Have you ever felt powerlessness, fear, grief, or depression? Or do you know someone in your life that is currently experiencing these emotions? All of us have likely either felt this way or have had a close loved one feel like this at one time in our life or another. I know I have been there and I have seen others there as well. Often as I am working with women to peel back the layers to learn how to love their food & love themselves, unfolding these layers can expose these buried emotions as well. Cultivating self-awareness to recognize these emotions and having tools for what to do is where the real transformation comes in. Our emotions (aka energy in motion) are powerful and can be a driving source of our satisfaction in life.
First off it is important to recognize, these emotions are completely ok to have! If we didn’t have contrasting emotions, we would not be human and we would not be able to know what it is we want (from knowing what it is we do not want). And because IT IS OK to have these emotions as a human, we owe our explanation of emotions to no one! We live in a society where there seems to be this stigma that says you need to be on the corner of happy and healthy at all times and if you are not that, you are not good enough. But that is just not reality. We are all worthy and we are all good enough. What we need is to be able to cultivate self-awareness to recognize where we are at (or recognize where others are), be honest with ourselves about where we (or others) are at, and then lean into support and self-compassion (or compassion for others).
These emotions can feel heavy and by nature we don't want to feel this way. We as humans have an internal desire to survive, which means feeling good because let’s face it… feeling better, feels better. Through this lens try to remember, you are human and feelings, aka vibrational emotions, always change. We may feel like we are stuck in these emotions and there is no hope, but we are so capable of anything, the possibilities are literally endless. With that said, it may not be possible or even plausible to go from the depths of despair all the way to complete joy, but what we can do is crawl our way out, one little step at a time.
As previously mentioned, the first step to doing this is through cultivating self-awareness to recognize where we are at. To do this it can be helpful to know what The Emotional Guidance Scale is and utilize it to recognize where we are at on it. It is a scale of our feelings and emotions, in sequence from our highest vibrational feelings to our lowest. It is broken down into 22 of the most common emotions from emotions with the highest vibration (joy) to emotions with the lowest vibration (powerlessness). Once we identify where we are at on this scale, we can then lean to identifying what type of support we need to move up the scale.
Support can come in many forms. It can include seeking guidance from a mental health therapist, a counselor, and/or a psychiatrist. Or it could be finding some peer to peer support. I know when I am struggling with XYZ, I like to talk to someone else who truly understands XYZ. For example: if I am seeking support for what to do with one of my kiddos, I lean towards asking someone else with kiddos about the same age. So this is no different. Support from family and friends is also generally nice since we often occupy space and time with them; however, it can be helpful to let them know where you are at and what specifically helps you and what doesn’t. And then, most importantly, it is important to support yourself.
Support for yourself can feel challenging, especially when feeling at the lowest vibrational level; however, it is possible! One method for leaning into supporting yourself is through self-compassion.
Before we have compassion for ourselves, let’s think about what it means to have compassion for others. Compassion is the concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Compassion is heart-centered and motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another. In order to have compassion for others, you must first observe their suffering. Otherwise, how would you know to have compassion? The same goes for self-compassion, which is why self-awareness is first. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others or to yourself and most notably, this compassion would be no different wether you are talking to a friend or yourself.
In summary, self-awareness can lead us to self-compassion, which can lead us to support and all together this will help us move up the vibrational emotional scale. You may be wondering… why is a dietitian’s blog writing about emotional vibrations. The answer is easy… our food holds energy, our relationship with our food holds energy, our relationship with ourselves holds energy, and we are with ourselves all day every day and since nourishing our bodies is a daily practice (hopefully), we can impact every other aspect of our life when we cultivate awareness and compassion in our eating frame work. The practice of intuitive eating completely supports this and can ripple into many other aspects of our lives.