How to Transform Painful Experiences or Emotions: The #1 Tool


How to Transform Painful Experiences

Are you finding it tough to let go of the painful experiences or negative emotions from your life? Do you want to shed what no longer suits you? Then here is my #1 tool to transform painful experiences or emotions.

As I delve deeper and deeper into the topic of creating our extraordinary lives after 40, I am amazed by how many women feel disempowered and over-the-hill as they move closer to 50 and beyond.

How many women feel that their best years are behind them. That they’re losing their looks, energy, health and vitality.

That sexual intimacy with their partners (or themselves) is the last thing on their minds or something that they “do to keep their partners happy” when they would rather be doing something else.

How many women have settled for the “good enough” relationship or career/life contribution rationalizing that this is as good as it’s going to get for them in this lifetime?

“REALLY?”, my inner coach wants to scream.

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I too have felt all of these things at times during the past decade. I’m 49 now and I too sometimes struggle with the changes that are taking place in my body and my psyche.

Related: 7 Signs You Need Immediate Emotional Healing

How to transform painful experiences?

What I’ve learned through my own journey (and from interviewing nearly 100 world-class experts on the subject) is that the inner work of this time in life is to:

1. Shed what no longer suits us.

2. Claim our power.

3. Step into a brighter, more authentic future.

These are each very big steps so I’ll address them each in detail today and over the next couple of weeks.

Today, let’s talk about SHEDDING WHAT NO LONGER SUITS US.


It may be a job or career path, an unfulfilling romantic relationship or unsupportive friendship, a way of eating (junk!) or exercise that no longer work for our changing bodies, being fed up with never having enough money for what you want to do, etc.

There’s a way that whatever doesn’t suit us becomes glaringly obvious in our 40s. We start to feel a deep inner discontentment that can no longer be ignored. Maybe we can’t quite put our finger on it, but the sense that this can’t be all that there is, that we really thought our lives would be in a different place by now, won’t let us rest.

Or the Universe makes sure we get the message that something needs to change via a scary illness or a partner having an affair or being laid off from a job or a business going under. I call it the Universal 2X4.

This internal discontentment and the corresponding need for change usually bring up a lot of fear. Does this mean that we have to leave our partner? Our job? Abandon life as we know it? Run off to Bora Bora?

It may also trigger old, dormant inner child issues that need to be worked through and healed. You may find yourself especially sensitive, emotional, or reactive. I believe it’s not “just the hormones”. 

It’s your soul calling you to shed what no longer serves you. 

Getting Over A Painful Experiences

To heal what you need to from the past so you can move forward into a brighter future without excess baggage.

Related: The Effects Of Negative Emotions On Our Health

So what can we do with all this (other than run off to Bora Bora?).

As you may know, I moved my family to South America the year that I turned 40 to live a calmer and more adventurous lifestyle and travel the world as much as possible. I’m definitely not opposed to running off to Bora Bora or anywhere else.

I would however strongly suggest doing the deep inner work first.

Heal what needs to be healed.


If you have never delved into your past, especially your childhood, and how it affects you today, now is a great time to start. There are many excellent therapists and healers that can help you do that.

If you’re dealing with unhealed traumas, I strongly recommend working with a therapist who is qualified to handle trauma.

One technique that helps me shed and transform is Havening. 

Here’s a video where I teach you my modified version of havening.

And if you have already done tons of therapy and personal growth work, go gentle on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about “still being here after all of these years.

Every stage of life comes with its own need for shedding the old, integrating what is and rejuvenating into the new.

It’s a life-long process and all of the work you have already done will serve to make this stage easier.

I have to confess that shedding what no longer suits you is often not fun. It hurts to heal old wounds, renegotiate relationships or perhaps even end them. It’s hard to say goodbye to the known, even if the known is not what we optimally want?

We grieve for what we lost or for what could have been.

Related: The Healing Power of Music: How Music Therapy Improves Mental Health

Did you give up on a childhood dream to be a professional dancer and now it’s too late?

Did you decide not to have children and now wish that you had made a different choice?

Are you realizing that if only you had done things differently some of your relationships may be different now?

It’s natural at this stage of life to feel grief and loss over roads not taken.

It’s actually really important because it creates deep learning and transformation, allows you to understand yourself and your life at a deeper level, forgive yourself and those who may have hurt you and pave the way for claiming your power.

More on claiming your power next week.

But in the meantime, what about you? Can you relate? What do you need to shed? To grieve? To forgive?

Written by: Natalie Matushenko
Originally appeared on and is republished here with permission.

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