Monthly enews from m-a-p

Manure Happens! 

While spreading manure on our farm, I noticed how manure is a lot like emotional baggage!  When manure piles up and sits it gets hot, and smolders.  When you spread the manure you can see the steam coming off it.  If you drive the manure spreader too fast the manure flips back inside the wagon.  Much like un-dealt with emotional experiences and change.  If you keep adding your emotional experiences on top of the other, they fester, get hot and creates dis-ease (research is showing emotional dis-ease leads to diseases in the body, proving that emotions affect our physical well being).  Many times when I'm in a hurry to get the manure spread it just takes longer. If you deal with the emotional situation too fast it just flips back on the pile for you to look at later.   I hope you can see the analogy.

Disappointments over the lost job, the career that isn't exactly what we expected, a loving relationship turned sour, children going off to college, a life that feels a bit empty, more bills at the end of a month than money, or the loss of a parent, spouse, child or loved one, it can reek havoc on your life.  If you've not learned to deal with emtional pain it will continue to fester inside your heart and body.

All emotional situations require attention and some change.  What I see people do is swallow the experience whole, push the emotions down, and add it to their other emotional baggage.  (If you like R&B, artist Keb'Mo' talks about emotional baggage in his song Suitcase… great listening)

What's the fix or the magical pill to make it go away?  There isn't one.  That doesn't mean you have to suffer, it just means it takes time and effort.  You have to experience the emotions (go through them) to get them out of the manure spreader and you have do it at a pace that your body can accept. 

There's no one recipe for every person but in working my own emotional manure, and working with others I've found a few things that seem to be universal:

 1.  Don't block the emotions or hold them back.  As they surface, let them out.  Holding them back is swallowing them but what is required is chewing the experience into bit size pieces to fully digest it.  If you aren't in a safe place to allow them to come, gently gather yourself, make a note that you will deal with this later in the day and follow through with your agreement to yourself.

2.  Breathe!  Breathe into the emotion.  Don't limit the oxygen coming into your body.  Take deep a breath in, and exhale completely out.  If you find yourself needing help you can find a few of my favorites at Health Journeys.  Breath work will help you ease the emotions, reduce stress and allow you to focus clearer.

3.  Journal – write down your experience and emotions.  Journaling allows you to get the experience out of your body, the first step in moving forward.  A dear friend of mine makes some beautiful hand made paper journals and has a fun website Cheap Therapy,

4.  Find someone you trust to share your emotions - Once you journal the experiences it becomes easier to talk about it and move beyond the pain.  If you don't have someone to share it with, find a support group that fits your situation and make new friends.

5.  Immerse yourself in positive self-talk.  You are doing a great job!  No one can give you peace, joy and unconditional love if you don't give it to yourself first.  Not sure where to start? Sign up for some daily or weekly mental boosters at M-A-P or Higher Awareness.

6.  Still feeling stuck or the manure pile growing?  Seek help.  Only you know what might be best for you.  A coach, counselor, clergy person, therapist, working with the horses or some workshops.  There are many books that can give you a boost too. 

My experience has been that it takes a combination of these things and sometimes each step to move through the emotions.  Be gentle with yourself, this isn't the Kentucky Derby and you will be a winner if you slow your pace and allow yourself time to heal. 

June 2008  ISSUE

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