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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

How Do You Want to Feel?

A note from Erin:

Good morning!

This morning I’m inspired to share with you something that’s been super helpful for me, and I hope for you too!

Sometimes synchronicity brings similar things into our lives at the same time. For me, in the past few years, one of these has been a powerful question which has come to me from many different mentors.

How Do You Want to Feel?

clockwise from upper left, that’s me and Carl with Russell Delman,
with Danielle LaPorte, me with Andrea Scher (center) and other superheros, and me with Christine Kane.

In one way or another, each of these wonderful human beings has invited me to ask myself some variation of this powerful question:

“How do I want to feel?”

Each one offers teachings around this in their own unique ways which have been amazingly powerful in my life.

And it’s a great question for me to revisit often.

Making plans for my teaching schedule in 2015… How do I want to feel?
Those micro-choices in choosing how to spend my days… How do I want to feel?
Noticing my body, my movement patterns, and how I’m treating myself through my way of sitting, walking, lifting, tensing, etc… How do I want to feel?
Choosing what to do or not do over the holidays… How do I want to feel?
Choosing what to eat or drink when so much is proffered during these holiday weeks… How do I want to feel?
Wondering, do I really need to check my email again? How do I want to feel?

Danielle’s Desire Map process has been hugely helpful for me by inviting me to ask lots of questions and take unique perspectives to uncover how I want to feel in different areas of my life.

Russell has helped me to understand that I get to take responsibility for my state in any situation, and has powerfully helped me to grow the qualities I aspire to with brilliant Embodied Life practices like Resource Growing.

Andrea has helped me to stretch my dream-muscles. (My dream-muscles were so weak and atrophied when I discovered her, you wouldn’t even believe it!) Her online course Mondo Beyondo which I took for the first time in 2010 helped me to dream again, and to become a possibilitarian.

Christine helped me with her 4 powerful questions which bring clarity on how I want to feel and who I want to be into any situation.

Tara Mohr has helped me to understand something powerful about how I want to feel and respond to the different flavors of fear. (A friend just told me that I’m quoted in her new book talking about just that!)

I’m sooo grateful for the gifts I’ve received from each of them.

How Do You Want to Feel?

I found these words on a tree stump in one of our local canyons. Someone’s happy place!

Last year over the holidays I was on a bit of a bender with this question.
Just ask my mom. :)
At her home for the Christmas holiday, we’d be preparing for our annual traditions of making sushi on Christmas Eve, or fondue on Christmas Day and she’d ask, “Do you think we should start dinner now or a little later?” And I’d answer,
What would help you to feel how you want to feel?

“Shall we go for a walk to the river now or wait until after….” and I’d answer,
What would help you to feel how you want to feel?

Of course I wasn’t just annoying my mom with this question (Hi Mom!), I was asking myself too. And damn, it’s helpful! My mom even started asking it back to me. I loved it.

Isn’t it amazing that in sooooo many ways we’re free to make choices that help us to feel how we want to feel?
Even little micro choices like this: How’s your posture right now?
Could you shift something so you feel more how you want to feel?
Perhaps soften your jaw, exhale a bit more completely, allow your shoulders to drop, perhaps sit up tall with dignity….

Waiting in line anywhere this time of year, in traffic, in a store, in the post office, feeling hurried and tense, I can remember, “How do I want to feel?”

When I remember that I want to feel kind and generous, I can allow someone to merge in front of me. I can smile at someone and make a genuine connection in the midst of a tense and busy scene. I can offer a compliment to the person behind the counter, recognizing their hard work. And each of these actions feeds my own well-being. Amazing!

It’s been liberating for me to notice that following my desired feelings isn’t going to “take me to the dark side” especially when I’m connected with wholeness, sensing my interconnectivity with the world.

I want to feel:

  • maitri
  • inspired
  • generous
  • grateful
  • light
  • whole
  • radiant
  • dignity
  • like a conduit for love
  • and I want to feel fully here, connected, embodied.

If I let those qualities guide my choices and if I keep returning to wholeness (meaning not only considering myself, but considering the whole of a situation), my life flows. When I forget, and feel like a victim of my life situation, well, um, it ain’t pretty. :) Until I catch myself in victim mentality and laugh.

Maybe you want to feel kind, but you’re feeling crabby instead.
Could you be kind to the part of you that feels crabby?

When this happens for me, I might put my hand on my chest and sense that crabby feeling…
“Oh, you feel kinda grumpy. Kinda scroogey. Yes, I sense that. You’re feeling really tight and under pressure. I’m with you.”
And wowza, kindness rules again, even if the grumpy flavor is there in the background.

Many of my clients have shared how helpful this question has been in their lives. Frequently they mention how helpful it’s been when entering a family gathering or a social situation which they have some trepidation about attending.
Can you imagine entering the holidays, whatever they may look like for you, with clarity on how you want to feel, and letting that guide your participation?

How do YOU want to feel?

Wishing you light in the darkness and a holiday rich in kindness.

Love on!
Erin

How Do You Want to Feel?

p.s. I have a glorious darkest-days-of-the-year poem to share with you today from Em Claire.
I love it. I hope you do too.

IT IS YOUR SEASON

It is your season.
Though every one of your
leaves has fallen, and new growth has not yet come,
it is your season.
Though your roots are the only proof you have
that you are still among the living;
though
leaves, nay fruit, seem but
a far-off dream –

it is your season.

Do you know how I know
that this is so?
Because the Beloved loves to play
with Becoming, turning “Patience”
over Its tongue just before
It
finally
whispers

“Blooooom!”

How Do You Want to Feel?

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