On feeling what we’re feeling and the inherent movement of emotion

Last week I was feeling blue. I couldn’t pinpoint a problem exactly, but I knew I didn’t feel the way I wanted to feel.

Perhaps it’s the seasonal shift and the fact that the sun is setting in Portland, Maine, around 4:15 pm these days. Maybe it’s the slowing down I’ve been doing lately. Doing less allows things to rise to the surface that I’ve previously not wanted to let myself feel—hence my busyness to avoid feeling them.

I was feeling those things.

Some people find melancholy romantic and somehow bittersweetly satisfying. I am not one of those people.

Usually, I would push on through the depression and pretend it wasn’t happening. What I did this time instead was acknowledge it.

I told Mike I was feeling depressed. I took an afternoon nap on the love seat in his office. (His suggestion. I married a good one.)

I told my mom I was feeling depressed. We booked an afternoon of foot soaks and reflexology.

I let myself experience what it felt like to be depressed and not know why and not know how to fix it. And instead of getting busy, I got quiet.

After a few days of waking up in a funky fog, I awoke feeling bright and alive instead. I hadn’t had any major emotional breakthroughs. I hadn’t had a huge realization of any kind.

I’d just let the feelings do their thing.

I used to have seasonal depressions that would hang around for a couple of months. (Upping my vitamin D levels, exercising regularly, and having writing as a creative outlet have helped a lot.)

This one only lasted a couple of days. Why? I Because let it be what it was.

twitter_standingFeelings are meant to move. That’s why they’re also called emotions. (Tweet it!)

It’s called an emotion for a reason. Six of the seven letters in the word are about movement.

When we let our feelings be in their true nature without resisting, avoiding, or pushing them down, they tend to move.

The fear is that if we fully acknowledge a feeling that doesn’t feel good, we’ll dive so deeply that we’ll never stop feeling that way.

In fact, the exact opposite is true.

The deeper we dive into feeling a certain way, the sooner we feel a different way.

How do we actually feel what we’re feeling?

  • See what physical sensations you’re experiencing when you feel certain emotions. What does depression feel like in your body? What does anxiety feel like? Where in your body do you feel an emotion?
  • Get curious about the feeling itself. Sit down and literally feel.

Life is dull when lived in a narrow band of mediocre highs and ho-hum lows. Things get zingy when we’re willing to go to both ends of the spectrum.

twitter_standingThe deeper we feel things, the faster there’s a new thing to feel. (Tweet it!)

Whatever feeling comes knocking at your door, notice it. Let it in. Make space for it.

What we resist persists. Instead, welcome the emotion and you’ll give it space to move, which is exactly what it wants to do.

Over to you:

How do you give your feelings space to be what they are? What do you notice when you resist versus embrace your emotions? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!


P.S. Two things you need to know about:

1. Feng Shui for Financial Freedom: I’m launching a new program soon! It’s called Feng Shui for Financial Freedom. I’m combining my life-long love of all things home related with what I know about organizing energy to attract abundance. I’ll give you everything you need to know (complete with an 8-step action guidebook) to make room for riches in time for the holidays. Get on the list to be one of the first to know about it by clicking HERE.

 

Be-Cause-Affiliate-Badge2. Be Cause: Group Coaching Program: You know who helped me learn to sit with uncomfortable emotions? Chela Davison. Believe it or not she actually helped me to maybe not “like” sitting with uncomfortable emotions, but at least to be open to it. If you want to live fully Chela Davison is the coach you want.

She has created a 12-week group-coaching program called Be Cause: for seekers, leaders and change-makers.

This program is designed for anyone seeking to do their best work in the world. Whether it’s inner work or outer results, this is perfect for you if you have a cause, business, project, or even an idea stirring that wants to fully emerge – all in alignment with who you really are. The magic happens between group video sessions, practices crafted specifically for you and community for accountability and support. The collective wisdom combined with Chela’s insight and masterful practice design brings you what you need to step into what’s next.

You will be heard and met where you are and also nudged forward with relevant, thoughtful probing and action steps. You should be prepared to show up – for yourself and others. You will dance between accountability and fluidity – keeping your commitment to your own growth (and whatever action/being is associated with that) while also being open to necessary shifts in direction or focus.

Registration for January opens November 24th. Groups are small. Get your seat. Click HERE.

 

 

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Disappointment is inevitable. Suffering is optional: Glimpse TV with Christine Hassler

So 2014 is winding down. Shocking, but true.

It’s that time when we reconnect with friends and family and take stock of what happened this time we went around the sun.

While this season is festive and filled with love and amazing, it can also be really hard.

A Royal Setup for Disappointment

First, there’s the family stuff. We can put so much pressure on ourselves and our families to have these perfect Norman Rockwell-esque gatherings, where all of our rosy-cheeked kin get together for a cheery love fest.

But the truth is, even if ours is the most functional of families, we’re going to get our buttons pushed one too many times by our nagging sister-in-law or our helicopter mom. We may crave meaningful connections but leave feeling empty or sad that, once again, it just didn’t feel as good as we’d hoped.

Then there’s the fact that we’re coming up on the end of the year. We can’t help but take stock of the months that have passed and ask ourselves, “Was this year as good as I’d hoped? Did I give it everything I had? Did I achieve the things I set out to?”

If you’re an appetitious, goal-oriented type like me, you probably didn’t accomplish everything you’d hoped to this year. And that can leave you feeling disappointed in yourself and not so cheerful.

It Happens to Everyone

What do these scenarios have in common? You hoped something would happen in a certain way and it didn’t. And you feel really bummed out as a result.

It’s an “expectation hangover.”

My friend Christine Hassler just came out with a book on this very topic. Christine defines an expectation hangover as one of these three things:

  1. You don’t get what you want.
  2. You do get what you want but it’s not as great as you thought it would be.
  3. Life throws you an unexpected curveball.

We all have expectations. Sometimes they’re met; sometimes they’re not. Christine tells us what to do when we inevitably find ourselves in Bummerland from time to time.

Christine and I had a chat on Glimpse TV and we talked about:

  • The opportunity in disappointment
  • Why you should milk your “expectation hangover” for all it’s worth
  • How to determine whether your coping strategies are working or not—and what to do instead if they aren’t
  • The difference between an expectation and an intention, and which will serve you more
  • How to avoid an expectation hangover in the first place

Click the image below to watch the Expectation Hangover episode of Glimpse TV.

 

twitter_standingWhen it comes to disappointment, there’s always a doorway for healing and transformation. ~Christine Hassler (Click to Tweet)

Grab your copy of Christine’s book HERE and get an interview with Dr. Robert Holden and a 10-part video course for free.

Over to you:

What expectation hangover have you experienced? How was it an opportunity for growth and transformation? Leave a comment below—I’d love to hear from you!

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 5.45.01 PMP.S. I’m cooking up something new for you. It launches in a few weeks. If you want to be one of the first to hear about it, click the image to the left!

 

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7 Specific Ways to Do Less and Net More (Part IV of the doing less series)

Doing less does not mean being lazy, being a schlub, not being a contributing member of society, or living a small life.

I have a hypothesis. It came to me about 6 months ago. I’m now in the process of gathering evidence to support it, doing experiments in my own life to see if it’s true.

Here it is:

twitter_standingDoing less nets more. (Tweet it)

 

This is not a conversation about balance sheets and bottom lines. This is a conversation about living a life of depth and breadth. This is not about making more money or getting more done. This is about homing in on what’s important. This is about making space for the unexpected. This is about actually being here for your life.

This is about making a life, not just a living.

So far in this doing less series, I’ve shared 8 signs you’re addicted to busyness, how to find space to do less in your life, and my 11 rules for sane living

Today it is time to explore what doing less actually looks (and feels) like.

What does doing less actually mean?

True confession: the idea of being still makes me twitch. But when I’m willing to be still in spite of the twitching, I hear things and feel things that I couldn’t hear or feel if I were constantly doing.

twitter_standingStillness accesses a realm of being that is not available to us when we’re doing. (Tweet it)

True confession number two: I’m quite remedial at this.

I’m sharing my process around this with you, though, because a) that’s just how I roll (thank you, Gemini moon – must communicate everything!) and b) I know I’m not the only person who wants to grow in the area of doing less and being more.

I’ve made a list of the ways I’m doing less these days. I’d love to hear your specific examples in the comments below.

It feels a bit ridiculous to need to make a list of ways to do less. But I’m a beginner at this. So I made a list. I’m posting this one up in my office to remind me to step away frequently. Perhaps you’d like to do the same.

Specific Ways to Do Less

Sitting with uncomfortable feelings: When I notice I’m feeling sad, angry, confused, depressed, irritated, anxious, or anything else uncomfortable, I practice sitting and feeling instead of doing something to distract myself. What does this actually mean? It means sitting down, closing my eyes, breathing into the feeling, and becoming curious about what that feeling actually feels like. Where do I feel it in my body? What is the sensation exactly? What message does it have for me? (Thank you, Barbara Stanny, for this exercise.)

Staring out the window: This one is pretty much what it sounds like. I take a break from what I’m doing and stare out the window for a while without doing anything else.

Drinking a cup of tea without doing anything else: I’ve recently switched from coffee to hot water with lemon and cayenne in the morning. (I still really miss coffee. I may go back. Not sure yet.) Some days I see what it feels like to sit and slowly drink the whole cup without reading, checking my phone, or doing anything else.

Simply sitting while waiting for appointments or for people to arrive: Instead of pulling out my phone or catching up on Star Tracks in People magazine, I’ve been exploring what it’s like to simply sit and wait in waiting rooms. Waiting rooms are for waiting. I’ve gotten curious about what waiting feels like.

Putting the phone on airplane mode: I try to put my phone on airplane mode by 9 pm and not take it off until 10 am or after. Some days this happens, some days it doesn’t. But I love the space it creates when it does happen. Some days I completely forget to turn it back into communication mode until lunch time or later. I remind myself that there are no blogger or vitamin emergencies and no one really needs to get ahold of me in real time.

Deciding not to rush: This requires resetting my habits and leaving earlier than I think I need to. Allowing myself more time than I think I’ll need to arrive somewhere or do a task feels really loving and spacious. To someone who’s been chronically five minutes late in the past, this one is a habit that’s tough to break—but worth it. Ask yourself: what payoff am I getting from rushing? Often we find we’re addicted to the rushing because it helps us avoid actually being with ourselves in the spaciousness of enough time.

Asking myself: Does this really need to be done? Does it need to be done by me? Whenever something comes across my plate, I use these questions. If the answer is no and no, I pass.

twitter_standingYou are not more valuable because you do more. (Tweet it)

 

Your life will be lived more in the spaces between doing. Create more of those spaces and you’ll have more life to live.

Now over to you:

What are your specific ways of doing less? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

 

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11 Rules for Sane Living (Part III of the Doing Less Series)

(This post is part of a multipart series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment in your inbox.)

Several months ago, in a fit of overbooked frazzle, I wrote down the following rules on the magnet pad I usually reserve for things I need to pick up at the grocery store.

When I make my breakfast in the morning, they wink at me and remind me that I am, in fact, the one who’s in charge of my own freedom.

These rules are part of my foundation for freedom. They allow me to do less and be more. I created them for efficiency, ease, and space.

When I abide by them I’m happier. When I don’t, I get cranky. Simple as that.

They serve me well. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to create a set for yourself.

My Rules for Sane Living

1. Don’t schedule anything the day before or after a trip, especially at night.

2. Batch calls and interviews so that I’m not switching gears all day long.

3. Schedule only one social engagement per day (or less).

4. Don’t schedule calls on weekends.

5. Book at least fifteen minutes between phone/Skype appointments to allow for tea and pee breaks.

6. Group together all the people who need the same information on calls.

7. Start the day with 10 minutes of sitting in silence.

8. Whenever possible, don’t eat standing up or driving.

9. Take 3 deep breaths before eating.

10. Tell Mike 3 things I’m grateful for before falling asleep (and ask him what his are).

11. Wake up when I’m done sleeping, without an alarm, as often as possible

twitter_standingWe need structure to feel free. (Tweet it!)

 

The next post in the “Doing Less” series will tell you how exactly I’m doing less and what doing less actually looks like. If you’re anything like you, doing less feels elusive. We’re gonna get practical and mystical all at the same time.

Over to you:

What are your rules for sane living? Leave a comment below—I’d love to hear your ideas and how you stay sane!

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Finding space to do less in your life (Part II of the Doing Less Series)

(This post is part of a multi-part series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment in your inbox.)

So you’ve determined you want to do less to get more out of life.

You’re tired of feeling harried, stressed, rushed, and like the seams of your life are busting from being overstuffed.

You’re ready to be a human being, not a human doing.

But what does that actually mean? What does it actually look like?

I’ve asked myself that question a lot over the last six months as I’ve been noodling around on the power of less.

In part one of this series, 8 signs that youre addicted to busyness, I promised to share some specific ways that I’ve recently been creating space to do less in my life.

If the conscious pursuit of doing less were my life span, I feel as though I’m in my infancy on this one. But we have to start somewhere.

SAY NO TO ALMOST EVERYTHING

You may love to say yes. (I love to say yes.) But years of saying yes to everything that came my way left me feeling like a slave to my overburdened schedule. Instead of pursuing my own priorities, I was spending all day every day serving everyone else’s.

While that may sound selfless and lovely, it actually made me feel spent and resentful. And guess what I had left to devote to my own dreams and desires? Nada.

Make saying no part of your spiritual practice. Will it feel uncomfortable at first? Yep. Will you disappoint some folks? Yep.

But here’s the key:

twitter_standingSaying yes to everything cheapens your yes. (Tweet it)

 

I used to be a bit of a yes ho, if you will. Not only did I feel at the mercy of other people’s agendas, it made me feel a little dirty over time.

Now that I’m far more discriminating with what I opt in to, my yes actually means something. I trust myself more. I’m in integrity instead of running around like a loose people-pleaser.

Thou shalt filter

How do you know what to say yes to and what to say no to? Create a filter.

Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS magazine, shares a concept called “the vital few.” This is a very short list (2-3 items max) of activities that you and only you can do which move you forward toward your goals.

Your vital few are the highest leverage ways you can spend your time. Said another way, when you do this stuff you get a really big bang for the time you invest. You get more done in less time. You feel incredibly energized. You make leaps forward instead of baby steps.

Ask yourself:

-What can I, and only I, do to get closer to my most important goals?

-What do I absolutely love doing that also moves me toward my goals?

Your answers will point you in the direction of your vital few.

My vital few are writing/content creation and connecting with potential new members of The Freedom Family.

When an opportunity or task comes across your radar, ask yourself:

Will doing this help me spend more time doing my vital few?

Follow Your Enthusiasm

I recently said no to a really cool opportunity because it didn’t align with my top three priorities for the coming year. I felt really excited when I got the email and really excited after the initial exploratory phone call. But when I looked at my top three things I want to focus on right now, it just wasn’t on the list.

(I heard a great tip from Warren Buffet for choosing the top priorities: write down all of your priorities, pick the top three, then throw out the rest of the list. Freeing and terrifying, simultaneously. I highly recommend it.)

That said, weeks later I kept thinking about how fun it would be to pursue this project I’d said no to. It began popping into my head every day for over a week. I felt genuinely enthusiastic about it.

So I emailed the person back and asked if we could open the door of possibility again.

twitter_standingLet your enthusiasm lead you where your head sometimes cant. (Tweet it.)

Because, while having filters that help you determine what to say yes and no to is helpful, sometimes you have to throw those out and follow what moves you.

If you’re nervous about following your enthusiasm because you tend to feel enthusiastic about a lot of things, give yourself time. Ask for 48 hours before you make your decision so that you can see if that enthusiasm is just a quick dopamine shot of feeling wanted or if it’s the kind of sustainable energy you’ll need to follow through with a project and feel good about it the whole way through.

In the next installment of the “Doing Less Series” I’ll share a few loving guidelines I’ve put in place for myself which I call my “Rules for Sane Living.” They help me do what needs to be done while feeling spacious and calm.

OVER TO YOU:

Have you ever felt like a “yes ho”?

What filters do you have in place for helping you decide what to say no to and what to say yes to?

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8 signs that you’re addicted to busyness

(This is part one of a multi-part series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment right in your inbox.) It’s recently come to my attention that I have a habit of, or perhaps even an addiction to, proving my worth through constant activity. This habit has been on my radar…Continue Reading

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How to go from having enough to having more than enough: Glimpse TV with Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny is the world’s leading expert on women and wealth. And I’m profoundly grateful to call her a friend and mentor. Reading her book Overcoming Underearning and taking her workshop by the same name (three times!) were among the greatest influences on my journey to becoming debt-free. There are three stages of wealth, Barbara…Continue Reading

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What are you getting out of staying right where you are?

This past weekend I had the great privilege of attending Barbara Stanny’s Sacred Success Retreat. Her book of the same name is available for pre-order right now and will be featured on Glimpse TV in a couple of weeks — make sure you’re on the list so you don’t miss it. There are some profound…Continue Reading

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