How do we deal with emotions? There is not an easy answer to that. How can we share our feelings without feeling judged or embarrassed about it? These questions were the central theme in last week’s Conscious Connections meeting.
It was a meaningful meeting that gathered 30 people from different ages, genders, countries, and life experiences. The shared intention throughout the meeting was to leave behind criticism or judgement and come from a place of love. This intention created the space for participants to open up and share their own stories.
At the beginning of the session, all the participants were together in the main zoom room. Each person said their name and one word that described their feelings. Some people said they were anxious, some said they were curious and others were excited. After the introductions, the group went into smaller rooms to create a space where each member had the opportunity to share their own stories and ways of coping with their emotions. An interesting piece is that most of the participants shared experiences where they struggled with emotions.
A clear example was a participant that talked about his journey, reconnecting with his crying. He said he lost the ability to cry through his life, because of the stigma around men and crying. However, this participant said that after years of working on this, he enjoys tears more than ever because tears in life represent emotional maturity. After this powerful statement, other meeting members started to talk about their own experiences with crying; participants shared that things that show beauty or compassion triggered them to shed tears. In the end, crying is just part of being a human.
Additionally, we listened to men talk about how challenging it was for them to show emotions because society labels men as “macho” or the “alpha male.” However, men struggle in the same way with their feelings, but it is hard for them to show.
The group also discussed anger. Coping with anger is hard for some people because this emotion can feel overwhelming and powerful. If it is not confronted, it can manifest into destructive behavior. A helpful way to release this emotion is sharing it with others. In a group like Conscious Connections, you can find a safe place to talk about these types of feelings because people will listen to you in a meaningful way.
Powerful statements were given from different participants throughout the small meetings, and It is incredible to experience how honest, open and empathetic the participants were. One of the participants shared this fabulous sketch below that he made during the session. It is amazing how humans can create beautiful art with a simple ballpoint pen. This participant said that for him sketching was a way to feel relaxed, calm and happy.
Finally, the most meaningful strategy was to embrace emotions. It is easy to say but hard to do, but in the end, we need to remember that we are not alone. Others are going through similar journeys.
Some key strategies that appeared in the different breakout rooms, to manage emotions were:
- Yoga because it helps to focus the mind in the present moment that we live, Allows us to focus our mind in positivity thoughts, and teaches us to connect our breath and body mindfully.
- Reading helps to learn ways to express emotions and to have personal growth.
- Cooking or baking supports creative thinking to do something for you or your loved ones and it can generate positive thought and raise self-esteem.
- Sketching to release negativity and cultivate compassion for others.
At the end of the meeting, the participants came together into the main zoom room and shared their final thoughts. It was energizing to see the positive attitudes and feel gratitude from the group.
This type of session brings people together that have never met before, but the connection, positive energy and the judgement-free space, creates a place of security that allows for individuals to freely express themselves. Finally, The most pleasant surprise was how honest the people were in the meeting. How easy they share their feelings without hesitation or fear.
Conscious Connections holds gatherings several times throughout the week. Each session has a different theme, and everybody is welcome to join the discussion. The only thing that you need to bring is an open mind to listen to others and share your own experiences.
A final question for you, how do you manage your own emotions?
Author: Catherine A Pulgar E.