Lessons from Nature & Honouring Emotions

Emotions act and move in much the same way as natural phenomenon. Ocean waves and currents and weather patterns are good examples of natural processes that mirror the movement of emotion. Knowing how emotion moves and changes helps us to understand and master our emotions.

The Ocean & Emotion

Wise sailors are fully aware of how important it is to respect and honour the ocean. They say to never turn your back on the ocean. One minute the seas can be calm and peaceful, and in the next moment the swell can pick up and rock the boat. The ocean can be kind one minute and cruel the next.

When sailing the ocean, you are at its mercy. You have no control over it movements. The only choice you have is how to react to it. If you stubbornly face the high swell and crashing waves head on, trying to force your will onto them, you could die. If on the other hand, you work with ocean currents and the direction of the swell you can navigate yourself out of the dangerous waters and into calmer seas.

The same principles apply to learning the work with emotions. When emotional intensity is overwhelming, we often try to ignore it and deny its existence or we try to force our will on it to try to make it go away. This may work to some degree in the short term, however it does not tend to help in the long term. Often the result of trying to supress or deny emotion is that it becomes more intense as time goes by. If we turn our back on the emotion it tends to dump us and leave us feeling sore and anxious of the next wave of emotion.

The trick to working with emotion is to navigate through the emotion. Breath, allow, validate, listen and release. As we allow emotions to safely express themselves and take notice of the wisdom held in the emotion, we can learn the truth that the emotion holds and then it dissipates naturally. We may be left feeling a little daunted or amazed with its insight, but we are still standing strong and are not generally overwhelmed by the emotion.

Emotions & Weather Patterns

There are many analogies between weather and emotion in music or poetry. This is no accident! Like the similarities between emotion and the ocean, weather too acts in similar ways to emotions.

Weather patterns are always in motion as are emotions. They can be sunny and fine as emotion can be happy, confident and calm. It can be dreary and raining, as emotions can feel down and sad. The weather can be a storm or cyclone as emotions can become anger and fury. So when we work with emotion we are working with an organic process which is in perpetual motion. We often aim to stop our emotions but this goal is as hopeless as trying to stop the weather!

Honouring Emotion as Nature

Like the ocean and the weather, emotions are to be respected and honoured. We can prepare for them if we know they are coming. We can take notice of the signs that indicate danger. We can learn how to keep ourselves safe as possible when the intensity hits, but we cannot stop them or make the go away by simply putting them out of our minds.

Learning to allow, validate and learn from emotion and then safely release the emotion is the key to empowerment. To remember how emotion moves and acts gives us an edge in working with and mastering this amazing part of who we are.