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Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

Panic Attacks: Avoiding the Messy Middle


I was listening the other day to a story (I’m paraphrasing) about a woman who had a grumpy old neighbour.

He squabbled about the noise, the fence, the street.. basically everything.

One day she happened to be delivered his mail by mistake, and noticed a letter to him from Army Veteran Association. She took it over to him and used it as a way to open a conversation. “I didn’t know you were in the army”. He looked up, stopped, and then teared up. His emotions were so close to the surface, up close he couldn’t hide behind anger.

It turned out he fought in WW2, finally came home to his wife, and sadly during the birth of his first child, she died.  He never had a chance to say goodbye, to feel and process any grief, sadness, anger, rage. Of course he behaves as he does. 

Unprocessed emotions keeps us separate from others and from ourselves. We put up guards in the way of shields, closed hearts, and judgements.

We live in a shell of ideas, thoughts and judgements and black and white thinking. We have been well trained out of the grey areas of life, which IS life itself. 

And our bodies cry out in panic.. see me, help me!

The messy, vulnerable, emotional bits of life that hold such potential for healing and transformation.

The ability to hold opposing viewpoints,  multiple emotions and move through what feels messy can seem difficult at first. 

However, it IS the path. It is the “conversational nature of reality” as poet David Whyte says.

Grief AND love.

Anger AND love. 

Sadness AND relief. 

Fear AND hope.

When I teach this to people who experience panic attacks, anxiety or chronic pain, it’s like the pressure valve gets opened and relief and ease can set in. 

You are not crazy, unstable or “too emotional”.  You are a living, feeling, learning and growing human being.

The outcome of NOT having this skill is often tremendous anxiety, judgements, panic attacks and depression. 

Not to mention a life lived superficially in shallow judgements.  Don’t do this to yourself. 

Humans are made to feel. In fact, this is where we gain our greatest guidance, our intuition and creativity and can hear our soul’s calling. 

So many people I have worked with have told me a version of “I didn’t know I could feel all these feelings and it wouldn’t kill me.”

Well, I would say that so mjuch research shows the opposite to be true. When we stuff, repress, hide or swallow important emotions, it has disastrous effects on our health, our thoughts and our relationships. 

In fact, the only way to freedom is through the messy middle.

So, look at where you cancel people, you avoid conversations, you have repetitive angry thoughts (a sure sign of emotions wanting to be felt), stew in blame, or make quick judgements. 

There is your pot of gold. 

In every single person there is a deeper, richer reality. When you find it in yourself, you find it in others. 

I believe that unprocessed emotion is one of the biggest problems on the planet. 

It leads to destruction of our health, our relationships and our connection with Mother Earth. 

This is why I LOVE the work I do. With breathwork we go straight to the source and open the valve and release. 

Everything changes from there. 

If you are interested in working with me to release what you hold in your belly, so that you can open your heart, message me. 

It’s not as difficult as the mind would have you think.

Open to the next chapter of your life.

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