Monday, February 11, 2008

Emotional Practice


Tagging sensations---translating bodily sensations into emotions---is a skill, an emotional practice. I've trained myself and received formal training as well in doing this for others via graduate school in counseling and a post-graduate certificate in life coaching. However, having a personal emotional practice in identifying and dealing with my feelings is something that I've trained myself for half a century not to do:

Early years of being physically beaten and verbally battered as a child and trying to deny and/or forget my feelings
So that I could survive and be able to love my parents even at the cost of distrusting myself and my feelings.

Years of schooling and working jobs while ignoring any feelings I might have
So that I could be productive and achieve, achieve, achieve...

Years spent in a fundamentalist religion and training myself to overcome any and all feelings
So that I could better serve God.

Eons spent in unhealthy marriages valuing the longevity of the marriage over my own needs and desires
So that I could successfully avoid divorce...
I've been married three times.


It's pretty amazing to realize this. In an odd way, I'm appreciative of my weight problem and emotional eating struggles which negatively affect my health, forcing me to develop a healthy emotional practice now. It is apparently only now that I am old enough, strong enough, mature enough, strong enough, and safe enough to do this. I am grateful!



~Pictures by LoveHubbie Mark

22 comments:

Beverly Keaton Smith said...

Hey Olivia, just saying hi and letting you know I still enjoy checking in on your blog..even though I have not been leaving many comments lately...

Rebecca said...

This is a powerful post. Thank you. It helps clarify my own past experiences.

Blessings,
Rebecca

Angela said...

"It is apparently only now that I am old enough, strong enough, mature enough, strong enough, and safe enough to do this."

Me, too. And I am grateful, too.

Olivia said...

Hi, Bev, I'm glad you commented. It's good to hear from you and I'm glad that you still read my blog. Peace and blessings...and love, O

Olivia said...

I'm so glad, Rebecca. Thank you for letting me know. xxoo, O

Olivia said...

Angela, I have been enjoying the parallel nature of our journeys. Peace be with you, O

Patti said...

What you are doing reminds me of personal development courses, when a person allows themselves to do a free fall back into someone elses arms. Surrendering and letting go of fear and resistance and trusting that you will land safely.

Journey Through Life said...

Wow, great post, Olivia. Seeing a summary of your life was so eye-opening. I know you have talked about it before, but seeing it all in one place like that brought such greater understanding.

This post was also really inspiring. I was struggling a little bit this afternoon, but reading gave me a little bit of strength to get through the rest of the day. Thank you.

This sentence particularly struck me...
"In an odd way, I'm appreciative of my weight problem and emotional eating struggles which negatively affect my health, forcing me to develop a healthy emotional practice now."

Love you,
Annie
xxx

Rick Hamrick said...

O--yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. All of those, and you need to add "strong enough" even one more time.

Without ever having heard the challenges you have faced to get to be who you are today, I always have felt them. You have a way about you which is both world-weary, yet so optimistic.

Nothing that has happened in your past need be more than helpful in guiding your path today. And, I know you already know this!

In all the ways I am able, I offer my support, Olivia, and I thank you for all the life lessons I have learned from your own words!

Carla said...

You rock! Love to you.

Olivia said...

Patti,

It feels like that too. Just like that. A falling backwards into....thank you for your support, Patti, and love, O

Olivia said...

Thank you, Annie. I want so much to encourage you...you do the same for me...thank you for your thoughtful comment. I love you, too, O

Olivia said...

Rick, OMG---thank you for all of the support you offer and have given---tonight I need to remember "strong enough" so I'm glad you emphasized that for me.

Oftentimes, I blog when I'm feeling strong and I guess I need to read my posts when I'm feeling weak.

Thank you, Rick, as well. I have been enjoying your blog, your videos, and Julia's as well. This week is Valentine's week and I wish you both a celebratory and lovely Valentine's day. You two seem so right for each other!

Thank you for being my friend,

O

Olivia said...

Carla, thank you. I took so much courage from your post about what this year has brought you and your journey is inspirational to me as I go through the uncomfortable process of change. Blessings and love, O

storyteller said...

Wow ... so much of what you've written resonates with me particularly about being appreciative of your challenges in helping you develop healthy practices. After thinking about it for a while now, I’ve finally posted my 1st Wellness Wednesday post at Sacred Ruminations today. LoveHubbie's photos are beautiful and I like the vivid look of your blog.
Hugs and blessings,

kikipotamus said...

Holy crap, Olivia, this is a VERY powerful post. You sound amazing.

Olivia said...

Thank you Virginia. I enjoyed your post for Wellness Wednesday very much---it is so good to focus one day a week on what we're doing for our health and wholeness and well-being, isn't it. Thank you for the kind words about my blog and LoveHubbie's gorgeous pics. Blessings, O

Olivia said...

Thanks, Kelly. High praise, coming from you!! I am doing really well, and today even better. I'm putting a video up soon, you'll see. Love, love, love, O

dancing kitchen said...

Oh Lady,
You are singing my song. I've just been introduced to you but can see you are one of my people. Congratulations on the fantabulous decision to go where your heart leads. It does give a shot of joy that runs through the veins. I can't wait to learn more about you.

Olivia said...

Well, thank you, dancing kitchen. It is so comforting to meet another like-minded friend. And thank you for your kind words, Blessings and peace, O

Jane said...

This was a very moving post and thank you for sharing your soul with us.

Happy Monday!

Jane

Olivia said...

Thank you, Jane! Blessings and love, O