Feeling Your Feelings

How are you feeling today? Whether you're tired, peaceful, excited or sad, it's common to react to each feeling and allow your emotions to guide your actions. Buddhists like to talk about the "reactive mind," which means your thoughts and actions are only reactions to your feelings. How do you free yourself from this chain of reactions?

Many of the women that I work with find themselves disliking their "bad" feelings (like sadness, boredom or loneliness). It’s easy to end up trying to get away from these feelings— curing them with a cookie or a cup of coffee, or seeking distraction in relationships or a new hobby.   

What does this habit have to do with self-love?

If you feel your feelings without pushing them away or seeking an immediate solution, you may notice that while some feelings are uncomfortable, they are not life-threatening. You can allow yourself to be uncomfortable while telling a friend that you'd rather meet for tea than for a drink. You can begin to let go of the constant struggle to avoid bad feelings while chasing good ones. You can make choices using your inner wisdom, and your intuition. To go a little more in-depth, read about making choices with your intuition here.

Feel each of your emotions, relish and express them, and then let them move on.

Make room for the next feeling to arrive. Consider the feeling, your response to it, what story you're telling yourself about it, and its basis in your reality.  

Let your feelings be a rich part of your life; let them fuel your creativity and deepen your experiences.  Find the value in each emotion, not just the pleasant ones.

Then—perhaps— you won't need that cookie.