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How Feeling Your Emotions is a Powerful Spiritual Practice

Feeling your emotions is a powerful spiritual practice that brings you back home to your center. It helps create a safe space, a sanctuary for integration.

It’s important to discern that connecting with our feelings is not about evaluating them and then trying to fix a perceived flaw.

Although we are conditioned to perceive our emotions as problems to be solved, in truth, they are the doorway to the soul. Rather than rejecting strong emotions and intense body sensations, we can revere the sacredness of our human experience. The more conscious we are of our felt experience, the more open and receptive we are to our spiritual awareness and intuition—our deep-seated somatic wisdom.

Practice of Awareness

A common belief in spiritual circles is that a devout person must cultivate perfection, be untouched by human suffering, not feel emotions, and never get triggered.

“Contemplative life is not so much a matter of transcending the illusion of the mundane existence or attaining states of perfect equanimity as it is about becoming as fully present as possible to the realities of the human experience.”
— Mirabai Starr

In the video message: Practice of Awareness, I explore another common theme in my work as a spiritual counsellor: the notion that to be a spiritual devotee, one has to carve out significant time for spiritual practice, such as trance-meditation, self-development retreats, ashram or pilgrimage visits, or reciting positivity mantras. Many don’t realize they employ these spiritual methods to avoid uncomfortable feelings, bypassing their human experience.

These avoidance strategies don’t foster presence or support integration. You don’t have to hide away from life in a cave or an ashram to cultivate spiritual integrity. The most powerful and fulfilling spiritual practice you can cultivate in your everyday life is the practice of welcoming all of you, your imperfections, blemishes, upheavals, and graces. It’s about being attentive and aware of your feelings, not wallowing in dreary emotions but instead being a soothing and accepting place for your feelings to come home to.

Feeling your emotions and what’s underneath—how you feel about your feelings—is the most powerful spiritual practice you can foster because it anchors you to self-love, self-value and self-respect. It opens you to the Divine in all life. You feel more, not less, and feeling more awakens you to love.

The power of feeling your feelings is all about listening from within and allowing your emotions to guide you.

Your feelings communicate wants, needs and boundaries. When you dampen your feelings or conversely erupt without self-inquiry or self-responsibility, you’re not present to your feelings; you are not aware, and therefore, your desires and needs become overshadowed by reaction.

It’s impossible to heed the body’s guidance when we are triggered and struggling with reality, fighting to be heard and simultaneously hiding to maintain a false sense of security. The body communicates through sensation and emotions, not logic. We can’t think our way through life issues; we need to feel our way, no matter how intense that gets.

Our emotions are not straightforward; they’re not linear, predictable, controllable, or manageable.

Feelings cannot be managed; they need to be felt. When heeded, feelings communicate deep-seated wants and needs. So, if we’re not making feelings wrong, wow, we can move close to their underlying messages.

First, it’s essential to understand that feelings are not sinful. They’re innocent portrayals of your creative potential and what wants to emerge in your life. If you make feelings wrong, how can you hear your inner plea, set boundaries, and ask for what you want? How can you make anything happen in life?

Unless you want everything to remain the same, cramped in a false sense of familiarity that only seems safe when it isn’t, it is essential to feel your emotions and sensations and make room for your vulnerability.

A curious question

Where do you direct your emotional energy? Toward worry and anxiety, compromise and avoidance, and compensating for inadequacies? Or do you give energy to your dreams, self-value, self-care, inclusion and interconnection, creation and surrender?

Do you believe you have to choose one or the other? Worry vs trust? Avoidance vs connection?

Let’s make space for these polarities to co-exist?

Why would you want to make space for all your feelings? Because they coexist, and trying not to feel emotions such as fear or anger is like trying to cut off your arm when it hurts. That’s ridiculous. Why would you cut off your arm? You wouldn’t. So why cut off your feelings? Because you think you don’t need them? Well, you do, and like your sore arm, your feelings must be taken care of, comforted, and healed.

Next Question

What do you expect out of life? Disappointment and letdown, hardship, failure and abandonment? Or excitement and fulfillment, and the joy of experiencing profound pleasure?

Can there be room in your heart for disappointment and excitement simultaneously, fear and joy, hurt and freedom together?

Why not? These also coexist. Have you ever fallen in love and sabotaged it by doing something stupid? Have you yearned for closeness but rejected it? Have you liked someone but told her off, defending against her possible judgment? Or have you competed with a close friend because you felt inferior and insecure when your friendship depended on your receptivity to flourish?


That reminds me that children come into this world with two essential, contrasting needs: self-expression and the competing need for security.

  • The need to express one’s sense of self, learn, grow, evolve, and be authentic.
  • The need to be safe, wanted, to belong.

These contrasting needs can wreak havoc when we are not attuned to our feelings, act out of conditioned programming, and don’t listen with care and presence.

But presence does not require a sojourn in the hills of India, hours of transcendental meditation, or the accolades of a self-professed spiritual visionary. Presence necessitates listening, attuning to one’s feelings, and being receptive to the feelings of others.Where you direct your energy and what you expect from life is a matter of choice.

You can’t avoid a feeling without hurting yourself and others.

When you avoid one feeling in favour of another, you conflict with yourself because you’re rejecting some aspect of yourself, denying its right to be here and its intrinsic want and need.

The same is true when you avoid conflict. You feed the conflict instead of nurturing peace.

When you avoid any aspect of human experience, you are making it wrong. How does that feel? Does it feel good? Do you feel inspired or let down and alone?

Whatever we try to avoid creates conflict within ourselves and our relationships, which ripples into the world. We are responsible for collective humanity, raising the vibration and healing relational and ancestral wounds. That takes presence in daily life, relationships, family, and work. Think of yourself as a modern mystic, honouring the mystery in the ordinary.

Where you direct your energy and what you expect from life is a matter of choice.
Channeled Guidance

Masiandia, “What you expect in life changes when you choose to love all aspects of life and humanity, and that begins with loving yourself.

“How else can you direct your energy toward actualizing your dreams, valuing your needs, soothing your nervous system, and opening yourself to the support you need to thrive? And how else can you be an authentic, supportive presence in others’ lives?

“You must choose love.

“By choosing love, you welcome joy into your heart; you become a powerful, creative light in the world.

“You must choose joy. Choose to be open, receptive, and generous with our soul-essence, your heart’s capacity for compassion and empathy, forgiveness and acceptance, and growth.

“In this way, you experience joy alongside sorrow, hope and loneliness, and profound peace with fear and anxiety.

“Please understand that dark feelings need love. When loved, all negative limiting feelings evolve into truer expressions of your Divinity.

“You are meant to be in love with reality, not fight against it.

“Take pleasure in your human experience to enter the kingdom of heaven on earth.”

Linda Nardelli, March 2024

I am insanely in love with life
drawn to the ups and downs
and in between, reminding me
that I am whole.

I don’t have to be perfect to
arrive in bliss and to give myself
the pleasure of existing.

I’m completely available –
all my senses awakened;
my heart thumping a wild beat
ready to dance at any moment;
my belly full, emotions flowing
and mind quietly listening.

I am available, desiring more out
of life and ready to wait – to pace
myself for creation.
Loving the waiting and breathing,
exhaling and receiving.

Opening to love, fear, freedom,
struggle, joy and anger, I can
create whatever I desire.
The Goddess doesn’t discriminate.
And God doesn’t hold grudges.

There is an abundance of acceptance
to foster and cherish.
There is an abundance of light and
shadow that shapes my reality.
Without these contrasting elements,
there would be no landscape;
no story to tell.

As I say “yes” to this wholeness
that encompasses the parts,
I say “no” to what doesn’t belong
in my divine design.
I fall in love with life as a work
of art expressing all directions –
sidelong, forward and back,
and above and below.
I pivot on the axis between
polarities, at the centre of
eternal joy.


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Feature image by Hanneke Laaning


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