Here is my third and final mantra to live by. If you missed Part 2, you can read it here.

Feel Your Feelings, But Don’t Get Lost In The Story:

Waterfall_123rfEmotions are the flow of life. When we let them flow, they naturally help us to heal and to navigate the changing tides of circumstance, and they bring a richness and aliveness to life.

Most of us are afraid of the intensity of our feelings. We think they will overwhelm us or hurt others. The truth is bottling them up does that. And exploding or dumping on others does that too. We have not learned to just be present with ourselves and our feelings, to welcome them and allow them to move by feeling them fully. Then they will naturally dissolve.

stuckoldman123rfThe trouble comes when we either express them in ways that are not beneficial to self and others or we suppress them, which causes all sorts of dis-ease. The real trouble comes because we believe the stories behind the feelings—stories of fear that aren’t real, for example, or of judgment of another person, or the story that says “I need this person, or I’ll die.” Most of us want to hang on to these stories as real and true, but they cause enormous suffering, and they don’t allow the feelings to flow.

Practice checking in with what you are feeling in the present moment. Get current with your feelings (not carrying an old story around of what you were feeling, even a moment ago) and be present with the feelings. Let yourself actually deeply feel what you are feeling here and now. Notice how it feels in your body, notice the thoughts and images that arise without believing them, and welcome it all, allow it. Feel it all the way through.

If the feeling is strong, it may help to find a healthy outlet for it—whether through art, dancing, running around the block or punching a pillow and screaming, shaking all over if you’re scared, or crying if you are sad. Often, just feeling it fully and breathing through it is enough. If you are a suppression type, try giving the feeling more expression of a healthy kind. Let it move, but don’t splatter it all over others.

stickingouttongues_LondonScoutYou will be surprised how fast the feelings shift and move, when given loving attention, and how healing and transforming the experience is. Also, how incredibly much more alive and free you feel.

The key here is don’t get lost in the story. Do not keep running the story of why you are mad or sad or scared or elated in your head. That will keep you stuck. Let go of the story and simply feel the body sensations of the emotion and breathe deeply; move and make sounds, if you are somewhere where you can. Stay current with the present moment. Keep checking, “What am I feeling now?” and let it flow.

If you would love to have clear, loving guidance and practical tools to bring these three core mantras alive in your life, check out my Artist’s Way class (starts Tuesday!) or my one-on-one Mentoring program.

To your flowing life,