Feeling this way now means that I always feel this way.
Can also show up as:
If I let myself feel bad, it will stay.
The Truth: My dear friend Geneva often quips, “I have the worst memory. Whenever I feel down, I think I always feel this way!”
The truth is that our moods are always changing — moment by moment, day by day. It’s easy to fall into thinking that you always feel upset when you are simply having a bad moment, bad day, or even a bad week.
It can sometimes feel like if we say how we’re feeling, it will make the feeling persist. Like somehow lying about how we feel means we won’t have to feel that way anymore.
In truth, avoidance is what keeps the feelings present.
It’s been said many times over: what we resist persists. The only way to the other side of your anger, despair, disappointment, grief, jealousy, or fear is through it. You need to feel it, express it, process it, even love it, so it can dissolve.
Which is why the first step in the Wake-Up Call Three-Step Process is to ask, “What is my Inner Critic/Inner Mean Girl saying?”
This question gives you permission to feel the way you are feeling, to tell the truth about how lousy things feel and how mean you are being to yourself, to bring the darkness into the light.
But I don’t leave you there.
We then ask, “What does my Inner Wisdom know?” so you can tap into what you know already on a deep level. And our final step is for you to physicalize your Inner Wisdom’s Truth with a gesture, movement, or stance while repeating it aloud.
A teaching in the coaching world goes like this: “What you can’t be with runs you.”
In other words, if you feel like you can never be with anger or sadness or disappointment and therefore spend time and energy avoiding an emotion, then you end up allowing that emotion to be at the center of your life.
You are merely dancing around your anger instead of living the richness and fullness of your life.
Let’s explore how to allow emotions to flow through you so that you can stop avoiding them. And simultaneously you will recognize the impermanence of all your emotions.
- Begin by noticing what emotion you are most scared to feel. Is it anger? Rage? (It is very common for women especially to be afraid of anger, since many of us were raised to believe it was not okay for little girls to get angry or be enraged.) Maybe for you it is sadness or even joy?
- What are you afraid will happen if you allow yourself to feel that emotion? Do you secretly believe you’ll end up in a fit of rage and never come out? Get swallowed whole by your sadness? That the other shoe will drop if you feel truly and deeply happy? (See Big Fat Lie #28: If I allow myself to celebrate, the other shoe will drop.)
- What emotion do you believe you always feel when you feel it in the moment? It is all too easy to believe we are always stressed and on the edge when we’re in the midst of being stressed and on the edge!
- The next time you feel any of the emotions you unearthed above bubble to the surface, simply stop and notice it. Notice how you feel in your body. Allow yourself to become fully present with this emotion.
- Simply BE with the feeling. Sit side by side with your anger. Cradle your sadness like a newborn babe. Welcome your feelings of stress and anxiety. And just be.
- What you’ll discover is that the less you resist that feeling, the less scary it becomes and the faster it dissipates.
Congratulations, sweet one, you’ve just practiced mindfulness and unconditional self-love.
Affirmation: The next moment will take care of itself and may bring something completely different — I am willing to be surprised.
“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival. . . .
Welcome and entertain them all!”
— Rumi, thirteenth-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic
Excerpted from the book Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch Your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar © 2011 by Amy Ahlers. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.
About the author
Amy Ahlers, the Wake-Up Call Coach and bestselling author, is on a mission to wake up the sacred in your everyday life. Since 2000, she has been an International Certified Success Coach, the CEO of Wake-Up Call Coaching and co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School with Christine Arylo, Visionary Ignition Switch with Lissa Rankin and Find Your Calling with Lissa Rankin and Martha Beck.
Amy has been a featured expert on lots of TV & radio shows, and for media outlets like The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. She loves lighting up the stage at events where she wakes people up to the voice of their Inner Wisdom and helps them cultivate the courage to act on it. Her first book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves: Ditch your Inner Critic and Wake Up Your Inner Superstar (New World Library, 2011), shot up to #1 in several categories on Amazon, including Self-Help, Happiness and Self-Esteem.
To know more about Amy, visit her website www.wakeupcallcoaching.com.