Last year I spent a weekend away with a beautiful soul, Caroline (and yes it has taken me a long time to blog this). We celebrated her birthday in style at the Wanderlust festival on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. We immersed ourselves in in a diverse range of activities including singing, yoga, meditation, chanting and music.
Caroline and I attended mainly yoga and meditation sessions. One had me in fits of laughter, while another exposed my vulnerability and I spent most of the session with hot tears running down my cheeks. During our downtime Caroline and I analysed and reflected on our sessions.
It was no surprise to me that a lot of stuff bubbled to the surface. For years my sister in law (yes the older wise one) has continued to remind me that I hold on to ‘stuff’- some like to call this emotional baggage. I understand how unhealthy it is to carry grief, guilt, anger and some of my ‘stuff’ goes back over twenty years. One of the yogi instructors suggested we carry this emotional burden in our pelvic area and we keep on layering it if we don’t let it go. When I am highly anxious or stressed, my body seizes up especially around my neck and shoulder areas. It is certainly unhealthy.
Holding on to ‘stuff’ stops us from moving forward, being in the moment, forgiving and sometimes loving again. Can you be truly happy again if you hold on to grief so tightly it consumes every waking moment? Do you miss the magic of life if you’re too busy reliving the past?
So is letting go the same as forgetting or pretending ‘stuff’ didn’t happen? I think if ‘stuff’ resurfaces in some form such as a memory or a conversation, you can acknowledge it but then move on, don’t emotionally invest in it again. When I was seeing a counsellor several years ago she suggested you treat it as memory that passes across your line of vision but then it keeps moving on. She said if you try to block it out you won’t succeed so you need to acknowledge it.
My personal journey to improve my mental health is certainly ongoing and I am definitely a work in progress but hopefully me sharing this will help others.