Acknowledge and Honor Emotions to Take Creative Self-Care to a New Level

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Every road leads through emotions and triggers, especially when it comes to creativity.


As an emotionally-fueled experience, creativity guides you towards what you feel, fear or want to understand more clearly about yourself and the world around you. And when it comes to truly practicing creative self-care, emotions are the guiding force.


In a way, you are always dancing between what you acknowledge you feel, are afraid to feel or don’t understand how to feel. Without a strong emotional awareness process, people feel overwhelmed, lonely or wrung out and have no idea why – and even less of an idea of how to turn things around.


Unacknowledged feelings (positive or negative) also cause a bottleneck when ignored, blocking or scattering creativity, or holding you back from honest self-expression because they feel bigger than you can handle.


However, owning the emotions you feel and noting the triggers that inspire them, can be an extremely healing experience, especially during stressful times or holidays. Think about it… when is your push, pull emotional response higher than when feeling torn between what you need to take care of yourself and what’s expected to make radically diverse personalities happy?


Building a simple practice to support your emotional well being is truly important for your health year round, and exceptionally important for fueling creative self-care. The first important step is to dive in and acknowledge what you see and feel.


Match an Emotion to an Idea, Belief or Experience


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As part of my four-week series on practicing creative self-care covering the mind, body and spirit, emotions are definitely the most challenging part to master in my opinion. Why?


Well, you are having a unique experience, all your own. No one else can be on this part of the journey with you. Sure, they can offer unconditional love and support, but emotions require inner exploration and a practice of unconditional love and compassion for yourself. It’s a trial and error adventure that evolves into a personal practice you carry into the world in a bigger way as you apply it outwardly over time.


To get there, you need a starting place. It helps to try and connect an emotion to an idea, belief of experience. This clarifies where a specific emotion or trigger is coming from and offers clues on how to better support yourself when you feel triggered in a negative way.


To get a better understanding of your inner emotional landscape, ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What makes an emotion positive or negative? Why?
  • When you perceive an emotion as negative, is it because you don’t feel like you have permission to have it? Is it uncomfortable? Are you afraid that it will never go away?
  • Do you find that around stressful times and holidays your emotions get out of hand without any specific cause?
  • Is there a common trigger that happens just before emotional overwhelm sets in?
  • If you are an empath, is the emotion you are feeling even yours?


Getting into deeper detail around emotions guides you towards what inspires them and how they relate to an idea, belief or experience. It also moves you towards deeper healing and more effective creative self-care options.


For example, I had an experience at sleep away camp in 7th grade where I was on stage with a bunch of girls from my cabin. We were trying to put on a play we had written together. No one remembered their lines, I tried to cover without much luck, and the whole thing was a hot mess.


In the present day,  I deal with a bit of stage fright and anxiety when I have to give talks to big groups of people. Even though it was ages ago, I still remember what it felt like to be embarrassed and on the spot without something to say. Knowing that I can match a feeling to an experience has helped me to connect with the emotion of it and shape my creative self-care around healing and letting go. 


Greet Emotions and Triggers Like Old Friends Rather Than Threats


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When you can be honest about what you are feeling, it’s less of a threat. If you can see an emotional response or trigger as a friend reminding you that more creative self-care is needed, you are able to shift focus to positive action.


The gift of emotions is how they guide you to learn things about yourself, point out your creative strengths and highlight areas of growth.


To make the most of what your emotions are really sharing, listen deeply to your heart and beyond what’s “expected” or what you expect of yourself to take a creative self-care practice to the next level. It’s a wild ride, but it also sparks the deepest, most honest aspects of your creativity, cracking open your heart and the ability to create with greater freedom and flow.


And while the holidays and stressful times have a unique code of conduct in the outside world, don’t let it take away from your own creative self-care. Leave space and time to feel what you feel, honor it, and put boundaries in place to make sure you are getting what you need to keep creativity flowing in your everyday life.


After all, the holidays are a time of celebrating life and fresh starts, and what better way to honor the energy of the season that making sure your creative spark is healthy and in full force?


What are some practices you have in place to ensure you are honoring your emotions during the holidays or stressful periods in life?


Want a little extra support to help you through emotional turbulence this time of year? Connect with me for an intuitive reading or creativity coaching. Looking for more insights on a similar topic? Check out my post The Heart Chakra: Emotions, Love and the Heart of the Creative Journey. For additional perspective on managing triggers, check out my podcast, Flirting With Enlightenment