emotion

Worrying is Optional

I always find it so fascinating the memories we have from childhood that occasionally pop up like they just happened the other day. Back when I was around 7, my parents and I, as well as our next-door neighbors, a fun older couple (50’s is older when your 7), planned to go out on our boat into the Gulf of Mexico for a few hours one weekend afternoon. I loved to go out on the boat to feel the warm sun and watch the dolphins play in the wake.

We got everything loaded up, pulled into the marina with the boat launch, put the boat in the water, and got in all ready to go for our adventure. Except the starter did not turn the engine over. The battery was dead.

My parents took off to go find another battery and I remember talking to my neighbors being concerned about how long my parents were gone, what had happened to the boat, how we weren’t going to get out and enjoy the water, blah, blah, blah.

The wife said to me, wow, you are a worry wart. That really struck me at the tender age of 7. Me, a worry wart? No way! I mean, who worries at 7?

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I guess I did.

Of course, my parents came back with the new battery; we hopped in the boat, and continued with our day on the water.

As a child, I truly had nothing to be worried about, but as adults, holy moly, do we have things to worry about. Mortgages, world hunger, terrorism, getting to work on time, saving enough money for retirement, the list is endless.

Yes, those are all parts of modern life right now, but you know what? Worrying about any of it is completely optional. I would even say it is completely unneeded, unwanted, and unhealthy.

The feeling of worry comes from a thought that says something along the lines of I’m not safe, the future is scary, or something bad is going to happen. Worry is future-oriented. It takes us completely out of the present. We don’t worry about what is happening right this moment. When something is happening right now we are busy dealing with that, not worrying about it.

Worry puts you in an internal state of stress. You do that to yourself. You can take worry off the table anytime you’d like.

How?

You plan for the future, not worry about it. You make a plan to pay your mortgage, you plan to deal with terrorism, you plan to get to work on time, you plan to save money for retirement.

Our media is full of fear-based stories. They perpetuate worry.

How interesting that I don’t listen or pay much attention to the media and I live a peaceful life with very little worry.

Worry is optional and your choice.

So tell me, is there something you can drop your worry about today?

Give it a try and make a plan instead.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Are You Running from Your Emotions?

Why do you run from certain emotions as fast and as far as you can? Because you’ve decided they don’t feel good. And if an emotion doesn’t feel good it can’t possible be good for you to feel. Right? Well, no!

I have to tell you, it has taken me a loooooong time to really understand this intellectually and believe it physically. But I totally get it now.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

The emotions you have, like, anger, sadness, fear, joy, guilt, are there because of the thoughts you think about some circumstance, another person, or yourself. Without those thoughts you would not have an emotion. Your thoughts create your emotions. Period.

You can change your thoughts on purpose if you want to feel something different, but I’m not going to focus on that today.

Today I’m focusing on actually physically feeling those emotion states, those words you have in your mind for emotions.

Your emotions can be felt physically, as sensations or vibrations in the body.

Let’s work through an example.

Think about the last time you were angry. What was happening in your life? Now, I want you to close your eyes and hold that situation in your minds eye. Then I want you to do a body scan. From the tips of your toes to the top of your head.

I want you to notice and be curious about the physical sensations that show up in your body that go with this emotion of anger.

Where do you feel it? How does it show up? Does it have a size? A color? Does it hum or buzz? Does it tighten areas or loosen them up?

What I want you to understand and practice is that when you feel your emotions physically you get to practice living with them and through them. When you fully give yourself to sitting with the vibration of feeling them then you know that even though sometimes they aren’t comfortable, they will pass. You’re afraid of them because you think you will feel horrible and stay feeling icky all day, or maybe forever. But that isn’t what happens.

Your power lies in feeling those emotions.

When you are willing to feel your emotions physically (All of them), then you know you can do it. There is nothing to be afraid of because if you can feel happiness, anger, fear, panic, and know that you can live through them, then they have no power over you. When you feel them with curiosity and without judging them for being there, they pass through and move on. It’s just a form of energy that wants to move.

When you know you can survive your emotions, then you know you can survive anything. Then you have nothing to run from or hide from.

And as one of my favorite teachers in the coaching world says, you will be willing to show up in the world in a way that most people are unwilling to do which means you probably have a life that most people are unwilling to create for themselves. And that my friends are sage advice.

So tell me, what one emotion do you hate feeling or are afraid to feel? And are you willing to feel it today? Set a timer for 90 seconds and go. When the timer goes off, let it go and move forward with your day. You absolutely have that control.

Leave a comment on the blog below about your experience, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The Nurturing of Your Emotions

Happy, mad, sad, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disappointment, hurt, elation, gratitude, hate, peace… They are all emotions. And of course, there are a million more. emotion faces

When you look at the list above how many of those emotions are you comfortable feeling?

All of them? Some of them? The “good” ones?

Here’s something important you need to know.

They are all good to feel.

Why?

Because emotions are just information for you.

They let you know what is happening in your life right now and how you think, and therefore feel about it.

Last week I spoke on how your thoughts about a circumstance/fact in your life create how you feel, what emotion you have. They do. And you can change your thoughts, therefore your feelings, any time you’d like. If you missed it and want to read it, here it is.

What is also really important is to actually “feel” the emotions that come up for you. Emotions aren’t just felt intellectually, they ‘re felt physically as well. And you really should feel them. All of them. So often we stuff the ones that don’t feel good because we think that will make them go away. Then all will be right in the world. Wrong.

Because that is how they are processed, moved through the body. Then that energy dissipates, and you can move forward with your day. You know that emotions are just a form of energy right? If that energy isn’t allowed to move through, it can get trapped inside and cause all kinds of physical symptoms and ailments.

 

Here’s an example of feeling your emotions physically.

Many of you know I lost my dog child Kona about 5 months ago. I went through a very intense grieving process for a few months. That grieving process continues. Here’s what it looks like.

I’ll sometimes be outside taking our other dog Elvis for a walk and a memory of Kona will pop up into my head. I can almost see him running ahead of me on the trail. The thought that comes into my head is “I miss him”. And guess what? The tears flow. Often heavily. And I let them. My chest tightens, my heart sinks, my shoulders sag, and my forehead scrunches up. That is feeling my emotion physically. I notice it in my body, I let it be there, and just feel what I’m feeling.

Then after a minute, maybe 2 max, the tears stop flowing, my body lightens up, and the emotion of sadness, that energy, has moved through and on.

That’s how you nurture your emotional side. You allow it, embrace it, you don’t run from it.

Here’s another reason to feel your emotions. Say you feel angry at someone or upset by something they said or did. When you don’t feel your emotions, physically and all the way through, your reaction to your emotions may cause you to say or do something to that other person out of hurt or anger.

When you actually allow yourself to feel what you are feeling when you get to the other side, there can be more peace and clarity, less stress. You choose to react from a place of calm instead of a place of anger and hurt. There’s a huge difference between those two places.

I invite you to make friends with all of your emotions. They can’t hurt you. They are just information to help guide your way.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

 

What to do when circumstances aren't changing

To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. Here in Fairbanks, Alaska, we are all ready for spring. For the snow to melt, to put on less clothing, and enjoy a change of season. Except, old man winter has decided he is not anywhere through with us. We’ve had snow for a few days with more forecasted, much colder than normal temperatures, and we really don’t have an end in sight. snow can be a crappy circumstance when you want it to be spring

We’ve already had 6 months of winter and we all seem to be collectively saying, “Seriously?” and “ Are you freaking kidding me?”

Since mother nature is playing her proverbial joke that we don’t find funny, this brings up a perfect question. How do we cope when circumstances aren’t what we’d like? Can you think of anywhere in your life where this might be going on?

The first thing to remember is this, “this too shall pass.” Everything does, in time. The nature of life is that everything is always changing. The same goes with circumstances. Even when you think they will go on forever, they won’t.

Here are three ways you can actively deal with circumstances that aren’t changing and you just don’t like.

1.   Accept

2.   Allow

3.   Choose

You already know that whatever circumstance is bugging you will pass (like I know it won’t continue to snow for the next 3 months), but in the meantime…

Accept- Accept the specific circumstances. This doesn’t mean you have to like what’s going on at all. Accepting the crappy circumstances enables you to say, “this isn’t my idea of a good time, but I’m willing to acknowledge that this is what is going on at this moment and that’s the way it is for right now."

Allow- One of the best ways to allow a yucky circumstance is to actually give yourself a few minutes to be all pissy about it. Here’s my example that I say either in my mind or out loud.

Me: “I am so freaking tired of winter, the cold, the snow, the barren trees outside. We’ve had winter since October, most of the rest of the country is in shorts and t-shirts already and I’m having to put on 3 layers just to go outside. When will it end? When? When? When?” It’s a bit like a 60-second rant you see.

Then I feel my emotions around it. I feel mad, sad, frustrated, and irritated. Then I actually notice and feel where those emotions show up in my body. Mad shows up as a scrunched forehead. Sad shows up as droopy shoulders. Frustrated shows up as a heavy chest. After thinking what I need to think about the situation (1 minute), feeling my feelings emotionally and physically (2 minutes), I then…

Choose- I either choose to continue suffering or choose to move forward with my day. It’s not going to stop snowing outside or get warmer by my willing it, so I can either stay in the crappy mood I’ve created or choose to think and feel differently about these circumstances. For example, I’m going to put on my snowshoes and go for a run, finish my blog post for the week, coach one of my favorite clients, and enjoy the 16 hours of daylight I do have outside. You can do this too.

Accept… Allow… Choose.

And don’t forget, “this too shall pass”.

What circumstance are you willing to change your perception about? Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

Pain as a Pisser (and a Teacher)

To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. I’ve got a hamstring injury and I’m not happy about it. It makes me a bit pissy.     wise ones take care of their health

Maybe angry is a better word.

Actually, I’m just frustrated and sad.

I’m an active person who doesn’t really like to, want to slow down or change anything because of a painful hamstring injury. But this isn’t going to go away anytime soon without some healthy, thoughtful attention from me.

In my previous career as a Physical Therapist, patients would tell me, “my such and such body part hurts, I think I might have a problem”. I would gently remind them that pain was not a sign that said they might have a problem; it meant they already did have a problem.

Therefore, I have a problem.

I don’t want to rest it, ice it, stretch it, possibly seek outside help, and discontinue some of the things I enjoy. Do you hear my pissyness?

But I have a choice here.

Continue to irritate it with my normal activity or change what I’m doing so it can heal.

Hmmmmmm…. I sense a teacher nearby.

When my coaching clients find something happening in their life they don’t like, I often ask, what can you learn from this?

In my case, my mind immediately jumps to the basic fact that the body is an amazing machine that can heal itself, in its own way, and own perfect time. Not my mental perfect time.

And I always have a choice in how I react to what’s happening. I can be pissy about it. But at who? Me, the universe, the ice flow I tried to go over but caught my ski injuring my hamstring? It just happened.

Here’s the interesting thing. I’ve had a chronic tight hamstring for quite a while. It’s been bothering me for some time. I’ve done a few things to manage it, but nothing to really get to the bottom of it and fully take care of it. Until now.

Maybe the universe is teaching me that if I want to continue to ask my body to do what it has been doing for me for so long, I must take care of it and give it real, loving, healthy, respectful attention.

My body wants to work for me. It does. It also wants to thrive and feel good. So does yours. I can help it with that. But I must pay attention to what it is telling me.

And I ask you. Where in your life do you need to give some healthy, respectful attention? Where do you need to rest? Heal? Or need help?

Your life will give you clues as to what’s working and what isn’t.

They can be screaming clues or subtle. Are you listening, paying attention?

My hamstring is talking loud and clear. I’m listening, letting it teach me, AND acting on it. With kindness and respect.

My hamstring is healing and feeling better. So am I.

Your Turn: Is something in your life speaking to you? Are you listening?  I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…