Set yourself free…

There’s a feeling of freedom that comes with these warmer months. Like no other season, summer stirs the nostalgia within us, simultaneously offering the promise of new adventure and fresh memories.

It’s the time of year when all of nature feels wildly awake; when the air pulses with opportunity, making our stamina for weddings, festivals and barbecues feel almost Olympian. It seems these are moments created for limitless frivolity and fun, it’s no surprise then why we may be inclined to pretend our problems don’t exist. Life is good, right? Why rock the boat?

Studies detailing the effect that healthy sunlight exposure has on our serotonin levels are easy to find. The results show that our mood is better; we’re generally calmer and more easily satisfied. For some individuals this serves as an undeniable contrast to life in later months, when day-to-day living remains much the same but emotions take a large and noticeable nosedive. With this in mind, and with all the carefreeness and joy summer evokes, what if now is an opening to lighten some of that emotional load for your future self? How wonderful might it be to capitalise on days when you’re already feeling more optimistic, and use them to make some positive steps forward with your emotional health?

There are countless reasons that stop us making significant emotional changes, the most compelling often originating from our own inner dialogue, or unsuccessful past attempts. One of the most common barriers is confusion and hesitation about where to start, whether that’s where to find help or how to initiate the behaviours required for change. There’s a misconception that the first step needs to be perfectly executed, that it demands precision timing. The truth is, if you want to release some emotional baggage this summer, you first need to discard the pressure to be an expert at it. In this situation, knowing exactly what you’re doing isn’t your job, it’s someone else’s. It’s likely there are many areas of your life where you entrust others who are more experienced to help you produce the results you desire. This is no different. Yes, a lot of the inner work has to be done by yourself, but you get to choose your support system. You have the skills to research, to form an opinion and to agree a direction based on what feels comfortable for you. Forget about getting it right and consider instead how open you can allow yourself to be whilst exploring your options. Remember, you can stop at any point, you’re the one in control of your growth and how slow or fast you take it.

Another barrier to asking for professional help is doubt in one’s own ability to cope with the process of opening up. The idea of excavating old wounds or confronting the truths about relationships is such unchartered territory that many feel they won’t withstand the emotional fallout. Instead, they rationalise that on balance, compared with how much worse it could get, their problem isn’t really that bad. The danger here is that the larger root cause of challenges can start to manifest as micro-issues, creating a lot of noise but ultimately hiding what really needs to be aired. There are people who would rather live this way than trust their capacity to deal with root-cause problems and this is okay, everyone is on their own journey. It’s worth knowing however, that whilst emotional work can be tough, with the right support people are generally stronger than they think.

Daunting as all of this may seem, now could be your chance to embrace a level of emotional freedom that will last longer than a season. If you’re still in two minds, think about the skills you pour into the rest of your life. How long did it take to research your last holiday, how much did you spend on your recent evening out with colleagues, how many hours have you devoted to your best friend’s problems? Can you dedicate this same level of time and commitment to yourself? Yes, this feels harder and maybe more risky but the rewards, I promise you, are substantial.


Victoria Ufondu is an Emotional Mastery Mentor, Spiritual Development Coach & Writer.

She is the founder of Arcadia Metaphysical School, where she facilitates group retreats and private 1:1 sessions.

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