Before we get to this week’s article I want to remind you of this week’s Chi For Yourself guest…
Boys are quickly falling behind girls in school, starting as early as the second grade. Academic research gathered in May 2012 revealed that student populations in U.S. colleges today are only 40% male, due in large part to poor grades earned throughout middle and high school (featured on GreatSchools.org). We will be talking to Cynthia Gill. She’s the co-author of Jump-Starting Boys: Help Your Reluctant Learner Find Success in School and Life.
Cynthia joins us on Thursday, August 22nd at 1pm Pacific Time. Again we plan to stream the interview via Google + Hangouts. You’ll see the screen on Thursday on the “Start” page of chiforyourself.com.
Down But Not Out: Feel the Feelings and Keep Going
During a recent period of feeling kind of “blue” I was reminded of the waves of emotions that can roll through our lives un-anounced. These can range from the down days just mentioned to the darker depression-like moods. I dealt with those heavy feelings earlier in my life. I referred to those as “situational” since there were some troubling issues that had to be faced. When I ran a search on the definition of emotions I found : A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Definition 2 read: Any of the particular feelings that characterize such a state of mind, such as joy, anger, love, hate, horror, etc. The key word in the first example is ‘natural’.
Your first reaction might be to turn your feelings away. You might push the feelings down, put them on hold until later, or use distractions to get your mind off of things. You can deny them or indulge in them (often called wallowing). And there’s a cliche to match every situation- ‘I don’t have time to think about that now’, ‘It’s always something’, or ‘I’ll take care of it later.’ But what you’re feeling is neither positive nor negative. It’s all part of being human.
If your choice is not to experience intense feelings they could become embedded in your physical body. When they set up shop deep inside you they can have an effect on the way you look at the world. The worst case scenario is that they can be so troubling as to cause illness. This is a good time to monitor your thinking, too. One of my very favorite figures in the Human Development field is Louise Hay. She puts it this way, “The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.”
You can bring out the feelings, front and center, to experience them in a safe and enriching way. When I feel the need to do this I pretty much drop whatever was planned for the day, if possible, and get to the feeling place. You may have a more demanding schedule, so how about a date- with yourself? Pick a safe, secure, and comfortable place along with a time when you can be alone. Start by remembering the circumstances that touched off the emotions you’ve been putting off. When you’ve stirred up the emotions let yourself FEEL them. Don’t block them. Cry if you feel like it. Let any thoughts that come up come through. And be gentle with yourself. This is not a good place to judge what’s happening.
Recognizing your emotions instead of pushing them away helps you stay emotionally healthy and goes a long way toward truly conscious living.