Monday, June 6, 2011

Clue #2 - How do I feel right now?

I used to believe that I was a slave to my feelings.  I thought I had to feel a certain way before I could get things done.  I would put off taking action on many items in my life because I didn't feel "right" or I was unhappy or depressed or out of sorts.

While I understand that sometimes actions and feelings work together for optimum results, I also know today that getting things done, solving my problems and taking actions that are beneficial to my life are not necessarily dependent on how I feel at the time.

The one big question I have always had about operating from the immediate moment is "But what if the now is really uncomfortable?"  What I really want to ask is "How do I do now when now - quite frankly - sucks?"

The one big answer that comes to me however when I ask that, also comes in the form of a question.  "But how do you know if now really sucks or if you just FEEL it does?"

The crux of the matter relies on whether or not I believe that I have any power whatsoever over my feelings or if I believe that I must just ride out the tide of my emotions without a paddle or a sail or, for that matter, a compass.  This is what I used to believe.  Then someone set me straight.

They told me that I was in charge, that I had the power to decide and choose what feelings I felt and what emotions I expressed.  I heard things like "fake it until you make it" and "this too shall pass" and I began to understand that just as I can treat a physical wound with ointments, bandages and antiseptic, so I can tend to my emotions and heal them through acknowledging my power to do so and using the amazing power of my mind and spirit to turn them around.

Sometimes this is quick, almost instant and sometimes it takes a while.  The long, slow process unfolds as I apply these techniques but a process it is and it works.

Clue #2 then to staying and operating in the now, is to recognize that we have power over our own emotions and can make choices around them.  Abraham Lincoln famously said that "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."  Lincoln suffered from chronic depression all his adult life and so his words are especially poignant and......believable.  They seem to suggest a man who researched his own ability to heal himself and put it into action.  If he can do it and lead a country, then perhaps there is hope for you and me?!!

Another factor to ask ourselves regarding the influence we allow our emotions to have over us is whether or not we are really feeling those feelings right now or if we have dragged them into the present from the past or the future.

If I get mad with someone and keep that anger alive by playing the wrongdoing over and over again in my mind thus creating a resentment, I know that I am dragging it along with me into my every moment.  Instead, I might choose to let it lie in the past by refusing to replay the scenario and letting it rest in peace.

On the other hand, if I speculate about potential disasters that might occur in the future, I can do the same thing with my fear and anxiety and suck them into my present when nothing has yet happened!

Are your feelings holding you back in the present moment?  Are you choosing to feel angry, resentful, vengeful or just generally p......ed off?!!  Or do you, like Abraham Lincoln, choose to be as happy as you want to be?  Do you believe you are in charge of your emotions or are you a slave to them?

Examining what we are feeling right now and whether that feeling belongs in the present, the past or the future can help us to operate in the moment from a level of comfort and peace and give us choices we never even dreamed of!

I do not believe anymore that I need to be a victim of my own feelings.  I know that this is an area of my life where I am truly powerful charge!  What about you?