Moods of a Mirror

At times we get so caught up being busy with what is going on in life that we forget about ourselves. We lose connection with how we feel in the moment, and what we need. We forget to stop to take a breather and give to US. Many times we get caught up with what everyone else needs, as we leave ourselves simmering on the back burner.

Love is always there. It never disappears, it just seems there can be thick woolly layers in-between, where we can’t feel it peacefully existing inside for ourselves and others. A myriad of emotions can block the feeling of love. Distraction distances us, such as when I get caught up in what is going on; whether I am knee deep in work, walking my daughter around her new campus or paying bills; “I” am not in the picture frame.

In that moment, my focus is all outward. There is no focus inward.

Often, I feel some heavy feeling, something causing a nagging feeling of discomfort and it finally makes me realize that I am disconnected. So, I stop what I am doing for a second and ask myself “How am I feeling?” The more often I check in with myself, the more it brings me back to being in the moment and grounded in myself. Instead, of putting the feelings aside…I let them come up for a visit, so they move on and then I can continue my day in a much happier space.

I give my clients a 2 part exercise in awareness and getting in touch with themselves.

In the first part I ask them to stop and ask “how are you feeling” several times a day. Many have never connected to their emotions and don’t know what to expect; even though there has been initial reluctance from some of them, the results have been amazing!

Many people are afraid to feel their real feelings, because they think it will overtake them and ruin their mood, heck I’ve had clients tell me it could ruin their whole day! They believe their negative feelings will consume them and they will become incoherent, catatonic or hysterical. I ask,  What is the mood you are in when you don’t allow yourself to feel your feelings? A false sense of contentment? Or an on-going sadness or anxiety greeting you as you wake and yet, you are so used to it that it feels normal everyday?

The second part is to check in and develop an awareness of being in their body as they walk, drive, and go about their day. Most of us distract ourselves with things like the radio when we drive or thinking of our to-do list as we walk, sit and even try to fall asleep. If you start to pay attention to being in your body and what you are experiencing in the moment, you will immediately feel calmer and more connected.

Pushing down feelings, prolongs the agony and in the long run promotes all sorts of emotional and physical ailments. Stress, anxiety, depression are a few, not to mention the studies done regarding the links of your emotional state to cancer and other diseases.

We do things to distract ourselves from what we are really feeling in many ways from shopping, eating, drinking, sleeping, burying ourselves in work and the list continues… And/or we compartmentalize emotions and situations….and “say” nothing to anyone to avoid confrontation or opinions or CHANGE.

Mmmm….it is easier to be kind to oneself. Kindness consists of allowing. Allowing emotions, feelings, communication that is meant to be honest and informative from our most authentic self.

Kindness is in how we treat ourselves. Bestowing kindness on myself by taking care of me, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Kindness is what I like to fill up my glass with each day. When I am kind to others, I feel good. The mirror is always reflected back.

When I punish others, I punish myself. I know that if I am punishing someone, I may feel good for a minute or two…but then, the guilt starts and the second-guessing and the remorse….and then I feel worse than I did to start.

So, I ask…why make yourself feel bad? Instead hug yourself, look in mirror and smile! Take time out to sit and stare at the sky day or night; write a poem, eat dessert….if you are depriving yourself of pleasure…..bring it on, give yourself pleasure!!! Pleasure without guilt. Pleasure because you deserve it, because you exist. You are worth it!

Do you?

Do you always understand what you are doing, before you do it? Or do you find sometimes you are on auto-pilot and have no real inkling as to why you are doing something?

How often during an average day are you aware of your emotional state? Do you find some days as you work that you feel discomfort, anxiety or some other not so wonderful feeling? Do you try to distract yourself? Push it down? Or do you allow the discomfort to envelope you and let it go?

On Sunday night, do you already anticipate what Monday looks like? What people will act like and what situations await you? Does it give you a pit in your stomach or a sense of anticipatory anxiety? Or are you able to live in the moment of being in Sunday night and have no expectations as to what awaits you on Monday?

These are just a sample of the questions I ask when trying to build self-awareness and responsibility for our inner life. These questions unveil patterns of thought, behavior and action. Many of our patterns are unconscious, and some of the conscious ones cause us great distress, because we don’t know how to take action to change our thoughts or reality. We beat ourselves up over and over. The self-flagellation becomes less as we grow more in control of our choices and where the choices originate from inside of us.