What To Do With All These Emotions – How giving shape to your feelings helps you to process them.

A demonstrator stands during a march in central Auckland, New Zealand, Monday, June 1, 2020, to protest the death of United States’ George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd, who after a white police officer who is now charged with murder, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. (Dean Purcell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

The shape of your feelings…

Despair has a shape. Outrage has a shape. As do anger, fear, rage, or terror.

Our bodies are fully integrated vessels that are able to feel and process and move emotions healthily if we allow them to. The problem is when we hold back, hold in, or lash out.

When given time and the proper space, we can feel and express our feelings in a way that completely discharges the emotion and does no harm.

With emotions running so high right now, one thing we can do is allow ourselves to move our emotions in a healthy, productive, and healing way.

You can do this individually, and there is also a way to do this communally that could bring deep healing.

It begins with the ability to identify and speak your feeling. What are you feeling? Anger, rage, outrage, despair?

Say it out loud to another person. They don’t have to do anything in return other than show that they are listening. If you are alone, write it down, and say it to yourself. If it helps,  look at yourself in the mirror as you speak your feelings.

Next, give the feeling a shape. That is, let your body move in the way that will express the feeling.

Despair can look like you balled up in the fetal position rocking yourself side to side.

Outrage can look like you flinging your arms and legs, kicking, or punching as if you were shadowboxing but with all your energy invested into each motion.

The key is to listen to your body. Once you’ve spoken your feelings, listen to what your body wants to do to move the emotion.

In community, the most powerful way of doing this is in a circle. Allow a person (the doer)  to be in the center of the circle with one other person (the witness) who is listening to them and holding space for their movement. The witness can mimic the movement of the doer and in this mirroring relay the feeling of being seen and understood to the doer. All the while those sitting in the circle witness and hold the container for this emotional process.

If alone or in a group, give your body the time it needs to move in any way it needs to move to fully express your emotions. You’ll know when it’s over because your body will feel calm and the emotion will have subsided. You will feel more at peace.

Give shape to your emotions and feel them move through your body.

 In this way, you will have restored wellbeing to your mind, body, and spirit. Not just to yourself, but to your community as well.

New Health Risks of Vaping Emerge

Flickr-E-cig Twigg

Recently, there has been a rash of hospitalizations of young people with severe pulmonary disorders. They went to the hospital with complaints of shortness of breath, headaches, and other symptoms. Physicians took the cases on first glance as pulmonary infections, but when treated as such, no improvement was seen. On the contrary, many patients grew worse; some had to be placed in the intensive care unit with lungs filling with water.

The common factor among these cases is that the patients had all used e-cigarettes before experiencing symptoms.

Doctors are scratching their heads because they don’t know what exactly is causing these pulmonary issues. When possible, they’re testing products to determine if it is the cartridge, the oil, or the solvent. Nothing is conclusive yet.

In some cases, young people were using vapes that they bought off the street instead of from a reputable retailer. And like any questionable substance bought off the street, you never know what’s in the product. It is possible that the smokers were inhaling something other than what they thought.

But even without the danger of a compromised product, regular e-cigarettes contain chemicals that are known to irritate the lungs and are potentially damaging. Teens are particularly vulnerable to these health risks since their bodies are still forming.

The state of New York has issued a public health warning aimed at healthcare providers to be on the lookout for new cases of pulmonary disease brought on by vaping.

Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about vaping and the risks associated with it.


Do You Need To Be Worried About Food Safety During The Partial Government Shutdown?


The short answer is: No.

Although the shutdown has affected agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), the  FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has agencies whose work is considered essential to public safety and therefore will continue normal operations. So things such as monitoring foodborne illnesses, responding to high-risk food recalls, such as the romaine lettuce recall that recently occurred, or monitoring meat, poultry, and processed egg products will continue.

However, it’s always good to err on the side of safety, so make sure to thoroughly wash your produce and keep food within safe temperature range: cold foods should be kept below 40 degrees and hot foods above 140 degrees.

To read more, here are a few clips from recent news:

“In practice, the FDA carries out routine inspections at most plants only once every few years. So 99 percent of the country’s non-meat food facilities were not going to get inspected this month even if all the inspectors had been working as normal. As a result of the shutdown, fewer will, but the overall impact is small.

According to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the FDA is carrying on other food safety activities despite the partial shutdown. Inspectors continue to monitor food that’s entering the U.S. from abroad, and they stand ready to investigate any U.S. outbreak of foodborne illness.”

From NPR – https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/01/12/684589220/dont-panic-the-shutdown-isn-t-making-food-unsafe


“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is restarting inspections of high-risk foods that had been stopped due to the federal government shutdown as early as Tuesday.

The estimated 150 furloughed people recalled to do this are mostly unpaid, according to FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.  

High-risk foods include seafood; dairy products, including soft and semi-soft cheeses; custard-filled bakery products; unpasteurized juices; fresh fruits and vegetables; spices; shell eggs; sandwiches; prepared salads; and infant formula, he said.”

From USA Today – https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/01/15/government-shutdown-inspections-fda-food-safety/2581587002/


“The Food and Drug Administration confirmed this week that hundreds of food inspectors will go back to work after the agency missed some routine inspections of high-risk facilities during the shutdown.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted that about 400 staff were coming back to work, mostly inspectors and support staff that will resume inspecting high-risk food production facilities and facilities that manufacture drugs and medical devices.”

From ABC News – https://abcnews.go.com/beta-story-container/Politics/day-walkup-recaps-tightly-top-things-stand-breaks/story?id=60376450



© 2019 Tamara Jefferies.