“Some day [we] will see the entire light of this planet through the window of a tear.” –Leon Felipe
In this quote from the book Finding Inner Courage by Mark Nepo, Spanish poet Leon Felipe speaks of “marriage of two suns: the outer light with the inner light, made visible by our courage to feel.”
I believe that most of us have forgotten how to fully feel our emotions and experience how we hold our emotions in our body. We have so many distractions available to us 24/7 to help numb our senses: social media, binge watching TV, engaging in emotionally draining relationships, food, alcohol, etc. There are a multitude of things that can distract us from fully feeling our emotions and how we hold them in our body.
As a Registered Nurse and a Gestalt Practitioner, I am continuously thinking about the link between disease and how we hold onto our emotions and how they affect our emotional and physical health. The science of this connection begins back in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greek physician Hippocrates was one of the first to explore mental phenomena that had complex connections to our body and disease processes. Through biomedical and technical advances in the Twentieth Century, we can see brain imaging that reveals the anatomical and biochemical basis of emotion. Neuroscience and endocrinology advances have allowed us to better understand how molecules signal the brain and how our brain affects our immune system. I don’t want to get too “techy” with this, but I want you to understand there is a great importance in our emotions and our body chemistry. Feeling and releasing the energy that we are holding onto are key pieces to our healing.
Horses and the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method are based in somatics (awareness of energy), whereby horses who are natural energy detectors are active partners in the coaching process. Horses so beautifully open the energy field of being present with our mind, body, and soul. I have witnessed our clients standing in silence and the horses’ innate ability to bring us into the field of the present moment. In a place we are free, worries of the past and the future dissipate. Often in these moments of stillness, emotions will come through the client in the form of beautiful flowing tears; the body releases what the client has been holding onto. I stand in honor of these sacred moments so dearly. It sometimes is difficult to explain to someone who has never had time to be with horses without any agenda. The best way I can explain is as such: When we are embraced by this field of grace, the world seems to fall away, and we can tap into our vibrant soul. We are then allowed to step into this sacred space and feel—all the emotions and stories that no longer serve us. We have the innate right to play as well as tell the stories of our wildest imagination and forgotten dreams. We can begin to live life without feeling the prison of disappointment and the trauma that often haunts us. We can learn that our past pains and experiences could be our greatest teachers of wisdom. When we begin to remember our birthright or soul’s path and place on this earth, we are set free. I love this visual by the brilliant author and Jungian psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes. In her book The Late Bloomer, she cites the “grave disappointment of trauma,” and how our traumas serve as our teachers of wisdom. She speaks of our traumas as “jewels that have been extracted by the wound.” When we focus on our personal work and add pressure and density to healing our wounds, we begin to bloom and flourish.
The next time you are upset, and someone tells you, “Just breathe,” instead, respond with, “Thank you, but I prefer to feel.”
Now go forth, release, and bloom!
Love, Vivian, Skye Mama and Luca