Do you ever feel like your life is great just as it is? And I don’t mean to say this in a way like ‘hey guys look at me my life’s amazing and you should want that too!’
I mean a quiet contentment, sitting having an almond milk cappuccino at my favourite cafe, feeling love towards the waitresses and appreciating how they smile and are so friendly to the clientele, then going for a walk around my area and just marveling at the sky, the plants, flowers and houses and saying ‘hi’ to the people and animals I pass. The simple things can sometimes be so mind-blowingly extraordinary, don’t you think?
I remember though that I wasn’t always this way for me. I used to compare myself and my life and feel like it and I weren’t good enough. Because I wasn’t there yet. For a while I didn’t know where ‘there’ was. I just knew I wasn’t there. A low grade dissatisfaction. Waiting for certain elements to line up before I could be happy. Not doing the work I wanted to do or having the relationships I wanted to have and being at the mercy of my moods.
And I know I’m not alone in that.
There was a really interesting article this week published in The New York Times online about Medicating Women’s Feelings. I wasn’t too shocked to read that 1 in 4 women are on psychiatric drugs in the U.S.A.
It starts out with “Women are moody” and I’d argue that men are moody too. We’re humans. We have emotions for a reason.
Who wants to be happy all the time? Not me. Sadness feels right and necessary. Anger might spur us into action. Frustration can be a guiding light.
The key really is to be able to feel our emotions and not be hijacked by those voices in our minds that make us do some crazy shit that we regret later when sanity has returned to the village. Or to just stuff down the annoyances until we feel like either disintegrating or exploding.
Know what I mean?
So how do we do that?
We feel our feelings.
When we feel our feelings, we can stay out of the drama and not create unnecessary stress for ourselves.It makes us more powerful and magnetic. Men feel safe around us. We are able to respond to life, rather than react. We don’t have to go around apologizing all the time or burning bridges. We regret less because we blame less. We are able to treat others with respect and feel good about ourselves and we don’t have to be buoyant with happiness to do it. We don’t have to be afraid of our feelings. We only have to feel them.
And this is how that works… The body and mind are separate. The body feels, while the mind interprets (and makes up pretty amazing stories, don’t you think?).
So to feel your feelings you have to get into your body. Take a deep breath and drop your awareness to what’s going on inside. What can you feel? Is there tension? Where is it located? What is the emotion?
We are so used to operating out of our heads that we need practice to know what we actually feel.
Try it now. Try it next time your thumbs get itchy and you feel to impulsively grab your phone. Try it when you are waiting. Try it when you would like to inhale the contents of your fridge. Try it when you are at work. Try it in crisis. Try it on the hour.
Say ‘I feel…’ and not ‘I am…’ because you are not your emotions or your thoughts. Practice saying it all week. I feel… I feel… I feel…
If it’s intense, you can even get down on your knees and surrender totally to it.
Then say to your body, ‘I understand that you are feeling… and that’s perfectly understandable because…’.
Have compassion. Why is it understandable? Your body is like a child that is cranky but doesn’t know it’s hungry. As the parent, it needs your adult mind to interpret its feelings and give it language.
Like, ‘I understand that you are feeling anxious and that’s perfectly understandable because you just had an argument with your partner.’
Or ‘I understand that you are feeling stressed and that’s perfectly understandable because there’s so much to do and you feel worried about money.’
Make it okay to feel whatever you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself.
But then what do you do with the feeling?
Sometimes it’s enough just to feel it.
Most often, like that child, it needs soothing.
What would your adult self say to provide comfort? What’s the reality? Give yourself a pep talk like you’re that perfect dad in an 80s sitcom.
What do you need now?
There’s a big difference between feeling your feelings and acting out impulsively.
When you feel your feelings, unhelpful habits often fall away. You’re less likely to go running for the bag of chips (or whatever your poison is) when you realize that the knot of anxiety in your stomach can be traced back to the email you opened 5 minutes ago.
Once you have felt your feelings, you can respond rather than react.
Do you need a nap? Do you need to communicate more clearly? Do you need to start on a new career path? Do you need some pampering? Do you need a hug? Do you need to move your body? Do you need to learn to train your mind? Do you need to have a conversation? Or to go out and get wasted? (just kidding!)
Feeling your feelings is a practice, a powerful tool, and just like living, an art.
(And p.s. if that fails, forgive yourself and make amends)
This is part of a deeper process that I use with my coaching clients to create the life and career they desire in a way that is connected to their feminine essence and their spirit.
Today is a new moon, a solar eclipse and the spring/autumn equinox so a powerful time to renew and reboot. If you would love a complimentary obligation-free discovery session with me to talk about how to create a life and career you’re in love with, I’ve opened up 3 sessions for next week so click this link to claim your spot.