release my tears without having to work out WHY i'm tearful!  9 times out of 10, after that i'm feeling much lighter and no longer needing a 'greet'.

Interestingly, I had a discusson with a client about said 'hormonal' states and how they are frowned apon and that we should always be happy - for 2 weeks out of the month (for the average woman) we are in the 'luteal phase' which is a time for reflection and withdrawing into ones self - and as a as a society we have turned this into something negative - that we should be happy go lucky wee ladies all the year through and that periods are by their nature dirty and something to be ashamed of - now i think about it as a 30something woman - its crazy how embarrassed I was at having periods as a teen!  it reminds lme of the 50's ads on tv about being a good wife - make sure your up and dressed breakfast made for your hubby etc otherwise he'll leave you was the gist I got from them  (anyway slightly off topic now).

I guess what i'm trying to say is that emotions are not something to be thought of negatively - that if we allow them to manifiest in an appropriate way at the time at which they are evoked we can move on from them, rather than allowing them to fester or trying to block them completely, cos inevitabley they will come out, and then it really might not be pleasant for the person unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end!  We all have good and bad days/weeks/months/years/moments and thats FINE - thats how it should be!!! living in the moment is not (for me) about ignoring what has happened or is about to happen, but to constantly bring yourself back to where you're at right now and try engage fully in it - but also allow time for reflection etc...

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