Exploring the emotional baggage in your shoulders
Many of us struggle with tense shoulders. I know I do. I used to constantly walk around with my shoulders in my ears. Layer by layer I've released old baggage. I still have some work to do (we always do) but I've come so far.
Part of our shoulder tension is physical. We sit at computers all day and have shitty posture. At least most of us do. If you don't, kudos to you. I'd give you a cookie if you were here. And if I had cookies. Now I want a cookie. I digress.
However, a lot of the tension we're storing in our shoulders is emotional. You can practice yoga every day and do alllll the shoulder stretches you want, but I truly believe that if you don't explore the emotional tension, you will never reach your full potential. Those muscles will never truly release and give you that euphoric feeling you crave.
So let's explore those shoulders, shall we?
There's merit to the saying, "she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders." And it's not lost on me that the pronoun used here is she. Ladies, we tend to keep a lot of emotion shoved in our shoulders. Guilt. Shame. Sadness. Fear.
Imagine you have a backpack you have to carry with you at all times. Every time somebody hurts you, brings you down, embarrasses you or belittles you, a rock is added to that backpack.
Over time, that backpack gets incredibly heavy.
The only way to lighten the load is to address each rock. One by one we must face those people and events from our past and release them to find relief.
Nobody said it was easy.
The good news is, the shoulders aren't all bad. The deltoids move a ball and socket, which means you can make full circles with your arms.
That means our shoulders have the potential to push away — to defend who we are and what we stand for. They can also pull in — to receive radical love and the joys of life.
They can do both of these actions best if they aren't carrying around a heavy ass backpack of emotional baggage.
I believe that emotional work and physical work go hand in hand. They're besties. So as you're performing shoulder openers (like the short restorative practice and myofascial release below), address anything that comes up. Be open to releasing those stuck feelings of guilt, shame, sadness and fear. And be open to receiving weightless love.
It's freeing to get rid of those rocks.