Episode 107 – The Capacity to Feel

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Did you spend a lot of time trying not to feel?

You may not even recognize yourself doing it.

If you are indulging in something at the expense of something that would better serve you and those you serve, you may be trying not to feel. It often shows up in the form of addiction – food, drink, work, shopping, games, and even over-achieving.

Why not allow yourself to feel all the emotions? Not taking them out on others, but sitting with the emotion and letting it work through you.

You can even give yourself a timeframe to feel all the anger, sadness, betrayal, and hurt. Give it a try. It may not be as bad as you anticipated or last as long as you thought.

Episode 107 Show Notes

Episode 107 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark Episode 107. The capacity to feel this 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? Yeah. Mm hmm. So I think I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the biggest ah ha moments I’ve had in the last couple of years is recognizing that I have emotions a lot more emotions than I thought. And that sounds kind of funny to some. But so often I thought that I was just someone who could get to work despite my emotions right? Like, oh, I don’t like this, but I’m going to get to work. It has to get done anyway. And it was kind of surprising for me to connect the dots between how we think and how we feel and to realize we always have emotions. Now those maybe different, some maybe more externally exposed like anger or excitement or energetic, right? But there’s also other emotions that are negative perhaps, and some of those are external that we can observe easily and others aren’t so observable, right? Like if we’re in despair or depressed or hesitant or judging, right? So these different emotions can be seen on people’s faces or in their actions, but some can be hidden for quite a while. And so even though over the years I have learned a lot about the brain and how we think and how important thoughts are too our outcomes. I was missing the piece about emotions. I didn’t realize just how important emotions were. But emotions are very important because we take all of our actions from our emotions or we don’t take action from our emotions. And of course the emotions we have come from our thoughts. Now there is a difference between feelings and emotions, right? And the most common way I’ve heard it described as feelings is something that you can feel most physical emotional, mental, that kind of thing, right? Like if I burn my arm or my hand, that is a feeling that is coming. Because it’s like a sensation that you get. It’s for most of us, our bodies let us know if there’s pain or danger, right? If we touch a hot stove, some people’s bodies don’t let them know that, and they can get very hurt in the process. But with the emotions, that’s something I think a lot of us if we use it in that way, that’s very much focused on what we choose to feel, right at the burning your hand on a stove is not something you choose to feel, perhaps, but it’s an automatic. But with our emotions we can choose we can change our emotions and we can do that by changing our thoughts. One of the difficulties that a lot of us have is learning how to allow our emotions. So often we judge ourselves and say, oh, I shouldn’t be feeling that, or I shouldn’t be experiencing this. And so we try to do a few things. We try to resist the emotion. We don’t want to feel it. Everything we can to feel good and try not to feel bad. We can react in some ways. So sometimes if you see someone who’s super angry and letting it all out, we think, oh, they’re allowing their emotion, well, they’re not quite allowing it. They’re just acting up her acting out, right? Or we can avoid it, which is super common because that’s where we will eat too much, drink too much, shop too much, work too much, too much according to a floating standard. Really. But you can tell if you’re doing that instead of doing something that you really, I want to do, right? So I’ve thought a lot about this and learn about this quite a bit over the last year and I think I’ve podcast it about it before where I learned how with cookies. I often ate it when I was in this moment of up leveling, whereas excited about something and then a little fear set in and worry about failure and that kind of thing. And then I would turn to cookies and I’ve had this with work as well over the years where working is easier for me than not working, if that makes sense. And I think that’s that way for many of you listening to this podcast, that it is easier to block out certain emotions and to stop thinking about certain things in life by working right? Then you focus on something, there’s something produced at the end of it. So, you feel really good about that. But at the end of the day, were you working? Because you knew you wanted to get something done and because it was the right thing to do or you were you also embedded in that working kind of trying to avoid something else you needed to work on. Whether that was another form of work, whether that was a relationship with somebody, whether that was doing something around the house or whatever. These things are often done to avoid tackling the thing we actually want to do most. So I have learned a lot lately through some different experiences about allowing emotion and I’ve learned a lot of it through the outdoors as I’ve gone with family members on different hikes and different things in nature. And I have had my own experiences with nature. Mhm. Or I had to be rescued and different things like that. So I could have a little bit of post traumatic stress associated with it. But I’m very interested in what I’m learning through those experiences because it’s teaching me that I have a lot of emotions around it and that I’m okay with some of those emotions. I’m going to let some of them be and some of them I actually want to work on. So recently I went on a little hike in a canyon. Now you could drive up pretty high and you could park your car and there was a great lookout point. It was like at all these red cliffs and I thought that was good enough. Like this is perfect. We got out in this nice big parking lot, lots of places to look and be safe. But no, we of course had the recommendation to go hike another half mile or mile a pyre and we have little kids with us, so we go on this hike up and I just felt the emotions just building up in me, all of the stresses, all of the judgments of myself and what other judgments I would have to deal with. And in between all of that, I was getting a lot of questions and people wondering why this wasn’t okay. I mean it seems like a safe hike as long as you’re near the trail and that kind of thing and like, well I have a lot of concerns about it and yet I kept going on the path and I feel like I kind of complained the whole way like why are we doing this? Why aren’t you know, look at those kids, they’re going off the trail. You don’t know, there could be a cliff over there um that they could fall off on and that’s just like unnecessary risk in my mind. I’m like, what’s the point? Uh huh. And so I’m grateful. Some people listened along the way and respected my wishes, you know, for my child. And I just realized in that experience, I’m like, okay, I have a few choices here. First of all, I didn’t have to go on the hike, right? Could’ve stayed at the car with my son. I could have said, we’re not going to participate in any of these in the future, which is what I kind of feel right now. I could have said, no, none of us should go on the hike. And I could have held on to my child’s arm the entire time. And I thought about all of this as I was going through the experience and going through the whole process of thinking through all the judgment side of myself, throughout the judgments I had of others and really had to hold space for myself and go Rebecca. This is a fear of yours. This is something that you’re angry about. This is something that you don’t even want to work on right now and now you’re in a situation where you feel like you have to work on it. And at the end of the day, what’s most important to you. And I realized the view was not important to me because quite honestly, I didn’t find the view any different from the top than I did at the lookout point. But the most important thing for me to do was to make sure I felt safe and that my child felt safe. And once I focused on that, I’m like, you know, I’ve got to start letting go of what everyone else thinks and what everyone else does. Because what they do is their business and what I do is my business. And because my child is under 18 years old, he is also my business. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of what I’m doing or what he’s doing now. I can choose to make it matter. And I often do. And then other times I choose to decide what to do with the information because it’s just incoming information, other people’s opinions, my own opinions and judgments, all the things. But I gave myself a pat on the back because you know what? This was a hard experience. I chose not to resist the experience by trying to not go do it. Mhm. I chose in some ways not to react, right? I didn’t get all mad at everybody else. I just described it from my point of view. I did try to avoid part of what I perceived was danger, but I didn’t avoid the actual experience. I went through with it. So I kind of allowed myself to feel all the pain and still go through the experience. Now someone that’s trying to overcome their fear of heights or their fear of mountain trails or whatever could choose to say this is awesome. I allowed it and I’m going to keep doing this and keep getting more comfortable with this and that’s awesome. I am still not in a place to do that. I’ve decided that maybe I shouldn’t be going on hikes in these kinds of places for a while. Maybe I want my son to be older and to be able to make some decisions for himself. Maybe it brings up so much for me that I just don’t want to deal with it right now and I’ve decided that maybe it’s not that important to work on this fear or this challenge. If I’m in the situation, I know I can handle it now because I’m allowing myself to go through with the experience until it hits a point where I feel like it’s not smart and that’s it. That’s all I’m going to do. No need to go on any hikes with family or friends. This does not prove anything to me while simultaneously understanding that it proves things to others. I’m not going to make it mean anything help me. Yeah, right? It’s just a decision. I have allowed the emotion that’s associated with it and gone and had the experience. But in that process I’ve learned that I am not interested in overcoming that right now. Of course I’m someone who believes that you’re never going to overcome nature, right? You may have some chances of good luck or miracles or something, but sooner or later it will get you if you’re not careful. But those are just my thoughts and other people have a different purpose, right? And that’s really at the gist of this or at the crux of it. I don’t feel like it is my purpose right now for me or anyone in my small human orbit to have to prove anything by hiking a mountain. I just don’t feel that’s my purpose. There’s other risks to take that will add value to me and to those that I work with. And so that’s not a risk I think is worth my time. Now. There are other risks that I’m willing to take, which are ironic that some people that hike the mountains aren’t willing to take some of the risk I’m willing to take with my work, with my time, with my money. So we are all an interesting mix of this. So there’s no one size fits all in this area, right? We all have a different combination of skills. We all have a different life purpose. We all have emotions that we are trying to avoid and to resist and react to. And that’s our job to work on it. So I will share much more about emotions as I feel like I’m still in the beginning stages of figuring out how to explain it to other people like me. So I learned to express emotions in different ways. I learned to allow moments where I’m just not happy about something where I’m angry about it or confused or have high anxiety and just go, you know what, allow it, sit with it and go, what’s going on with you Rebecca why are you having this feeling? Why does something gear you up and get you all frustrated And to just wonder, but allow that feeling and know and understand that it’s part of life. It’s part of work. It’s not supposed to be hunky dory all the time. There’s going to be ups and downs and you need the downs, right? We learn through some of those down periods. We learn through some of those negative emotions. All of it helps us offer up our best work and gives us experience and we can pat ourselves on the back when we go. You know what? I can do hard things. I can endure hard things. I’m not going to do it perfectly, but I’m going to do it the best I can in the moment. And I am going to love the fact that I got through it. Even if I choose not to go through whatever it is. Again, like I can have some grace for myself in that process. So I encourage you today to notice as you go throughout your week, when you’re frustrated or overwhelmed by something or if you find yourself working more or exercising in access or eating an access or shopping in access anything in access, playing games, question yourself, ask why am I doing this? What am I trying to avoid? What am I trying to resist? Why am I reacting in this way? There’s something going on with me that I’m reacting this way and allow yourself the space to think and feel that way. I had a friend that told me years ago that she decided that any time she went through a breakup or something difficult, that she would give herself a certain amount of time to be angry, to mourn, to be depressed and have all the feelings about it that she wanted. And it’s very interesting because I’ve applied that many times in my life and it’s so crazy. But sometimes I will specifically say, okay, Rebecca You have two weeks to just stew over this as much as you want to point out everything that’s wrong about it. Everything that you don’t like about it, everything that’s hurtful about it, all the things. And it’s fascinating to me that if I give myself a time period and allow it, there’s moments where I’m done with it in a matter of hours hours, my friends, not weeks. So interesting. And that’s because the it’s a removal of personal judgment and it’s saying, okay, I am just going to be angry about this. I am going to allow myself to feel this way and not judge and not condemn or anything, right? Just go I feel this way. And it creates a very interesting experience for you. It goes way faster when you try to stop the resisting, stop the reacting, stop the avoiding. And just allow yourself without judgment. To feel all the feelings. All the emotions. Pay attention this week. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings and then move on. Because feelings and emotions, especially emotions can’t do anything really physically, right? It can’t burn you on the stove and you can change your emotions by changing your thoughts. But that’s a whole other topic right now. I’m encouraging you to increase your capacity to feel all the emotions. It’s important for your work. And you can come with a clean mind and heart to your work if you allow this for yourself and allow it for others, Okay, Have a great week. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye. Mm. 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. Mhm.

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