The spiral growth systems blog

Managing Emotions Through Wide Open Space

I’ve been busy lately. But not in the way where everything flows, and I end each day full of gratitude for everything I experienced and accomplished (ah, how I love those days). Instead, it’s been more of a juggling-many-balls-in-the-air-without-ever-having-gone-to-clown-school busy. In the past week or two I have replaced the gratitude-at-the-end-of-a-long-day feeling with pure exhaustion that has rendered more of a giving up and giving in. Giving in to what I have not even been sure of, because I have felt so resigned to the frustration in the busy-ness that I haven’t even had the energy to evaluate or feel into what I was ceasing to care about. I had lost my awareness in managing emotions and ceded to my desire to crawl under a rock and simply not care anymore. And coming from someone who is generally present to her personal power, and ability to create the best life ever, that’s pretty pathetic.

But yesterday, in the midst feeling a deep sense of exhaustion, accompanied by an unwillingness for managing emotions that I didn’t have the energy to feel, let alone identify fully, I made a choice. After a tiring weekend, I found myself caught in yet another San Diego to Los Angeles traffic jam; realizing my 2 hour commute was about to develop into its second 4 hour freeway extravaganza in one weekend, making me late to the next adventure of the day (that, at this point felt more like a chore), and extending my late night into an even longer night that my under-rested and under-yogaed, and therefore fragile emotions were not prepared for. That’s the thing about managing emotions, if we don’t have all of our basic needs met, it becomes simply a free-for-all of our hearts. But I knew that the emotions were there, and that the exhaustion would soon break into anger and resentment if I didn’t do something. Now.

But what is there, really to do when trying to manage emotions that are layered with blankets of exhaustion, making everything seem “wrong” instead of right. While we may have “choice” in every situation, there are some that seem to have limited options. This was one. But what I knew I could do, the choice I could make, was to choose space. Though I had no time on this day to create the official unoccupied space in my day that I know through experience leads to opportunity and success, I could choose to create space in my body, and in my thoughts. And so, buried in Los Angeles traffic and a dark cloud of exhaustion, I was still able to focus on the space that I did have, and the opportunity that could be there simply by allowing a feeling of peace and trust to come into my body, my mind and my heart.

Upon arriving at my next destination where I was to spend my evening so busy that managing emotions had to take a back seat to the task at hand, I found that the previously creeping-in anger and resentment had shifted to feelings of peace and trust. The open space, which I could feel the most in the calmness of my mind, created an opening for things to go well. This is something I do know for sure about managing emotions — when space is not created within us, it forces the energies around us to bump up against us and create friction, leading us deeper into the spiral of “something’s wrong”. But when we allow ourselves to clear out some space within, room is made for opportunity, love, and all of the awesome the Universe has to offer to flow in and out of our day. Managing emotions turns into a noticing of gratitude and joy as good things come in and out.

As I ended my day with the last task before I was able to head home, I would have been inclined to rush, knowing that the sooner I finished, the sooner I could get some rest. And yet, because of the choice to leave open space in my day and my emotions, I created opportunity at even the very least expected time. I ended my day with an amazing talk with someone I did not yet know well. It was the kind of conversation that abounded with gifts in the form of words I needed to hear, and things I needed to get clear about. Had I not learned to clear space in managing emotions, I would not have been open to receiving such a gift from someone unexpected at midnight after a long day. Wide open space that we create, allowing in trust and openness, can only, ever, be beneficial to us. Trust me. Trust yourself. Trust this awesome Universe.

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