I tend to talk about feelings a lot because there’s no other, more important way to navigate your life.
Which is funny, because form a yogic perspective, feelings can’t be trusted. They fluctuate like the weather and aren’t a reflection of your true depth in the stillness beyond.
But they fluctuate with the mind, and, in that way, they’re quite useful.
They give us a felt experience of what the mind is thinking.
Which is important because the key to changing your life is changing your thoughts.
But your thoughts are tricky buggers.
They convince you that they’re rational and useful. They tell you long stories about how you don’t deserve this or the world just works like that. And your emotions jump in to corroborate the thought.
Or the opposite happens – you can wake up feeling glum, but instead of just allowing for the difference, your mind gets to work concocting some great reason why you should be feeling so low.
Then what was potentially an opportunity for quiet reflection and repose becomes an angry pity party for all the ways you suck and were wronged.
Your mind reflects your feelings and your feelings reflect you mind.
So if you want to change your thoughts, change your feelings.
Bonus – it’s WAY easier than confronting your mind head-on.
My favorite trick is visualization or “feel-ization”.
I spend the first 10-15 minutes before I get out of bed in the morning imagining how I want to feel. I imagine where I want to be, how warm it is, what the view is like, if there’s a breeze today.
I imagine the sounds around me, the voices I hear, the faces, smell, and touch of the people around me.
I imagine fabrics and the taste of foods. I embody the sense of ease and rightness.
And an amazing thing happens:
My belly softens, my jaw unclenches, and my breath deepens.
I physically become the person in my visualization.
I’ve become so good at this, I often skip the mental imagery all together. I just imagine how I want to feel and then allow for the mind to create the circumstances that would support it.
Now if I just unclench my jaw or breath deeply into my belly, I’m immediately back to that place of feeling good – how I want to feel.
Which is how I want you to use your feelings going forward.
It’s fine and great to say I want to be a millionaire and live by the ocean in a grand home with a supermodel spouse. You can robotically work towards achieving that and hope that it makes you happy when you get there.
But if instead you focus on saying – I want to feel aligned, embodied, like a spark is charging through me – then you’ll start to notice when you feel those ways.
You’ll be guided towards the experiences that allow you to feel them more, and move away from the people, places, and things that make you feel them less.
The journey will literally be as delicious as the outcome because you’ll be feeling how you want to feel along the way. Plus, once you arrive, you’ll know how to enjoy it because you’ve been practicing feeling good.
I’m not saying it’ll be super easy. My experience lately makes me think that once you start navigating by feeling, all the crappy parts of your mind rise up in mutiny to remind you that you’re supposed to feel less than, unworthy, and miserable.
But keep seeking out the good feelings anyway.
Keep bringing in feeling calm, settled, powerful, and alive. Choose your thoughts from there. Make your decisions from there.
Would fully confident, content, aligned you agree to bake 150 cupcakes by tomorrow? Probably not. But the voice in your head might. You know – the one that tells you you’ll never really fit in and be accepted and you’re the only one who seems even slightly stressed juggling 14-billion things plus kids each day.
Ignore that voice. It’ll make you do stupid things and feel terrible, then push you to do even more and feel worse.
Start with feeling good. Great even.
Start with feeling how you want to feel. Focused, whole, connected, supported, loved, loving, wise, joyful, playful, easeful.
You name it. Feel it for even just a few seconds today and then try to feel it more and more.
Build in 5 minutes just for feeling how you want to feel.
And watch your world change.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!