Sob Your Head Off It’s Good For You

Human face cloaked in mesh

Human face under a cloak of confusion

Expand your capacity to love!

You know those moments where no words can express or console your feelings; a deep guttural cry is the only way to pacify the hurt. It offers complete submersion into your feelings–separate from thinking–bringing solace to heartache. It’s as if, physically shedding tears makes room for mental resolution. And it is actually true–sobbing is a physical exorcism.

The deep muscular heave of a sob loosens the emotional grip of deep-seated beliefs trapped in your soft tissues. Beliefs misaligned with the present situation; beliefs that make you question love. (Yes, the body feels! The mind thinks.)

Even tears motivated by happiness, such as your daughter’s wedding day, there is a misaligned undercurrent belief causing the tears: you may have worried that she would not find a partner and be lonely her whole life; or on a more personal note, you may believe you’ll never attract the bliss of new love again in your life. Underlying beliefs are not always conscious.

The emotional undercurrent of mental beliefs runs through your body like a current that tumbles gracefully down the river. Misaligned beliefs create tensions that interfere with this emotional current, like a bend or jutting rock in the riverbed that creates a whirlpool. Physical holding patterns develop into pockets of tension that I refer to as psyche-muscular holding patterns. To release the pattern adjust your belief.

Easy right… just change your mind!

Not quite. First you need to release the physical tension holding the pattern in place!

Sobbing naturally creates that opportunity.

To create new beliefs, old beliefs need to first be released. A deep cry makes room for underlying feelings to surface, feelings you couldn’t access while holding yourself together. You begin to let go of the protective reason of thinking–the defensive self-talk that distances you from feeling love or loved. Your body’s feeling sense takes over and your mind is in a position to listen. This is a role reversal from how most of us operate in the world.

Think of it like this, attention is finite.

When your attention particles are all filled to the brim with excess thinking because nothing is making sense: life is overwhelmed with worry and doubt, or pent up fears are dominating your experience, there is nothing you can do but un-fill, undo, unwind–sob your head off! Thinking turns to feeling and you have a chance to consider if what you believe is actually so?

Keep this in mind the next time you’re sobbing your head off:

  •      Direct your attention to the essence of your feelings rather than the other person or your present situation.
  •      Allow your body to fully experience the physical wail–reclaim the child in you–and let go of needing to know all the answers.
  •      Keep it real–synthesize the heart’s joy and the lung’s sadness–allow them to coexist.

The hardwiring of beliefs around love comes down to the antagonistic emotional relationship between the heart and lungs. (Like people, every organ has its own personality!) Eastern healing principles recognize sobbing as an expression of sadness that lives in your lungs and the upheaval of joy that lives in your heart. What happens when we hold these emotions in is, we compress the chest muscles–the blanket that expresses the emotional condition of our heart and lungs. For this reason I call the chest muscles your Smile of Truth.

Signs that your Smile of Truth is becoming compromised:

  •      Concave chest & shallow breathing
  •      Protruding chest & rapid breathing
  •      Insecure sense of self

The release of tension that a good cry, meditation, stretching and relaxation all offer creates an “I don’t know” internal space where the certainty of our worries, doubts and fears once lived. Free attention can feel restorative or lonely and scary. Since tension is by nature character divulging, letting it go feels like letting a bit of you go. You revert to the innocence of your inner child and feel dependent on someone else’s wisdom to fill the “I don’t know” void. But that’s the great thing about being an adult. You have the wisdom to navigate through the “I don’t know” abyss. One thing is for sure, when you feel “I don’t know,” you can bet that you are in the midst of creating positive change.

You’ll Never Look at a Pregnant Woman the Same Again

Losing one’s center of gravity is a lost and found phenomenon.

There she is walking ahead of you, legs slightly spread causing her whole body to waddle side to side. She looks like she’s steadying herself on a sailboat but, even from behind, you know she is pregnant. You can’t help but marvel at the miracle of childbirth and the mystery of the female form, but have you ever considered her instability as Creation’s stability?

Pregnancy is an energetic phenomenon. Her mind body connection must navigate through an interruption of being, what she has come to know as, herself. A foreign state of instability overrides everything; she has no control over what is happening to her! How does this instability serve her as a mother to be? (Yikes, it’s enough to scare the rest of us off!)

When talking to my neighbor, Lorelei, mother of one and soon to be two, she said, “Being pregnant is hard, but it teaches me a lot about myself. I can give more than I realized!” She explains how being pregnant stretches her beyond what she knew of herself in every way!

But she had to lose herself to find herself.

Lorelei’s first experience of feeling lost was impressed acutely in her memory. The moment she couldn’t get out of the car on her own volition she exclaimed, “Oh My God, this is really happening!” When we looked deeper into that moment she said, “It’s a foreign state that is one sided. It affects mom not baby.”

My holistic interpretation of this lost while pregnant is:
•    Her center of gravity–the Dan Tien Energy Center–is engulfed upon.
•    The sense of self that comes from knowing her center is growing increasingly distant.
•   The abdominal muscles have split centrally to permit the fetus to grow, leaving her detached from her core strength.
Up until now, her energy and strength have been devoted to her independent desires. Now they are devoted to keeping an embryonic life incubated and emerging. Her autonomy is gradually disappearing. (This might be a good time to say, I love you mom!)

How does this instability sure up the future for nurturing a new life?

Stripped of independence, completely exposed to the world, overwhelmed with fatigue, empathy turns to sympathy toward herself. She is solely responsible for another life form, afraid of unexpected pregnancy conditions (breech, cerclage, preeclampsia), as well as the common cold. She believes that the baby isn’t fully hers to safeguard until it is born.

I liken this unstable state to jibbing, a sailing maneuver that turns the stern of the boat, so that the wind changes from one side of the sail to the other. There is a moment in the maneuver that the sail is completely disconnected from the wind, directionless, powerless; but to navigate through life changes one must jib, let go of the control, to transform values and align with new circumstances. This applies no matter what you are birthing in life!

In this personal maneuver she transforms. She cries a lot. She is no longer embarrassed to feel; she has no physical shame left! In this loss of autonomy an internal spark chases her into action. The urgency to nest has her spouting demands, and expecting others to jump. Her mind becomes insightful, sensitive to the single life force she is sharing with her baby, knowing (not guessing) what they need.

In this lost state she finds her direction. A direction that can only go forward; there is no turning back. She has jibbed successfully!

All of this to say, once the baby is born she will need to jib back into the wind to re-find her independence. And when she does she will become acutely aware of the split down her body’s center, where her baby once lived. Alone in herself again, she is forever changed. Lorelei remembers from her first pregnancy, “I felt like I was missing a body part. It took me nearly 3-years to actually be able to own my new self. It was a weird identity crisis.” She recalls that trying to go back was the wrong focus. Trying to be healthy and embody a better newfound sexy–mature, accepting, soft woman–is what completed her experience of being a human incubator. To create a stable internal environment her external standards had to weather physical and emotional instability, but as Lorelei says, “Life is more than appearances. I can’t imagine life without children.”

Entitlement isn’t to be judged in new mothers. It is founded in the fact that she is a spirited and devoted incubator for the human race. As fellow human beings we are obliged to help her! Help support the journey back to herself.