How to Embrace Your Emotions

by Kristi on August 26, 2014 · 0 comments

in Feelings, spirituality

I want you to consider the following question for a minute, and be honest with yourself.

How good are you at embracing your emotions? I’m not just talking about being able to recognize when you’re feeling happy, anxious or sad, but receiving your emotions with open arms and really allowing yourself to feel them.

It’s easy to embrace our emotions when we’re feeling love, joy or peace, but what about when it comes to the not-so-great feelings, like sadness, anxiety or disappointment?


When faced with so-called ‘negative’ emotions (in truth, our emotions are only as positive or negative as we judge them to be), most of us tend to do one of two things: we either resist or suppress. I used to resist feeling negative emotions at all cost. As someone who struggled with anxiety for quite a few years, I used to hate feeling anxious more than anything, so whenever anxious feelings would come up I would resist them (which only made things worse). I also used to regularly suppress my sadness, telling myself I was too sensitive or weak when I needed to cry.

The thing is, when it comest to our emotions we can’t just ignore the bad and feel the good. It doesn’t work that way. We are all human, and as humans, we are meant to experience the full spectrum of human emotions. When we don’t allow ourselves to feel our sadness, our happiness gets muted down too. Another reason it’s critically important to fully embrace our emotions is that it’s necessary to actually feel the emotions in order for them to come to the surface so they can be released.

Whether you’re going through a difficult time, experiencing a bout of sadness or (ahem) it’s just that time of the month, your emotions can be important cues to tapping into and healing some pretty radical stuff. One thing I have learned by facing my challenges head-on is that our darkest times can often serve as our greatest opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, if we allow them to.

These past couple weeks I’ve been feeling a lot of emotions that have been needing to surface. I’ve come to recognize that when I sense that unsettled, churning deep inside it’s a call to really slow things down and pay attention because something is ready to be released.

For me, heading out on a long solo run, sitting in meditation, spending a few hours playing piano or even just listening to some good old-fashioned, soul-stirring music (I’m currently obsessed with this song) always helps me tune into how I’m feeling. Journaling and writing are incredibly helpful tools for tapping into my emotions, too. I can always tell when I’ve struck a nerve with my writing by the emotion that comes up for me.

Regardless of the method, I do whatever it takes to feel the emotion and then I allow myself to dwell in it for a little while.  What I find is that, instead of driving myself crazy resisting or suppressing my feelings, I create the space for whatever needs to come to the surface and, subsequently, I am able to release it. If I need to get angry, I get angry. If I need to cry, then I let myself cry. My friend and mentor Heather Waxman puts it best when she says, “let yourself marinate” in whatever you need to feel. It is in that space we can find joy in the midst of sadness or release from resentment or anger. It is often during these periods that I experience my greatest a-ha moments or revelations.

The trick is to allow yourself to dwell in the feeling of the emotion without living there. Don’t judge your emotions or make them a part of you, but allow them to come up, honor them and then let them go. Recognize that you are not your emotions, you are simply the vessel through which they pass.



How do you work through emotional times? Any tips to share? I’d love to hear them!


You May Also Like:


Hey love!

Tell me if this sounds like you. You consider yourself to be a fairly seasoned spiritual student. You’re totally devoted to your daily meditation practice and you rarely ever miss an opportunity to hone your spiritual skills. Sometimes you feel amazing and so incredibly connected with the Universe and in the flow of life, and other times you feel…meh.

No matter where you’re currently at in your own spiritual practice, know that it gets a little stale for all of us from time to time. Just like an exercise regimen, in order to keep yourself engaged and excited about your practice you have to shake things up every now and then. If you’re finding yourself simply going through the motions and in need of inspiration here are a few ideas to help get your spiritual mojo up and running again.


Check out a new book or podcast. There’s nothing I love more than immersing myself in a new book to broaden my spiritual perspective. (I just finished reading Leveraging the Universe by Mike Dooley and it rocked my world). I also love listening to podcasts from Gabrielle Bernstein and Joyce Meyer on my Podbay app. Sometimes, all it takes is reading or hearing a concept in a new or different way to bring about a beautiful revelation or a-ha moment. You can check out some of my other favorite spiritual and personal growth resources here.

Take up a new spiritual practice. If your spiritual practice is feeling a little lackluster then it may be time to try something new. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge undertaking, even a subtle change can make a big difference. For instance, if you normally meditate in silence try a guided meditation for 30 days, or grab a friend and hit up a kundalini yoga class. It might be just what you need to get back in the spiritual groove.

Seek out a spiritual mentor. Have a chat with a spiritually seasoned friend or sign up for a session or package with a new coach. Whenever I’m really feeling ready to go deeper into my spiritual practice I always look for a coach or mentor. For me, there’s nothing better than having someone to provide new insight and guide me through my transformation.

Give your daily routine a rest. Give yourself a break from your spiritual practice, if you need it. Sometimes we just need a breather from our daily routine. Take a few days, a week or even longer if you feel called to. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your practice altogether. Spend some time connecting by doing some not-so-routine things like taking a walk in nature or meditating on the beach. Let go and see where you’re guided. I did exactly that just last week while I was on vacation in Jamaica. I spent the entire week soaking up the ocean, enjoying the people and relishing in the freedom of not having to be on any schedule whatsoever. I returned feeling refreshed and excited to get back to my daily practice.

Above all, trust your inner guidance. If you’re craving to go deeper in your spiritual practice but you’re not really sure what you want then simply set the intention and see what follows. Your inner guidance system always knows best. Ask for guidance and trust that you will receive exactly what you need.

I hope this post provides you with a ton of inspiration and ideas to incorporate into your own practice. Have a great week!



How do you spice up your spiritual practice? Any favorite books or podcasts to share?  Let me know!

PS - I recently had the chance to partner with the talented April Robert of 10,000 Smiles for an amazing photo shoot. (New pics are coming to the site soon!) You can get a sneak preview and read my guest post for 10,000 Smiles titled How to Start Your Dream Business (While Still Working Your Full-Time Job) here. Much love and thanks to April for the incredible opportunity!

You May Also Like:


Self-Compassion: The Foundation for a Spirit-Led Life

August 12, 2014

I learned a lesson this week. Or, rather I re-learned it. (So many of the lessons we really need to learn seem to come at us again and again until they stick). After boldly declaring the new direction of this blog last Monday and hinting at the quality of content it was going to produce, […]

Read the full article →

My Spiritual Story

August 4, 2014

A little over a year ago, a few months after I quit my job, I was in a rough spot. I was excited to be taking some time off for self discovery and pursuing my dreams (I mean, who wouldn’t be?), but I was also really struggling a lot behind the scenes. I was grasping at […]

Read the full article →

Therapy Revival Series: Take A Chance On Me

July 30, 2014

Hi friends! Here is the next post in my Therapy Revival Series (you can check out all of my other therapy related posts here). This was definitely a milestone for me in therapy, because it was the first time I felt a real shift in my mindset. Those of you who have been in therapy or […]

Read the full article →

When Change Happens

July 28, 2014

Change happens when your desire for something better becomes greater than your fear. This statement probably never rang more true for me then when I decided to leave my job to pursue my passion for writing and, eventually, coaching. I can still remember sitting there at my desk after months and months of contemplation, about […]

Read the full article →

Let’s chat.

July 25, 2014

Hi friends! How are things? So, it’s been a little while since I’ve written one of my coffee chat posts and I’m feeling kind of , well, chatty. No coffee though since it’s 8 pm on a Friday night. (Not that I’m above that.) Also, it’s 90 degrees and I’m sweating bullets. (Seriously, check out our […]

Read the full article →

Therapy Revival Series: Back in the Saddle Again

July 23, 2014

Hey friends! It’s time for the continuation of my Therapy Revival Series. (You can find more therapy related posts and others from this series here.) I wrote this post right after my first foray back into the dating scene after a difficult breakup. I know we’ve all been there at some point — getting back on our […]

Read the full article →