feelings

Sense of Safety

"Safety always comes from inside-not outside of-you." ~Dina Bachelor Evan Howdy,

We spend a lot of time figuring out ways to feel safe and secure.  We wear our seat belts, we read our exit row safety cards, we ask for people to make promises.  The truth is the only way to feel safe, to be safe, is to know that you are always ok.  You are always supported.  Knowing that, even when life isn't as you would desire it to be, you are exactly where you need to be, doing and experiencing exactly what you need to experience to move you to the next place, phase, level of your existence is where you may need to start shifting your viewpoint.  Your feeling of security and safety, when taken from the outside world, is always tentative.  When you find that security and safety from within it is untouchable.  You will be able to take on any sunny day or perfect storm feeling as ok as any other moment in your life.  Safety isn't something you find, it is something you remember, recognize and reignite.

Feeling a strong sense of being ok doesn't mean you feel like no harm will ever come to you.  On the contrary, you know that anything is possible in this human body and accept that no harm is coming to you right now.  If harm did show up you would deal with it then an.  Safety is being aware, conscious of the moment… knowing what you can control and knowing what you cannot, and accepting all of it.  Boundaries aren't only what you create between you and the world around you, it is also how you deal with your internal world.  How you manage your feelings, perceptions, emotions, expectations and thoughts.  When you set a boundary that only allows an understanding that you are whole and supported living the life you were meant to, life becomes quite a bit easier.  Shutting out fears around being safe will allow you to see how protected and cared for you actually are.  After all, most of the time you are taken care of, right?  You have been ok most of the time… when the thoughts we have don't support this fact we are slammed with anxiety, fear, dread.  When we forget that we are rarely in danger we live as if it were a constant threat.

When we recognize that safety comes from inside and that we can nurture it, just like we do love, joy grows, safety grows, we become much more giving to others.  Feeling safe gives us permission to be more of who we are, to heal the areas that we need healing, and it gives permission for others to do the same.  Finding that ability to create safety within ourselves means that you are no longer looking for someone or something (which will always change and let you down) to do it for you.  You aren't waiting on your White Knight to rescue you and protect you… instead you are your own savior, your own knight-in-shining armor (or sparkling amor for me).

One way to begin remembering that sense of self, safety, is to affirm it regularly.  Another step is understanding that we are not our bodies, we are so much more, and that more is always ok.

xo

a

Our Responsibility

Hello, We are responsible for each other in a way that may not seem obvious.  I don't mean as mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister.  I don't mean in the way of volunteering by handing out food and clothing to the disenfranchised.  I don't mean by taking care of an elderly neighbor's lawn in the summertime or helping someone across the street.  All of these things are wonderful and natural ways we show love to one another but there is a responsibility that I feel we have failed miserably in meeting.  We don't allow others to be who they are.  We don't give people the space to become who they are and support needed to blossom into their ideal selves.

What we do is quickly give humans the rules to what is right and what is wrong.  Humans get bullied from very early on.  Before we ever find out what someone wants we tell them what is and isn't ok to want.  We set up a system (in every culture) that is  based on things we were told, that were based on things that the ones who told us were told, etc. without giving that much thought to whether or not most people are ok with the system or whether the system actually works.  When someone doesn't fit into the structure that was set up before they existed they are either crazy, evil, an abomination, wrong or a misfit.  There isn't a lot of room to be accepted when you don't fit the norm in most societies.  When we create right we create wrong.  You cannot say something is good without deciding that there are things that are bad.  When you create an extreme you create it's opposite; is this what being responsible for one another means?  To determine who is bad and who is good.  What do we base it on?  What the majority are doing or not doing (that they will admit to)?  What some religious document says?  What happens to those who are wrong in our society?  What happens to the misfits?

I truly believe that we are responsible for those who feel left out, bullied by a society that never gave them a chance;  told that they were wrong for feeling, thinking, saying something that went against what society has determined as ok to say, think or feel.  When we set up a system that automatically rules out certain types of people as worthy in a systematic way (the way that we do in this country) we have neglected our responsibility to love each other as ourselves because we are connected.  We have forgotten that we cannot exist separate from one another.  We are all necessary and important and responsible for each other in a deep way that never touches on aiding with groceries to someone's car… though that is important and it does matter.  However, we are responsible to each other in the way to not cause harm, to not destroy, to not judge.  When we decide that someone is less than we tear a part of them away.  We build up rage that at some point will have to come out.  We create dangerous situations and hazardous environments when we push others down for being who they are.

I believe we need to allow what is.  We need to allow everyone to communicate who they feel they are, what their desires are and how they see the world.  We need to learn boundaries at a young age so we can become aware of where I begin and you end.  We need to help others love who they are and find their own voice.  We need to discuss what it means to be aware.  We need to be very careful with each other's hearts. We need to take ownership of our feelings and not blame others for the things that don't belong to them (like our feelings).  We need to understand when we judge others we are judging ourselves.  We need to understand that we cannot always be comfortable and things aren't always going to be the way we would prefer them to be, nor are people.  We need to understand that it isn't our responsibility to put one another down or to marginalize each other, but to uplift and propel each other forward.  I believe we need to first do this for ourselves, once we are no longer in the direct care of others.  Once we have given ourselves permission to feel what we feel and be who we are without the judgement, we can decide if it is what we want to keep or not.  Acceptance is power; the power to change, the power to heal; the power to move on.  Our responsibility, in my opinion, is to accept each other.  Embrace each other.  To love.

xo

a

ReConditioner

Hello there! There are many ways to look at a situation.  You can look at it from the perspective that it is happening to you.  You can look at it as if it is happening around you.  You can also look at it as happening inside you.  Even still you can look at it as if it isn't happening at all… that it is all imaginary.  I tend to look at it in all ways, going through one to the next pretty quickly.  When I am faced with a stressful (my perception) situation I feel victimized for a very short time and then quickly move to what I can control.  It is hard to stay the course when so many things seem to be thrown at you to knock you off course.

Our minds are tricky things.  Thoughts zoom by at the speed of light.  It seems to be impossible to slow them down let alone to stop them altogether.  Often we have thoughts that stem from feelings arising and we immediately believe that everything that is happening for us is true or has to be true.  We are conditioned beings, we have been taught that one thing means another, we have associations that at some point were created not inherent.  In order to free ourselves from the conditioning we have to allow the feelings and thoughts to exist (they are rather persistent) and look at them with curiosity instead of giving them our complete trust.  When you can let go of what you have always believed to be true about a feeling or a thought you can start recreating your life and undoing the conditioning that may be doing you in.

All of this is easier said than done.  There will be things that push you where you feel weakest.  You will be in the middle of a bad week and something will come along to show you just how not bad it really was in comparison.  You will find yourself in a place where you look around and recognize barely anything, where nothing makes sense, where you feel a bit lost.  You will find yourself off track.  It is hard to not panic in these situations, it is hard not to find something, someone else to hold responsible for it.  Personal responsibility isn't something you can pick and choose to have.  You either practice it or you don't.  If you can move through the series of feelings and thoughts that keep you stuck and twisting in the wind you just might see the blessing in it.  You are being given another opportunity to create the world, the life, you claim you want.

Much love,

xo

a

How Do I Know?

Happy Weekend! How do we know what we know?  How do we know what we feel or what the feeling is for?  What if we have no idea what our feelings really mean, like people looking at a mirror thinking that there is a whole world on the other side instead of just a reflection.  What if feelings were that mirror and nothing more.  What if they actually told you nothing about the external world and were only and external representation of what is happening internally.   However you were feeling would be represented by what you were seeing.  What if our feelings created the external world so that we could practice using the skill that is emotion.

It could be that we are akin to someone from the year 1455 being transported to 2012.  They could very well use computers as artwork and iPods as doorstops. We may not actually have any idea what emotions are for.  We may be using them incorrectly.  How do you know that we aren't?

Ultimately everything is like this.  We go on an idea that we were given and we run with it because it helps, we believe, us function in this time and space.  We rarely believe we could be heading in a direction that isn't the highest level of use of our abilities.  We rarely spend time imagining what we actually could do, what the possibilities are.  When we think of things that are beyond what we have accomplished at this moment we tend to resist it.  It is like our brains, our imaginations are in prison or have been browbeaten to only repeat what is known.  What if you broke out of that once a day.  What if you allowed something that doesn't exist in our present day (that we know of) to exist in your imagination.  You saw it, you felt it, you knew it was true.  What do you think would happen?  How do you think, if at all, the world would shift?

xo

a

Lie To Me

Howdy! Most of us have two lives.  Our public and our private life.  We show the world one thing and we keep to ourselves, and sometimes from ourselves, what is really happening.  We spend a lot of our lives, if not all, denying truths, ignoring feelings, and creating stories to maintain the status quo.  If you are unhappy in any way about your life you must remember that you are the only one responsible for where you are right now (and always).  The same goes for anyone who is happy for where they are right now.

Think.  Take a quiet moment to sit with yourself.  Let everything come in.  Try it.  Brace yourself, what you may feel and find could be difficult.  The thing is, the truth has been close to the surface for most of us.  We do a lot of things to take our minds off of it.  We overeat, we get into relationships that take all of our energy, we do drugs, we create drama, we blame others, we sabotage ourselves.  Mainly we refuse to take a long look at how we do things and why.  We don't question our motivations, our choices, our beliefs.  We go along trying to live as pain-free as possible.  If the truth hurts then what lies are keeping you comfy?

It isn't about judging yourself or putting yourself down.  It is about knowing what is actually going on for you so that you can make some other things happen, things you want to go on for yourself.  When you keep yourself in the dark about who you actually are you cannot get out from under your own shadow.  It is hard to be directed toward something when you don't actually know where you are starting from.

When you admit what you feel, when you get in touch with all that you think, and when you embrace all of who you are your life changes dramatically.  We must let go of what we want to be to become who we are first.  We must stop running away from ourselves; it is hurtful, it is denial, it is stunting.  By letting go of all of the ways in which we numb ourselves we allow life in.  We allow the possibility for our public life and private life to be in harmony.  We are able to walk the walk instead of talking the talk.

Much love on your journey.

xo

a

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

xo

a

Looking Back

A little story for you… During my senior year in college I was just getting over a pretty devastating break up.  A few months after being dumped on my rear end I began dating someone else.  A lovely European man whom I will call Vlad.  I went to a small school so there was no 'dodging' my ex, besides we both worked at the movie theater on campus (one of my 10 jobs) ;).  It was really annoying for me to see my ex with our friends.  I was still hurt.  I was still angry.  Vlad was amazingly perceptive and direct.  We had a discussion where Vlad asked me if I still had feelings for my ex.  I immediately denied any feelings whatsoever.  I was so frustrated.  I had been loyal and loving to Vlad and was genuinely happy in our relationship (except for the fact that women on campus routinely threw themselves at him, in front of me, sometimes pushing me out-of-the-way, seriously) and was upset that he was implying I felt for my ex.  After I protested and told him that I couldn't stand my ex that my ex made me angry, Vlad said, "yes, anger is a feeling."  I remember at that moment stopping (at least in my head, knowing me then I probably argued a bit more in reality) and becoming clear on what he was saying to me, what he was asking me.  He asked if I had feelings.  Not if I liked him still or if I wanted to be with him, but was I over it?  Could I look at my ex and feel nothing, no charge, no surge of emotion.  I then conceded (yes, I was sure I was at war at that moment) that I indeed did have feelings regardless of their nature.

You know you have moved on from something when you can look at it, and, as a friend says, feel the way you would feel if it were a sock in a box.  Was my ex a sock in a box.  Hell no.  It was more like a firecracker in my hand.  It was unpredictable and burned and could possibly take my hand off if it exploded.  I was hurt and felt like nothing would be the same because my trust had been absolutely destroyed.  I felt bent, cracked, broken.  I had feelings and they were on the surface and Vlad wanted to discuss what they were.  He was lovely (is lovely) and I was lucky to have someone address what was happening for me and be absolutely secure around it.  So much so that he and my ex became friendly.  They really enjoyed each other in a genuine way and that pissed me off even more.  Though I was supportive because that made more sense than being a brat.

Recently I discussed my marriage that ended in 2002.  It was even more devastating than my ex in college. This was supposed to be forever, we promised.  I was destroyed by the ending of it and took note, as years passed, if I could look at that situation and feel anything.  For some years I felt like I would go back if asked.  That changed to feeling like I wanted to know how they were doing because they'd been a part of my world in a huge way and I had that right, no?  Then came the day that I recalled the story of my marriage and felt like I was discussing a book I'd read some time ago.  It had become the sock in a box.  It felt so good.  It was so very nice to feel that I was done with the immediate work around that relationship.  I was free and clear.

I am not one to dwell in the past.  I enjoy my present moment way too much to concern myself with something I cannot affect.  I am so busy in my 'now' creating my 'next' that the past is an interruption that is not welcome usually.  However, I do, every now and then, take a look at some past events that, at that time, were big to me.  I take a look to see how I feel and if I feel anything surrounding it.

Do you have experiences in your life that you still have strong feelings around?  What would your life look like if you could see those things like socks in a box (or maybe just one sock in a box)?

xo

a