I have read about the benefits of allowing emotions to pass through my body —not holding on to them, and recovering equilibrium more quickly — in many, many books, but had only ever understood it intellectually. Over the weekend on our long mountain walk I got to experience what it really feels like and to practice experiencing that feeling.
When you are slogging up a steep hill the trick is to establish a slow rhythm and to relax into an almost meditative state as you place one foot after the other on the path, over and over again — for hours.
But then you stumble or trip. The adrenaline courses through your veins, your heart races, and irritation and frustration rush through your body. Usually I would hold onto these feelings and stew in them, feeling sorry for myself and all this discomfort and strain it is taking to get to the top. Wondering why I bother. Contemplating turning back.
But not this time. This time I felt the surge of emotions after the stumble but instead of reacting I watched them. I noticed how they felt physically. I allowed myself to enjoy the rush of adrenaline then let it go as I returned to my steady rhythm and the delights of the sounds, textures and stretching of my next step.
Now I just need to practice applying this new learning to the rest of my life!