#straightfromcait: You Can Stop Avoiding Emotions For Fear That They're Lowering Your Body's Vibes
Hey Fried Fans,
Once in a while, something really gets my goat and I use that as my guide to share what’s on my mind because I know that if it didn’t matter to me, it wouldn’t get my goat - and if it matters to me, it’s likely to matter to you too. (I think).
Someone wrote a Linkedin post that was really great about being okay with having fear and how it’s damaging in the world of coaching and therapy to try to talk people out of how they feel and instead tell them how they should feel. I totally agree. Your reality is yours. Your emotions are real and they count - no matter what you or anyone else thinks you should feel.
So, what got my goat? A commenter. A commenter who said she, and I quote,
“Likes to stay HIGH VIBE, so she stays away from things like FEAR”.
Everybody, turn the volume up a little, and lean in as if you’re about to listen REALLY WELL to what I am about to say:
Normal human responses to life situations don’t make you LOW VIBE. You don’t ‘damage’ your vibrations by experiencing normal human emotions. Now, I’m going to get sciency for a minute because this is one of those instances where what is being said is true and untrue. Changes in emotional states, do actually change your vibrational level - plenty of studies show this. When the neurotransmitters that are related to fear enter a cell, they have a different effect than the neurotransmitters that are related to joy. Those related to fear create more dissonance and chaos and those related to joy bring more resonance and harmony.
But that doesn’t mean that feeling fear during the day is ‘damaging your vibe’. In the same way that small amounts of cortisol (the stress hormone) are good and health enhancing for your body, Chinese medicine has said for 1000’s of years that all emotions in moderation are health promoting. This makes sense because we’d get rid of emotions altogether if they weren’t an efficient way to guide us. The body is designed to be maximally efficient, so it’s best to assume that the bits and pieces it uses to function are necessary and useful.
Here at FRIED we talk a lot about creating space to feel whatever emotions are coming up, in The Bouncebackability Factor, I wrote about a concept called ‘sitting in the muck’, and my intention behind it was to give you permission to FEEL ALL THE FEELS. I have found this to be a massive healing measure that I needed in my own life and I have plenty of clients that agree with this. I even have a course that FOCUSES on resentment because I have seen it proven to me time and time again that when we have permission to dip into tough emotions and a safe structure within which to do so, we can move through and transform these emotions and bring ourselves closer to harmony.
So, all that being said - what does “damage your vibe”? Ignoring, not processing, or otherwise sidestepping difficult emotions. The VERY THING high vibe people are doing is the thing that they're trying to avoid. This is called spiritual bypassing and it is all about pretending like the tough stuff doesn’t exist and focusing on “only the good” and “only high vibes”. It’s not healthy, nor is it normal.
Chinese medicine teaches us that every single emotion we have helps our body to work as it should. The Liver uses the combo of anger, frustration, and compassion and the Heart uses joy and anxiety, the Spleen uses contemplation and worry, the Kidneys use courage and fear, the Lungs use grief, sorrow, and empathy. When an organ system is overloaded, the ‘negative’ emotion can get stuck and when a negative emotion is stuck, an organ system can be overloaded - these are the only scenarios where the effect of an emotion can create a low vibe - not because it’s happened but because it’s stuck.
On the same token, overuse of the ‘positive’ emotions is also considered bad in Chinese medicine. Too much joy leads to mania, too much courage can be physically dangerous, too much empathy and compassion blurs our boundaries, too much contemplation leads to inaction.
The world of life coaching and mindset work has a bit of growing up to do. Maintaining an ideal that you must feel all good all the time and ‘keep your vibes high’ keeps you separate from living a real human experience, leaves you at risk for leaving old, unprocessed emotions in your body that can turn into physical issues later in life, and puts you in a position of moral superiority where you walk around telling everyone that if they just ‘raised their vibe’ their whole lives would be better.
It allows you to ignore real world problems like racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and more. When you’re ‘above all that’, you put yourself above other humans. You’ve dissociated yourself and therefore you’re not contributing to solving the problems that are right here and right now.
That being said, I believe in meditating and focusing on love when you’re capable and that’s real for you. I believe in finding the good in your life on purpose if you aren’t currently sitting in the muck. I believe in your ability to use the highs and lows of life equally. There are studies that show that a large number of meditators, working together in a community will actually change the overall feel of it. Energy matters, and it works, and focusing on the good on purpose works - as long as you aren’t lying. As long as you can still allow yourself to grieve when someone dies, to be angry when your safety is threatened, to have fear in the unknown that scares you.
If you’re burnt out and someone has told you to go ‘high vibe’ recently - you can ignore them. Permission granted. Whatever it is that you’re feeling, you’re allowed. When you’re done feeling that way, when you’re sick of sitting in the muck, when you’ve had enough and are ready to change the story, I’m here. Until then, be where you are. Don’t worry about your vibe. You’ll get to the point where transformation is a necessity and when you do, you’ll find the right people to help you.
And you will heal.
And after you heal, you’ll still have some shitty feeling days sometimes. Because you’re still living a human experience. And that’s okay too.
P.S. I have a super cool collab coming up for Stress Awareness month and you're going to want to know about it, so get on my newsletter to be sure that you don't miss anything (as a bonus for being on my newsletters you get FREE access to bi weekly coaching office hours on zoom!) sign up here: https://www.caitdonovan.com/newsletter-office-hours
P.P.S. I only have 3 coaching spots available this month, so if you've been thinking about it, now is the time for a decision! Book your free consult here: bit.ly/callcait