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Episode 29: Processing Subconscious Feelings

Good morning, everybody, and welcome to today’s episode of The Work Of Becoming podcast! Today, I want to talk a little bit about subconscious processing, and that sounds very intense, but I promise it’s not gonna be as intense as you think it is. If you haven’t listened to the previous episode, my sort of 15-minute bonus episode on radical self-transformation, I really encourage you to do that because that has a lot of bearing on what I’m about to say.

So, today, I am recording this in my pajamas. It’s, like, two o’clock in the afternoon, and I have pretty much been laying around all day long. I had all these intentions for the day. I was gonna get up, I was gonna get dressed, I was gonna go to the gym, and really, when I got up, I checked in with myself, and there was a pretty deep sense that I needed a break, I needed a minute. And honestly, I’m not really surprised about that, and here’s why.

As I shared in the previous episode, on Friday I made some pretty big scary decisions about my life and my future. I made some pretty intense financial investments in various things, and I very recently signed up for an official powerlifting meet. I was with my team all weekend long this weekend. And so, all of those things are going to drive up emotions. All of those things, even though they’re positive things, they are what we call eustress. They are stress that’s eustress, not Y-O-U.

So, eustress is really about positive stress, but positive stress, my dears, is still stress. So, even though this scary financial investment was exciting, even though my weekend was filled with joy and fulfillment and an amazing experience, joy is still stressful in that sense. Positive emotions are still stressful. Signing up for this powerlifting meet is exciting, but it’s also nerve wracking, and we, sometimes as humans, need time to process our emotions, and when we don’t process our emotions, when we try to push right through, when we don’t realize what’s happening in our body and in our feelings, that is when we can hit a lot of resistance and we can enter into this situation where we sort of feel like we don’t have the energy or the drive or the “willpower” to do anything, and we start beating ourselves up for it.

So, about halfway through the day today I was like, “Ugh, what the heck is going on? Why don’t I have any drive today? Why don’t I have any energy? I have stuff to do.” What I did in that moment is I used some of the tools that we teach clients in terms of emotional regulation, but I really stopped and I tapped in and I checked in with myself, and the truth is that today I’m feeling scared. The truth is that today I’m feeling excited. The truth is that today I feel like things in my life are — and I’m gonna get emotional — changing really fast, and they’re changing really fast in really amazing ways, but that doesn’t mean it’s not scary, and that doesn’t mean I don’t need time to process, and that doesn’t mean that that’s not going to heighten my sense of stress or my sense of threat.

And so, I just encourage you to really think next time you’re feeling a sense of resistance or you’re feeling off or you’re feeling like you can’t get anything done or you just can’t get yourself to focus, what emotion are you ignoring? What stressor are you trying to push away? Instead of pushing through or instead of beating yourself up, can you take a minute to just hold yourself in that and to say, “You know what? I am gonna sit on the couch for another –,” even if it’s like five minutes. Let’s say you have things that really need to be done today. You have responsibilities you can’t ignore. That’s fine. Even taking five minutes to go sit in your car and have a good cry or do a little journaling or just pause a minute and drink some of your favorite tea in silence or whatever it is, how can you understand and start to recognize that if you feel like you’re stuck, if you feel like you’re paused, if you feel like you can’t move forward on the next task, maybe it’s because something’s unprocessed. Maybe it’s because you’re growing. Maybe it’s because there’s transformation happening. I mean, it’s a classic metaphor, right? In order to become a butterfly, we have to have a cocoon moment, and maybe you’re trying to break yourself out of that cocoon before you’ve let yourself sit there in safety for a while.

So, a lot of things are changing for me. A lot of things are transforming in my life. I have the sense that there are other people out there who are also experiencing radical self-transformation and big changes and big shifts. And so, if that’s you, just remember that you’re allowed to be scared, even if it’s a good thing. You’re allowed to be sad, even if it’s a good thing. You’re allowed to be worried, even if it’s a good thing. Giving yourself time and space to process those emotions is how you’re going to move forward and stop those emotions from disrupting your life. I’ll see you in the next episode!

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Hi, I'm Karin

I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.

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