top of page

How To Demystify ☥ Heal Our Emotions

Updated: Jun 29

We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to ... the human community. ☥ Haile Selassie ☥

I had the extreme pleasure of growing up with and being immersed in Caribbean culture. The two dominant Caribbean cultures of influence from childhood came from Trinidad and Jamaica. I was often taken to house parties and would play with the other children upstairs while the adults would party in the basement. There was food for everyone in the kitchen, and I learned about and enjoyed all kinds of dishes that were not common in America such as callaloo, plantains, rice and peas, roti, ackee and saltfish, cassava, hard dough bread, bulla, sorrel, buss-up shut, jerk and curried just about everything.

No culture or movement is perfect because we are all growing, learning and hopefully evolving to higher levels of consciousness. That said, it would be impossible for me to share healing strategies without highlighting the positive contributions of the Rastafari movement. Out of this movement came healing consciousness through natural living, nutrition, empowering music and more. As we explore how to demystify heal our emotions, let's consider the following lyrics from Bob Marley's "Trenchtown Rock:"

I invite any of my patois speaking Spiritual family to correct me if I mess up the translation as I attempt to share some of the lyrics of "Trenchtown Rock" to assist us in the process of emotional healing. "No want you fe galang so" loosely translated means "I don't want you to behave in a negative/oppressive way." This is an acknowledgment and rejection of the oppressive treatment of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People worldwide. "You want come cold I up, but you can't come cold I up" means "You want me to feel cold/dead inside - to drain the life from me, but because I am connected to Spirit, you don't have the power to determine how I feel."

Salsa drummers

I'm unpacking the next part of the song because I want to make sure that Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People overstand the significance of the lyrics. "'Cause I'm groovin' ... one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain." The colonizers of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People would often engage in manipulative tactics such as:

Solving a problem for which you know there’s an answer is like climbing a mountain with a guide, along a trail someone else has laid. In mathematics, the truth is somewhere out there in a place no one knows, beyond all the beaten paths. And it’s not always at the top of the mountain. It might be in a crack on the smoothest cliff or somewhere deep in the valley. ☥ Yoko Ogawa ☥

In The Medici Effect, author Frans Johansson teaches leaders how to include concepts and ideas that lie outside their natural environment, comfort zone, expertise, etc. as a pathway to innovation. During my work in the corporate world, I joined a conference call with Johansson and was thrilled to hear him speak of his Black and Swedish ancestry, which inspired his groundbreaking work. I imagine that Frans would welcome the idea of approaching emotional problems by considering solutions that exist in the unknown as Yoko suggests. If Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are kept in survival mode, worry, anxiety and on the defensive, it becomes impossible for us to lift our consciousness to the level of the solution to any problem that we face.

Because we are relational people, we become targets for psychological manipulation as colonizers continue to do things that 'cold I up' without us realizing that it is happening. We then get stuck in the trauma of what has happened which distracts us from focusing on the solution. However if we start 'groovin',' we will usher in a powerful alchemy that allows us to connect with our ancestors and higher power. In this place, we can find an appropriate response that is not buried under the trauma inflicted upon us.

When we allow the music to "hit us" until we "feel no pain" we are cleansing ourselves and clearing our minds so that we can access the solutions that will assist us in achieving our goals in the midst of and in spite of oppressive forces. Music is one of many ways that Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People can lift our consciousness to the level of the solution to challenges that we face. Other important pathways include:

☥ Engaging in exercises with conscious breathwork such as jumping rope, jogging,

walking, boxing, stretching, etc.

☥ Playing musical instruments such as drumming

☥ Singing, dancing, laughing

You can make your mind recall anything you want, but it can only give back what it was first given. ☥ Unknown ☥

One principle of Ayurveda states that emotional imbalance is a precursor to dis-ease. What does that mean? We have emotions that move through us all the time. At some point in time, we unknowingly allow an emotion to get stuck in us. When this happens, the emotion finds a home in a organ, gland or tissue. It will live there and weaken the area until the emotion is released so that healing can occur or until the weakened area develops dis-ease. Unfortunately for many of us, the latter is the norm.

Let's take a look at how negative emotions can affect specific organs and cause dis-ease:

Negative Emotions And Your Organs

According to Ayurveda, we must learn how to properly process emotions. Not suppress them, not ignore them, not avoid or project them on to others - PROCESS them. Emotions that are not processed are stored in the body making it vulnerable to dis-ease.

To process emotions, we need to learn how to flow with our emotions. We begin by acknowledging our emotions and allowing stress to move through us without getting stuck in us. This is a skill that requires intentional cultivation and practice, because we have been socially conditioned to habitually do the opposite. Our breath is the bridge that connects our body, mind and emotions. Notice your breathing patterns. Do you take deep breaths throughout the day? Do you exhale forcefully (sigh)? If so, when and why? Do you find yourself breathing shallowly? Do you breathe through your nose or mostly through your mouth? Pranayama is a word that means "control of breath to enhance the body's self healing mechanisms." The breathing exercise below offers a great way to help us become more aware of our breathing patterns and expand lung capacity over time.

We can go weeks without food, about a week without water. How long can we go without breathing?

Whenever I discuss the effects that negative emotions have on the organs, I inevitably get the obvious questions: "How can I just be happy? What am I supposed to do, just run around with a fake smile on my face, knowing how mad, angry or sad I feel?" Great questions indeed, and the answer is a resounding NO.

If a deer gets trapped in the jaws of a lion and then escapes it will run to freedom. Once safe, the deer's entire body will shake vigorously until all trauma related to the incident is gone. If we could speak with the deer after the shaking, it would not even mention the trauma it had experienced. However, if a human escaped the jaws of a lion, s/he/they would be a hot mess for quite some time. Humans can regurgitate a fearful event, reexperiencing all the emotion/trauma, for a lifetime or hold a grudge for so long that they don't remember what the grudge was about. Why do we do this to ourselves? How do we break the habit of suppressing negative emotions? How do we prevent ourselves from avoiding or projecting them onto others? One of my favorite ways to process negative emotions is by developing counterstrategies to address the root cause. Because the healing of emotions requires a process of deep cleansing, I will call this process "Enter The Cross-Cultural Hammam:"

The PHYLLISHUBBARD.COM strategy for processing emotions

When we Enter The Cross-Cultural Hammam:

☥ We ascertain where we are in the cycle by tracking our feelings

☥ We get grounded and centered during times of stress and anxiety

☥ We get the clarity and guidance we need so that we can remember to breathe, pause

and choose a response that serves our highest good

It is important for us to refrain from judging ourselves if we react instead of breathing, pausing and choosing a response. Enter The Cross-Cultural Hammam is an assessment tool to help guide our process and practice the art of self-correction. When a child is learning to walk, we don't condemn the child for slipping or falling. We lovingly encourage the child to keep trying until they get it right. It's important for us to behave the same way with ourselves when we are learning how to identify, acknowledge and process our emotions in a healthy way. The moment that we realize we have succumbed to the knee-jerk reaction, we can breathe, pause and choose a healthier response until we manifest the solutions to our challenges.

A lone car on a mountain road

The Void

The void is the place in the Cross-Cultural Hammam where we can get stuck, because from the outside/our perspective, it appears that nothing is happening. We may feel completely alone and be tempted to give up at this point. However, transformation is taking place in the subtle realm of the invisible. One way to help us through our time in the void is to think of planting a seed in the ground. We may offer the seed water, sunlight and nutrition for a long while before we see the seedling breaking through the soil. The void is the time for us to stay the course, breathe deeply, nourish ourselves and trust in the wisdom of the energy that created us. It is a necessary rite of passage in order for us to receive our breakthrough.

I found that with depression, one of the most important things you can realize is that you’re not alone. You’re not the first to go through it, you’re not gonna be the last to go through it. ☥ Dwayne Johnson ☥

People constantly ask me "Are you always this happy?" I feel the full range of emotions, including anger, frustration, sadness, etc., just like everyone else. However, I don't allow those feelings to linger within me. I stay mentally and emotionally "fit" by cultivating my mental health self-care toolkit, and I create rituals to help me get unstuck such as going on a long hike to release frustrations through exercise or spending an entire day watching the saddest movies possible in order to make myself cry just to get down to the emotion and cleanse it out of my system. Once the intensity of the emotions pass, I spend time in silent meditation, reflection and contemplation until my breakthrough arrives. We need to retrain ourselves to vehemently hold a vision of what we want/who we truly are to help us move through difficult times. As the good Dr. Beckwith would say, “We are pushed by pain until we are pulled by a vision.”

Positive Emotions And Your Organs

Positive emotions feel great, stimulate the dis-ease reversal process and strengthens immunity. Have you noticed a connection between how you feel and health issues in your life? Let's take a look at how positive emotions can affect your organs.

The PHYLLISHUBBARD.COM strategy for processing emotions

All my problems bow before my stubbornness. Amit Kalantri

The Will: Your Secret Weapon For When You Don't Feel Like It

I have often said that Black Indigenous Immigrant People need to be like Navy Seals when it comes to our emotional and mental health. A Navy Seal has to develop a certain level of will in order to hold their breath underwater for at least two minutes. I'm sure there are days when they don't feel like doing the practice drills, but they realize that too much is at stake. If they are in a situation where they need to hold their breath while trapped in a tight spot or if an unknown element arises that requires 10 more seconds than anticipated, they'll have to move beyond their emotions and into their will. The will represents the truest aspect of ourselves and it is often suppressed by the ego which loudly cries, "but I don't feel like it."

Many people have no idea how powerful their will is until they have to access it in an emergency situation. Our will pulls us through the most difficult of times. What if we could do practice drills to strengthen our will so that we could hold the highest of vibrations in the midst of anxiety, stress, chronic doses of microaggressions and trauma? I was having a conversation with a Black woman who was telling me about an experience that she had at an airport. She was standing in the First Class line, with her First Class boarding pass and minding her business, when a white man walked up to her and said, "This is the First Class line." She was so stunned that she felt compelled to show him her boarding pass. She didn't know what to say. She was so upset with herself because she didn't have a good response in the moment. It wasn't the first time that a Black Indigenous Immigrant person shared an experience with me about a white person who said or did something that created a hostile environment, manipulated them or stunned them into silence/acquiesce.

Choose how to respond to the balls that are thrown your way

When she asked me how I would respond, I first suggested that she stop beating herself up. It was a moment, and in that moment she gave up her power. I asked her to accept it as feedback on her past behavior without judgement. Then, I took her through a simple drill where I asked her the same question over and over again. It went something like this:

If I were to throw a ball at you what would you do?

Catch it.

Ok, what else would you do?

Move out of the way?

It's an option. It's also MY ball, and I'm throwing it at you, so what else would you do?

Throw it back? (She was becoming a bit frustrated with my questions).

What else?


It's MY ball, and I'm throwing it at you. Let's slow down for a moment. Why was catching the ball your first response? Did you take a moment to breathe and pause before choosing that response or was it a knee-jerk reaction? What makes you feel obligated to acknowledge what I throw your way?

She paused, and I could see that she was disappointed in herself. First, she jumped Jim Crow, and now she had to face an emotional vulnerability that was exploited because she had not put in the self-care work.

The now infamous “slap” at the 2022 Oscars is an unfortunate, but textbook example of what a knee-jerk reaction can look like. Our pain-body gets activated and we act on it instead of breathing, pausing and asking the most important question that we can ask in that moment:

Have I paused long enough to connect with Spirit and allow in the greater experience?

It is nearly impossible to avoid knee-jerk reactions if we do not actively engage in daily self-care.

I cannot stress the importance of creating our mental health self-care toolkit enough because it trains us to pause and protects us from taking an action that can sabotage all that we’ve worked so hard to achieve. When it comes to emotions, our wealth and status are irrelevant. With the right stimulus, anyone, at any time is capable of anything. Because we do not believe this statement, we lie to ourselves about what we will or will not do when triggered, and then are devastated as we attempt to make sense of our behavior.

It is human nature to feel the range of emotions, but it is daily self-care that prevents them from driving our actions.

This is particularly challenging for people of the African diaspora, because of the relational/emotional nature of our being. It is also vitally important to overstand that financial wealth and status does not protect anyone from knee-jerk reactions. We all must do the self-care work, or we will be faced with the consequences of our actions.

Knee-jerk reactions that are violent are an indication that we have subconscious programming to heal that was imprinted upon us during the process of colonization.

The British developed ethnopsychology in the mid-19th century, presumably after the enslaved Africans were freed in Britain (1833) and America (1863 and 1865 in Texas). Physical slavery had “ended,” but it birthed the new, more sinister era of psychological slavery. After the successful psychological programming of Phillis Wheatley (who was funded to go on tour in Europe to display how slaves could be programmed if they were "freed"), colonizers ramped up tactics of psychological warfare and embedded them into all aspects of our lives, such as the educational systems, multimedia, etc. Our quest for freedom and exhaustion from oppression can tempt us to stuff our emotions by anesthetizing ourselves and/or resorting to passive-aggressive behaviors to distract us from the pain we feel on the surface without healing the root cause of the trauma. However, through Qigong and other forms of self-care, we can learn how to face and release pain/trauma. Bat, the Celestial Goddess Of Interdependent Opposites, teaches us the alchemy of being both relaxed and alert at the same time in order to heighten our awareness and protect ourselves from outside manipulation. If we observe a cat, we notice that it is constantly stretching, is incredibly flexible, relaxed and content, yet it is hard to sneak up on a cat.

Daily self-care will help us return to our true selves so that our inner wisdom drives our outer actions.

With this understanding, I wanted to guide her away from self-judgement and towards healing. I could tell that she was still processing the event, so I invited her to Enter The Cross Cultural Hammam so that she could clearly assess the situation. Let’s look at her journey through the Cross-Cultural Hammam.

An example of the PHYLLISHUBBARD.COM strategy for processing emotions

I wanted her to see that it doesn't matter where she enters the Cross-Cultural Hammam as long as she keeps moving. What tends to hurt us the most is getting stuck in rumination and then "stuffing" our emotions in an attempt to feel good again as quickly as possible without actually processing and healing what happened. Science teaches us that energy doesn't disappear - it changes form. We've already seen how negative emotions affect us on the inside. Ignoring and stuffing our emotions will cause it to resurface with a vengeance.

I reminded her that life is full of people who throw their "balls" our way. I asked her why she carried a purse. She said that she needed a place to store things that must be with her at all times. If your mind was a purse, what "things" would you need to store there to ensure that you had access to counterstrategies for the balls that were bound to come your way? Before she could give me that "I have no idea look," I suggested that she develop a mental health self-care toolkit. I hoped that my purse analogy would help her to overstand the importance of daily mental and emotional self-care. If she doesn't feel like cultivating her self-care tools, it's time to dig deep and pull up her will. If she struggles to motivate herself, she is to remember how she felt at the airport - not to beat herself up, but to help her tap into her will.

Broken heart on a string

"Not feeling like it" is a sneaky saboteur that undermines our progress and siphons away our power so slowly that we often don't realize what happened until we've lost something important to us. It is a force that we must reckon with if we want to achieve fulfillment in our lives. If we are emotionally mature and grounded, we can continually critique and improve our behavior. This requires recognizing the emotional charge that we feel when balls are thrown our way so that we can choose a response instead of being baited into the knee-jerk reaction.

As a society, we aren't taught how to demystify heal our emotions, so they run amuck like a bull in a China shop until we awaken. Can we afford to be passive with the cultivation of this skill?

Let's practice disassociating ourselves from an emotional charge by examining a lyric from the Jumping Jim Crow song and flipping the script. Keeping in mind that unknown variables also exist, what if we were to play the Devil's Advocate in our search for solutions? What if we were to treat this Devil like a sparring partner in a boxing ring? When we get hit, do we become emotionally charged, or do we use the sting as data to help us identify blind spots and adjust our strategy? If we look at the meaning of the term "weeling about" objectively, without accepting the racist connotation in the song, we might find a hidden warning. If we give in to "not feeling like it," we subconsciously begin to "weel about," and then "Eb'ry time I weel about I jump Jim Crow" becomes a wake-up call to pull up our will. Succumbing to the knee-jerk reaction ("weeling about"), exposed her lack of preparation. Her deep sense of regret at the airport came from feeling like she had just Jumped Jim Crow. When we pull up our will, we create a protection shield around us and become relentless advocates for our mental and emotional health.

Black woman boxing with boxing bag

In the battle between our ego 'not feeling like it,' and the truest part of ourselves 'pulling up our will' to hold high consciousness, we must ensure that our true self wins.

Keep in mind that our ego will push us to seek power, approval, acceptance, attention and status to the point that we engage in self-sabotage to satisfy its craving. One of my truisms says that there is no "bad" part of us. Only parts yearning for love, acceptance and transmutation which must come from within. The voice of the ego is loud and judgemental. When we knee-jerk react, we can be easily fooled by the ego because it will attempt to mimic the voice of our true self. It will convince us to do something that does not serve our highest good and then condemn us for taking its advice. Our true self speaks to us in a subtle, quiet voice that can sometimes feel more like a calm knowing. It will gently nudge us to right action. Meditation and silent contemplation can help us to stay connected to the whispering wisdom of the truest part of ourselves.

A Question And An Affirmation

One day, I was on my way to work, and I left my home a bit late. When I got on the road, I noticed that the cars were driving much slower than usual which quickly became annoying. There was a calmness about me that beaconed me to slow down, but I digressed into my impatient self and started bobbing and weaving through traffic. Finally, there was an opening that would allow me to put my car into full speed. However, as I sped pass the slow car in front of me, I happened to look further down the highway and saw a police car. As I slowed back down, I heard the truest part of myself whisper, "You have to trust me because, you don't know what lies ahead."

What is the unknown variable in any given situation?

I think about that moment from time to time, because it was one of the first times that I can remember catching myself knee-jerk reacting and intentionally ignoring the voice of my inner wisdom. When a challenge arises, we can only see solutions that exist within our realm of consciousness, which is often limited by our knowledge, experiences, and more importantly, our mental and emotional states. If our limited thinking can narrow our choices when we are feeling good, how much more limited would our thinking be when we are feeling anxious? How do we expand our thinking beyond our emotions and limitations in order to access the best solutions in moments of peace or tension? I've been training myself to slow down and ask, "What is the unknown variable?"

I've noticed that each time I knee-jerk react, I forget about the unknown variable. To make matters worse, the knee-jerk reaction happens because I feel overconfident in what I believe myself to know. The results are usually humbling, and I often find that I've wasted time by trying to force something to happen, when something greater was attempting to come through.

I understood Steven Spielberg to say, in a TV interview, that he "leaves 10% open for God" during his film shoots. I'm not sure if he considered his comment to be an affirmation, but I thought it was a powerful example of yielding to the wisdom of the unknown. While shooting the movie E.T., the robot was being stored in a shopping cart. Someone bumped into the cart and it went rolling down the street while the crew chased after it. Steven went with it, let the cameras roll and ended up using some of the footage even though it was not in the script. I loved the concept of "leaving 10% open for God" and have used it as an affirmation to inspire me when the unexpected occurs.

There is a divine intelligence that levels up whatever we choose to do if we tap into it or flow with it when it shows up and disrupts our comfort zone.

Because I knew that she truly wanted closure on a contemplative response, I offered two suggested responses that she could have delivered to the white man at the airport with a calm and stoic demeanor.

"Do you work here?" With this response, he has to acknowledge that he has no

authority to speak to her about which line to stand in.

"Is your statement intended for me or for everyone in this line?" This response is an

option if she had excess energy to spare and wanted to expose his ignorance because

it could lead to a healing/hostile conversation.

Negative emotions are habitual, addictive and can be contagious. It often takes an act of will to pull ourselves out of the negative, but once we get there, we'll find the solutions that we need to solve our challenges so that we can reignite our joy.

Breathe ☥ Pause ☥ Choose Response ☥ Be At Peace ☥

Mother and daughter with map

Epilogue ☥ Your Treasure Map For Self-Care

Thank you for taking the time to actively engage in your own self-care. If you have ever spent time at a hammam ☥ steam room ☥ sauna, you will notice that it is a comfortable space because you are wearing minimal or no clothing and you can just be yourself. However, after a short time, it starts to get hot, and you begin to sweat. This is a good thing because you are helping your body to eliminate toxins. If you want to detoxify your body correctly you will:

☥ Breathe slowly and deeply to help your body adjust to the intensity of the heat.

☥ Sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.

☥ Have a piece of fruit ☥ pumpkin seeds ☥ favorite healthy snack available.

☥ Take a shower after excessive sweating.

☥ Go into a cold room/take a cold plunge/cold water rinse off to cool down before doing

another sweat and to stimulate your lymphatic system.

☥ Go for a walk in nature, spend time in meditation ☥ contemplation, have a healthy meal

and give your body some time to complete the healing process (which could include

sending you messages through your intuition about your next steps).

As you journey through ☥ interact with the blogs ☥ other content on, you might have an insight that causes you to suddenly feel mentally ☥ emotionallyhot” -- which could show up as:

☥ “Ah-ha” moments

☥ A hop-in-the-bed-and-cry-yourself-to-sleep or fetal position crying time of intensive


☥ Intense feelings of anger/regret about something in your past

☥ Disorientation caused by the realization of truth

Strong reactions such as heightened senses, vomiting; an urge to release emotions

such as yelling/screaming, going outside for fresh air/to take a walk, punching a

boxing bag/pillow; a feeling of tightness in the chest, etc.

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

If you find yourself having a strong reaction, I encourage you to flow with it while helping your body to release mental ☥ emotional toxins by using the same five self-care strategies listed above for releasing physical toxins. Your body talks to you all the time, but unconscious adherence to social conditioning can mute its messages.

Strong reactions are your body’s way of letting you know that there is a deeper issue requiring your attention.

Keep revisiting the content ☥ utilizing the five self-care strategies until you no longer experience the strong reaction, release fears and have identified ☥ transformed ☥ removed the root cause of the issue. You will find additional strategies throughout this website that you can add to your mental health self-care toolkit.

Self-Care Sustainability Suggestions

A Cross-Cultural Healing Haven – read this blog to understand the purpose of and the meaning behind its organization ☥ symbols.

☥ Revisit the content periodically and make a note of if/how your perceptions have


☥ Check out the other pages on

Home - watch the videos. Click on the images in the Spiritual Guidance

section. Each image has a story that might assist your self-care journey. Learn

about other spiritual practices.

About - Learn about my background ☥ reasons for co-creating

with Spirit. Explore healing through the image carousel and videos.

Shop Kamitology - Purchase and download vital tools for your personal growth

☥ development.

Reclaiming Our Humanity - Help us develop and disseminate video courses.

Rise TV - Practice breathing and movement exercises and deepen your

understanding of healing through the experiences of community members.

Check back periodically to discover new/re-experience the content.

Journey - This is your invitation to own the journey to radiance. Experience the

journey and download healing resources to share with your friends, family and


When you share healing, healing comes back to and flows through you.

About Sharing ...

During my first presentation to an all-Black audience, I introduced 20-year-old research on the hazards of sitting. I presented the research because I noticed that people sat for way too long at convenings and realized that the information was not disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities. I was determined to intentionally include this research, often surprising participants by getting people up to stretch. After more than 13 years of intentional work, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are just barely beginning to normalize conscious movement. We still have a long way to go, and it is important that we share what we know as much as we can to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.

How to cite PHYLLISHUBBARD.COM. Please cite and share.

Copy/Paste Version Of A Full Citation Example: 

Hubbard, P. S. (2020, September 27). How To Demystify ☥ Heal Our Emotions. PHYLLISHUBBARD.COM. <>

Please do not keep to yourself. We will not co-create a better world until we heal our current, past/childhood traumas. We will not love others until we learn to love ourselves.




How To Demystify + Heal Our Emotions


About Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard's work as a Health Warrior


bottom of page