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By Michelle Jayne, BaliniSports Guest Blogger http://www.michellejayne.com.au/

I was out for dinner the other day, and my friend turned to me and said “Michelle, you look like you have lost so much weight. What is your secret?" I smiled, thanked her for the compliment and pondered, what is my secret? Is there a secret or have I finally found a balance between exercise and food? Or has something else lifted making me look lighter? Reflecting on the past two months, there has been more going on then a gentle increase in heading to the gym, the yoga mat and eating more consciously. Of course, these things are important for our health. Losing excess weight, especially if we may be obese, is important for the health of our heart, lessening the risk of Type 2 diabetes and avoiding musculoskeletal conditions.

But in all honesty, I hadn’t done anything that out of the ordinary to begin a weight loss journey. Although, one thing I did do, was join a month of alcohol free awareness, and without the weekly drinking, I started to see things from a completely different perspective.

I began to have a clearer awareness of my ongoing feelings, and the way my mind was wired to view experiences. I noticed how much mastery I had in the ability to shift my awareness from being controlled by my thoughts about a situation, to controlling my thoughts about the situation.

Our emotions play a vital part in how we feel about ourselves, and our ability to call upon our internal willpower and drive is affected by how deep we sink into our emotional pool. Most of us have good intentions to move forward into a more healthier lifestyle, come to the yoga mat more regularly, or start up a fitness regime, but somewhere along the road, our psychological ghosts appear to sabotage our efforts and we end up feeling despondent about ourselves. One of the things about overhauling our ability to stay on track with our intentions is to begin to work deeply with elements of the subconscious that we may be ‘stuffing down’.

 "We are injured and hurt emotionally, not so much by other people or what they say and don't say, but by our own attitude and our own response." Maxwell Maltz

Michelle Jayne1

One of the uses of alcohol I called upon was a couple of drinks after a long day to ‘wind down’. At the time, this felt good, relaxing and enjoyable. But on waking the next morning, a gentle tiredness and grumpiness seemed to hang around, making the work so much harder to stick to any intentions of coming to my mat or any other commitment to physical wellbeing. I was using something to numb my feelings about the day, rather then the ability to feel them, and stay, not run away or ‘stuff them down’.

The word emotion is from the Latin word ex-movere or to move. So it literally means, energy in motion. Unfortunately, within our culture there can be an experience of stopping the flow of emotions, as we just get on with things. When our feelings are blocked in our body, it inhibits us from truly flowing with the experience of life, and instead of our feelings being in motion, they become dead weight, sapping our energy and spoiling our clarity.

We all need a safe place to express our feelings, the ones that feel good and the ones that don't: an understanding loved one, trusted friends or even a professional. The important thing is to do it, and do it regularly. In doing so, we allow ourselves to experience more of our power, to see things more clearly (not filtered through blocked emotions) and to be more present.

I encourage you to get in touch with those feelings (usually the not-so-pleasant ones), which you have left unexpressed. Trust me, you have them. It's not easy at first, but if you do, you'll feel and look lighter.

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