As a culture, we tend to label the positive emotions as Good and the negative emotions as Bad. We can be almost phobic about “bad” or negative feelings – “I’m angry, that’s Bad” – although anger is no more or less a set of passing thoughts and sensations than joy. Some children (and adults) are more comfortable feeling angry, but have great difficulty acknowledging sadness. For some, sadness feels more acceptable than anger. In truth, they are all passing feelings, and they are all part of the human experience. Just like the old story about going on a bear hunt, we can’t go over them, can’t go under them – we have to go through our emotions.
Learning how to process feelings is a skill every child deserves. Many adults are still working on the ability to experience a feeling, engage with it, explore where it lives in the body – all while knowing it is there for a visit but will not take up permanent residence. Dr. Rubenstein hopes children learn to appreciate that strong feelings can occur and they are just part of their experience, not their whole experience. Just like when we tell our kids their behavior might have been “bad” but they are not bad, we can feel sadness but not be consumed by it. This can help us meet any situation or set of feelings with greater equanimity.
Paying it Forward: The Go Give Yoga Foundation
Dr. Rubenstein donates a portion of the book proceeds to the Go Give Yoga Foundation’s work in Haiti, in the hopes that yoga and mindfulness will offer a respite from the chronic stress of extreme poverty. Her work in Haiti has been featured in Yoga Journal and the Huffington Post. Learn more about the Go Give Yoga Foundation and make your own donation today!
Learn More About Dr. Lauren Rubenstein, JD, PsyD
Dr. Lauren Rubenstein, JD, PsyD, is licensed psychologist, author, and yoga and meditation teacher. She works with children as young as 5 to adults of any age. She views her work as walking the path together to assist you on your journey toward wholeness. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, depression, parenting difficulties, chronic stress, life transitions or the effects of trauma, we will collaborate to determine a personalized approach to our work together. Learn more about Dr. Lauren Rubenstein, JD, PsyD today.