Ironically, one of the best ways to feel better is to realize that we’re not supposed to feel great all of the time. In this episode we’ll look at how to re-orient yourself towards your emotional nature so that it works FOR you instead of against you. Learning how to master your emotions can make or break your life success.
You’ll also get a demo of a 7 minute neuro-blueprint that many of our clients find incredibly valuable. It’s called Thoughts to Try On. It can help you better deal with life’s challenges, by changing core beliefs that typically cause emotional angst.
1:04 – Why it’s a trap to try to be happy all the time.
7:34 – Why cutting yourself off from negative emotions can be dangerous
13:25 – Why we are so terrified of our own freedom of mind
14:45 –Thoughts to try on that can help you better deal with life’s challenges
MindStory Inner Coach Book and 2 Neuro-Blueprints (FREE right now) – Valued at $94
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This is Episode 59 – It’s Ok Not to Feel Great All the Time. Ironically, one of the best ways to feel better is to understand that we’re not supposed to feel great all of the time. In this episode we’ll look at how to how to reframe your emotional nature in a way that works FOR you instead of against you. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and you’re listening to the Mindstory Speaker podcast helping leaders with the inner game, so they can better serve others.
As I’ve said on other episodes, you get to choose how to feel all of the time by what meaning you give situations. This does not mean that you should choose to feel great all of the time. There are a lot of things going on in the world that you might not want to feel great about. For example, maybe sadness is an emotion you want to feel. I say this, because I’ve read many self-help, personal development kinds of books, done lots of those kind of courses, and maybe you have too. Some of these teachings give the impression that you need to be happy all the time. In fact the American constitution – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You even hear it in statements people say to you. Maybe your parents said to you, honey, we just want you to be happy. Or advertisements that make you feel like if you buy a certain product you’ll finally be happy. Or look for a life partner who will make you happy. But is it really their responsibility to make you happy? In my first marriage, I definitely had the expectation that it was his responsibility to make me happy. Guess what, he didn’t do it? And I couldn’t make him happy. After we divorced, I got to thinking, maybe I had entirely wrong expectations. In my second marriage, the one I’m in now, I don’t have the expectation that he should make me happy. My thoughts, interpretations, the meanings I give situations are what make me happy or not. And sometimes we aren’t happy within ourselves or with each other, and that’s normal and that’s okay. For me, holding it in that way has entirely changed the sustainability and overall healthiness of my relationship with others and with myself. If I’m not happy, I look to myself, I do the examination of my own thoughts and interpretations instead of trying to change him, which as we all know is impossible. Is it possible to change other people. Maybe you can bully them into a certain type of behavior for certain. Of time, but in the end people only change when and if they want to. When you really think about it, perhaps seeking to be happy all the time isn’t really it…but a sense of meaningfulness, a sense of inhabiting this body and feeling the full range of what’s possible.
Especially right now, there’s lots going on in the news, and in the lockdown lives, and economic troubles many people are going through, it would be strange if you felt happy about the whole thing. With that really serve you? Would you really grow from the challenges you deal with if you just felt happy about it? There are negative feelings you instinctively don’t want to feel, but that if you allowed yourself to feel would be very healing. Perhaps you experienced the phenomena of having a good cry. There are several reasons people cry, such as a loss, a sad scene in a movie, overly frustrated at work, or even in happy moments such as seeing your newborn baby for the first time. Crying helps flush out emotional toxins, improves your mood, enhances your immunity, and helps you see the world in a new light. I know for many of my clients these days, having a good regular cry, or a vigorous walk in nature, or kickboxing a punching bag, has made a huge difference to being able to handle the higher levels of challenge they are facing these days.
What if a person just stay neutral about, say, what’s going on in the world today. That might be the right response, you know, like you are a monk sitting on a mountain looking at the world in its frenzied state completely unphased. But would you really be able to grow as a person by being neutral all the time about everything? The word emotion has the word motion within it, it moves you forward. Otherwise why would we have emotions in the first place? I’m sure you’ve met people who seem emotionless, and I’m sure you’ve met people who are out of control with their emotions. Those are two extreme opposites, two possibilities when it comes to emotions, both of which are out of balance. Somewhere in the middle is this ability to feel your emotions but also have choice over them.
Some of us grew up in an environment where we were shamed for feeling our emotions. I remember being told, children should be seen and not heard. We weren’t allowed expression of either positive or negative emotions, no laughing, no cries of joy, no cries of sorrow, no anger. My parents were intellectuals who grew up in emotionless environments and so just passed along. However, eventually those emotions have to come out somehow, so then they came out in my family in these explosive, volcanic ways, where all the pent-up, unexpressed emotions come pouring out in a way that’s not making sense with the actual thing that triggered it. Maybe you can relate. I know other people grow up and a family environment where emotions were running people, instead of them having control.
I started my early adult years in academia, following in my parents footsteps surrounded by people who completely intellectualized emotions. Then I got involved in playwriting, directing, acting where having a full pallet of emotions was very important. But I saw that some people took it to an extreme, and I felt that they got involved in the world of theater just so that they could legitimize being embroiled in dramatic emotions most of the time.
But all the experiences of our life need to be digested somehow, and our emotions are the digestion process. So if you don’t have good digestion of emotions he can start to have digestive issues. And as I’ve said before, I think many people have digestive issues at the physical level because they aren’t dealing with their emotions.
So, unhealthy ways of dealing with emotion include numbing, distracting, or over indulging unnecessarily. Healthy ways involve processing, digesting and turning those emotions into fuel for forward movement, creative reinvention, soul growth. As I’ve said on other episodes, if you really think about it, all the actions you take in life, all the motion in your life, is generated by emotion. Whether it’s inaction as in procrastinating on a project like writing a book, losing weight, or starting a podcast… Whether it’s action such as buying a book, going on a date, meditating… It’s because you want to feel something, there’s a state of mind you want to get into. Sure, we often justify our choices through logic, that unless we feel motivated emotionally, no action tends to happen. If you know that, it’s a game changer.
but, if you detach from your ability to process emotions, you can put yourself at a massive disadvantage in life. Let me give you an example. Maybe you can relate to something like this happening in your own life.
In Grade 11, at the age of 17, I was driving around in the back seat of my friend Jim’s sports car. His friend Darryl was in the passenger seat. My friend Karen and I were in the back seat. He wanted to show off what the car could do. I started getting uncomfortable with the speed and recklessness of his driving. When they opened cans of beer and started drinking, I whispered to Karen that I wanted to get out of the car. She waved off my concern saying it was all fine. When he started weaving all over the road, I got angry. My fear had bumped up to anger and I shouted, “Stop the car!”
“Nah…you can’t be serious. We’re just having fun.” Jim said. Darryl said under his breath “Paranoid, or what?” They all laughed and Jim kept driving way over the speed limit. In that moment, I’m trying to decide between what’s worse—social ridicule or death. When you’re a teenager, having the approval of your peers, especially cute boys, usually wins out over everything else, at least in my case. I stay on a fence for a few more minutes, until he starts going for another beer. Something rose up inside me, a kind of rage, and I shouted, “Stop the car”! He stops immediately and the other 3 look at me like I was crazy. I get out and drag Karen with me. I am standing on the corner with her as they screeched off into the night. It’s 10 PM and starting to rain and we have no ride home. We walk to the bus stop and she is saying what killjoy I am, and how I’ve ruined her chances with Darryl. I feel like our friendship is over in that moment. We part ways when I get off at my stop and she barely says goodbye. The next morning I look at the front cover of the paper. There is a photo of Jim’s car. One hour after we got out of that car, Jim and Darryl, both in the front seat, are travelling at a high speed down a main drag. When a dog runs across the road, Jim veers out of the way, side-swipes a telephone pole and tears the car in two. Jim and Darryl go sailing 60 ft. across the sidewalk still sitting in the front part of the car. The back end of the car gets wrapped around the telephone pole and explodes shortly thereafter. Both of them walk away with just a few bruises and scratches. The school books left in the back seat are crumpled up pieces of black soot. That is exactly how Karen and I would have looked had we not gotten out. She called me immediately and thanked me for saving her life.
I’m so glad I let myself express those negative emotions, which got me moving in a constructive rather than destructive direction. So, that’s what we’re going for here. If you’ve got some negative emotions going on, maybe they’re trying to tell you something. Maybe there’s a constructive direction you need to go in, and you just need to let yourself feel them enough to take the right action.
There’s a scene in the movie V for Vendetta between V and Evey, the main character where she faces all her worst fears and is suddenly free. But another wave of terror engulfs her, the fear of freedom; freedom from all the survival brain triggers, the freedom from all the illusions that keep us in a prison of the mind. When she faced her terror of freedom, that was the final exam to pass, the final hoop to jump, and that’s when she was truly free.
So, here are a list of thoughts to think that many of my clients appreciate. As you listen to each one, try it on, like you would try on a piece of clothing in a store. See if you like it. Does it fit? Does it work for you? If not, take it off. In the end, your wise discernment here is what’s right. So, the thoughts are delivered in 2nd person, meaning in “you” statements, rather than “I” statements. That’s because if you really listen to your inner dialogue, the voices that either lift you up and put you down, are in 2nd person. For example, think of the last time you made a mistake and got mad at yourself, perhaps you heard yourself say “You’re such an idiot” rather than “I’m an idiot”. Or, if got off a call or finished a presentation that you think went well and you say “You aced that.” We talk in 2nd person to ourselves, all the time. So here we go…try saying the thought out loud or in your head after each one…to see if it works for you.
This podcast episode, by the way, is based on our book, MindStory Inner Coach. If you’d like more tools like this, for a limited time we’re offering this book for free on our website: MindStoryAcademy.com. You’ll also see the free book link in the show notes. Along with the book, you also get two short guided audios that are called neuro-blueprints. They help you process emotions and transform limited beliefs.
One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.
So that’s it for today…Do post a review of this podcast if you like it – on iTunes or youTube or wherever you listen. It makes a big difference to helping others find out about it.
I hope that was helpful. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger, thanks for listening.