Managing emotions has nothing to do with trying to feel good all the time. I was terrified of feeling emotions. I didn't realize that. I beat myself up for not being happy all the time. I didn't understand that feeling all emotions was part of the whole human experience and that it was normal to feel sadness or anger. I became aware that my truth was I was running from feeling. I've also learned that's why I got so good at eating and drinking.
Fact: feelings are just vibrations in our bodies.
Eating made me feel full and dulled the pulse, and if I drank enough, numbness could set in. I could avoid the pain of bad feelings altogether- well, until I woke up and realized the emotion was still there, and now I'm exasperated by the guilt and shame that came from eating and drinking more than I should have.
It's a vicious cycle.
So, how do you get brave enough to feel the emotion? For me, it took learning more about feelings.
Understanding that feelings come from our thoughts was vital for me to understand I didn't have to avoid feeling.
A thought is just a sentence in our minds. That thought triggers the brain, and the brain gets to work acting just like a bartender. It processes the thought and creates a hormone cocktail in response to what you are thinking. If you are thinking a thought that provokes fear, the bartender throws together some adrenaline and cortisol. If your thought creates happiness, the bartender shakes up a little serotonin, dopamine, and maybe a little oxytocin. We relish the good feelings and usually try to avoid the bad ones. But the science behind a feeling allows us to see that the hormone cocktail only lasts about 90 seconds. That's the truth. Of course, lingering on a thought will perpetuate another shot from the bartender, but again that will only last for a moment. Learning that made me brave enough to sit through a feeling. After all, I had given birth to three babies... 90 seconds of fear couldn't be more painful than passing a human through the birth canal, right?
Our thoughts are way more powerful than we give credit. They are the only reason we feel anything and our feelings are what drives every action we take. I work with my clients to help them understand the Think, Feel, Act cycle. I show them how to use their feelings as an ally to help identify which thoughts are ultimately creating their results.
Spend an hour with me and learn how the Think, Feel, Act cycle impacts your life and the results you have right now. Click here to schedule your free coaching session with me.
If I asked you to name the biggest jerk in your life, who would that be? Your ex? Your mom? The grumpy neighbor who makes it appear his only reason to live is to complain about how you mow your lawn or where you put the garbage cans?
Did you think to answer yourself?
If we recorded the conversation you have playing on repeat in your brain every day, what are you telling yourself? Does your brain feel love, or are you spending time with a critical asshole all day long?
One memory I have of being young is singing, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," on the playground. This saying infers that words have no power over us, and if we ignore them, we will be fine. But I was also taught words have power, so I should pick them wisely.
So which way is it?
In January, we saw a young poet named Amanda Gorman demonstrate the power of words at Joe Biden's inauguration. Our Nation was moved by the emotion her words provoked. If you didn't see it or want to be reminded, look it up. And if that does not resonate, think of a song that always seems to stir the waves in your soul. Think of how those words make you feel. The words in our lives do have power, but it is the meaning we attach to them and the emotion they create that makes them powerful. The words themselves are like the "Sticks and Stones" lyric implies - they are without power. They are just words... until we make them mean something with our thoughts. And then BOOM!
This is why when someone comments about your weight, your work, your parenting, how you speak, how you look, or so on... you feel a certain way. It is because your brain takes those words and makes them mean something. If your brain translates to the positive, you feel good. If your brain translates to the negative, you feel bad. Because our brains, by nature, lean towards the negative, it is important to be mindful and make sure what your brain is telling you is actually true... especially for the negative.
Our thoughts are making what someone said to mean something- about us- about you. Remember, they are just words... we decide the meaning behind them.
To rephrase this: Words are neutral until we put meaning to them. You get to choose how you want to interpret what has been said to you. You get to choose what you want to think. And this is the most amazing information ever because it means you have all the power. Nobody else has power over your feelings. Did you hear me? YOU ARE COMPLETELY IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS!! Hooray!
What about the words you say to yourself? What are the words you are telling yourself? And more importantly, what are you making them mean about you? Are you showing yourself self-compassion and love, or are you hearing the ramblings of a critical asshole all day?
These thoughts are driving the results you are getting in your life.
Taking the time to identify your thoughts and learn how the feelings they are creating inside you drive your actions and ultimately your results is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. I help my clients do this, and I would love to help you learn how to do this. Click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session! Let's get started!
Happiness really can be a choice, and most of us think the goal in life is to be happy -all of the time.
But most of us missed the memo that life is actually 50/50.
50% good and 50% bad.
Thinking that we are supposed to be happy ALL of the time is a fallacy. Yet, most of us make ourselves even more miserable because we are beating ourselves up that we are not happy all the time. We use the ability to be happy (or the lack of ability) as a measure of success, and so when we are not happy we make that mean that there is something wrong with us.
The reality is that being able to experience all emotions allows us to have the full human experience - and sometimes we really do not want to be happy about an event or situation in our life (think about when someone you love has died).
There is power in being able to experience all emotions and a freedom that comes from knowing you are not broken if you are not happy all of the time. You are a perfect human, with a perfect human brain, experiencing the full and perfect human experience.
Take a minute and think about what emotions are you avoiding in your life? How are you using food, alcohol, Netflix, shopping, etc... to avoid feeling? Learning how to identify your emotions and feel them is a skill I work on with my clients.
If this resonates with you, come spend an hour with me. We can talk about how your brain actually operates and you can discover how much closer to perfect you actually are. Click here to schedule your free consult with me now.
So many times, we stay in relationships that are not good for us... maybe even toxic. We do it for many reasons, but mostly we do it out of a place of insecurity.
Our thinking is to be worthy of someone's love; we must do things to keep the other person happy, even if the things we are doing cause us to feel great resentment in ourselves. We may not consciously think these thoughts because we have done it for so long it just feels like truth.
We have learned the habit of people-pleasing - but we don't call it people-pleasing - we mistakenly label it unconditional love. We feel almost virtuous in our actions, making ourselves small so someone else can feel big. We have been taught that self-sacrifice is how we should show kindness...
So we hand out "kindness" to others, and we treat ourselves like shit!
This is not what unconditional love looks like or feels like. Unconditional love will never rob you of love for yourself or make you act dishonestly. Telling someone you would love to watch their dog when they are out of town when you are actually allergic to dogs and dread doing this with every fiber of your being - to win their approval, not make them mad, or keep their love is people-pleasing.
Finding the ability to love yourself first is the first step in actually understanding unconditional love.
If this resonates with you and it is time for you to learn to love you, come spend an hour with me, and let's start to identify the areas in your life that you are people-pleasing. Let's help you find your voice. Click here to go to my calendar.
Worth: the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held - Webster
I was sick of struggling to pay my bills. I was tired of finding myself in relationships that went nowhere, and dating guys that made me feel less than worthy. When I went through my divorce I felt like the worst mom in the world. My self-esteem was challenged. What was wrong with me?
There was nothing wrong with me...
except for my thoughts.
After getting out of an unhealthy, 23-year marriage I embarked on a journey to re-invent myself. On this journey, I have developed the belief in myself and the skills that have empowered me to start crafting the life I want, instead of the life I thought I was stuck with. I have learned that I am not the victim of my circumstances. I have learned that what seems impossible is only temporary. I have learned I am not damaged, and never was. I have begun to learn my worth.
Do you feel like there is supposed to be more to your life? Do you feel stuck? Is there a voice inside telling you that you are more than your current reality?
I get you girl!!
And I want to help you find your inner strength. Come spend an hour with me and let's discuss where you want to be. I can help you craft a plan to get there! Click here to go to the scheduling page.