Understanding Your Emotions Workshop

Understanding Your Emotions-2
I’d love to have you join me in a new workshop, Understanding Your Emotions. I will go over some of the ideas in Love Your Skeletons and lead the Ocean Fence meditation. It’s only an hour long, and it’s going to be great! There’s no ticket price as such — we’ll just take donations — you can pay whatever you like for the evening!

It takes place at the Centre for Spiritual Living in Edmonton, AB. We start at 6:30 pm. See the map below!

Getting Out of a Funk!

I was in a funk the other day, and not the good kind of groovy, breakin’-a-sweat-on-the-dance-floor kind of funk. It was more like the funk you find on leftovers that you forgot about in the back of the fridge. That kind of funk, emotionally.

I was frustrated, ticked off. I couldn’t believe that a phone company could have such bad customer service. I was right annoyed. And from that one frustrating event, I ended up getting into the funk I mentioned — an emotional confusion, frustration and general ugliness. It wasn’t full-blown anger but it wasn’t pretty. I was definitely not myself.

It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get out of that funky bad mood. Let me give you a few strategies to try that might help you when you feel crappy and don’t like it.

1. Feel the feeling. Don’t try to avoid the feeling, or pretend you don’t feel cruddy. Actually stop and “check in” with your body to see how that frustration or anger is making you feel. Stomach unsettled? Tension? Take a quick poll, and then breathe.

2. Ask yourself “how would I rather feel?” Would you rather feel content, happy, or even just blah? Usually when I feel cruddy, even just boredom feels like a relief. This can be a tough step, because you start to sense the big gap between how you feel now and how you want to feel. Just the same, it’s a good trick, because you can start to make a move to a better feeling.

3. What thoughts have you been thinking? If you have been thinking about how everything is unfair and nothing is working out right, then no wonder you’re funky. Try to identify what you have been thinking about lately. Act like a scientist doing research — try to be detached from the thoughts themselves.

4. Go general. Now, choose to think something different and start a little “good-feeling” rant in your head. It is always best to go as general as possible. It won’t work to try and criticize or analyze why that company had such bad customer service, for example. Instead, think that “this kind of treatment was unusual, because normally, people treat me well… generally, things go really smoothly for me… the sun in shining and things are looking up… whatever things in my life that aren’t perfect aren’t really a big deal… I am healthy and that is a huge blessing…” Any thoughts along general, positive lines are best.

If this is too hard or feels too fake, try this:

5. Distract yourself. It is absolutely perfectly okay to distract yourself from whatever is cheesing you off. Change what you are doing — go do something you enjoy. Play a game, call a friend (but don’t bitch at him/her), or listen to your favourite music. Do something with your hands. Go for a walk or move your body (this is great if you are caged in an office). If you are at work and can’t really leave, you can still change what you are doing, go for a coffee or other excuse to move your body a little. The point is to distract yourself from whatever was bothering you with something you enjoy. Like I often say, we are like corks; it takes considerable effort to keep us down. A little distraction is usually enough to let our spirit rise.

Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful to lift your mood when you need it!

Downplay the Drama

When something out of the ordinary happens in our lives, we have the choice of how to react. Sometimes, what has happened really surprises us, but often it doesn’t. Once we are over the initial shock, we can more carefully choose our reaction to the events, decide how we want to think and talk about it.

Part of choosing our reaction to an incident — or something that might become a skeleton in the closet — is deciding whether to increase the drama of the situation or not. I think you know what “increasing the drama” means. It means making the story more exciting, and describing the people in extremes — as villains, idiots, or heroes. Dramatizations are always given in a conspiratorial tone, in hushed, animated voices around the water cooler, so to speak.

What does telling a story with extra drama do? Why is increasing the drama a bad idea? When we add drama to a story, we increase the hardships, make struggles more difficult and problems insurmountable. Injustice reigns in big drama. Without realizing it, we are emphasizing how life is hard, things never go smoothly, and people mistreat each other. There is often a strong, imbalanced morality overlaid on the story. Living in this vibration makes us feel frustrated, critical, angry, and judgmental.

When we choose to downplay the drama as we relive the events, we reduce the struggles and judge people less harshly. Our overall tone is “it wasn’t that bad” or “it was a little mess up” rather than the overexaggerated, dramatized version. We tend to feel that things are looking up, people around us are competent, and problems beatable.

How to do it

So how can you learn to reduce the drama of a situation? Here are some things to think about.

– Stick to the facts. When telling the story of what happened, keep it straight-up boring.

– Become aware of what words you choose when you tell the story of what happened. Think of it as a story that can be told in many different ways.

– Catch yourself before you start to talk in black-and-white.

– Don’t vilify (“villainize”) people. Sure, they made a mistake, but it isn’t about their core character.

– If you enjoy dramatizing, do so with something funny or helpful rather than a bad event. Be a stand-up comedian, not a bad-news reporter.

– There is a balance between doing things in the big-city anonymous way and the small-town gossipy way. Look for that balance.

In a non-judgmental way, watch how other people tell stories. Can you see them getting dramatic and adding to their own frustration? Now see that property in yourself, laugh about it, and curb it before it gets out of hand!

Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 4)

I mentioned centering yourself in Part 1, but felt I should expand on that some more. I would like to “de-mystify” some aspects of centering yourself and explain some new-agey-sounding terms in plain English.

Calming Down

The initial way to think of centering yourself is just to calm down. You can do this any time by taking a few deep, conscious breaths. What do I mean by “conscious”? Just be aware you are doing it. Think and pay attention to how your body feels while you breathe. Do nothing else for a second. Breathe… This is the first and vital step to calming down.

Pause and ask yourself what you were just thinking about. If you don’t know, that’s okay. If you can recall it, now see how it was making you feel. Was that train of thought making you feel good (excited, energized, happy) or bad (stressed, tense, worried). These “feelings” can be either mental/emotional (such as frustrated or depressed) or physical (tension in the neck, stomach uneasy). Now you have become aware of how your thoughts make you feel!

If those thoughts are particularly strong, you might want to have a “wave experience” as I describe in my book (chapter 19). This will help you pass through the emotions and gain some insight about them.

To connect with your intuition, continue “centering yourself.” Some physical things people like to do include putting both feet on the ground, sitting cross-legged, or laying flat on their backs. Some like to do this to increase their connect to the ground, kind of like grounding an electrical circuit. Others like to connect to Mother Earth. If you do it the same way every time, this helps “program” your body for connecting to your intuition.

Keep breathing all the while. Okay, that might sound obvious because if you stopped breathing, you’d die, but believe it or not, I need to mention it. We often hold our breaths without realizing it, or breathe in shallow, quick breaths. Taking slow, deep breaths does something to our bodies — something that helps us slow down, focus, and reconnect to the present moment. That’s why activities like singing and sports feel so great — we are breathing deeply, and paying attention to the moment in either to hit that note perfectly or score that point.

Your mood will probably improve simply as a result of these actions. If you feel sort of “neutral,” consciously think about something that makes you feel good — like remembering a pure, happy memory or a time when you felt really great. If you focus strongly on these happy thoughts for a minute or so, you will really start to feel great. This is what people mean when they say they are “raising their vibration.” It is a conscious decision to feel better by thinking thoughts that make you feel better. You may also want to tell yourself something that you know will perk you up. If you are living a very stressful life, you can also take advantage of classic de-stressing techniques like taking a hot bubble bath, lighting candles, getting a massage, going for a walk in a park or other natural area to appreciate nature, etc.

Of course, there is no guarantee that following these steps will help you connect to your intuition, but they vastly increase the odds. One last thing: be ready to receive and write down (or record in audio) the inspiration you receive! Keep a note book by your bedside, in your purse or bag, or in your vehicle. Be ready to open a simple text editor to type in your computer.

My favourite way to “make notes” is to talk into a small audio recorder, especially while I am driving alone. It has 2-button operation, so it’s very quick and easy. When I get an idea, I grab it and start talking!

I hope you have found this series on hearing from your intuition helpful! If it has touched you, please leave a comment!

– The “Hearing from Your Intuition Series” –
Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 1) Feel the Answer | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 2) Tapping Your Imagination | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 3) Detailed Messages/Knowing | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 4) Centering Yourself

Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 1)

For some, hearing from their intuition is easy, but for many, it is so foreign, they don’t even know where to start. So, I thought I would give some ideas from my experience about how intuition speaks.

Let me start by reminding you about the two polar opposites of feelings: feeling good and feeling bad. Of course, we have many different words for emotions, and here are a few:

feeling good — excited, thrilled, happy, overjoyed, at-ease
feeling bad — tense, nervous, uneasy, anxious, cautious

Your intuition often speaks through feelings. That makes it tricky, because lots of other things can affect how we feel, like what kinds of thoughts we have been thinking, or even if we are hungry. However, if you aren’t hungry and you take a few minutes to breathe deeply and clear your thoughts, you can receive a message from your intuition by how you feel.

Feel the Answer

Try this. After centering yourself as described above, ask yourself a “yes/no” question that you already know the answer to. Think of something you like to do and ask yourself a related question. Then, see if you get a “feeling answer.” Let me give you an example.

I really enjoy knitting, so I might ask myself “should I do some knitting later?” The answer is Yes, and the corresponding feeling is one of happiness and anticipation of continuing my latest knitting project. If I ask myself a “no” question, like “should I get back together with my ex?” the answer is a most definite “no!” For me, I can almost hear the answer verbally, but I certainly get “yucky” (“no”) feelings — anxiety, stress, heart-pounding feeling.

Once you do this and feel both the “yes” and “no” answers, now you can try a less-obvious question and one that you don’t know the answer to. If you stay still, calmly breathing, you should feel the answer — either a good feeling, or a “bad” one. If you can’t feel the answer for some reason, try rephrasing the question or break the question down into a smaller part or get more specific. For example, if you ask if you should take a new job you’ve been offered, but you can’t feel the answer, try asking

– Should I leave the job I am at now?
– Is this job offer good for me?
– Should I look for an even better job out there for me?
– Is this new employer right for me?

A slight variation on this method is to use your fingers instead of just feelings. Make the a circle with your index finger and thumb, like the universal “ok” sign, on both your left and right hands. Now, interlock them like two links of a chain. Calibrate your response by asking yourself a “yes” question as before. Tug to see if your fingers will come apart — for a “yes” answer, your fingers will be strong. When you ask a “no” question, or say something that is untrue, one of your finger-thumb connections will give way and your fingers will come apart. This process is called muscle testing, and the video below will show you exactly what I mean. If you have a hard time feeling the answer, muscle testing will work for sure!

Tomorrow, I will talk about some other ways to connect with your intuition. Subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss it (use the RSS button near the top-right of the page), follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. Mention that you read my blog!

– The “Hearing from Your Intuition Series” –
Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 1) Feel the Answer | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 2) Tapping Your Imagination | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 3) Detailed Messages/Knowing | Hearing from Your Intuition (Part 4) Centering Yourself

Sore Muscles, Sore Feelings

A very simple truth struck me today, in a new way, so of course, I wanted to share it with you: You cannot heal from a skeleton in your closet unless you are willing to look at it, yet, in looking at it, you must not obsess about it.

The same is true when you are trying to use the Law of Attraction to manifest something in particular in your life. You must see or know the reality that you want to change, but you cannot look at it too closely or it will only grow. The reality of the past cannot be “too real” to you. You have to have a stronger vision in your mind’s eye for what you are wanting to create.

Bear with me for a minute while I digress on this analogy: If you have a sore muscle, it won’t start to feel better if you baby it too much. You need to stretch it, move it gently to get the blood flowing and the healing power going. I know this from experience and it is a fact. You cannot ignore a sore muscle or try to never move it. For some types of sore muscles, working out intensely is the best thing you can do for them. I have a friend who even did this with a broken arm, but I’m not advocating that for everyone!

Now consider sore feelings. If you have been hurt by someone, you cannot ignore it or pretend it never happened and try to never “use” that feeling again. You have to look at it a little, move it, think about it, gently, to get the healing power going. But at the same time, obsessing about that hurt feeling is only going to make it feel worse, and “working it out intensely” is the best thing you can do for it. Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind new thought movement said it well:

“We must be willing to look at a thing until it has no power over us.” – Ernest Holmes

Do not shy away from your hurt feelings. On the other had, you cannot give them more power over you. Acknowledge the way you feel, talk it out with a trusted friend or counsellor, and when you are ready, start to imagine how you’d like to feel. Imagine that you are happy most of the time, that you feel content and that you eagerly look forward to the future and good things that are coming your way. Even if you don’t quite “feel” that way yet, imagine that you will someday. This activates the Law of Attraction and will also help you to feel better now.

Moving Up the Emotional Scale

It can be tough sometimes to overcome skeletons in your closet. Without meaning to, we can get stuck in certain patterns, and those patterns can often be summarized into an emotional state, such as disappointment, pessimism or anger.

It is not too hard to move up the emotional scale, by reaching for a better-feeling thought. Like climbing a flight of stairs, you just step up to the next one, you don’t try to jump all the way to the top. Read the emotional scale, originally from Ester and Jerry Hicks (or Abraham-Hicks) book Ask and It is Given. Where are you on the emotional scale today?

Joy! Empowerment! Love! Appreciation!
Enthusiasm, eagerness, happiness
Positive expectation/belief
Frustration, irritation, impatience

So even though you might be feeling stuck at disappointment, perhaps you can reach for an overwhelming thought. Don’t stay there too long – try to reach for a frustrating thought. Even though this is not exactly enlightened thinking, it will be an improvement on overwhelment. If you can get yourself to pessimism, you are only two steps away from contentment!

You can do this process over the course of a single day, but also over several days. In fact, these levels are just shades of gray between the ultimate best-feeling and worst-feeling thoughts. Just reach for the best one you can find at any given moment in time! As you get higher and higher, even if it is just for a short time, “milk it” for all its worth and it will get easier and easier to reach those happy levels!

More about the emotional scale in chapter 19 of the book! Order a copy today! paperback | ebook