top of page

Welcoming Our Emotions - What We Resist, Persists

There have been a lot of moments lately when I think, “Wow, it’s hard to be human.”. We feel so much. We are constantly bombarded with more stimulation than our systems can digest, and the world in general just keeps getting busier, faster, and louder.

As a highly sensitive person, I have walked through the world feeling everything that everyone around me is feeling, which has been a lifelong challenge to manage. However, my sensitivity didn’t come out of nowhere. Like most people, my early childhood experiences impacted the way I relate to and process my emotions.

When I was 7 months old, I was in a car accident and my older sister, Amy, was killed in the crash. This early experience of traumatic loss has deeply informed my sense of self, sensitivity, empathy, and ability to listen as well as my struggles with anxiety, self-worth, and managing my own intensity. When you go through a loss at a pre-verbal/precognitive time in your development, the experience becomes internalized. This event created a sense of unsafety and dysregulation in my nervous system, but it also gave me access to greater depth and an innate drive to experience the fullness of life.

Thirty years later, when I lost my son, I found myself once again in the unknown territory of grief, but this time I had some tools to help me through it. Now my loss opened me to greater awareness, self-understanding, and acceptance of my sensitivities so that I could finally stop resisting what I was feeling and learn how to embrace my emotions and myself.

My mom has always said that my sensitivity is a double-edged sword and that I have to learn how to yield. I may hurt more, but I also love more and can feel the depths of pleasure, gratitude, and connection. For this, I feel so blessed even though It is challenging at times to manage just how much I feel.

For a long time, my emotions ran the show. I constantly felt overwhelmed, struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, and this constant feeling of being revved up, which drove me to be in motion just about all of the time. I didn’t know how to rest. I still struggle with stillness and containment of my energy, but I figured along the way that meditation was the remedy to my overactive body and mind and that I had to create energetic and emotional boundaries so that I could function in the world.

When I can welcome my emotions and feel them without becoming overcome by them, I stop resisting what is and find contentment in the moment itself. When I can let go of expectations, I find acceptance and peace. This is one of the greatest lessons that grief continues to teach me.

One of my favorite sayings that have become foundational teaching in the Mindful Grieving Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Program that I offer is ‘What we resist, persists’. The more we push away our emotions, try to avoid them, push them down, or attempt to talk ourselves out of whatever it is we are feeling, the bigger and more powerful the feeling becomes. It can be so scary to face the depths of pain and fear that we feel after a loss, especially when there is trauma.

Our bodies are so intelligent that it is common to feel numb or disconnected like there’s a fog around us that we can’t see through. This is to protect you from the depths of feeling that you are likely not able to handle at that moment. This happened to me when I was a baby and again after losing Noah. However, your body can hold onto this coping strategy or pattern of protection long past when it is needed, which can keep you feeling cut off from life, disconnected from your emotions or overwhelmed by them.

This resistance to feeling becomes an armor that you wear around your heart that may feel like it’s keeping you safe, but what it really does is make the feelings bigger, louder, and more overwhelming, because they just want to be noticed. Once you find the courage to feel the feeling, it will lose some of its power and release.

Learning how to welcome your emotions and let go of the resistance and fear of your pain is a necessary and very challenging aspect of healing after a loss. There are practices to support you to make it manageable, to take in what you are feeling in small increments and in a way that feels contained.

I created the Awakening Through Grief Retreat to offer an immersive, deep-dive opportunity to support people to do just this. To explore, feel and express your feelings with the support of a container for your grief so that you can feel your emotions a little bit at a time without becoming blown out or overcome by them.

There was a time when I was so deep in my grief that I was afraid that if I opened the door to my pain and let myself feel the intensity of my loss that I would go down the rabbit hole and become swallowed up by my own emotions. I learned through meditation that I could do the big work of feeling my emotions, create containment for myself and let the feelings out so that I don’t have to carry them around with me as a burden throughout my life. This is what you will learn to do on retreat.

The retreat offers a supportive community, practices, and spaciousness to open and stay open to whatever emotions arise within you as you are supported to not only welcome what you feel but to integrate your experience into your life.

I'm hosting an Information Session where you'll have the opportunity to explore the retreat in greater detail and have all your questions answered. I would love for you to join the conversation. You can RSVP for the event below. August 10, 2023 4:30-5:15 PM MDT Zoom - link sent after registration


The CSG community is here for you and for anyone in need of connection and support. This is how I got through my own loss, and I am here to support you too. You don’t have to do it alone.

From my heart to yours,

55 views0 comments
bottom of page