I’m a BIG fan of Esther Hicks and her play with Abraham and all the Knowing they bring forth for us! Here is their ten-part recipe for joy, merged with my own photographs.
Recently one of my clients expressed an apprehension to look forward to anything with eager anticipation, or visualize her ideal outcome for fear the actual outcome will fall short of her desire and disappoint her. She is certainly not alone! I mean, why get your hopes up just to have them dashed?
Actually, many of my clients, family and friends have expressed these same kind of thoughts. They are afraid to imagine the outcome they desire for fear it will not manifest, and then they will feel a sense of loss or disappointment. Yet, some of them also seem perfectly happy to imagine the WORST that might happen. They invest time and energy worrying what might happen, what could go wrong, what others might think. The stark image of whatever they are imagining failure looks like is vivid as a movie screen in their minds.
This kind of imagining allows us to feel the exact emotions we are afraid we might feel if we envision success and don’t achieve it! We actually practice feeling the emotions we want to avoid like guilt, anxiety, grief or disappointment in advance. Instead of avoiding them, we create them, perpetuate them, and cling to them.
It’s the story we’re telling in our head causing the emotions, right?
Because the thing we are fearing or dreading is still in the future! Hasn’t even happened yet, but we are willing to mold this incredible energy-draining story around it that ends in disappointment and failure.
How much does this resonate for you? Sound familiar at all? If it does, you are not alone!
What would shift for you if instead of following the storyline to the worst possible conclusion, you allowed yourself to follow the storyline to the most beautiful outcome you can imagine?
Stick with me for a minute, because I can still feel your energy protesting that if you imagine that beautiful image, and don’t get your imagined outcome, your heart will break and you will be forced to endure heartache and disappointment.
Did you see that catch 22? By avoiding imagining positive outcomes in order to avoid disappointment, we instantly create disappointment. Crazy, right?
The key then is to follow the storyline you are creating in your head to the BEST outcome you can imagine, then don’t attach yourself to the outcome.
Allow yourself to dream the biggest dream you have – and feel the satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment of standing in the moment of achieving it – and then remember that yours is only one scenario in a million possibilities. The Universe may have something even BETTER in mind for us than anything we can dream.
Often we identify what we want, but instead of continuing to focus on WHAT we want, we try to figure out HOW to get it, and that’s where we get sideways.
Imagining the moment of achieving your dream and allowing yourself to feel the satisfaction of it, tells the Universe you are ‘open to THIS please’ and things that feel like THIS. Then your energetic frequency is vibrating in harmony with what you want, and the Law of Attraction brings you things that match your vibration.
The trick is to imagine the best possible outcome we can, and then:
1) realize that it’s NOT the (lover, home, job, whatever) that we desire. It’s the way the (lover, home, job, whatever) makes us FEEL that we truly desire.
2) remember that the Universe can imagine INFINITELY more ways to make us feel that way than we can. Certainly more than the one scenario we created in our mind.
This FREES us from attachment to any outcome.
And it’s certainly more FUN than just not thinking about what you would LOVE to create (today, next week, next year, in 5 years, ten…) because you don’t know HOW it’s going to happen for you. Just imagine you WILL get to feel the way you truly want to feel. And if you are envisioning it and vibrating what it feels like to receive it, you are already feeling what you truly want to feel!
Envisioning the outcome we desire is a great way to speed up manifesting that desire – like a supercharge. If we don’t allow ourselves the pleasure of envisioning that manifestation, we slow the rate at which our desire can manifest. But once you put the energy out there, be open to however the Universe chooses to deliver your desire!
Sit back, chill out, and allow the Universe to surprise and delight you!
What do you most want to manifest?
How will you feel when you manifest your desire?
How do you feel when you think about achieving that desire?
How possible is it to let go of the outcome and trust that the Universe is delivering that or something better?
Which feels better to you; reciting the mantra, “I will win the lotto this weekend!” or one of the two affirmations below? Why?
Embracing positive expectations, and letting go of attachment to outcomes is something I help my clients do every day.
If you need some help sorting out the specifics of your expectations and attachments, schedule a free 20 minute chat with me and walk away with at least one actionable step to help you move toward whatever you truly desire!
Abundance is the law of the universe.
When you go for a walk, try to count all the leaves on all the trees you see. Count the blades of grass in a single lawn. The drops of water in a lake, the ocean. Identify each individual cell in your body. Count the grains of sand on the beach, or the fish in the sea.
Abundance is EVERYWHERE. Abundance is ever flowing
from Source energy. Nature is abundant. Energy is abundant.
Health is energy. Money is energy.
So health and money are also abundant and ever-flowing!
Worry slows the flow. Anger and resentment slow the flow. It’s like introducing resistors into your energy flow. Remove the resistors – the anxiety or fear – and energy flows in abundance. Health flows to us in abundance. Money flows to us in abundance.
Abundance is the rule! Unless we slow or stop the flow of energy by introducing those resistors.
And the biggest block to abundance is focussing on ‘scarcity’ or ‘lack’ of abundance. Thinking we do not have enough (time, money, health, love) whatever can slow the flow of abundance to a trickle, so that it actually appears as though there is scarcity or lack.
Holding on to what we have because we are afraid that’s all we will ever have stops the flow. Whereas generosity and sharing what we have allows the abundance to flow freely to us and through us.
To increase the flow of abundance again is simply a matter of looking at how MUCH is already around us, and appreciating that abundance everywhere we see it.
Nature is abundant. You are abundant. Let your abundance flow!
What shifts for you when you laser focus on abundance?
Read the first paragraph again, and practice it for a week.
Really LOOK around you and allow yourself to SEE how many berries in a thicket, how many ants in a mound, how many petals on a chrysanthemum, how many hairs on your cat.
Are you moving toward a goal that you KNOW will make you happy when you reach it? That’s AWESOME! Are you feeling happy about it NOW as you move toward it?
Some people will answer yes, and some will answer no. For the yes’s, they are almost guaranteed a happy outcome when they reach their goal, because they are happy before they reach their goal.
For the no’s, even if they are a hundred percent sure that goal is going to make them happy, their chances are much lower than their counterparts for actually reaching happiness. Why? Because the path to happiness is never miserable. An unhappy journey cannot lead to happily-ever-after.
Happiness is worth NOT waiting for!
We CAN, and do, get to happily-ever-after through challenges, hardships, and opportunities for growth, but those are not the same as unhappy.
It is never the challenge or the hardship that makes us unhappy, it’s our perspective. There are people in the most challenging circumstances, or who come through the most traumatic situations, who are able to have cheerful dispositions and positive states of mind. If we want to feel happy when we reach our goal, then we gotta find ways to feel happy on our journey toward that goal.
The best way to do that is to feel happy (or at least not miserable) about the steps you are taking in the creation of that goal. Another way to do that is to just look around for things that already make you happy.
Instead of just driving to work in the morning, look for flowers that are your favorite color, or trees backlit by the sun, or smiling faces walking by. Whatever it is that already brings you joy or happiness, look for that. Let it be your intention to see the things that lift your spirit. Find ways to incorporate fun and laughter into your life.
Allow small, simple pleasures to bring you happiness as often as possible! Seriously – take your joy where you find it!
No grown woman should love Bitmojis as much as I do. But I do! I love the darn things! Don’t know what a Bitmoji is?
Bitmoji has created a FUN way to express yourself in text messages, and I send them ALL THE TIME! Every time I text my potato self to someone, I smile.
If you use text messages and you don’t have Bitmoji, I highly recommend it for the smiles of fun it adds to texting!
Find small things that make big smiles.
Allow the Universe to surprise and delight you daily. Being happy along the journey is the best way to assure a happy-ever-after destination!
What small pleasures do you allow to delight you?
Share them in the comments! I would love to know.
A word on practicing happiness ~
I absolutely advocate practicing happiness daily!
But I do NOT mean that we’re not supposed to experience other emotions! ALL of our feelings are for feeling! Anger, sadness, grief, joy, ecstasy, frustration, hope, the full range of human emotions is our guidance system. We want to allow them, process them & move through them. If you need help with that, coaching can help. Schedule a little chat with me by clicking this link.
Breathing itself is a superpower, because that’s what inspires life. Literally. Without breathing, we cease to exist. Powerful!
Yet many people pay little or no attention to what’s happening with their breath. Our lungs function without any conscious attention or effort on our part, so most of us take our breathing for granted.
What if I told you that becoming aware of our current breath pattern, then consciously choosing to shift our breath allows us to harness that superpower?
Try it right now. Stop reading and take a long slow deep breath.
What shifted for you? Likely what shifted is that more of your energy is here, now, which means more of it is available to you. Focusing on the breath brings us into the present moment.
There is a Hindu belief that says the number of breaths allotted to us in a lifetime is predetermined, and that we can delay the time of death by regulated breathing. Read more on that here and learn some breathing techniques to lengthen your life!
Shifting breath is a helpful first step in processing our emotions.
It’s pretty well documented that we can change our breath pattern to disrupt negative emotions and change our mood. Deep, slow breathing into the belly is strong medicine for anxiety, fear and anger. Expectant mothers take classes in how to shift their breath so they are better prepared to face the pain and endurance required during childbirth. Athletes focus on breathing practices to help reduce fatigue and promote stamina. I used to suffer from severe travel anxiety and changing my breath was the best tool I found to curtail it in the moment.
I encourage clients to take a deep grounding breath as soon as they realize they are experiencing any emotion they do not wish to feel. It’s the pause that gives us just enough space to choose how we wish to process the emotion. Focusing on our breath can be a powerful first step in shifting old behavior patterns, or trying to break a habit.
This article in Psych Central talks about a study that indicates that emotions may be caused, at least in part, by the way we breathe!
A shift in breathing is a shift in energy, and often allows a calmer perspective when we find ourselves in chaos. We can use breathing to decrease stress, calm nerves, sharpen focus, minimize negative thoughts, and increase energy!
Like I said, Superpower!
How much attention do you pay to your breath?
What is your normal breathing like?
How do you feel when you slow and deepen your breath?
Try inhaling deeply, then exhaling forcefully when you are experiencing an emotion you do not enjoy. What shifts for you?
Explore different breathing techniques on YouTube. Which ones appeal to you?
I used to think it was NORMAL to put on 5-10 pounds during the holidays. I told myself it was no big deal, everyone does it, I’ll drop the weight later.
Sometimes I did. More often I gave up. I grew heavier as years passed.
Two years after I got sober I was using food like a drug and weighed over 220 pounds. I would eat like I could NEVER get full, even when I was full, then restrict my calories ridiculously, and try to lose the weight as fast as possible.
I beat myself up for the extra weight I was carrying, scolding myself, causing increased stress, which caused me to eat more and gain weight, for which I scolded myself. I felt ashamed for being so WEAK that I turned to food for comfort. That caused MORE stress and MORE eating to numb those feelings.
That was my pattern for over a decade.
My chiropractor told me that my debilitating pain was caused by inflammation in my lumbar spine, and that inflammation was caused by inflammatory foods. He did not say what foods were inflammatory, but I cleaned up my act and stopped eating so much sugar, at least for a little while. As soon as my back felt better, I went back to eating whatever I like. Then I woke up one morning with half my face paralyzed. The medical doctors had a name: Bell’s palsy, but no idea what caused it or what to do for it. They told me the symptoms could last for as little as three weeks, or be permanent. They had no way to know.
The palsy symptoms have slowly improved over time, but have never gone away completely. Several months after the onset, I read a book that suggested that palsy symptoms might be due to inflammation. That got me to thinking about inflammatory foods again.
I knew that some of the foods I was eating were damaging my health, and that the medical community was of no help. I decided to start looking for a naturopath hoping that she might be able to help me.
I searched for a naturopath for months before finding one completely by accident. In early October, I was driving home from the beach and pulled over to stretch my legs. When I got out and walked around the sidewalk there was her sign. I should have made an appointment right then, but I took a picture of her sign with her contact information and filed it away.
I really wanted to talk to someone about those lingering palsy symptoms, but I knew without a doubt from the center of my being that she was going to tell me to change the way that I was eating.
I made a conscious decision that I was not willing to give up sugar and treats until after the holidays, so that I could eat whatever I liked and enjoy myself without feeling restricted or left out.
I put it on my agenda to make an appointment with the naturopath early in the new year.
That holiday season I ate like a fiend. Everyone knows if you’ve got a diet coming up you double down on calories, right?
Between Halloween and Christmas that year, I gained 20 lb. When January came I was miserable. My energy was depressed. I wasn’t working out. I had night sweats that soaked my sheets. I was ashamed of the way I looked. I didn’t like the way I felt. I was nauseous most mornings. I was hungry all the time, and I was heavy with shame.
Of course I forgot about calling the naturopath right away, and in early February, I awoke one morning with pain in my intestines that I was certain would kill me. I was really sick. And I was scared. I had a panic attack, and my blood pressure rose off the charts.
I went to the hospital, and got no answers, and no warm fuzzy feeling the answers were coming. Then I remembered that I was going to call that naturopath. So I did.
At our first appointment she told me that she suspected food allergies. She did a blood test, and put me on an Elimination Diet that excluded all the foods known to be troublemakers for two weeks while we waited for the results. I had no problems whatsoever sticking to the eating plan because the pain was an all-too-real indication that there was something seriously wrong with me and I needed to make some changes. Digesting HURT, and I didn’t’t eat anything but produce for nearly two weeks.
When the food allergy test came back, it told me something I had long suspected. Dairy is not my friend. In fact, the food allergy test showed that I am allergic to dairy, sugar, and wheat.
I thought my life was over.
The idea of living without dairy and wheat seemed impossible, restrictive, and heinous. As far as I was concerned the perfect diet was bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, quesadillas for lunch and pizza for dinner. Everyone knows the perfect hiking food is a big hero sandwich loaded with cold cuts and cheese. This is the reason I hadn’t gone to see her in October!
But, I knew that my health was in serious trouble. My body was giving me very clear messages about that. It needed to make changes in what I was eating.
So I stopped eating dairy, wheat and sugar.
And guess what? Not only did I feel better right away, and start to see improvements in the symptoms I had been experiencing within a week, I started to see improvements in things I had not related to food. My skin cleared up. The Eczema on my ankles and elbows went away. The night sweats vanished. My energy level increased tremendously. I started sleeping better, and my libido returned.
By the time my birthday arrived in June, I had dropped 50 lb without doing a single workout. The only change I made was to lose the dairy, wheat, and sugar. It was like a miracle. I had been trying to drop excess weight my entire life.
Sugar In The Wound
Despite my triumph, when stress began to increase, or I was pressed for time, I headed back down that well worn path to the comfort of food, and the ease of wheat and dairy foods.
I mean salads, REALLY, who has time for all that chopping?!
Am I right?
Just two weeks before my first vacation to Europe, I was SICK again.
I put myself on the elimination diet and called my naturopath. This time I got a diagnosis of SIBO. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is no joke. I was sick at least part of nearly every day of my European vacation. I lost 10 pounds the first 5 days we were there. Horrible, miserable intestinal symptoms. We still had a fabulous time, we simply had a lot of challenges along with the fun.
It was after that trip that I realized that dairy and sugar had become my new booze. At the time, I actually had many thoughts about being powerless over sugar. I told myself things like: “I can’t pass up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, I can’t resist free candy, Halloween is my favorite holiday, I can’t leave any cookies for later, If it’s in the house I have to eat it.” And I knew with every cell in my body I didn’t have the power to pass up cheese on a buffet table.
That kind of conviction will override healthy intentions every time!
I had these mantras in my head that blocked my success despite my overwhelming desire to regain my health. I felt like I must be crazy!
Even though I lived through evidence in my own life that proved this eating pattern makes me sick, miserable, and unable to enjoy my life, I returned to it again and again when I was feeling stressed or lonely!
Even though I suspected long before my naturopath told me that I was allergic to cheese because of the way I craved it – just like alcohol – I returned to it whenever I was upset, AND whenever I felt like celebrating. It was truly a deadly double edged sword.
Even though I had experienced hangovers from overeating just like I did from over drinking, if I was stressed or upset when I walked into an event with free food, I was almost guaranteed to overeat even when I told myself I wasn’t going to do it.
But after Europe, I was finally ready to admit that I needed to make changes. I wanted to feel energized and healthy.
I knew I had to make changes, but in my experience, I could not eat a little or I would end up eating a lot. I had learned that with my addictive foods, it was ALL of it, or none of it, so I restricted myself completely. That year at Christmas, I ate ZERO goodies. I avoided parties and gatherings as much as possible so I wouldn’t screw up. I didn’t make my usual holiday candies or cheeseballs. The entire family complained. I didn’t buy candy to put into stockings. I shot resentful looks at people enjoying holiday goodies. I was miserable, resentful and I felt left out, but by golly, I had my food addiction under control.
How many of you think that lasted?
By Halloween that year, I was sick again.
Turned out that being aware that I needed to change was a great start, but I still didn’t have the whole picture. I was trying to resist the food cravings with willpower alone, and my willpower eventually ran out.
I was so tired of the weight roller coaster, the night sweats, the inflammation, the achey joints, that powerless feeling I got around chocolate. I was sick of it all.
Worse than that, I was tired of letting myself down! I felt trapped in an vicious cycle of wanting healthy change, planning to make those changes, and then not following through. It left me full of self-doubt and lacking self-confidence!
I felt like I was spinning out of control, like I was powerless over food, like I would never figure it out. And right in the middle of my turmoil, my normally helpful and supportive partner brought home a couple of bricks of cheese from the grocery store.
Why would he do this? He knows I can’t eat dairy! He knows I am sick! He obviously knows I can’t resist it. He knows this will end up on my burger and he doesn’t care! I wanted to eat ALL of it because – who cares?
I clearly heard the voice in my head say, “I care.” Who cares what he brings home? He’s not forcing me to eat it.
And like a ton of bricks it hit me.
Esther Hicks and Abraham tell a wonderful story about getting tabasco in your pie. Just because the tabasco is in the kitchen does NOT mean it will get in your pie. The only way the tabasco gets in your pie is if YOU put it in your pie.
SAME with the cheese, Cyndi! The only way the cheese gets in your pie hole is if you put the cheese in your pie hole!
I had NOT been taking responsibility for what I was eating.
I had been refusing to take responsibility for what I was eating by pretending to be powerless over certain foods. I was giving away my power by clinging to the belief that if certain foods were available, I HAD to eat them. I was pretending that I could not control myself around sugar and dairy, when in fact, I am the ONLY one who can choose my actions. I was simply choosing to give in to temptation and pretend it wasn’t my fault, that it wasn’t my choice, that in fact – I was powerless to change the foods I was eating.
EVERYTHING changed for me with that simple realization.
I took the steps I needed to take to STOP overeating, and stop eating foods I am allergic to, foods that cause harm, inflammation, and all kinds of health problems.
I’ve learned to navigate the holidays without spiraling into stress and overeating, and I’ve developed a process to help clients do the same!
Is your body ready for some healthy changes?
Join me for my first masterclass to explore these key questions:
● Why do I overindulge even when I tell myself I won’t?
● What’s kept me from achieving my health goals in the past?
● Why do I backslide into old behaviors when I’m stressed?
● How can I reduce holiday stress that leads to stress eating?
● Is it possible for me to avoid weight gain during the holidays?
● How can I stay motivated during the holidays?
● BONUS – How can I indulge a little bit without overindulging?
I’ve been experiencing a little depression in my energy lately.
Why? Cause I’m fucking human!
Like most of the rest of the world, we had to cancel vacation plans this year. I was supposed to be writing to you today from a hotel room. We planned a road trip with our wiener dog, Boscoe, to visit family in Colorado, then a couple of National Parks in Utah on the way home.
I hadn’t realized how much I was looking forward to it! I kind of used it like a carrot to get through the first part of quarantine. I told myself, “Come September, I’ll be on the road with my camera at National Parks, visiting family and friends enjoying the scenery and sunshine!”
It never dawned on my positive thinking that come September we wouldn’t have controlled the spread of the pandemic yet, like every other country in the world has done. It’s almost time for the “second wave” and the United States hasn’t ridden out the first wave!
For over a week after canceling our plans, I found myself unable or unwilling to focus on coaching classes, workshop preparations, marketing promotions, house work, or anything.
I let it all go and just kinda vegged, simply letting the lethargy unfold. I filled my days surfing Booking.com, dreaming of a trip to Croatia sometime post-pandemic. I searched flights for a full seven days before feeling satisfied that I knew where to get the best deal and which days to fly. Then I turned my attention to accommodations and sightseeing. You should SEE the amazing places you can rent in Croatia!
I had a blast planning that trip. NO idea when we’ll get to go, but I do know where we are going!
So why didn’t I just coach myself back into a better feeling place?
Because I needed to feel that disappointment for a minute. I wasn’t READY yet to get back to feeling good. I wanted to feel better, but without pretending that my disappointment wasn’t real, or didn’t happen. Of course it happened! Challenges come up in life. It’s an integral part of the human experience.
I didn’t feel the need to rail against it, or beat myself up for not feeling my best. I just needed some time to process. Some people might call that indulgent. I call it taking mental health days.
Practicing happiness daily does NOT mean that I suddenly have a magical life without challenges, full of rainbows and unicorns. It means that when life gets me down, I know it’s part of the process, and I know that I have the tools to get myself back on track.
At a pace of my own choosing.
What emotions are you feeling right now?
Which ones do you need time to process?
When are you giving yourself the space to do that?
The first time I read a book by Esther Hicks was in February of 2010. The book was Ask and it is Given, and it resonated with me completely. I immediately began trying to increase my vibration, create an even more positive attitude, and manifest my riches. And when I say riches, I specifically mean a water view home.
My deepest desire is to have a home that looks out over the water. Water calms me, energizes me, and uplifts my spirit. In those first fledgling years learning about the law of attraction, I poured immense energy into telling the universe that I want a water view home. Even when my lottery numbers didn’t hit, I kept feeling excited about the next draw, always certain that my big win was just around the corner. One time in particular, I must have really had my hopes up because when my numbers didn’t hit, my positivity balloon burst.
I fell into a depression, and railed at the universe for not giving me my truest desire. I couldn’t understand why my water view home eluded me! It was around that time that I heard Esther say something to the effect of “ it’s not the manifestation you want, it’s the way the manifestation makes you feel.” So I sat down to journal about how I was going to feel when I did manifest my water view home.
Happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, connected to Spirit.
This was the manifestation I wanted. These emotions were what I truly desired, and I thought that I could get them through living in a home with a water view. So I started looking for ways to manifest the emotions of happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, and connected to Spirit.
I live close enough to the Napa River to walk there in 15 minutes. I live close enough to a small park that overlooks the Carquinez Bridge to walk there in 10 minutes. One of the things I started doing each day was walking to one of these places, sometimes both. I began referring to the little park as “my patio” so I could say that this was the view from “my patio.”
My walks allow me to feel happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, connected to Spirit, vibrant, healthy, and active. Plus I get to see the water every day! Bonus!
Something else I started doing was to manifest one or more waterview homes every time we go on vacation. When we travel anywhere, I pay a little extra, and then for a week or more, I get to savor my coffee each morning looking out on the water I love. I get to infuse myself with the essence of sunlight sparkling on water. I relish the rich colors of sunrise and the deep beauty of sunsets. I charge my batteries with the current produced by thrashing waves, or roaring waterfalls. And I carry that energy with me each and every day and let it buoy my positivity.
I still buy lottery tickets and I fully expect to win a fortune each time because it’s fun to think about all the fun I’ll have. But in the mean time, I’m already manifesting what I truly desire!
What is it that you want more than anything?
What emotion will you feel when you have manifested it?
How can you create that emotion now?
Make a short list of people, places, or things that bring you that emotion already.
How can you bring more of those into your life daily?
Hey guys! I’ve got something different today!
This blog post is a six minute video!
To play the recordings, click the play icon on the left of each.
To download the recordings, click the three dots on the right side.
~ Collecting Your Energy ~
~ Deep Centering ~
That was fun! But video is not my jam (yet), so I will return to writing my blog next week!
Thanks for celebrating with me!
When was the last time you celebrated you?
When was the last time you celebrated your progress toward your goal?
What feels like a celebration to you? Make a short list and keep it handy to celebrate ALL the victories of your life!
Some emotions get a bad rap. You know the ones I mean. Those that get branded negative, the ones that don’t feel good when we feel them in our bodies. Emotions like anger, resentment, fear, or disgust, are ones that people don’t enjoy, and often try to avoid.
I’m a mindset coach, and one of the things I help people do is explore different perspectives. If we have deeply held beliefs that are not serving us, then it can be quite beneficial to shift the way that we’re thinking. A common misperception that happens is that clients want to change how they feel, without first acknowledging the emotions they already feel.
It makes sense. Of course we don’t want to feel hard emotions. Who does? But suppressing those emotions takes a lot of energy, and robs us of part of the rich tapestry of the human experience. Imagine if an artist created her paintings with only the middle tones of colors, leaving the most vibrant colors on either end of the spectrum out of the picture. We wouldn’t get the full experience, would we?
Start Where You Are
We cannot change how we feel until we process the emotions we are already experiencing. And it’s important to remember that ALL of our emotions are okay. They are what they are. People don’t control their emotions. Our emotions arise to show us what we’re thinking. Our emotions arrive with the message to pay attention – become aware – of the thoughts we are choosing. (Spoiler alert: our thoughts CREATE our emotions!)
So if you feel angry, disappointed, or hurt. Allow yourself to FEEL angry, disappointed or hurt. Sit with the feeling. Acknowledge it. Instead of resisting challenging emotions, allow them to be what they are – sensations in our body. Practice describing the physical sensations you feel when you feel the emotion. Then try “being with” the emotion by focusing on the physical sensations.
Example: fear to speak in public might feel to some people like sweaty palms, increased heart rate, tight shoulders. If that’s the case, focus on the palms, the heart, the shoulders, without attaching the story of public speaking. Observe the physical sensations objectively, and they begin to subside.
For a more active method of processing emotions, find a safe space, set a timer and give yourself 15 or 20 minutes to just be obsessed, or throw a fit or have a tantrum. Scream into your pillow, or beat it up. Vomit the voices in your head onto pages you can burn later. Your inner child is asking to be heard and is not going to let you feel content again until you give yourself some space to process those emotions. Cry if you need to. Let yourself rage until the timer goes off.
You’ll be surprised and delighted how quickly the intensity of the emotion can dissipate.
If your emotions feel too big to handle on your own, like they might swallow you if you let yourself be alone with them, then find a wonderful therapist to create that safe space with you.
Avoiding or suppressing our emotions cannot destroy that catabolic energy.
It simply transfers that energy somewhere else. It’s like holding a beach ball underwater, eventually it’s going to pop back up with a lot of force. Many times when we try to suppress anger,
or resentment that energy gets even heavier and shows up as shame, depression,
If we try to suppress fear, and brush it off as nothing, we could learn that we’re in actual danger and our intuition was giving us a very important message. I like to ask my anger or my disappointment what it’s trying to tell me. If you are feeling angry about something, there is a reason for that anger, and only you know what that reason is. What is your anger trying to tell you? (Hint: it’s NOT that someone else needs to shape up.)
Processing our emotions is important.
This is not the same as directing our emotions at somebody else. We can’t spill anger, frustration and irritation on others and expect them to process it for us. They are not responsible for our emotions any more than we are responsible for theirs! If this has been your experience of hard emotions – people directing them at you, or others around you – it makes perfect sense that you would want to suppress them, or that you would see them as harmful or scary. Anyone would feel that way. Processing our emotions is an introspective thing, meaning it is a mirror to look into in order to learn more about our own mind, and improve our own experience of life.
Trying to shift mindset without processing emotions first is like putting a happy-face sticker on a gas gauge so you can’t see that the tank is empty. It looks better on the surface but doesn’t address the underlying cause!
Once we have accepted that we have challenging emotions (as all humans do), then we can process them. Once we have processed our emotions, then we can begin to shift our mindset so that we attract better feeling emotions!
How comfortable are you feeling all of your emotions?
How comfortable are you expressing all of your emotions?
What emotions are you suppressing?
How might that be affecting your life?
This is a process I help my clients with all the time! If you are ready to transform your life, please contact me at this link to schedule a short conversation. I look forward to connecting with you.