Life is like a river. At some point it is not always fun. There are rapids to navigate and rough water to tide. Then there are the smoother parts and the calmer water. Here we have joyous occasions that provide the opportunity for fun and celebration.

Are we not intended to feel and experience it all?

A friend of mine is going through rigorous cancer treatment.

An entrepreneur is working hard at getting a business off the ground and is frustrated by the complications and length of time it is taking.

A single mom is working full time and growing up a three year old. Now that’s demanding and comes with a lot of feelings and sometimes overwhelm.

Then there is the arrival of the newborn child and the joy is unending. The parents are amazed at the miracle and Granddad and Grandma are over the moon with joy.

At this time of year in the holiday season there is the history of our childhood that sometimes presents itself one more time. Perhaps the holiday season was a happy one but now our favorite people are no longer at the dinner table. We have feelings about those times and those people who are no longer here to share with us.

Perhaps our holiday past was difficult, like mine, where my mother was sick most years of my upbringing.

Our mind goes over past events and the feelings come up. These feelings can be full and powerful within us pushing us not to ignore them. Sometimes they wash through us like a raging river. We are left to our own devices as to what we might do with these feelings.

We are designed to feel all the feelings of our life. This includes the joy, sorrow, anger, guilt, fear and anxiety and any others that are in your experience.

Let’s ride them all, the highs and the lows because then surely we can know the fullness of all that life has to offer.

How then might we navigate the river of our life including the rapids of big feelings?

My suggestion is to feel what you feel.

Be present to all your feelings. You may have to give yourself some alone time to be with whatever you feel.

When you are present to your feelings you are acknowledging them and honoring them.

This is a confidence booster. You will have your feet on the ground. You will be in touch with your authentic self when you are present to what you feel in the moment.

Then you are in the powerful position of being able to navigate all that your life has to offer.