Have you forgotten how to feel? Or do you fear feeling too much? Or do you get overwhelmed by your feelings? These three relationships with feelings are all equally common across my coaching practice, and all in their own way equally unhealthy.
What happens for many of us when we have become chronically stressed (which we absolutely do not realise has happened) is that we become so completely caught up in mental energy, in analysis, problem solving, thinking, overthinking and rumination – that we live in our heads and get cut off from our bodies. Emotions and feelings are bodily events, we feel them in our bodies through our sensory capacity. Feelings, by design are waves of valuable energetic information coming up and through for expression. For us to thrive, rather than merely survive, we need to be tuned in, listening and allowing of this energy to move, flow and complete its journey through us. When stress shuts us off from our sensory experience, we lock the doors and block the routes to vital information. This means the body has to keep sending louder and more ferocious messages to get our attention. Often the body will resort to producing physical pain or a physical condition when all other attempts of waving the reg flag have failed. Either that or wild outbursts of stress fuelled emotion build up and erupt when we are triggered, causing us to behave in ways we later regret, as we reflect on our shameful losses of control.
Equally, many of us just dare not go there when it comes to emotion, we are subconsciously and occasionally consciously just sweeping pain and discomfort under the emotional carpet or holding it at arms length to protect ourselves from having to get our hands dirty or deal with the mess. We tend to like to keep things neat and tidy. But under the surface lurks the reality of our hidden carnage, causing insecurity, anxiety, irrational behaviour, and all forms of self sabotage including the old broken inner record of our negative self talk.
The only healthy and sustainable relationship to have with our feelings is one of allowing, welcoming and presence. Imagine being a really solid, loving best friend to your feelings. Imagine being able to hold the space for your own inner communications to show up and speak up, in the same way as you would do for a friend in need who wanted a loving ear just to listen. Not to fix, not to be hurried off, shamed into shutting up…. But to be heard and held. This is the sort of presence we need to develop towards our own emotional experience. And if we are one of those people who has become shut down to our emotional experience, we must first become intrigued and curious as to what has been numbed out.
When it comes to long term emotional balance, self awareness, social intelligence and reaching our full potential to shine brightly as our true selves, there is no short cut, we simply have to learn to get fluid, flowing and at ease with feeling our way through life. Anything less will steal our joy or at worst make us sick.
When I first developed SHINE as a daily self coaching program, I knew it was essential to include an evening ritual which encouraged and entrained self reflection, and was designed to honour the emotional challenges of the day in order that they could be released and transmuted, instead of clogging up our systems with subconscious clutter. Last year when I fine-tuned and revised the program I also felt it was important to offer a guided meditation technique through an MP3, which built on this important theme of emotional integration. It’s time we all gained this mastery, so that we believe there is nothing to fear from our feelings. Everything we think we want in life, every material achievement we think is important is really all for a feeling, it’s never about the ‘thing’ itself, but it’s always about what inner experience we will gain from getting the goal, reaching the level, fixing the problem….. Yet the less capacity we have for our ‘negative’ feelings the less we have for the ‘positive’ ones too. This leads us on an endless and often exhausting quest where the joy, the satisfaction, the love or the intimacy we desire is all but fleeting. We cannot hold it, we move the goalposts immediately and we end up getting just the merest whiff of what we wanted before we realise that’s not enough and we set off on the next mission to achieve more, do more, or create more drama or intensity so we can feel more of what we think we want to feel. All the while focussing on the destination instead of the vehicle itself. All the while doing the exact same thing but expecting a different result.
If you are ready for a different result, a deeper and more sustainable feeling of fulfilment, joy, contentment, peace or happiness which resides deep on the inside rather than the outside, then it sounds like you’re ready to SHINE.
I want to share SHINE far and wide, and I have a very special #FabulousFebruary offer on to celebrate a re-launch of a fine-tuned version of the original program, my offer is at £20 OFF, for just £87.
For just £87 you can access your own SHINE Program here…. #GetReadyToShine and #FeelYourWay here:
Lisa Bardell – BSc (Hons) Psych, Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Coaching & NLP Master – is a coach and therapist who retrained to follow her passion into Psychology after a 16 year business career at executive level. Lisa runs two busy practices in Cheshire and London and works with coaching clients all over the world via Skype. For a FREE 30 min consultation mail on firstname.lastname@example.org