how do you really feel?

collage photo of woman

“The cure for pain is in the pain.”

– Rumi

It’s no secret that putting your feelings into words helps you detach from them. When we label our emotions, we give them some distance from our brain, which then allows it to process them. Using your words, you can actually feel the emotion instead of suppressing it. When you acknowledge the emotion, it releases its grip, bit by bit.

Stop what you’re doing, sit down and take five minutes to really consider how you’re feeling right now. Write down both “good” and “bad” feelings, and try to think of them as neutral – your writing should be a judgement-free zone, especially where emotions are concerned. This is just an exercise in recognizing them.

Read back over what you’ve written after the timer goes. Allow yourself to feel the enjoyment of the positive feelings you’ve expressed. For the negative feelings, ask yourself why you’re feeling those things.

Here’s what I wrote:

How do I feel right now?

In this moment, I feel content. I am already thinking about what I’m going to do do do next. Remembering the circle poem [by Thich Nhat Hanh]. I feel content. Happiness is becoming my natural state, & I am deeply grateful it is so.

Was aware of tension in my throat, like under my chin & in the back of my throat/bottom of my nose as well as a bit in my left rib. The usual bit in my solar plexus & my left hip.

Don’t feel like I’m doing this right. I accept this uncertainty – it’s no big deal!

I do want to examine the feelings with shadow work.

Wanting: earbuds & a helmet. The helmet is more pressing if I am to commute for the next 2 weeks. Earbuds are just something I’d like. Oh, & a watch.

Why am I experiencing this wanting? Because I have money & want to get myself nice things. I deserve every nice thing I want. It is already out there waiting for me, & I am so happy & thankful it is so.

Aware of a want to spend money. A helmet is a necessity, especially if I am to bike to work. Could always return after. Earbuds would be nice. Bluetooth speaker is not necessary.

Money is a renewable resource & comes to me all the time.

The feelings of contentment came easily, and I am very thankful for that. I actually had to dig a little to find anything “off”, and even when I found it they weren’t that bad. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things for yourself. I just need to learn that money is made to be spent, and while it’s nice to save, there’s no benefit in stinginess.

Here’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s poem referenced above, from the collection I mentioned before:

Going in Circles

O you who are going in circles,
please stop.
What are you doing it for?

“I cannot be without going,
because I don’t know where to go.
That’s why I go in circles.”

O you who are going in circles,
please stop.

“But if I stop going,
I will stop being.”

O my friend who is going in circles,
you are not one with
this crazy business of going in circles.
You may enjoy going,
but not going in circles.

“Where can I go?”

Go where you can find your beloved,
where you can find yourself.

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