Emotional expression. It is easy for us to show our happiness and our excitement for something or someone. Think about your Valentine’s Day plans with your loved one and you may grin ear-to-ear, or get a little bounce in your step as you walk. Many people have told me recently that I look full of life and very happy. They are right; I am happy and because I am, my health has improved on a lot of levels and it shows. Now think back to the last time you held onto a fear, a worry, or sadness. Did you neglect to express this emotion because either the time “wasn’t right” to express it or you felt embarrassed or wrong for having such a thought? Did the feeling dissipate or fester like a thorn in your side? I’m no expert in psychology or five-elements theory, but I do believe that emotional expression can free up blocked energy that, if ignored, can cause a lot of emotional and physical harm (for instance digestion trouble, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, etc).
We can release emotional energy from the body in many different ways: shedding tears of sorrow or joy, a cartwheel, a toe-touch, a fist-pump, shouting, stomping our feet… I believe this energy can also be harnessed and converted to other forms; you might call it emotional expression therapy (EET for short). For me, the best EET is dance. I simply cannot live without it. I feel I can express my emotions, whatever they are, through interpretive dance sometimes better than I can describe what I’m truly feeling. For me, there are few better ways, if any, to cleanse and nourish my soul. I recommend finding your favorite EET and use it regularly. Explore what works best; maybe it’s writing or playing music, singing, poetry, journaling or writing short stories, painting, drawing, or even cooking… Often these exercises help us understand our emotions better as well. Give yourself time to listen to your body, be with that emotion, and learn from it.
Tender touch. Give it and receive it. I cannot emphasize the importance of being touched with a gentle, loving hand and the nourishment it provides. Honestly, I don’t fully understand it. Maybe it has something to do with connecting a fundamental circuit, one that allows a certain type of energy to transfer between two people. (I’m I scientist and therefore always looking for an explanation to complex phenomena…) I remember as a little girl, my grandmother would rub my back or run her fingers through my hair before going to sleep at night. It brought a sense of peace, security, and calmness. It assured me I was loved and cared for. Today, I find the same sensations from even the simplest forms of touch, an arm around my shoulder, a held hand, a hug. But although simple, it has an unexplained complexity which cannot be discounted.
Finally, love. It too must be given and received. For love to be truly nourishing, it must move in two directions. One must open their heart to accept love and share their heart to give love. Love is a river that flows in two directions; where the streams come together, tabulate flow creates mixing, entanglement, and indistinguishable separation. It is here where nourishment is shared, both given and received. If you love someone, tell them. Tell them with words, tell them with touch, tell them with your heart.
May your day be filled with love, my all your rivers be entangled, and may you be nourished.