Episode #38: Navigating Bipolar Disorder & Embracing Rage with Sharissa Sosa

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Episode #38: Navigating Bipolar Disorder & Embracing Rage with Sharissa Sosa

How can meditation help us transform emotional intensity into a powerful source of personal growth?

In this profound episode of “The Fully Expressed Podcast,” we explore this question with Sharissa Sosa, a seasoned meditation mentor known for her dynamic approach to emotional resilience and mental health.

Together, we delve into how meditation can be a transformative tool for managing emotions, particularly anger and anxiety, and turning them into gateways for personal evolution and joy.

Sharissa shares her personal journey with bipolar disorder and how meditation has helped her navigate the complex landscapes of her emotions.

Her stories of overcoming intense emotional challenges through mindfulness practices offer invaluable insights into the power of meditation to bring about profound internal change and foster a deeper connection with oneself.

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

Welcome to the Fully Express podcast with Karenna.
I am your podcast host Karenna Soto.
This is the show where we have conversations that invite you into living your life, fully express, really showing up in relationship, fully expressed and even creating your professional life.
Like your career or your business is your fullest expressed self.
And in today’s episode, we’re going to keep on the theme around mental health Awareness Month because May is all around mental health and just bringing awareness to mental health.
So I’m excited to share with you this really beautiful episode that we get to record today because I have a very special guest, Sharissa Sosa.
Did I say that correctly?
I always say it incorrectly.
It’s my bad and this isn’t the first time we’re meeting you guys.
Like I try so hard every time I see her, she Sharissa Sharissa, Sharissa, Sharissa, I’m just going to say it over, over and over again.
We have Sharissa Sosa on with us and I’m so excited for you to listen to her because when I met her, she has so much depth and so much intelligence and so much wisdom and also so well practiced, which I think is very, very special in our world today.
So really quickly when I met her, we met at a party, we met at what one of us friends, Tyler rolling at one of her birthday parties and we were just talking back and forth and Sharissa was so open and you were so direct and like, hey, I really, I really like you and I want to get to know you.
And I was just like, yes, I would love that.
And I don’t think we get to see that enough in our world today with like girlfriends and stuff or you know, you come across someone that feels good or that you want to get to know more and we don’t take this step and like, oh, like, I really want more of this.
Like, are you open to that and like putting yourself out there like that?
And Sharissa was just like, so open hearted and of course, I was like, yes.
And then we went on a couple of friend dates to get to know each other.
And in the most recent date, I, we met for Sunset over here in Del Mar California and we went for a walk and I was like, going through it and she held such beautiful space for me and I immediately was like, all right, you got to come onto the podcast.
And so here she is and I’m going to pass the microphone over to her so you can fully hear from her and let her introduce herself.
Hey, it’s Sharissa.
I, it’s funny during my meditation retreat, I thought, I don’t know why this is coming up.
But like, you know, the Instagram bio and I like actually thought of my Instagram bio like on retreat, like as we were in the temple, I wrote it down in my notebook.
So I said like, I’m your sassy meditation in my v mentor.
I teach inner strategies for less suffering and more harmony.
So that’s kind of like the the I guess the elevator pitch that came to me and that’s like that basically sums it up and there’s a lot of like branches from that.
But you know, people ask me, I had a friend asked me, like, commented on one of my videos and so like, Trista, like, how are you so like lovely and joyful and like, and so happy all the time.
And I said it’s because I know how to be with suffering.
Like just a couple weeks ago, I was like, why has most of my life in pain?
It’s not like most of my life, it’s not, that’s a little exaggerated, but I’ve had a lot of pain in my life.
And so that’s how I’ve learned how to be.
And more than OK, I remember you posting something recently on your Instagram that like you feel such deep joy because you feel such deep pain or like, the deep pain really leads to deep levels of joy.
Can you share a little bit about that?
, you know, so I think a good place to start is I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2020 I first, I used it as an excuse to act out and I was like, I’m bipolar, like, kind of like you’re just gonna have to accept it, you know, like this is, and I really resonated with a lot of the symptoms.
And I thought it, it felt like a curse, like it felt like a curse that I was different.
It felt like a curse that I experienced these extreme levels of sadness and like depression, I would just come in and out.
And I can happily say that I’ve been free of depression for four years since like really committing to this practice, my mindfulness practice and experiencing, you know, what I found was that these deep and even more now, like, as I’m just more polished in my practice is like, really seeing that these deep levels of pain are actually like access and like portals to more joy and more awareness and like portals to more happiness.
But the willingness to be with your experience moment by moment transfers into everything that you do.
And so I had an experience.
So this is a perfect example.
I went on, I had a virtual meditation retreat in January and I was filled with a lot of rage.
That was my experience.
I was navigating betrayal and I was seeing this guy for like, like 11 months and he, we were long distance and he had a whole ass girlfriend, like where he lived and we were friends for like 10 years.
It was a big hit.
I had never been betrayed like that.
I’ve never been like, yeah, it’s new to me.
So the rage was more than what I could even understand.
And it was a rage that I couldn’t even understand within myself that I it was, I had been angry before.
I had like some explosions before, but it was like nothing like that.
And I like a couple later, I went straight into this meditation retreat and I was sitting with all that anger and to your question of like, what does it mean to or can you speak on the more willing you are to be with pain?
How that leads to joy.
This is the perfect example or like I wouldn’t even say joy but like freedom, like inner freedom and just more harmony is because you can experience harmony while you’re still in pain.
Like I think a lot of people think they have to say ice their joy for like their processing.
I think a lot of people think that they have to suffer while they’re processing and you can actually hold both at the same time.
You know, it’s kind of like if you’re at a, you know, if you’re at a bar with friends and there’s like a lot of background noise but like you’re not listening to the background noise, you’re like, you’re with your friend, right?
It’s the same, we can experience our emotion and our thoughts in the same capacity of awareness of being like, OK, that’s here.
But like I’m going to move forward, right?
And having this like driver in the front seat and that’s the power of like building your awareness through meditation.
So I was sitting with this anger.
So we were sitting for a long time more than I was used to.
And I noticed like agitation, you know, of like just the not wanting to be still and just kind of being over it.
And like, when are they going to ring the freaking bell?
And when I leaned, I turned towards that agitation and what I found was anger.
And so when I found that anger, I, I turned towards it and I really leaned in and it was kind of like just this like red, like it took over like my whole torso like this red, like fire like heat and red.
And I was in practice and I was just like experiencing it as a sensory experience.
There weren’t really any thoughts, there was no like mental image.
It was really just that and I let myself be there for as long as my system needed me to be there.
Which I can’t remember how long it was but it was really uncomfortable.
They just feel all that anger and because, you know, we’re not allowed to be angry.
Like, you know, especially I think culturally, right?
And just, it’s,, it’s un it’s inconvenient, you know, our emotions can be really inconvenient.
Yeah, I hear you with that.
I’m so curious because you, you started talking a little bit about your bipolar disorder.
The amount of anger that you felt in the mo felt in your most recent experience?
Is it similar to what you experienced when you were originally diagnosed with bipolar or throughout this work?
Has it gotten more intense?
Can you talk a little bit to that?
Oh my God.
Let me just like cap this moment.
So when I leaned into the anger completely transformed into this, like it, the sense was like a pink mist and it was like softer, like it was still anger but it was like soft and so that’s just an example of like how leaning towards and like being willing to experience your experience moment by moment.
It’s actually like access to being free from it, but it’s inconvenient and it’s uncomfortable and that’s why it’s hard to go there.
But I think with the right guidance, right?
And if you just learn from people, how you can feel really independent from your, from these, you know, human tendencies.
So yes, I so oh my goodness.
2019 the day after Thanksgiving when we were at my uncle’s house and I was processing a lot of stuff with my parents and it was really hard.
This was before my diagnosis, like shortly before my diagnosis.
And I, I asked my mom to step outside with me and I was just talking to her about my pain and how hard it was, you know, growing up and she couldn’t handle it.
And she just stood up and walked away.
She just stood and I was like, you’re just gonna walk, you’re just walking away right now.
I lost it.
I just lost it.
I lost it.
I went into the room.
This was a moment of rage.
I went into the room, my uncle was there who like knows my whole story.
He’s super empathetic.
Like, so is it like like a safe space for me?
And I was just telling him I was like, I was telling my mom and she just like, give me excuses and like didn’t felt like she wasn’t listening.
She was interrupting me and I started punching the bed and I was like in tears like I was just in pain and I just started punching the bed and then I saw the wall and then I started punching the wall and this is like at my uncle’s house and then we had like our whole family like in the living room next door.
But this is the like the irrational Right.
The, like, the lack of like synapses or whatever, the filtering, the impulsivity, right?
The, like, not paying attention.
And I had a, what they call a boxer’s fracture.
Like my hand was like purple and balloon, like it was bad and I still have like, wrist issues to this day for both of them.
And then following like a month later, get this, I was like a month away from leading a women’s self love and mindfulness retreat.
And I am a month away.
And I find myself, I’m so depressed and I’m like at the end of a bottle of whiskey, like I literally was at my friend’s house, I drank her whole bottle and I, she went upstairs to like put her kid to bed and I went in the bathroom and I just curled up in a ball.
I literally curled up in a corner and then I went into fetal position and I was just sad.
I was just angry.
I was just mad and, and then I punched the floor and that seemed like a good idea to do it.
With the o the other hand, I wasn’t.
That’s I Yeah.
And I looked at her and I said, I like held my wrist and I said, I want to see blood.
That’s what I said to her.
And long story short, she had me like she like had somebody take me to the hospital.
They like check me out.
I was fine to go.
And I remember he said, like, he asked me, like, what goals I have.
And, and I was like, well, I’m leading a retreat funny, like, well, I’m leading a mindfulness and self love treat for women in like a month.
And I was like, I’m really passionate about that work and he was like, keep doing that and he was like, keep doing, I’ll never forget that.
He was like, that’s important work, like keep doing that.
And he didn’t like, judge me for like, where I was at, you know, I’m like sitting in a hospital bed, like being tested or whatever, like make sure I’m safe to go home and everything so fast forward to now.
Like, I mean, I feel it’s never going to be perfect, but I feel really embodied in my practice and I, I can see how over time with my commitment and I’d love to go backwards even more later in a moment and just like share what actually took me to my commitment to my practice.
But I knew I was going to still, this is best word to know.
I knew I was going to see this man.
We’re in the same community.
I knew I was going to see him.
He had like just posted his girlfriend on Instagram and like my friends told me and she knew everything, like I told her everything and there I was just, I was so angry, I was so angry and I knew I was going to see him like the next day and I had a hotel room by myself and I just went into a rage.
I just went, it’s like, imagine like a 33 year old.
Am I 33 or 32?
I’m 33.
Imagine like me an adult like just throwing a fit like a three year old toddler, right?
And just like, not there like fuck you, you know, like I was pounding the bed and I was like, literally like, I could sense my system like wanted to hit something like I was going on my hands.
We were just going like this and I was breathing deeply and I was looking in the mirror and I was just, and actually I captured some of it because it was like, so it just felt like a moment to capture, I posted it.
I don’t know the right way to do that or if I even will.
But I just remember being like, why does it have to be so hard?
Like why does it have to be so painful to like grow?
You know, like why does it to be so painful to grow?
Like obviously it happened for me to grow but like why does it have to hurt so fucking much?
And like why does it have to be so hard?
And I was like breathing and I was like doing this and I wanted to punch the mirror so bad, like so bad.
And this is not my mirror.
This is like a fancy hotel room.
I wanted to punch the mirror so bad and I could feel like I was just like so awake to what that was like.
And so I just was present with that like even in my hypnotic rage, like I was so present to that and I didn’t punch the mirror and I just let I let the anger move through me.
Like I just, I felt it, I let it run like there was like this current of like ecstatic anger and following the next day or two days later, maybe again, we’re in the same community and we were all at a bar.
He was there and I kept as much distance as I could but it was like, all I could think of it was like all I could think of and just like being re traumatized like that over, over multiple times, I’ve had to see him multiple times being re traumatized like that.
I don’t, I didn’t realize it in the moment, like how hard that was.
But, and I had my friends, I had community but I, I almost lost it.
I almost lost it.
And I, like this is not like sometimes I’m like, do I sometimes like, do I still have a disorder?
Like I don’t think it ever really goes away.
I think I just, I do have less symptoms.
Like I can tell, like I have less symptoms and I know how to be with my symptoms.
You know.
So that’s very, that, that has been a huge transformation.
So I, I told my friend I was like, I need to go outside and, he like threw my purse across the table outside and there was this rock wall right next to me and I wanted to hit the buck and wall.
I was going to lose it.
And I was seeing him talking because I was seeing him talking to this girl like knowing he has a girlfriend but like knowing like the lies and everything and I did the same thing.
I just like literally my hands were like primed to like hit something and my friend was right there.
I didn’t tell him that I was like thinking about hitting anything.
I just let myself like, because I can, now I feel like I can trust myself.
After going through that, I was like, I can trust myself.
You know, I can trust myself not to hurt myself.
Like I can trust myself to make wise decisions even when I’m in this hypnosis of the rage because that’s what it is.
It’s a trance, right?
Like you forget like what’s real, you forget yourself.
And so I, I remember there was this like water trail on the table that like as I was like breathing, I was literally just breathing super deep wanting to hit the wall so bad and just clenching my hands.
And there was this water on the table that, like really drew me in and it was like, I was being meditated, not, I was meditating but like I was being meditated it and the water just like something about that, like, locked me in and kind of softened everything else around me.
And that’s the power of practice is that it can come in and just like, save you, you know, without you having to effort it, like building this muscle of presence.
I’ve had other times with like PTSD where my presence, I just came in like, I didn’t have to effort myself into getting out of my experience.
It was just the work.
It was just the practice coming in.
So those are two vivid moments where I can see like, wow, what a different person, you know, like I can see in my everyday how my relationships have, you know, gotten better and like how I’ve shown up to my life and to my work and to, I can see that both of like my symptoms with bipolar.
But those were moments where I’m like, wow, I can trust myself and I can, I can still be me.
Like I can still be a little outrageous.
I can still be like a kind of wild in the way I experienced.
You know, I’m just a part of nature and nature is wild and I, I can I can do that.
Just wow.
Is I think the first thing to hear and I think you touched on so many things and I think one that just to highlight here like the rage that you felt at after your mom and your uncle’s house and like that tens of rage like you were in it, right?
You were talking about this trance and then fast forward to what you were just talking about your most recent story where you got really angry and experience this rage.
It was more of you being in it, but you trusted yourself.
And I think it’s so important for us to talk about rage and anger because to your point like it is so quote unquote bad, it is seen as not good.
And you know what I’ve learned through my trauma, inform Somatic certification is that when you’re experiencing that much intensity, it actually wants to be met in intensity, that’s why you want to hit something.
So that’s why you want to take things out because intensity needs intensity.
And a lot of people don’t realize that that’s what they need and like being able to like work through that.
And like you found that in your practice is just so beautiful and you also talk so much the experience of feeling emotions and being present and being able to like literally, it’s almost like you’re just switching scenes.
Like I I love the story that you shared about like being at a party with friends, for example, and being able to listen to music or focus in on talking to someone that is literally what is possible for us.
I, I experienced that.
This last weekend I went out with my best friends and we went dancing and I would be so in it, like my entire body was into the DJ set and I was like, yeah.
And I was in my body then immediately if I wanted to talk to Nick, like Nick was the my only world.
And then I would go back to the DJ set.
And I was like, afterwards, we were all reflecting on that exact experience because it’s like how it’s that simple, but it’s not that simple, right?
It’s that simple to be able to be like, oh I’m living in this world, but I can easily pop over to this world and it takes so much practice to get there.
So I would love to hear a little bit more.
I know you.
So for those that are listening, she’s talked about her meditation practice.
But like, you love, love, love, love meditation, I think in the last year and less than a year that I’ve known you, you’ve gone to like two meditation retreats and you’ll spend like five days in silence with yourself.
And so I would love to know about like, what invited you into meditation.
Like, why was that like your way into doing this work.
And what about me continues to anchor you in this practice?
Yeah, that’s a great question.
So I was actually thinking about this the last day of the recent five day meditation retreat, we were having dinner and I was, we were in silence and I was just wondering, I was like, what I wonder, like, what brought us all here, you know, and then I thought about like, what brought me here and it was the scariest moment of my life.
And it was the like, seemingly one of the worst things that ever happened to me that actually brought me to even deeper in my practice.
And I in the same time frame, OK, at the same time frame of like moving through depression, the moment of hitting the wall, like January the whiskey thing, the moment and then leading the meditation or leading the, the women’s event.
And then I went on a trip to D R and I came back and I was still moving through depression and I wasn’t running.
I had like, wanted to start a running practice again and it wasn’t because I enjoyed running at all.
It was just because I knew I had to move my body and I knew I had to be outside if I wanted to like, try to like, find some sort of like, ok ness.
So I, one day I was, I was like, OK, I kept procrastinating.
This is, there’s so many things that like show me how just my, all of my life has been meant to be even all the pain.
I was just procrastinating all day.
And I was saying like, OK, it’s four o’clock, let me go, let me actually go.
So actually this still, I don’t know why it feels important to share too.
I was stretching before I left and I had these like angel cards, you know, that I had to like put away, but I was stretching.
So I was on the floor and I saw that there was an angel card underneath my couch.
So I pulled it out and it was Archangel Michael, who I grew up Catholic.
I’m not a practicing Catholic, but super grateful for that because it really showed me what faith is.
And since then I’ve developed my own experience of faith.
But Archangel Michael for me just feels like a really protective essence of like you’re OK.
I got you.
Someone’s got me.
I’m ok and I can sense that same protectiveness through my life in moments where I could have like literally died and I didn’t.
And this is one of them.
So I was on a trail run in broad daylight and I came up, I had, I hadn’t been to this part of the trail yet and I came up against a dead end.
So I turned around and there was a guy pointing a gun at me running towards me saying, get down on the floor, I get down on the floor, I get down on the floor and I was like, what, like I was standing because I had no idea what was going on.
I was like, this can’t be what there was no, there was not even like this can’t be happening there just like freeze right sweat.
So then he gets closer, gets out on the floor, gets down on the floor and he has the gun like right here to me and then he cocks it back and he was like put your hands behind your back, put your hands behind your back.
And I looked back at this point, he’s behind me and I look back and I see that he’s grabbing something in his pocket and something in me just I didn’t even think I just ran, I just ran and there were helicopters.
There were like it was this whole, it was all over the news, it was this whole thing.
It was this whole thing and I knew and at the same time I was living in La Mesa, there were riots literally like happening all around me.
Protests happened, protests that I was going to protests that were happening all around me.
There was just so much in the air and this is the same time Lorraine was like all this other shit happening, right?
And I had just been diagnosed bipolar.
So holy shit.
It was the moment, girl.
So when the desk kind of started settling and actually like, so it took a long time to process that.
I mean, still, you know, there’s moments of ptsd but I know how to be with those moments.
And my, and I have my practice but I called my, I, I knew like life was so hard for me like it, I just, I wanted to, I didn’t want to do it anymore.
A lot of people who commit suicide have bipolar disorder.
Most people who commit suicide have bipolar disorder because there’s no like thinking through right?
There’s no like, I mean, like actually think about this, right?
And the pain just feels so intense like it just feels like your whole life is pain and you just don’t want to do it anymore.
And so I knew the only, I mean, what kept me here was like my family and I didn’t want to put my family through that and like the people that loved me.
And so then I was like, non negotiable.
It’s like, OK, even and I was just like in dread every day, which is crazy to not want to be alive.
And like life is so fucking beautiful.
Like we have birds and we have clouds and we have relationships and like, it’s so wild to like not want to experience life, you know, like what, what a dimension you know, to be in like, wow, like I was in a lot of pain, I think that’s what that shows me.
I was just in a lot of pain and I didn’t know what to do and I just wanted to say, get me out of here.
So I knew because, like, I couldn’t be with myself.
I knew I had to sit longer.
My practice at that point was just 10 minutes a day and sometimes it still is 10 minutes a day.
But, and the students, when I work with students, it’s just 10 minutes a day.
That’s really all you need.
But I knew like, if I, I know I needed to learn how to be with myself because it was so hard to be with myself.
So how did you know that though?
Like was it something that you read?
Was it some kind of a clue?
Was it a day or was just like it really like an intuitive hit of like I need to learn to be with myself more like deeper, like to the extent, I mean, obviously not obviously, but it sounds like with the bipolar like it’s such, it, there’s so much intensity, there’s so much emotions and you know, you hear so much on Instagram like it’s important to feel, to heal, to be with.
But like you’re talking about being with a lot of intensity, a lot of overwhelmed to the point where emotions are just they feel like they drown you, right?
Like you’re like, you’re literally swallowed by emotions.
So what was the thing that was like, if I’m going to overcome this, I need to be more with me.
It was just annoying that that was next.
I just knew it was next.
And I just added like two minutes a day, five minutes a day and just like incrementally added time.
And I had one technique that I had had for years and I just did that one technique and my mentor and friend, it was her birthday, like a couple weeks later, she had like, see what happened to me.
And she also like, and I was still writing a lot like on, on social and she, I called her for her birthday and she’s the one that creates all these trainings for like the certification that I have for mindfulness and meditation.
And I that conversation for her, I called her for her birthday, which isn’t something I normally like did.
But I was just saying, I want to call Juliana and just say what’s up, you know, and even at that point, like, I still had the clarity of like all that.
What like if we just look at everything from a really simple level, that moment of meeting that guy with a gun, that moment at the simplest level is just change, it’s just change.
It’s just change from the moment I was at to a different moment.
That’s all it really was.
It was just molecules, atoms, whatever, mixing together that created a moment.
And I like, knew, even though I was drowning, I still knew.
Like I had a foundation of like, knowing what was real and all it is is change.
And I called her, we were talking about this and she’s like, yeah, she’s like, like, you’re doing so great in your practice.
And I ended up taking like a very short lived role in support with un mindfulness, which is the group that I now am like a trainer for.
And that led to she’s like, hey, we have this program.
It’s six months.
It’s called pathways.
Like, I think that would be a really great opportunity for you to like, learn, you know, it’s a teacher training program, but you don’t have to be a teacher, you know.
So I took it because I wanted to help myself and I just knew it was just like an automatic.
Yes, it’s like, OK, and then that right after they came out with like a year long teacher training program and that pathways after I took pathways that first six months, I was like, I have to teach this because I started seeing the changes in myself, just my relationship to my thoughts and like, really turning on the witness word and really being able to take a step back.
And I had a moment with my PTSD where like, again, my practice just came in and I didn’t have to effort.
It, it was just like working, you know, I went from like an inner experience of feeling, like I was about to be attacked to like an outer experience of like, literally just seeing the trees and like feeling my feet on the floor.
And I was like that simple and my attention shifts it in a moment.
And so I could see like the development of my practice and I was like, ok, so I took this year and a year long program.
And so really, it was like the scariest moment of my life is what led me to learning this for myself and then being so blessed and fortunate to be able to teach it when you said, like you went from like literally a gun to your head to being able to feel your feet on the ground and see the trees around you.
Like I got goose bumps, like part of me just like wants to like cry because it’s so like, what’s coming up for me?
It’s so interesting to witness how there’s so many different experiences in one moment.
It’s like, do you know what I mean?
Like, yes, our body is taking us into fight or flight, like they want to protect us, right?
Like, obviously, if there’s an emergency and there’s under a threat, like our body is gonna be like, what do I need to do to protect myself?
It’s gonna, it’s going to do that, right?
It’s, it’s meant to do that and there’s, I’m just like getting this like flashback of like are these like scenes?
It’s like, no, you can choose this scene or you can choose this scene or you can choose this scene or you can choose this scene like have your choice.
And it sounds like that’s what a lot of this practice has given you throughout.
Like the little thread.
It’s like, oh, this scene is happening and this scene and this scene and this thing, how do I be with all of them?
But then also choose which scene I want to play a part in right now, right?
Which one do I want to actually act in?
And while also feeling all the rest because we’re not necessarily ignoring the fact that like these other scenes are present or these other emotions are present or these other experiences are not present.
It’s really the gift and the answer to like being with all of them and somehow finding your peace with being with.
All right.
And this sense of like, I’m safe, I’m OK.
I can breathe through this.
I can choose a different scene.
I can call my nervous system.
I can work through this, I can be with.
And earlier you said something along the lines of like literally being with the anger and it eventually just like becoming like pink fairy dust.
It’s like that’s available to us.
And I’m also just so grateful for the fact that you share like the ins and outs of your bipolar disorder and just what the experiences are because I feel like, yes, mental health is just, it’s a hard subject I think for our world to be able to comprehend and to be with.
But you’re sharing so much hope for someone to be able to actually work through these emotions and be with these emotions.
And a lot of us don’t even get the opportunity to be taught what it’s like to be with emotion.
We don’t even understand what an emotion is.
We just experience them, but we don’t understand that it’s just energy, it wants to move through, it wants to process obviously, there’s tools and practices that can support that processing of the emotion.
But it is possible to be able to literally process it like dissolve it.
It’s like it’s like just like boiling water.
It’s like you let it boil and then eventually it’s gone, but it needs to boil, you know, and it’s in how to being with the boiling or how to be in the sense like anger feels like kind of like boiling over like you’re heating up, you know, like you got to let it boil, you got to get it really, really hot.
And it’s like, how do you get so comfortable with it?
Literally feeling like it is boiling your skin off and you’re still like, I’m good.
Is there anything that you have found has been an anchor to pulling you into your practice?
So like how do I say like is it like how often do you go from like this happened to me?
This is happening to me.
Oh I got to double down on this.
So like is it for example, like your breath or is it another practice in your day to day that you leverage to drop you in to help you be present with everything that you’re experiencing?
So I actually don’t really do breath meditation.
It’s not, yeah, I don’t really do breath meditation.
I don’t teach it.
There’s 40 techniques that we learn as a teacher.
You don’t need 40 techniques.
You just need one that works and you can apply pretty much all of those techniques to the breath and like access different components of the same jewel through that.
And yeah, I don’t really do.
I mean taking a deep breath is always feels amazing.
But no, it’s not a meditation practice that I do.
But one thing I do, you know, here’s the thing that is like so simple, but it’s a training is that our brain, unless you’re specifically training it too, it can be really hard for your brain to naturally focus on an inner experience and an outer experience at the same time, right?
So if I’m having inner experience, let me back up how take life in is through three senses and three senses only and we can have an inner and outer experience of all these three senses.
It’s through what you see, what you hear, what you feel and smell and taste falls under feel just for the sake of details.
So you can have an inner experience of like, right, the PTSD like seeing like experiencing it happening or a memory of mimic mental image, mental talk right under here and feel would be your emotions and you can have an outer experience of those three senses as well right in your environment.
So any time we’re tangled and we feel like our emotions are tight or our thoughts are tight, there is two or three of those sensory experiences happening at the same time.
That’s why it feels so bind.
That’s why it’s so hard.
That’s where we get stuck where we get stuck is the not paying attention to what am I experiencing in my three senses?
What am I hearing?
What am I seeing?
What am I feeling?
And there, there’s, you have access to what we call, divide and conquer and you can focus on one that has less weight, the one that’s active, but it has less weight and you just hear that thought and what is something you’re hearing something you’re hearing?
It is literally just sound like you’re literally just hearing this sound like thoughts are just a sound that your mind is making.
And yes, like there’s emotions and there’s memories and da da da, da da, but it’s just sound like and then if you look at it as like, OK, if there’s a word or a phrase that this is harsh memory or this harsh belief, if you were to put that in your mind and like, see that sentence like, what is that?
At the simplest level?
At the simplest level, it’s just a bunch of letters put together to make a sentence that we make meaning of.
Like there’s so many different ways to like just simplify this whole experience to answer your question when I find myself in words.
Actually, there was a technique that I like honed in on at the retreat and it’s the flow technique flow you can experience.
So flow is noticing changes, right?
Just noticing changes.
Like you can notice the tingling, you can notice the wind and you can experience flow in all three senses.
So during my practice, it’s so funny because processing, I’m still processing anger and I have some stuff in relationships and I’m processing too and specifically for the sake of transparency with my mom, I’m like, I’m like processing pain and like and so like, it’s so funny because during the retreat, I would have this experience of like one and like rest and like oh my God delicious.
Like I am nothing like I’m just floating and then like rare like fuck you, you did this like just the arguing, right?
A lot of times when we meditate the opposite comes up.
And so I would notice that as flow and they would vacuum up and disappear.
I would just notice it as flow.
It was just a changing of experience of, see here, feel some combination of that.
And I told my teacher, I was like, Julian, I was like, this is working but it doesn’t feel productive.
And she was like, hm, she’s like, well, here’s why it is productive is because you’re training yourself.
But it’s just a story.
You’re training yourself to understand it is something that you have control over and it’s just a story.
So without going into teaching the whole flow technique, it’s so not necessary for somebody listening to this.
If you want to train yourself to not get stuck in this inner experience first.
Notice what am I seeing here?
And you’re feeling actually, you don’t even have to do that first.
Just bring your attention to your body.
Anchor out.
Turn away, there’s healthy ways that you can turn away from discomfort that isn’t scrolling on your phone or lighting a joint or whatever, right?
Like there’s healthy ways that you can turn away from your motions because you don’t have to process every little thing and every little moment.
And so feel your body, feel your feet on the floor and like see what you’re seeing again.
Go back to see or feel you can have an outer experience of see here.
So what are you see?
I’m seeing the screen, I’m hearing the sound I’m hearing my voice, I feel my body right?
And I’m no longer tangled in this inner experience.
So that just to help understand, like, I think, you know, we can understand like, how are we experiencing life in this way?
And we can, we know how to like untangle ourselves and there’s tools and you can always go so many layers deeper in understanding this.
But I think that’s really all you need to know, you know, without any formal training, like that’s, that’s kind of, you know, yeah, it’s so beautiful to hear you speak because when you speak about it, you make it sound so simple and so obtainable.
You know, I think there’s this, especially with meditation.
Sometimes there’s this fear of this book.
Like that’s really hard.
You want me to be with myself for like a minute.
And you’re making it sound so obtainable.
And I wanna like for anyone that’s listening, like it is that attainable, it’s just getting in the practice of wanting it.
Like I think it’s the desire to get there and like the tools and the techniques the way you’re talking about.
And he also taught me something so new like 40 techniques to meditation.
I’m like now I want to know like about being like, I do somatics, I do my own meditations and I have my own way, like bring myself in my body.
My body has always been like the very first place to go to.
But these like different techniques sounds so exciting in a way for me to like expand myself because it’s like, oh now I can, it’s almost like, you know what, it kind of feels like some kind of game that I’m to win.
Not like that, but like it’s like these different strategies or techniques that I’m gonna master.
Really like, I am mastering these techniques, these tools, these practices and I’m like, throw that at me.
I got this one for you and I can be with that.
It kind of sounds kind of like bad assy in a lot of ways.
And so, yeah, thanks so much for making that so simple and like honestly obtainable, like something that is reachable and doable and it sounds like it’s been such a gift for you.
And it’s this again, it goes back to this relationship to our thoughts.
This is something I wanted to bring in earlier.
So I forgot to mention in the story of the Rage when I was in front of the mirror, right?
And I was, I was fully experiencing it and I had an old part of me come up that wanted to hurt myself and instead of of being like, oh that’s real, right?
And like needing to tell someone or not feeling safe with myself, I just, I saw it.
I was like, wow, I’m in so much pain.
So like seeing these ways that our system, our see, hear, feel system reacts to our emotions.
All it is is a barometer of where we’re at.
And I really want people to understand that.
Like, it’s just showing you what’s active, it doesn’t mean, right?
Even like maybe negative self talk, right?
It’s just showing you what’s alive or what’s asleep and it’s not real.
So changing the relationship that I have with my emotions and my thoughts and just seeing and even like, you know, the morning that I knew I was going to see him, I was li I don’t experience anxiety and I’ve had maybe like a moment or two of anxiety.
It’s not depression was kind of like my thing.
I never really had to go through anxiety for that.
But I, my pants were like literally shaking like all morning, like knowing I was going to see him and I have never had and I was like, oh, like just wired and wow, like there’s a lot of fear this person is unsafe and there, it’s, my system is just showing me like that there’s fear.
And so it’s just like holding like, say like being witnessing the suffering.
You know, that was another moment I think worth mentioning too.
And when I asked Juliana and I said, you know, in our one on one, like check in or whatever I talk, I understand now why it’s productive to be able to like, I mean, it, it feels like a magic trick sometimes when I just came like escape my thoughts.
But then there’s this like, I feel like also kind of in this word, there’s like, oh you have to but like what about moving through it and right?
But there’s options.
So she’s like when you see that anger come up, like what about meeting with compassion?
Which is something I do like I freaking work on compassion and I like hold space for my suffering and I like, I really take time to do that.
But there was something different about this moment and I’ll tell you what happened.
So I was again in a spaciousness and it was so delicious and amazing.
And then me the the arguing of like you did me wrong and it wasn’t fair fuck you like this, all this anger came out the sooner that I can, I just posted a video on this, the sooner that I could notice that, right?
It’s training your attention for awareness.
That’s all mindfulness, meditation.
It is training your attention like a muscle so that no matter how chaotic your inner life or your outer life is, you can decide what to focus on.
You can shift your attention at any moment.
And this is a skill is a skill development.
Anybody can gain this skill no matter how like much ad d you have or whatever anybody can learn this skill.
So I saw the anger, I caught it fast and I just said, I know that was hard.
And then I just started crying and then I said it again.
I said, I know that was hard, more tears.
And I said it again.
And there was this witnessing of myself that I was like, waiting for somebody else to witness almost, you know, like waiting for somebody else to, to see me in my anger, see me in my pain to validate, you know, and all my friends validate my pain like, you know, but I needed to heal that I needed to see myself.
And I felt like I had like, again, like this is the work that I’m in that I do.
There was something about that moment where I was, I was just overcome.
I was just like overcome with compassion and I was just like, I know that was hard.
That’s all I needed to hear.
And it broke me open, like actually broke me open and I dissolved into actual compassion, like, like almost like a psychedelic trip.
Like I dissolved into compassion.
And I could feel like when I write about compassion, I write about like, it’s like hugging yourself from the inside, right?
I actually felt myself hugging myself from the inside.
Like I actually felt this bigger part of me, right?
That’s connected to everything that is like true, my true authentic self, hugging this hurt part of me.
Like I actually felt that mind blowing.
And then I checked in with like the anger.
It was like exhausted it was like a worn out three year old that just threw a tantrum and it is like, tired now needs to go take a nap.
It was like exhausted, exhausted by compassion.
I have chills hearing it.
You talk about that because I think it’s, it’s just such a gift that we can give to ourselves.
And like you said, a lot of the times we’re like, kind of like looking for someone else to be able to give that for ourselves.
But like there’s such a different kind of love when you give that to yourself and you can witness yourself and hold yourself in that way and see yourself in that way and like, truly be like, I get it like I really get it, you know, and I don’t know why it’s making me emotional, but it is because I’m just like, it’s such a loving yourself in the way that you’re hoping other people can love you is so special because it’s like your love for you and you get to like, really see you really witness you really hold, you really be with you.
You know, I think about it.
It’s like, yeah, it’s just, it’s so, so beautiful and there’s just, there’s so much juice from this episode, I think as we’re starting to wrap up here.
Something that I would love to hear from you is like two things.
The first thing I wanna hear is like, if you know someone that is struggling with their mental health or is going through a hard season, whether they’re struggling with like really bad anxiety, high stress or constantly combating like seasons of depression or long strides of depression or been depressed for a really long time.
What would you like to say to them as hard as it is?
It can be, is lean into community, like, let people love you.
I know when you’re going through it, it feels like you’re a burden, you know, and you’re the downer and you don’t want to like go to somebody’s house and be a downer.
That was my experience.
But what I found was that people just wanted to love me and so let people love you where you’re at, ask for help.
I still go to therapy regularly.
E MD R has been amazing for depression and ptsd.
So asking for professional help and, you know, meditation can be really uncomfortable when you’re in the thick of it.
And, but I would say like if 10 minutes is hard, do two minutes.
If two minutes is hard to one, let that be enough and just train yourself that like I can be here, I can do this.
And if you find it hard to sit still, you can go for a walk and notice that see your fetal experience and your outer experience, what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing, your feet on the floor, you can have a walking meditation.
It’s that simple and just giving yourself that break.
I think it is really important.
And what I would also say is that like, one thing I’ve always believed is like, if one person can do it, can do it, I’m a human being too.
So if you’re hearing this and you’re like, well, that sounds nice.
But you don’t know my story.
You don’t know how much pain I’m in, right?
Like you don’t know my bank account, you don’t know my situation.
I would say be willing to be open to maybe seeing things differently and be open to the possibilities that this moment has for you because is my hardest moments has led me to my greatest victories.
And I think that this, if this is you right now, this it serves a purpose that you probably can’t see but just be willing to take one step and whatever that step is, take one step to learning a new skill or asking for help.
I think I would sum it down to that.
Those three things community learn a new skill, ask for help.
When I see, learn to do the new skill, I don’t mean like go learn how to play golf.
I mean, sure.
But like learn a new inner strategy.
Hm I like that.
We learn a little inner strategy.
I think that’s such a good word for that.
And then the last question I had for you is so how have your life experiences like the scariest moments, whether that is being at your uncle’s house or literally got to your head experiences to leaning into these retreats and these meditations.
How have they gifted you with the opportunity to be more of you?
Well, it’s shown me where I’m stuck and you know, where you’re stuck, you know, where you can be free.
The same place you feel stuck is the same place you can be free and you’re just one millimeter away and you’re never stuck.
You’re just winded in a see here feel experience.
And if you can learn to unwind that you can set yourself free.
How can someone reach you, connect with you and if they wanna work with you or learn more about your amazing meditation techniques, how can they get those?
So my website is the gift of mind dot com, Instagram, I think is the best way to access my stuff.
And I have a link in there that I have a self paced course and it’s called Dear Mind, shut the fuck up.
And it literally teaches you this wine core technique.
See her feel in detail and with the emphasis on learning how to move away from your thoughts and move towards your thoughts and like finding what works for you.
And it’s only 100 bucks and its only you could take in a less than an hour.
And theres like I think seven guided me medications in there too.
I have that and I do in person gatherings every last Wednesday of the month here in San Diego.
And that link is in my bio too and it’s just like donation based.
And right now I am doing one on one work and I am working towards a a group experience of teaching these inner strategies and that’ll be coming soon.
And I, I have a book club too, so that’s free and it’s fun and it’s a way to connect with learnings with each other.
And you know, there’s a lot of ways to access more of this stuff with me.
What’s your Instagram handle?
It will all be in the notes but just in case someone’s like Sharissa Sosa S H A R I S S A, Sosa. Amazing.
Well, thank you so so much for coming on to the fully express podcast and for openly sharing your experiences and like really taking us there.
I think it’s just so, yeah, it was just so beautiful end to end.
And I love that.
I get to witness you and still learn from you.
And thank you for like wanting to be friends and like reaching out and saying like, hey, I wanna get to know you.
So thanks for being such a gift to me and for all the listeners on the podcast.
Thank you so much for having me and it’s been such a joy to to be your friend and I’m so grateful for that.
Thank you.

In this latest episode with Sharissa Sosa, we covered:

  • What it’s like to feel deep rage and anger in the body 
  • A near-death experience resulting in PTSD 
  • How did her journey lead her to deepen her Meditation practice 
  • What it is like to witness yourself in your emotions and hold space for yourself through that 
  • Tangible Meditation Techniques that can bring you into your body and you can use today

About Sharissa:

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Karenna Soto

I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

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It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

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