Catching Feelings

Hello there! I have very strong feelings about most things.  I write every day about how I feel about one thing or another.  I enjoy feeling good, fit, strong, happy, etc.  I even enjoy feeling pissed, angry and sometimes sad.  I embrace it all, no judgements.  I work on being conscious of my feelings every step of the way.  I question them all of the time and have, at this point, learned how to interpret my feelings pretty well.  Feelings are a language that most of us have not mastered in the least.  Many of us treat our feelings as the ultimate truth whether we actually would classify them as valid, honest or would be in agreement with them if we spent some time looking at them objectively.

I teach indoor cycling, spinning is what most people call it.  My classes have been described as 'hard' and I would have to say that they are designed to be challenging.  During these classes I know that participants can sometimes become desperate.  They express emotions that resemble fear and have told me that they literally thought they were going to die.  Now, they aren't about to die, they are simply just pushed to what they feel is their max.  They feel their heart race, they feel out of breath, they feel like they don't have enough energy, strength, chutzpa, to continue.  Their feelings are not the truth.  They are fine, they do have more, they won't die (in that moment).  However, when they have these feelings it determines how they react to the work that is before them.  Many back off, some stop, others keep pushing but feel like they may not be able to for long.  We take our feelings at face value without thinking critically.  We put the judgements of right & wrong or good & bad on them, when feelings, honestly, are just information.

Feelings are great when we learn how to use them, when we are able to discern the ones that are giving information to move forward on and ones that are simply getting in the way.  Feelings can help you reach a goal or keep you from it.    Feelings can bring you to love or take you away from it.  Feelings can get you up in the morning to complete a workout or give you a reason to stay in bed.  Basically, feelings aren't to be trusted at face value.  They are, instead, to be questioned.  Ask yourself if you actually want what they are implying.  Ask yourself if you would agree with the feeling's accompanying thoughts.  Do the feelings you are having actually make sense?  Maybe you are feeling anxious because someone isn't behaving how you expected.  Does your feeling anxiety actually mean that something is wrong?  If not, what do your feelings mean?

Awareness that feelings are to be interpreted and not just taken at face value can be helpful, if you take the concept in.  Recognizing feelings as information doesn't mean you don't cry, don't get angry or sad.  On the contrary, that awareness gives you space to do what your feelings urge you to if you choose that direction to go.  Being aware of feelings as information gives you an opportunity to detach from behaviors that don't align with your highest goals/potential.  Because you are not reacting to your feelings without awareness you are able to choose your actions clearer.  You are able to make decisions that support who you want to be instead of repeating who you have been.  When you become an observer of your feelings instead of the victim, you are able to decide how your feelings can actually help lift you instead of bring you down.

"The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know."  ~Mary Stewart