Processing + Being Present with Dark Emotions

Dark Emotions

Thoughts. Thoughts are so powerful. They cause neurochemicals to be released into the body's circulatory system, potentially affecting any or all of the 50 trillions cells in your body. These neurochemicals are what creates the environment in which our cells live. This causes a stress response in the body. When they are out of balance (the neurochemicals), the environment they provide for our cells to live is unhealthy. Our brain is an organ with over 100 billion neurons seamlessly wired together. Each neuron is a complex cell used in transmitting information to other nerve cells. The way the neurons gather and how they connect themselves determines thought - we can literally rewire our brain cells through thoughts - so paying attention to the vibrational frequencies of our thoughts - whether we are in a low frequency of negativity, or a high frequency of love and compassion for ourselves. We have this amazing ability to think. We aren't certain if any other animal lifeform has this ability, some can critically think but how deep are their emotions? We aren't totally sure yet. What we do know is us, humans, have the ability to think many emotions. Our minds are our own, however, our minds are powerful. Our body 'hears' every thought, if you are always complaining, thinking negatively, judging, feeling lack or scarcity in your health, finances, friends or family, comparing, feeling sorry for yourself, then your thoughts are sending these imbalanced neurochemicals to your circulatory system. After many years, months or days or chronic dark emotions, your body will start to show physical signs of imbalance. This will look different for everyone. I was negative - it started when I was a teen, being bullied, ostracized and not included. I felt sorry for myself, I felt ugly, hated, I had zero self worth, this manifested into bad habits like alcohol abuse as I got older, then bad choices in relationships, bad choices for jobs that kept me in fight or flight and complaining, my entire life on the outside looked 'fine' but my internal world was collapsing and completely imbalanced. When I 'awakened' to this, I started to pay attention to these thoughts in more detail. I realized I had a very negative disposition and my physical symptoms were due to this - something had to change, stat! When you are a negative person, it may have started from something, a traumatic experience (in my case being bullied and made to feel ugly and unwanted by my peers) which has a domino effect in the rest of your life, you don't even realize you are doing so. It may be a parent figure, or even watching too much news. What this is, is just noise, you need to turn it off. A good way to do this is first to become aware of your thoughts, catch yourself in a negative thought pattern and either write it down and ask yourself why you feel this way, is there another way to look at it in a more positive light? Another way is to do some art therapy. Dealing with dark emotions can be confronting and hard to change, a way to do this consciously is to put it down to paper - if you are struggling to do this with words, you can use metaphors and symbolism. I have included a photo of an art therapy exercise you can try. Yours will look different than mine and will have a different metaphor. Please do the instructions for yours and then come back and read my metaphor statement after you have completed yours. Supplies: -white paper (I recommend art paper over plain printer paper as it is thicker. Printer paper is 80 gsm thickness while art paper will be 110gsm or higher) -pencil / eraser -black marker (permanent or waterproof recommended) - crayons or coloured pencils or watercolour paints + paintbrush if using paint Instructions: Draw or paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain will represent a time where you were happy, the valley when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well. (My example below --- but use your own imagination and design)

Metaphor Statement (To be read after you do your drawing / painting - warning some content may be triggering for some) Titled: Heartbeat through life I am a landscape artist and I paint / draw landscapes that have metaphors or are symbolic of something. I find this is a way that is not confronting as drawing a portrait of myself or someone with strong emotions. I was interested in illustrating my life/trauma in a linear format. The trees represent a heartbeat - I have made them look like a heartbeat on a heart monitor - they intensify as I go through life (representing the physiological changes to our blood pressure in a stressful situation or fight or flight response), as they intensify and get stronger, they are the most panicked in the valley, I have experienced drug abuse, alcohol abuse, I have been a victim of domestic violence and finally a tragic death of someone I loved. As I come out of the valley, new evolution of linear life has a positive outlook as I unpack trauma, do inner work and healing. The mountain has a pressure crack just before the peak (my awakening). The crack had to happen for my higher self and purpose to be known / discovered. The colour of the trees on top are more pure pine green, my joy and intuition. The below colour is muted, in shadow, which represents my anxieties, scars and experiences. The mountain is bright green, representing trust, overlooking the valley, the trees and the brown wasteland. Trust that knowing things will all work out and are happening as they are meant to. Overlooking with a heart full of compassion, self love and forgiveness and understanding that this is all part of life. These experiences are lessons and gifts for self growth. Watching and observing with unconditional love. If you would like support with this activity - book in for an initial session and we can dive deep together.

With love, x Ashley

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