Repeat after me, "When my life is in order, I feel good." One of the surest ways to recognize that things are going well in your life is a sense of peace, fulfillment, and well-being. In other words, feeling good.
Other side of the coin is this.
When you feel less than your best, it's a signal that something in your life needs attention. Sometimes the solution will be simple - like fixing lunch when you're hungry. Other times are "simply perplexing." You don't feel your best and the solution isn't so easy to find.
Your feelings are a grand attention-getting device. In fact, for most people, feelings are your #1 best attention-getting device. Feelings you don't like alert you to the need to take action.
Feelings you don't like alert you to the need to take action.
See, I said it twice. That means it's an important point!
Stay alert for two types of feelings:
1. Physical sensations like pain, nausea, muscle tension, and fatigue.
2. Emotional feelings like scared, poor, vulnerable, discouraged, shackled, powerless
[Quiz for members of the Wellness Coaching Support Forum:
1. Can you identify where I swiped that list of emotional feelings from? If so, 1 point.
2. Have you downloaded the e-booklet I posted that explains how to disengage from them? If so, 2 points.
3. Have you empowered yourself by putting the suggestions from the booklet into practice? If so, 3 points.
4. Have you shared your experience so others can learn from it? If so 4 points.
Ten points possible - how did you do?]
Feelings and Your Inner Bully
Here's where it gets really interesting. The situation that inspires these feelings in you is functioning as a bully in your life.
What kind of situation?
* A personal relationship
* Your finances
* Ill health
* Your cluttered home
* Anything else that has more power over your life at the moment than you do
In the previous article, we spoke about one good way to deal with a bully - draw a line of respect in the sand and enforce it. Should that respect be compromised, walk away.
So here I am waiting for the obvious question. "But Elizabeth, I can't just walk away from my finances. I can't walk away from the fact that I weigh 40 pounds more than I should. I can't just walk away from high blood pressure. What are you talking about?"
It's true, you can't. Because in this particular case, the "bully" is part of your experience of life at the moment. So we need a different strategy. There is something to walk away from. But we're going to have to dig a little further to find it.
When the bully is within you, your "walk away" point is at the level of choice. Work with me a minute, ok? If you want certain results in your life, you need to make day-to-day choices that are consistent with those results.
If you were making the choices a thin person makes, you'd be thin.
If you were making the choices a rich person makes, you'd be rich.
If you were making the choices a healthy person makes, you'd be healthy.
If you were making the choices a person with strong relationships makes, you'd have strong relationships.
Notice two things:
1. There is no blame or judgment here - just cause and effect. You can't act on information you don't have. You may not have the information you'll need to make different choices than the ones you've been making. Learning can pull you through.
2. There is no mention of feeling - just action. In fact, when you're trying on a new way of being in the world, you're very likely exceeding the previous boundaries of your comfort zone, which can feel quite scary. Faith can pull you through.
While your feelings are extremely valuable as an awareness tool, they need not drive your behavior.
* You can feel desire for a hamburger and fries and order grilled chicken and a baked potato.
* You can feel tired and spend 15 minutes straightening up the living room.
* You can feel scared of enforcing a social boundary and say "no."
* You can feel financially vulnerable and make a wise investment choice.
The walk-away point is at the level of choice.
Now I've said this before -- repeatedly -- and I'll say it again. DO NOT make the mistake of ignoring a "caution" feeling. Fear and discomfort are clear warning signals you cannot afford to ignore. However that same fear or discomfort, when it drives you to behavior that disempowers you, is not your friend.
Take the time to explore where the caution signal is coming from and find the reasons for your concern. Only then, after you've clearly identified the risks involved, should you consider taking the "leap of faith" that's required to choose action in spite of your feelings.
That is the way to out-maneuver this bully. Look him in the eye. Say, "Yes, I'm scared of you. I admit it. But I'm not going to let that stop me. You just watch!" And make the powerful choice.
To be continued...
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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