When the rising wave of inner energy feels both overwhelming and threatening our natural inclination is to constrict and resist whatever is present. Doing this only intensifies and prolongs the experience.

Something I’ve learnt along the path is how to RELAX and BREATHE into strong emotions that are present. I move towards the centre of the emotion and find its still point, breathe into it and relax. It’s not easy but the sense of liberation and lightness afterwards is so worth it.

This process involves not only allowing what is current to be there but also staying so present that you can soften into the emotions no matter how painful, uncomfortable or confronting and witness it/them changing.

Using your breath is key in this process. Breathing deeply into the contracted parts of your body, slowly feeling the emotions trapped in your system and then releasing this energy as you fully exhale. Letting go of all the constriction.

Sitting in the fire, standing in the storm or riding ocean waves of emotions (and surviving, then thriving) means we have to acknowledge and turn towards what’s arising instead of denying it, masking or projecting onto another. It requires presence and a willingness to remain grounded through the turbulence, knowing that the experience will change. This practice cultivates resilience within your system that you’re able to resource when needed.

It seems counterintuitive to relax and lean into strong emotions such as pain, anger or fear but the moment you’re able to fully relax your body, mind and your resistance or attachment to it, it starts to shift and move through you, ultimately setting you free and creating more space inside you for lighter states of being and expression.

Photo by Silas Baisch