It’s spring! Time to freshen up those closets and drawers ... but what about the nooks and crannies of your emotions?
Most of us have unwanted feelings tucked away out of sight somewhere, and they often drift into view at exactly the wrong moment. But you were born with the innate ability to clean up these emotions once and for all. Here are six ways to actively freshen up your inner spaces and create a lighthearted attitude to carry into summer:
1. Let your feelings flow.
Feelings—whether painful or pleasurable—are not designed to stay. Rather, they are transient states that pass through you, carrying information that should eventually be released. Like free-flowing water, they have their own momentum to move downstream as long as you don’t stop them. When you ignore, hide, bury, and suppress your feelings, you build a dam that keeps those feelings around.
Create an opening for your feelings to flow through right now by sitting down and putting your pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Freely express your uncensored and unedited feelings, pouring them from your body onto the page.
2. See your feelings.
Anyone who has ever tried to talk his or her way out of anger, grief, or sadness knows that it doesn't really work like that. However, when we ask our imagination to give form to feelings, we can process them more productively.
Close your eyes and focus on your body and your feelings. What do they look like? Let your imagination give them size, shape, and color. Sensing the details of their energy, notice how they are calling your attention and imagine moving your attention into them as fully as you can. Rest here, and notice how your feelings automatically change.
3. Let your feelings clean themselves up.
Your emotional system has the ability to clean itself up, but you have to actively allow it to do so.
Move your awareness into your heart, and allow yourself to fully feel whatever emotion pops into your awareness. Sense this feeling and embrace it as best you can. Repeat this activity at least two more times or until you feel clear.
4. Invite love in.
You were born with everything you need to be happy. With your eyes closed, ask your imagination to bring you the image of someone safe, loving, and powerful, and receive whoever shows up.
5. Drop the resistance.
Attract the things you want by dropping resistance to the things you don't want. The more we resist something, the more we unintentionally pull it toward us. So, intentionally allow yourself to feel whatever emotion or thought you’ve been resisting. Feel it as intensely as you can—it will organically dissipate and create space for you to manifest the feelings you've been craving.
6. Wash away unhappy feelings.
In the same way that soap helps ugly stains wash down the drain easily, self-compassion and self-love lather up to disintegrate emotional stains.
Right now, actively show yourself some compassion. With eyes closed, forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes. Imagine the vulnerable you, and send him or her a message of understanding and love.