How to Lose Your Sh$t (and Find Freedom)
When was the last time you let yourself have a good wailing cry?
I mean that old familiar throw-your-head-back-delicious-hot-mess kind of cry you had when you were a kid.
That that was me last week, in all my juicy glory—I just didn’t expect it to happen in front of my house.
When I was little, my parents used to call it the Snoopy cry because I howled so much when I was sad. Texas drama queen, born and bred.
Quite the scene, I was wailing so hard that the neighbors walking by with their dogs were staring like they were watching live reality tv.
It had been a tough week. I’d been fighting waves of feelings related to several transitions happening at once. The pressure I put on myself to “hold it all together” all came flowing out-- into the front yard.
Something as small as my horse nipping at me (why would you biiiiiite meeeee?) was enough to trigger a cascade of tears and shrieking to my mom as I described my plight over the phone.
My husband (a private person who would rather die than make a scene) finally coaxed me into the house. Using his shirt to dry my tears and snot, we both started laughing.
This episode was so vintage me--how could I not laugh at my dramatics? It felt so good just to get it all out and have a laugh at the silliness.
Feeling so deeply, both the sadness and frustration as well as the joy of connection all in a five minute span just felt so healthy. I even found myself feeling grateful for my feelings coming out the way they did because I was able to let my husband in on how I was feeling.
My neighbor later approached me a few days later and said, “You looked really upset, are you okay?” To which I replied, “Oh yeah, no worries, just needed to get some stuff out. I’m good.” And it was the truth. I really was feeling so much better.
My sidewalk breakdown opened up a portal for me to create the space I needed to witness my deeper, harder-to-sit-with feelings over the coming week.
Below, I share my Sacred Self Love Ritual that helped me unearth some of the stuck feelings and my process for being with them and moving ‘em on out.
Your Feelings are a Portal to Sacred Self Love
Most of us, whether we realize it or not, have a way we care for ourselves, both daily and when we are in distress. But does it allow for emotional release? Does it feel like you’re really coming home to yourself? When in doubt, ask yourself, “does this feel like conscious, sacred time with and for myself?”
Think of a Sacred Self Love Ritual as a really awesome therapy session between you and yourself. But remember, only do what feels good for you--I do encourage growth, but if you’re struggling with something triggering and going through a lot, certainly process with your therapist!
Slate Out Dedicated Me Time
Busy people often say they feel like they don’t have time for themselves. But when you’re really in need of healing, there are few things more important than your well-being. I like to schedule a day (if I can!) or at least several hours to just be with myself--preferably when there aren’t a bunch of people in the house to distract me.
Move Your Body
I turn to my Qoya practice when I’m feeling the feels. I crank out nourishing music that I love and move with abandon. When I get out of my head and into my body, the feelings and the clarity just flow. Even if I’ve got just a few minutes, a little bit of circling, heart and hip opening, shadow work (to really get things out!) and shaking are just what I need. If you’re curious about Qoya, click here to come to a free class!
Get Grounded in Nature
Going outside with the intention of connecting with the earth quiets my mind and reconnects me with the connection to all of life. Try walking barefoot (if you can). Put your hands on the earth, press your feet into the ground, or go for a walk and notice the way your feet hit the ground. Pay attention to the sounds around you, the feel of the air on your skin and the way your body responds to the environs. Does your breathing slow and your muscles relax? See if you can relax even deeper.
Set Sacred Space for Yourself
I love lighting candles and burning white sage for clearing in my quiet little home office. I also like to I breath in, diffuse and massage my scalp, shoulders or other sore spots with essential oils. I also set an intention for every session that it serve my highest healing.
Call in Inspiration
I draw oracle cards for inspiration and grounding while holding my favorite crystals. Sometimes I create a Self Love altar with my cards, flowers, crystals, and other healing items. Obviously, if this is too “woo woo” for you, the idea is just to surround yourself with items that calm and inspire you. It could be a picture, a treasured item, a piece of art, a note from a friend. The sky's the limit!
Connect with the softer Part(s) of you holding the emotion
I do this both in therapy as well as in my own sessions with myself. Find a relaxed position to close your eyes (if that feels comfortable) and go within.
Once settled in meditation, I begin with several deep breaths. I ask which parts of myself need to be witnessed. In this case, I connected with the “little girl” part of me who was so overwhelmed and feeling judged by my inner critic.
She needed me to slow down and accept her--without the usual judgment. She needed me to listen to her and tell my hard driving (though in its own way well meaning) inner critic to give her some space.
She needed me to help her feel safe.
I wrote her a long love letter--much like a parent would write to a child. This is a practice I developed years ago when I was working as a child therapist.
Holding my hands over my heart, I told her she didn’t need to feel shame for being overwhelmed. I was there to love and support her and she didn’t need to hide--because I was there to take care of her.
My breath slowed and I began rocking back and forth, like you would with a child or a friend you are hugging. Stay in this place as long as feels good.
You can try this exercise or connect with a different part--the most important part is that you connect with non-judgment.
Express Gratitude and Leave Your Parts in a Safe Place
It’s important to honor our higher Selves and the parts we have witnessed. Gratitude is a beautiful practice that seals the experience.
In this case, I thanked my inner child for her resilience, her exuberance and her strength. She thanked me for just spending time with her and giving her a hug. I also thanked my adult Self for always showing up for healing. She is a real badass.
When I felt like the exercise was complete, I imagined the little girl in me swinging on a tree swing, smiling and enjoying the breeze. That was exactly where she belonged in my heart.
Take Time to Integrate and Reflect
Returning to the room, I wrote my reflections in my journal, recording my inner journey.
This one is important! Take time to write about, talk about, or draw about your inner experience. And if it still feels like things are unresolved, you just have more to save for your next self-care session.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat!
Remember that the healing process is not linear and happens on your time table, as you are ready. If it feels like the deep dark stuff is a lot and the self love is what you’re needing, trust your intuition!
You can always go deeper into the shadow, there is no rush. Establishing a ritual for spending loving time with yourself will give your the scaffolding you need to know when the time for deeper healing is needed.
Share the Love
I hope you had a laugh with me and my theatrics and that you can trust that your feelings will guide back to wholeness. I would love to hear about your sacred self love rituals.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into your feelings and exploring Qoya as a sacred self love ritual, we’ll be dancing to the theme, “Freedom to Feel” in Qoya next month at our new location, Grace YPS in Silver Spring. Click here to register!
If you have questions about this or are interested in therapy, I’d love to connect. Get in touch here.