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When Big Emotions Come Up

A friend of mine is writing a book where she includes rites of passage for different ages.

She wrote to me and asked me, "How do you help 9-13 year old girls become less emotional and stronger in themselves?” Are their any specific yogic rituals that you feel have positively affected the girls you've worked with? Can you give an example?"

These are great and important questions and much of why I feel inspired by Spirit Warriors.

Here is my answer: In Spirit Warriors, we emphasize several aspects of how to work with emotions. One is, to allow the feelings to come up and be present with them. Where is this feeling in your body? What color is it? And then encourage them not to judge the feelings as good or bad.

We also encourage the girls to take space right away, especially when they are really triggered or angry. Try not to speak until you feel calmer.

With anger and fear, moving the body really helps shift the energy. With sadness, sometimes crying is really helpful, without getting stuck in it. Take responsibility for your emotions, working with the tendency to blame others when we are upset. Allow space for your emotions, that to know that nothing is “wrong with you” when you are feeling a lot. Specific things we have done in Spirit Warriors to help with emotions and overall well being include chanting, meditation, and prayer, remembering to ask for divine help in whatever way is comfortable to each. Another exercise we did recently that was surprisingly powerful was to draw your inner gremlins and name them. Examples include: Wendy Whiner, Patty Peeved, Olga Overwhelm, Gilda Gotta Get it Done, Down Dulu and so on. This exercise really helped them depersonalize their emotions and even have humor around it. More on this in the next blog!!

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