Feelings can be big, feelings can be scary. Children and parents alike work hard to push their feelings away, lock them up, shame them into nonexistence. When we refuse to express, feel or process feelings they often come out in unexpected ways with unintended outcomes, having a huge impact on our mental health.
According the the Canadian Mental Health Association we are living in a time of extreme anxiety and isolation, and big feelings make sense. You will be relieved to find out that you do not have to be happy all of the time! Nor should we expect this of the children in our lives.
A tangible starting place to support children and caregiver mental health is to practice feeling our feelings. The key to living a joyful life is not feeling happy in every given minute, but instead learning how to name and feel our emotions, and to teach the children in our lives to do the same.
Feeling our feelings means we are being fully human- we aren't numbing, avoiding, projecting, or chasing away what is inside of us. Feeling our feelings means we are willing to engage in the messy, imperfect process while allowing, accepting, wondering and then letting go of emotions in healthy ways.
I would like to say that I wrote this because I’m an expert at feeling my feelings, and supporting my own children to feel theirs, but that’s not the case. I have spent a lifetime avoiding my own feelings, and avoiding my own children's feelings as well. I grew up in a time of "buck up", "toughen' up", but my own children have taught me that this will only get us so far, and that learning how to feel our feelings can bring great comfort and can make space for great joy.
I wrote this for children, parents, therapists, teachers, social workers, feelers, and people just starting to get to know their own internal world. I wrote this for children and families who aren’t thriving, who live in adverse circumstances and who feel alone. I wrote this for the misfits and stragglers, (like myself), who have adapted against all odds and who are clumsily feeling their way through this odd and beautiful world.
This poster is a playful invitation for all of us, to feel it all.
"How do you feel a Feeling?" Poster's are 12 x 36 inches, and cost is $45 per poster plus shipping.
They come in two different styles. Daytime & Nighttime