Sitting on Emotions

One of the most dangerous things in modern life is the desk job. You may have heard the phrase "Sitting is the new smoking". And so many students come with injuries - not from large movements - but from the chronic turn from the computer to the file, or with injuries of holding still. Bringing awareness to your beingness at work can help make small physical shifts. And I actually think that a lot of the body pains of sitting in a desk come when we are sitting on our emotions as well.

Are you in a profession where you are asked to sit on your emotions? Further...are you in such a profession because you'd rather not deal with your emotions anyways? In Western philosophy dividing the body from the mind, there is often a fear that emotions could destroy what the mind has built. That - if we actually brought *our self* into the room, everything would fall apart. 

I found this quote regarding psychotherapy and thought it was really poignant:


Some believe psychotherapy became a science when it took on fully the split between the body and the mind in the valuing of objectivity. Therapist was asked to take on the archetype of the scientific observer - with no personal qualities of their own. Client: "Have you been through this before?"..."Are you an addict?"..."Are you married?". Therapist: "What is it in you that feels the need to know?" (grrr)

Well, as for psychotherapy, there is a lot of recent evidence to show this isn't actually that helpful. That a century of cognition can only get you so far. And what actually is healing is in the emotional resonance, the right brain to right brain connection - when combined with the cognitive boundaries and containment. The therapist who sat in the chair AND sat on his emotions, might have been doing a bit of dis-service to everyone.

What does this mean? Well, consider if you have taken on that feeling that emotions could ruin your work. Or that you not only have to sit in that desk but you have to sit on what you really feel as well. Consider if that actually was convenient, because maybe you were trained that emotions were unwanted factors. Consider what emotions in particular you tend to sit on. 

THEN, consider the possibility that bringing more of yourself to any moment could be an asset. Perhaps an elegance needs to be learned if, for a long time, you had learned to push it down or let it explode. Consider that your whole self is welcome. Perhaps for you - as a student described this week - this means you get up every couple hours and walk around the block. Perhaps it means that you take small doses of listening to what your body & heart has to say about something and experiment with speaking up when you can. Perhaps it means you seek more time and places where those emotions you have been happy to push down can come out.

It is a tremendous skill to have both boundaries and strength AND feeling. Many have just one of the other. This carries us a bit towards wholeness. 

Is there a way that you might listen to your feelings in your work? Or do you feel like you are being asked to sit too still?