It's ok to not feel ok

Kirsty Raynor

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I had an eye-opening conversation with my client recently which was so incredibly insightful and honest that it has stuck with me ever since. Such honest vulnerability is something I think we can all learn from in helping to manage our own emotional resilience.

Let me set the scene and describe the encounter I had when recently teaching my client. I started our usual session by asking her to think of a positive affirmation to keep her grounded throughout the practice. This is something that I am trying to do in my own self-practice to ground and strengthen my experience rather than solely setting an intention.

My client turned to me and said, “Why do I always HAVE to be positive? You know what, today I’m not. I’m not negative but I’m just not feeling it."

My mind was well and truly blown! She was so right!

Are we now in danger of putting so much pressure on people to always be positive that it is actually doing the opposite? This pressure to be a postive polly 24/7 could actually have a detrimental effect and leave us feeling insignificant and isolated from this 'Poistive Mental Attitude' movement.

"Despite trying to encourage people to think positively, we are ultimately still telling them how to think and pushing them into a trap of feeling guilt and disappointment if they are not living up to that."

As a Yoga Teacher, we have a huge responsibility to be mindful of how we communicate and what language or cues we use. It can only take one minor trigger to put a client in a negative mood for the remainder of a session.

I continued to ponder upon this off the mat after our session as well. Is it sustainable or realistic to think in a one-dimensional way?

Whilst I'm not advocating being negative instead of positive, I do feel that feeling, experiencing and sitting with both emotions is the balance we need today. 

lady pondering-1

Could this incidently be leading us to suppress our emotions as feeling anything other than happy will be frowned upon by others? What happens then if our upset is warranted and we are in need of talking to someone?

Ultimately you will end up isolated in secret while putting a smile on your face to fit in with a cultural expectation. What worries me about this is how this might affect young children and teenagers in schools who are already dealing with so much change and turbulence. Whilst we are trying to direct them down a path full of prosperity and opportunity, are we actually pushing them to expectations so high that they can never fufil them?

As humans, to become truly rounded, I feel that we need to be able to feel all of our emotions and that it is our acceptance of all these feelings that needs addressing.

"Acknowledging that it is ok to feel upset, anxious, depressed, grief or even hormonal is part of human nature and completely natural."

I always like to think I am a really positive person but the truth is I am not! I am positive towards other people, yes. I am a Pisces, a yogi, an emotional human and I feel all of them: I embrace them, and I have developed an understanding of what they mean for me that day – and accept them.

Does that mean I am weak? Does it mean I don’t practice what I preach? Absolutely not. It means I am normal, human and 100% still worthy.

Remember may feel bad one day but that doesn't mean you are a bad person. It really is ok to not feel ok.

If you are reading this and completely relate to what I am saying please reach out to me as I feel this way of thinking needs to be our future.


About our Community Expert


Kirsty Raynor

#TeachFit programme lead

Kirsty is a yoga teacher on a journey of empowerment, building confidence and pushing the boundaries of what traditional yoga is and can be. 

She leads the TeachFit Yoga workshops in our partner schools.



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