• Chali Harding

Rocky Roads to Peak Views



Holding on to negative emotions is known to be detrimental, and often devastatingly so, to our health. We all, at various points in our lives, suppress the feelings of negative experiences because they are too painful to deal with at the time. However, to keep them suppressed, to not process them, not understand them and how they have affected us, has long term effects to our mental and emotional health in ways that can make us feel isolated, anxious, lonely, angry, guilty and depressed. This, in both the short and long term, has physical repercussions.


If negativity stews away inside of you unattended, it can become so engrained in how your energy operates that it informs your behaviour and the decisions you make. This literally changes the trajectory of your life.


In the experience of lockdown, so many wonderful aspects of life are taken away: our freedom, our sense of excitement about new experiences and our exploration of the world. It puts a halt to the things we do that we are proud of and creating in our lives, our interactions and connections with people. We are forced to go within, doors are closed, and “normal life” as we know it has been shut down. The busy-ness of our lives and many of our external coping mechanisms, which are also the mechanisms we use to escape our inner self, have been taken away. What this has brought up for so many people is an increase in their mental health problems because they are faced with what they have been, consciously or subconsciously, avoiding. Themselves, their feelings and their thoughts.


In a recent episode of Woman’s Hour, on BBC radio, singer Dodi was talking about her condition called ‘Depersonalisation Disorder’, which I had never heard of before. Dodi described the condition akin to the sensation of disconnection to yourself in the way drugs or jet-lag can induce, but on an almost constant chronic level. She explained that she believes, for her, it stems from a complex traumatic time in her past that has not been dealt with. With minimal knowledge of this condition, but from my experience of working with people and their wellbeing for over 17 years, I wonder, if she had properly moved through the loss and grief of that trauma, would her nervous system not have progressed into such a chronic state of disconnect?


It is so important to have periods of introspection in our life, to explore the pain, the darkness and hurts, the loss, those uncomfortable, dark, yucky, sticky lonely feelings. This introspection does not have to be explored by ourselves. Exploration of our dark shadows with someone who has been trained to support healing journeys is vital to understanding ourself and making positive changes to the direction of our everyday life.


However, as necessary as this exploration is, it is just as necessary not to get stuck there. To look at the nooks and crannies where the dust gathers, where we store the pain of our soul, is part of the process. However, we then need to clear out those nooks to expose them and understand them, in order to come out the other side with a deeper knowledge of ourself, gaining a sense of clarity about who we are underneath these things that happened to us.


This is an important point. These are things that have happened to us. Realising that there is not something wrong with us because these things happened is so important. The next stage is deciding whether or not we want to continue taking the effects of the experiences into our present life. Deciding if we want to continue to allow them to dictate how we live our life, how we talk to ourself and how we interact with the world around us. Giving ourself that chance to be free from the shackles of the past.


This is the process of healing. It takes time. It takes courage. We have to be ready for transformation.


It is important to understand that we are not alone. We all feel. We all suffer at some point in our lives. Other peoples’ lives may seem blessed and untainted by hurt, but that is very rarely true. We all at some point have darkness. I know that when I was younger, I felt like my pain and my hurt disassociated me from myself. I felt so confused as I felt so different to the person I was portraying to the world, and whom I felt the world expected me to be. I felt so lonely in my pain as I did not know how to express it, nor did I know that other people felt like this. Knowing that suffering is a real human experience was so helpful in my journey to feeling better in my skin, for healing, for connecting with myself and learning to love who I am.

This is the beauty of what I am so excited to be able to offer to you: Understanding and support for you to be able to look into your hurts and pains, what you don't like about yourself or your life, what you are craving to change but cannot see how you can. To give you tools to create a new way of looking at yourself, your life, your belief systems, with clarity and tools to disconnect from negativity. Change the trajectory of your life in the way that manifests from your inner dreams and desires, instead of your wounds and hurts.

To learn from your negative experiences is such a gift. And you deserve it.