A client started a session with, I know I’m a lot.
She’s been told so many times. She didn’t say it with shame.
This woman has built successful careers in different cities, mentored folks and started her own business, ALL WHILST managing married life raising children, and then going through betrayal and divorce.
She’s not just a lot, she’s a powerhouse.
Yes, I said. You’re a lot. And it’s freaking remarkable. You’re an expressive feeler, and that is a kind of productivity that our world does not value. But we need to. It’s a gift not a curse. You just weren’t taught to see it as a THRIVING skill, rather than something to be minimized. And we just need to grow the skill set.
For a while, I had three ways of managing emotions:
1) Stuffing them so far down that they were bound to erupt during a very inopportune moment.
2) Pretending they didn’t exist until my body made me face the music, like when I lost my voice for a year.
3) Running marathons until I fell into exhaustion and oblivion, numb to any feelings.
When my original practices failed me, I wondered if I could even fully accept my nature. Or could I learn to use the energy of emotions (like passion + curiosity) to stop getting slammed by shame, fear and doubt.
Most of us want to shape our lives into our IG feeds. But emotions are sneaky and they operate with their own inconvenient rules. Perhaps our boss has a last minute request that makes us feel like a secretary. Or our partner forgets to text they’ll be out late and we snap.
In improv, people who come in with BIG actions and strong emotions are called “Pirates”. They make scenes really interesting to watch and play in. Pirates are supported by Ninjas who can transform scenes and maintain stamina throughout.
Being an Emotional Ninja is not about overriding or micromanaging your emotions. It’s about allowing yourself to live a vibrant life without being ruled by them. This means reading your “negative emotions” as the road signs that they are so you can build past Pirate status. We have to understand the big, dark and heavy to move into the light.
Maybe you’re a Pirate. Maybe you’re raising a Pirate. Maybe you’re in love with a Pirate or you want to embrace your Pirate nature. You’re inner Pirate is making life interesting, so let’s keep that part. AND let’s get you playing with your Ninja nature.
If you want to deep dive into what your Emotional Ninja and Internal Compass look like, sign up here for a 30 minute Discovery Call!
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