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Sometimes we just need the space to feel.

Today my daughters and I visited the Living and Learning Center, an incredible organization that provides a wide variety of programs for individuals with disabilities. We were looking for some activities that my younger daughter could participate in that would be a good fit for her needs. As we toured the facility and met the founder and some of the participants, I was overcome with a host of emotions.

As I leaned into what I was feeling in my body, I became aware of the range and texture of the emotions and was very uncomfortable. My shaming thoughts followed. I made a comment to my daughter that I was experiencing some uncomfortable feelings and shared a bit with her.

From the most loving and compassionate place, she asked me if I’d like some help working through those feelings. She’s very familiar with the processes I use in my coaching work and while she may not always be confident in her ability to coach, she’s really gifted in this way.

I sat with her question for a few minutes allowing myself to understand what I really needed in that moment. I became keenly aware of the need for those feelings to be acknowledged and held sacred, even though they were uncomfortable. I was profoundly grateful for my daughter’s question that gave me the opportunity to delve a little deeper. I appreciated her love and concern and desire to be of service. Within a short period of time, I had the clarity I needed. I thanked her and let her know that this time, I wanted to sit with the feelings and to honor them without judgment.

Later that day, I met with a group of beautiful women and we were discussing feelings and needs as we were reading Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg. The topic of dating came up and there was a lively conversation about using the tools we were learning in the book in the dating realm. One of the women was brave enough to share a recent experience she had and to lean into her feelings and needs.

There was a magical moment where she shared a very vulnerable and uncomfortable feeling. We could all feel how important this moment was and no one said a word. It was very clear to all of us that she needed a safe and sacred space to express this feeling without judgment and without trying to rationalize or heal it or make her feel better. It was a special moment for everyone and something each one of us will never forget.

As I reflect this evening on the events of the day, I am grateful for having the opportunity to implement this sacred practice in my life. It’s not easy to sit in the discomfort of feelings we may not want to acknowledge and yet, at the same time, it may be the most nurturing thing we can do for ourselves.

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