Let’s activate our superpower! In last week’s blog, we looked at what we do when we feel uncomfortable. Do we pour a glass of wine, check out the latest on Facebook, or grab a bag of chips? We became detectives in our life, stepped back, and watched what we did (or what we wanted to do) when we felt uncomfortable or a “hard” emotion.
As detectives, we can question why we did what we did. Why would we reach for the wine or the food? Why? To avoid feeling the discomfort. Nothing has gone wrong – we are doing exactly as we have been programmed to do and as society continues to tell us to do. Are you unhappy at work? Buy this new car! Are you frustrated in your marriage? How about a night out with the girls! Did you have an unsettling phone call with your mom? How about some ice cream. Capitalism succeeds when we think that whatever is going on inside of us can be fixed with something outside of us. Emotional adulthood is realizing that the results are short lived.
Our feelings arrive to teach us something. Our discomfort is a sign that something isn’t right. When we eat food when we’re not hungry, or buy things we don’t need, or fill our schedule with things we don’t need to do, we distract ourselves and don’t need to examine why we’re uncomfortable. Feelings are energy and they don’t go away. We can’t not feel what we’re feeling. Add to that, by not feeling our feelings, we don’t learn the lessons they’re there to teach. Why are we unhappy at work? Why are we frustrated in our marriage? Why was that phone call unsettling?
Why do we push away our feelings? Why do we stop ourselves from feeling all of our feelings? Fear. Often we are afraid that if we allow ourselves to be sad or to be angry, then…. Then what? You might curl into a ball and cry for a bit but emotions are energy and they pass when we let them. You will not still be on the floor next week. I promise.
Let’s Activate Our Superpower!
1) Name it: What are you feeling? Feelings can be described with one word. If you are using more than one word to describe what you’re feeling, that’s a thought. One Word. Name it. (examples)
2) Describe: What does it feel like in my body? What does “worried” feel like, physically in your body? Like a sore muscle? Like indigestion? Describe it in detail as if you were describing it to an alien. Feelings are vibrations in our body. You are a warrior, you can handle the feeling of discomfort. How does it feel? Describe it and it loses it’s power.
3) Question: Step back and look at what’s going on in your life as if you were an outsider. Ask yourself: “Why am I uncomfortable?”, “What thoughts am I thinking to make me uncomfortable?”, “What’s going on?”. Bonus points if you get out a pen+paper and write the answers to these questions. The more you write, the more you’ll learn.
Now was that so bad? No! It’s much better than feeling out of control around food, wine, or our credit cards. We feel out of control when we are unaware of our thoughts + feelings that are driving our actions. When we activate our superpower, we learn from our feelings. We become mindful of what we are thinking and why we are thinking what we are thinking.
What can your discomfort teach you?