Episode 69 – Territories of Emotion

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Some of you are in touch with your emotions.

Some of us (me included) aren’t. In fact, we think we aren’t that emotional. And, we are wrong.

Emotions drive all the actions in our lives, and they are behind all the reasons we refrain from taking action as well.

It’s been a rough terrain week of emotions for me, and I share some of the reasons in this episode.

Join me as I share some of what I’m learning. And, be prepared for more episodes about the emotions for you hard working high achievers that think you can avoid feeling the feelings to offer up your best work.

Episode 69 Show Notes

Episode 69 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark Episode 69 Territories of Emotion This’ll Podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Asi. I’ve embarked on this journey into owning a business, entrepreneurship and coaching. I’ve been surprised by what I’ve been learning about emotions, and I think over the last few years of work I became kind of a robot and decided that my emotions didn’t matter. I’ve talked about this before, but I would just say, Doesn’t matter how I feel. I’ve got to get the work done. Let me figure this out and there’s always gonna be difficult people. Let’s see how we can work around them or work with them because at the end of the day, we worked with systems and products and systems and products don’t care what your emotions are right there. Ones and zeros and configurations and graphics and videos and different data fields. There’s no emotion there. You’ve got to put something in the box in order for the computer to do something, so you, when you work around that, and you work with people that have their mind focused on making sure something shows up on the page. Something shows up in the box. Sometimes it’s easy to disregard emotion. And yet we take all of our actions in life from emotion. And we also neglect taking action because of our emotions. And so I was triggered this week by a few events and was in deep reflection because along the way of me being a robot in my work career, I had a child when I was turning 44 years old, and I can look back in my notes in that first year of having a child. And I see that I wrote down territories of emotion and so is really interesting for me to see that term come up again in something about emotions when I was in coaching school because I thought I had made up that term for something, and the reason I had written it down is because having a child later in life where I’d essentially lived this huge part of life was an amazing experience, and one of the amazing part to the experience is that I was suddenly exposed to new emotions that I hadn’t experienced before. Now I am the oldest living child of eight living siblings. And so I’ve babysat. I’ve hit, have been very used to family dynamics. And I had this big gap where I was working, living with roommates, living by myself, and then I got married. And then here I have this child and I’m no longer acting in the ant capacity. I am the mother, which sometimes I will admit I mistakenly said, Hey, this is at Rebecca instead of Mom that which is kind of interesting because I was more used to all the years of being an aunt than I was being a mother. But all of a sudden, all of these emotions started coming to me and all these worries and anxieties and fears, making sure he’s okay, making sure I was doing the right thing constant worry that he would be in the face of danger, that I would do something stupid and put him in the face of danger, and there would be these experiences where we go do something, and then afterward I’d have, like this post traumatic stress about it’s like, What did I do? that for I put us in more danger. You know, that’s especially heightened. You know, when you go on these trips and we went on a trip and we were in Yellowstone and I had him on this little leash were walking around on the public designated path. And yet after that, I’m like, What am I doing? Why did I do that? And I was so freaked out by it the when we drove in our car tow another lookout point at Yellowstone. I’m like, No, if you don’t want to see it, stay in the car with our son is what I said to my husband and he didn’t care to see any more than you could see. And I got out and took pictures, and I was freaked out, even being out there because there’s these huge drop offs of hundreds of feet. And yet there’s these rickety little wooden fences that people are letting their kids just run up and down by and they’re like 1 ft from death. And this is just too much for me, right? And yet every day getting up and walking out of our home is a risk, or even being in our home is a risk for that matter. And so I feel like along with this amazing experience of being able to raise a child, part of that is now being exposed to a whole extra layer of emotions and possibilities and dangers that I hadn’t been part of this much before. So why is this all coming up this week? Well, we looked at Facebook this week, and my cousin and his wife have six Children and the smallest child it’s under two years old got into the family pool by herself, and she was unresponsive and life flighted and on life support. And then she passed away. And this is just so shocking for everyone involved, and part of it is sadness for them, and part of it is, it brings up all the fears that you have in your own life, right, and along with that, realizing how fragile life really is. So there’s all kinds of emotions that come up, and it’s important to allow those emotions. Otherwise, we can get very stuff those away and don’t deal with them, and they start being expressed in other ways and often those other ways. Air drinking eating, overworking over, learning over buying, doing things and access, and what we’re really trying to do is avoid the emotion. But what’s interesting about these experiences is they lend themselves to what I’ve mentioned before, and that’s called a sequence of nudges. So seeing that on Facebook got my family into a you text discussion about life and what was going on, what we could do to help. And then, of course, it brought back memories too many of us and our parents, of how my parents lost twins during childbirth, and this was a year before I was born. And so it brought up all of those emotions because they had thought they were going to have one baby than a like a month before they found out there were two and then to go into her baby’s and come home with no one. And this is something that’s been part of our family history for over 50 years, right, because I’m almost 50 years old and they’re older than I am. And then I had from those discussions, memories and thoughts about how part of me wonders if I somehow thought I wasn’t going to be an oldest child because I thought I’d have twin sisters older than me and yet somehow is thrown into this oldest child position. And then came discussions about how much information do you put on the Internet when grief or tragedy strikes? And we had an interesting discussion about that, and through that discussion, I had a further memory or her and I calling these nudges right now, right? There’s these impressions that move us forward. And I remembered how, 16 years ago I had an office mate that was going through some very difficult things in his marriage, and he took his own life and how, on the day that happened, we were devastated to hear the news in our office, and at that time, the leadership gave us the option of going home because I like you don’t need to work like go home, be with your families, whatever. And we were incapacitated, and I think all of us felt a little strange and were surprised by our feelings because we didn’t want to leave. You wanted to stay there. We wanted to talk about it over and over and over everything we remembered about him. How could this happen? What’s going on? I’m so sad. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. Why didn’t he tell me those kinds of things? And we were that way for like that next week Until I guess you get tired of talking about it over and over and decide. Okay, it happened. What are we going to do now? And we decided to channel that energy into going to the funeral, creating something for the family. Putting little memorandum is in the products we were creating little messages in memory of Sean. And through that experience, I was ableto have empathy and understanding for some of the things going online this week and realize we all deal with these challenges in our lives in different ways and different emotions. And some put it out there very publicly. Some deals that privately and you can think what you want about that right. It’s all a personal judgment and your judgment of it doesn’t change what the other person this feeling or wants to feel. I think I’ve quoted this before, but Robert Fulghum, in the All I Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten, wrote that short essay on get Found about how the kids that hit too hard and hide and seek and no one could ever find them. And he just wanted to yell at them, Get found, kid get found. And he said, It be better to play sardines because when you found someone, you go hide with them. And at the end there this be this big pile of kids having fun together. And his whole point was, sometimes we hide too well. And so his story was, you know, someone that cancer didn’t tell anyone, didn’t want anyone to have any pain spare than the pain. But in the end, the family and friends were angry that the person didn’t allow them to feel the pain of the cancer with them and allow them to be on that journey with him. And so this is a very interesting reminder to me of how important our emotions are in life, and especially for those of us who didn’t think they were. We kind of stuff them down like I’m gonna get toe work. I gotta accomplish something. I’ve got to be efficient. I’ve got to be effective. I’ve just got to get that to do this done that we’re all taking action on our lives from emotion and that we stay stuck in an action because of emotion as well. All of these emotions come from our thoughts about our circumstances. And so some of us think we’re very rational with these thoughts. But most of them are just thoughts. They’re not the circumstances. And one of the things I’m learning about emotion is there’s a lot of ways to deal with it, right? You can react right. There’s an instant anger, instant crying, instant regret, instant blame and it’s okay, toe have those emotions. But when they come from a place where we are acting not in control of it, then we’re in this emotional childhood like a toddler, right? We’re just instantaneously thinking that there’s a cause and effect between that thought we had and our emotion, and we don’t even bother to pause and take a look at it. We also have where we can resist emotions, which I feel like I’m a great example of this right might be a little stoic and act like things don’t matter, and I’m just gonna lay out a plan to move forward and I’ll make comments like I don’t care about my feelings. Let’s get the work done. And so that is resisting an emotion because we think that it’s not right. Maybe to have a certain emotion. And so we try to make a way to instantly hide it from ourselves and go No, I’m not someone who feels angry about that. No, I get toe work. I am completely able to disregard those feelings and move forward, right? I’m not honoring the actual emotion I’m feeling. I’m gonna get to work anyway. It’s kind of prideful, actually, in some cases and almost thinking I’m too good to experience that emotion. I’m above that. Really, We’re not. We all have these things. They’re part of us. And then we’ve got the avoidance of emotion, right? The trying to not feel the the flight from the emotion, right? We’re gonna pretend like it’s not there. We’re gonna pretend. And that might be part of the resisting. Also to right, we’re gonna avoid it. We’re gonna act like it’s not there were going to operate moving forward in a different direction. But still, it’s going on in the back of our minds that there’s something in our emotions that were stuffing back. We’re trying to hide now. Sometimes you want to be angry or sad or hurt or helpless for a period of time, and it’s OK to allow that. And that’s the thing that we’re learning as coaches. To help ourselves and help others is to allow an emotion to be able to sit with it. So if you’re angry, allow yourself to be angry. Not in a reactive way where you go Barket someone else but this sit and go. I feel angry. This feels terrible. What’s going on? This hurt and you can actually feel physical sensations in the body with some of these things. But to sit there and allow it and go, You know what? It’s okay to be angry right now. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be frustrated, but then when we allow it that we take time to manage our brain and go OK, why am I feeling this way? What’s the full set of reasons that I’m feeling this way and allow your brain to just spill out all the reasons I and have its opinion, you know, blame it on whomever you need to blame it on relive the experience in your mind and go, This is how it went. It shouldn’t have gone this way. I should have done this or someone should have done this and just go through it all in the mind and then notice when you’re starting to repeat yourself because once we’re starting to repeat ourselves, we’re just sitting there in mind. Turn right. And that’s when we’re starting to indulge in that emotion. We’re starting to create more of it in us, actually. And at that point when we’re starting to be repetitive with those thoughts and emotions, then is a good time to go. Okay, I have allowed this. It was painful. I’ve thought of all the reasons why and made all the excuses. But now what? And I think that’s a point where you can come to whatever problem you’re feeling and go, OK, I recognize I felt that I did a great job of sitting here and talking to my brain and telling it it could think all the things that wanted to think and feel. But now I would like to start releasing these emotions and allow myself to feel something else, allow myself to learn whatever I need to learn from this and move on. And I’m not saying that you completely let go of it and never remember it or never think that or feel that again. But to realize that there’s a point where we go over it so many times that now it’s not giving us an outcome that serves us for moving forward. And I think that’s why when you see someone go through tragedy or something really hard, there’s a period where there’s all this churn and staying in that tragedy and staying in that hard. And then suddenly there’s some kind of switch that occurs and the person’s able to take a step forward and then another step, and then all kinds of things can happen. But of course, everybody deals with these things in different ways, and I think we can look at ourselves and others and see how some of the same circumstances can turn out so differently for different people, right summer, able to turn that into something that becomes valuable lessons for someone else and for themselves, or helps build empathy or brings community together, and some increase the anger and hatred and sad and bitter and negative in lives. And it’s so it’s been so interesting to realize that this allowing of the emotion, not suppressing it is actually very healthy. But allowing doesn’t mean that emotional childhood right, That means just allowing it for yourselves, because then you get to decide from a place of thinking clearly how you want to respond to those that you perceived were part of your anger or how you want to show up in the world despite the anger, the fear, the bad. That happens. And we get to decide how we can use our emotions to fuel us forward to the actions that help us get the results we want in our lives. So today I’m recording this on a day where I’ve allowed the emotions. You know, I felt numb last night after hearing the news of the child drowning, and today I woke up with that being the only thing on my mind. And so when my son woke up, I said that I wanted to have a serious talk about something very sad that it happened and my son was wide eyed and attentive. And as I shared that, this precious little girl had drowned and a pool that she had loved being in, and he wanted me to stop talking about it and I could see him avoiding tears. And he started talking about the water balloons we’re going to fill on throw today and I could see right in front of me this little microcosm of everything I just talked about with emotions because it was happening in this little person that hasn’t quite learned how to manage the emotions that he feels. I said it was okay to feel sad and bad about it, and he said he’d be OK and he said she is safe now and he said that because we’ve had certain conversations about our beliefs that we do actually have a continuation of life after death. We had a little prayer and sent thoughts and hugs to Nathan and Nicole Clark and their family. And then we went about doing seemingly mundane tasks of the day for an hour or two. But I knew that we were both unsettled still, and so we went on a walk and I got to share how Mommy was remembering how much she wanted to keep him safe and that she was feeling a lot of feelings today and probably would for a while. And so we had a little conversation about whether or not I would feel this way forever and I said No, but right now I would and that sometimes I would remember it and other times and another moments of life. And I told him that I was feeling like I wanted to be even more careful with him and so I’d probably want told us hand a little more on the walks and around the cars in the streets so I’d make sure that he’d be safe and he said, It’s okay, Mommy, I understand. I thought what? And it was amazing because he actually held my hand tighter and he didn’t try to pull away on the entire walk. I have tried to allow the territories of emotion. Sure, there was an extra cookie or two and there will be more right because that’s one of my ways of holding back emotion and expressing an indifferent way right. I go to some food, but I decided to be all in thinking about my parents and their loss, thinking about my family and our loss. Thinking about my cousins and all of their aunts and uncles of that sweet little girl who are mourning from their brothers and sisters. I thought about Sean, who took his own life many years ago and how our office dealt with it. This is all tough stuff, and it’s part of life, and it requires us to use all the mental capacity we have at times to figure out how to deal with these emotions. And this is part of being human. It’s the good and the bad. The no pain, no gain the opposition in all things, 50% great, 50% awful in the yin and yang of it. All right, it is part of us. And as the good grows in the world, the bad does, too. And that’s very difficult. But this week I encourage you to do the hard thing with yourself, with your family, with your co workers, your school, your social media friends allow them to feel whatever they need and want to feel because guess what? Whether or not you allow it, they’re going to feel it anyway and allow yourself to feel what you need to feel and notice how uncomfortable it is and understand that discomfort is completely normal and it’s part of life. And once you allow this for yourself, give yourself an amount of time to bask in that and try to fully feel the awfulness of it all. And then notice when you start repeating the same thoughts and emotions over and over again, where you’re actually increasing those feelings that are uncomfortable and notice. If there’s a point where you want to start letting go some of those emotions and move out of it and turn them into something that serves you going forward, you don’t have to do that unless you want to. But the good news is that some point you will want to, because it will serve you to do so so that you can offer up your best work and offer up what you came to this life to offer. But for now, sit with it. Allow it immersed in it. Notice it For some of you hardworking, high achievers, this could be one of the most difficult things you need to experience this week. Good. You can do hard things, especially if you give yourself time to practice doing them. And this is good practice. I know I’m not done with the feelings of grief and sorrow I have right now, and that’s okay. I’m in life school like you learning all about the territories of emotion. Hang in there, my friends. Discomfort is the price of growth, and that’s an emotion that conserve you. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.

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