Whether it’s your first session or your 20th, it’s always nice to be reminded that yes sister, you’re human and yes love, there will be times during soul work when we dig deep, bring things out of the closet that have been hidden for some time, and we come face to face with our true selves and it isn’t always comfortable.
This post soul-work care package was put together to normalize things that are common post soul-work and provide some tools to help you ease into the days ahead.
Regardless of how well versed you are with vulnerability, when we come face to face with something, share something personal, see something in a a new light that might not be so flattering, or realize a hard truth within us that may require work on our part, it can be uncomfortable. Brene Brown calls this a vulnerability hangover and it’s most likely to happen when we share things we haven’t shared in some time or shared something that brings up a lot of emotions and we worry how someone else will perceive us. And this happens a lot in soul work. A LOT!
Why? Because this is the nature of the work. When we talk about inner transformation and especially enoughness work, we’re talking about our darkest, deepest insecurities, secrets, stories, and pieces of ourselves we often don’t let see the light of day. Bringing them into the light can sometimes feel painful, but never as painful as keeping them hidden for them to fester, for them to grow stronger, and for them to keep you from living the life you really want.
Plus, anytime we try something new (setting a boundary, getting vulnerable, navigating a mistake, things going awry), we come face to face with our humanity… our beautiful, imperfect humanity. And that can be tough.
So, even though there may be times we want to run and hide, throw a lampshade over our head, or wish upon the brightest star that we could take back the words we voiced… I’m a firm believer we can never “unsee” what we’ve seen and this is a very good thing, especially when we’re feeling vulnerable.
Here’s why: when we feel exposed, feel raw, feel naked with our truth… it all points to the fact that there’s work our soul needs us to do. There’s healing that needs to be done and it’s up to us to ensure it happens. Our soul’s counting on us to rise to the occasion, to not back down, to lean in, to go in closer, to offer love and compassion and a willingness to mend the broken pieces that keep us from loving ourselves fully.
These feelings are like a treasure map. They lead us where we most need to go (even if we don’t like it or want to) so that we can have the kind of life we want whether that be stepping up more boldly in our career, creating trust and intimacy in relationships, being more assertive with family members, letting people in, allowing yourself to love and be loved deeper, or simply feeling more confident in your own skin.
If we courageously go where our soul is leading us, we will be rewarded with our greatest treasure because it is our wounds that offer us the greatest freedom when we pursue their healing and pursue their needs. It is our wounds that offer us greater purpose, deeper understanding, bolder action, and broader compassion. And all of these things? They lead to more connection and connection is the piece that brings more vibrancy to life on all levels.
So, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable following intense sessions or putting yourself out there in the world. If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone and this is entirely expected. If you’re feeling pretty good and excited about the work ahead, this is great news and a great sign that you’re practicing vulnerability and compassion and deepening these skills. But, wherever you are, the following few tools will help you integrate your process quicker and deeper plus make you feel AMAZing too
Whenever we’re feeling vulnerable, the last thing we might want to do is tap dance on these feelings with more attention. We might need to feel mad, sad, scared, or unsure and all of that is okay. But putting a pen to paper and at least creating space and acknowledging what you’re feeling helps you start to integrate this process. Journaling doesn’t have to be in depth to have a benefit. Sitting for 5 minutes with your feelings can be incredibly helpful.
Women are the toughest on giving ourselves permission to feel what we’re feeling. Let yourself feel what you feel. Embracing your emotions is part of building self-trust and vulnerability within, a necessary component to building it outside of ourselves. Pay attention to the “should’s” and “shouldn’ts” of emotions such as “I shouldn’t be this upset.” or “This shouldn’t be that big of a deal.” Cut yourself a break on this one. Feel what you feel. All of it is OKAY! And all of it will work itself out, especially with outside support.
3. Check the Judgment
When I feel exposed, I’m at high risk for self-judgment. All kinds of judgmental thoughts can go through my mind and rehashing a conversation or decision can replay over and over and over again. I’ll go through what I should have said or maybe kept to myself. I’ll go over all the ways this person is going to think differently of me now. I’ll wish I could crawl under a rock and not feel so “seen”. But mostly this all stems from fearing I’ll be disapproved of when in reality, it’s hardly ever as bad as I make it out to be. Know what I mean?
We often forget how closely tied our bodies are to our minds. When we feel vulnerable and exposed, our body can start to shut down and close off, which creates further disconnection from ourselves (the opposite of what we need right now). Treating yourself with some love and kindness is a powerful way of reminding yourself you’re still enough even though you feel raw. You’re enough just as you are (just like you’ve always been). Connecting with your body brings you back to this space lovingly. Here are a few of my favorite tools:
- take a hot bath
- light your favorite candle
- give yourself a massage with essential oils
- read something uplifting
- lay on your back on the floor (this helps move your negative energy into the earth)
- cuddle under a blanket
- put on your favorite tunes
- sing along to your favorite song
- dance: fast or slow (movement helps get you into your body)
- stretch (straddle stretch, cat/cow pose, butterfly stretch)
- breathe deeply and mindfully
- put on some meditation music
- use positive mantras (one of my favorites is “I’m enough just as I am, always and forever”)
- fix a cup of aromatic hot tea (my favorite is orange ginger with a splash of vanilla and a drop of lavender essential oil): breathe it in deeply
- be outside in nature
- cuddle with a pet, if available
- remind yourself you’re bold, you’re beautiful, you’re a creature of the Universe and you are so unbelievably deserving
- remind yourself that just because you think something or just because you feel something doesn’t make it true (and this one’s a big one)
- reach out to a trusted friend that can hold sacred space and let him/her talk you through it
- take a nap (sleep can almost always help us reset our perspective)
- and lastly… give it a few days. Our bodies take time to process emotion and our minds can take a few days to grasp a fresh, positive perspective.
But whatever you do… don’t push this truth back down. I’m a firm believer that your truth will always rise. If you don’t deal with it, you’ll keep tripping over it and that’s why we’re doing this soul work to begin with!
So sister, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that if you’re feeling emotional, feeling raw, feeling a bit exposed… it’s normal. Our sessions can sometimes go deep. They’re intended to be that way. Our work is to help you embrace yourself fully especially those deep, dark parts of yourself that you think aren’t good enough to love. But with perseverance and commitment to yourself, our souls always reward us. And they reward us with more love, more acceptance, more grace, more compassion, more confidence, more trust, more courage, more truth. And in my humble opinion, this is the recipe for a life well lived, but especially a life well loved <3
Please feel free to reach out to me between sessions via text/email/FB messenger for additional support. That’s why I’m here; your guide, your companion, your journey partner in this beautiful privilege called life. We’re never in this thing alone. I always have your back!
With light + love + so much permission,