A couple of weeks ago Chloé Bourjalliat, Life Coach and Founder of the ‘Cool Girls Club’ asked me to collaborate with her by creating an illustration to include in her Monthly Life Coaching ‘How to deal with negative emotions’ which I’ve inserted below.
I know many artist out there enjoy seeing pictures of the process, so my apologies for not having done so, but I had a deadline to meet in a very short time. This is a mixture of watercolour, pencil, ink and collage elements of watches and architectural pieces cut out from magazines and put together trying to express my feeling when my head is invaded with negative emotions. I am sure most of you can relate to that.
I hope you enjoy this illustration as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it.
How to deal with negative emotions, by Chloé Bourjalliat
There is a tendency to view negative emotions as something bad that we need to get rid of. Because we are so uncomfortable with negative feelings we want to resolve them. (we drink, smoke, have sex, overeat, over exercise, shop or punch someone). The problem with that is that we get rid of the very energy we need in order to create the life we love. Stress is just energy for example. Without energy you cannot live or do anything.
My approach will seem a bit different in that I am not here to help you get rid of your negative emotions but more to gain valuable insights about yourself thanks to them.
Like Rumi said “Light is through the wound”. The steps that follow will help you transmute your negative feelings and invest the energy they provide into your goals and the things you love.
1-There is no god or bad in life. Good or bad are perceived ideas. Something I consider good you might consider bad. Good or bad (negative positive) are not real concepts.
2-Let go of self-criticism. Your perceived negative emotion is just an emotion. It’s not good nor bad. It just is and it does not mean anything about you except that you are Human.
3-Don’t try to fix it! If it’s not good nor bad, why fix it? The more you try to fix something, the more energy you give it. Trying to fix yourself comes from the underlying assumption that you are broken; which you are not.
4-STOP. Whatever action you are compelled to take because of your “negative feeling”, don’t do it.
5-Find a quiet place. The bathroom is usually my go-to spot, especially when I am surrounded by people (ie. work, restaurant, school etc.). Find a place where you can be alone and no one can interfere or interrupt.
6-Just sit with it. Close your eyes and observe your negative feeling. Sit with it. Imagine that this negative feeling is a friend who needs to vent out. Imagine that you are patiently hearing your friend venting out. Be there for that friend. Just listen. Don’t interrupt. Just be there for your friend, the same way you would like to have a friend to listen to you.
7-Investigate. Ask your friend (the negative feeling) what happened that triggered them. What is it really that’s bothering them? What are the thoughts running through their mind? What other feelings do they experience? What do they make it mean about themselves? What are they tempted to do to resolve the problem? What would be the consequence of that action?
8-Re-focus. The time has come to turn that energy around and direct it into what you love. Ask yourself what your end-result is for the day, or the hour? What would you love to do, from the bottom of your heart?
9-Do that! Whatever it is you would love, go do that! If your end-result for the day is to finish your report, do that. If you would love a coffee right now then go get it. The important thing is that you use the energy created from the negative feeling and redirect it towards what you love or your goals (which should be the same by the way…).
This book was instrumental in helping me deal with anger and depression and I strongly recommend it.
Find out more about Chloé Bourjalliat and the Cool Girls Club on www.coolgirlsclub.co.uk
Thank you all for being here, I hope you found Chloé’s article very helpful.
See you soon.
Love and plants.. 🙂