Wading Through Water: A Guide to Self-Care and Emotional Healing

 Rotimi Fami-Kayode

 Rotimi Fami-Kayode

Written by Jaliessa Sipress

Water is life. The water protectors reiterated this because it is an ancient truth. Water is vital to our survival. In Astrology, water is our emotionality, our relationship to the psychic and the intuitive. Water is where our feelings live, and the experience of the water signs, Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio, are all filtered through an emotional lense.

In a society programmed to produce at unsustainable rates, we often dehydrate ourselves, both physically and emotionally. We deprive our intuition with hopes that things will be easier. But with the absence of water in the physical body, our material strength deteriorates (our earth), our minds weaken (our air), and our passion and drive are stunted (our fire). A lack of attention to the watery parts of ourselves will leave nothing left.

Among retrogrades, political confusion and personal disasters, your intuition will always be your best guide through it. Planets and politicians will always cause you to feel some type of way, but those feelings came from somewhere and they have a place in everything you do. The passion and pain both have histories and until you unpack them, you will continue to carry them and their origins throughout this living journey. Thus, healing is an obligation to your future success and your ability to emote with ease will help to determine the difficulty and how long it will take you to get where you want to be.

Ocean Image: Malika Bailey (Ethereal Entity Photography)

Ocean Image: Malika Bailey (Ethereal Entity Photography)

In order to get in touch with your emotions, you have to be in the practice of noticing. When your breath speeds up, when your fists clench, when your chest feels tight, it often has nothing to do with what you ate or how well you slept. Jitters, butterflies and sweaty palms are often your body’s response to how you feel and the act of noticing why your body systems have gone into overdrive is the first step in validating these responses. When you feel off, drinking water, exercising or burning some sage might help, but digging deeper into what has been going on for you emotionally is often where the root is. If you have been going through the motions ever since the election or you have been silently swallowing all of the microaggressions you are experiencing at work for the past three months, the water you are missing is not the kind that comes from a plastic bottle or a rocky mountain stream.

It is our duty to exist from a place of intuitive alignment and truth. But this is easier said than done. Feelings of being unsafe, unappreciated and underrepresented are heavy and there is no shame in wanting to quiet them in an attempt to survive. But the idea that stuffing your feelings will help you survive is a misconception. Emotionality does not have to look like outburst. The ability to identify, accept and act upon how you feel when you feel it is the key to honoring and moving through your feels. If your self care routine only consists of bubble baths, Netflix binging and chocolate bar munching, you are trying to soothe your emotions through the physical body. At what point did mentally checking out become a part of taking care of ourselves? When are we going to start trading secrets on how to perfectly execute crying in the shower when your roommates are home or how to clear our emotional energy from our bodies the same ways we clear our crystals? Whether you want to deal with frustration, anger, sadness and pain or not, you cannot unfeel your feelings. Your decision is whether or not these feelings are unleashed in screaming matches with your boss or best friend or if you initiate responsibility for them. It is on you to create the container yourself before someone or something else becomes your punching bag. It is time to start scheduling space to breathe, grieve and seethe along with time for working and twerking. Emotional work is work, and it deserves a space in your life because you cannot succeed at your day job with a tired mind and a heavy heart forever.

Whether it is at moontime or before morning yoga, find time to reflect on all of the charged exchanges we all encounter everyday. Remind yourself that you are worth feeling respected, loved and nurtured. Remind yourself that safety and comfort are a state of mind and not the conditions of a space. Fill out all of the edges of the body that you have been given with the confidence of knowing how to handle whatever comes your way. In a society obsessed with love, we still often forget that relationships are founded on trust and intimacy, two things that stem from our own ability to be vulnerable and emotionally in-touch.

The only place for a delineation between right and wrong is when it comes to how you feel, but there has to be a baseline. Take some time to figure out what feels good, what does not and why. Remember that this list does not have to “make sense” or follow anyone’s logic but your own. Dreams and fantasies will only get you so far but it is your strength and resiliency that will help you stay the course. Strength does not come from an absence of fear or belittling the challenge, it comes from knowing yourself and how to successfully navigate your own limitations. It is time to revise the definition of “self care” and actually learn how to care for the parts of our hearts, bodies and minds that cannot be completely cured by some dark chocolate and a little bit of Grey’s Anatomy. Getting serious about taking care of your emotional needs should be more important to the definition of adulthood than anything else. If we want the people who take care care of us to follow our lead, we are going to need to engage with much more than our food cravings and backaches. So give yourself a minute, a month, a year to get in touch with the origins and trajectories of your feelings. If you never move through the tough stuff, you just might spend your whole life just figuring out the easiest ways around it, and a life of ducking and dodging leaves no room for the healing, growing, loving and learning you were put on this earth to do.