I was recently disappointed by a work situation that left me feeling unappreciated, annoyed, frustrated, stressed about money, and all around pissed off.
I know I’m not alone in these feelings.
It’s part of the human condition. But so is the choice to do something about our pain, work through it and come out of the situation wiser, stronger and happier.
I have learned the hard way (through traumas and tragedy) that life is extremely precious and too short to spend it suffering. That’s not why we are here on Earth. When I am feeling out of alignment now—stuck in anger, frustration and feeling irritable—I allow myself to feel those feeling deeply. No self-medicating with food, alcohol or shopping, or numbing myself with mindless reality television.
It is vital that we let ourselves feel our feelings first, otherwise the pain will just resurface at some point in the future with vengeance, negatively affecting our careers, relationships and health. I know, I used to suppress my feelings, “put on a happy face” and “suck it up.”
When I give myself enough time to feel whatever painful emotions come up for me, I then remind myself to feel gratitude as well. Even when we are in a really dark place, we can be grateful just to be alive, have a place to live, food on the table, clean clothes, friends and family who love us and fancy gadgets to read blogs like this on. We certainly have it pretty darn good.
But when we are deep in our sadness and anger, these luxuries we are afforded don’t seem to be enough.
That’s when I turn to a greater power, ask for help. I physically stop and take a moment to come back home to myself. If you are saying to yourself, “I don’t have time for that,” then you are in desperate need of your own undivided attention and care. I recommend making your own health and happiness a priority like taking care of a newborn baby. If we can’t do it for ourselves, let’s do it for our children, significant other, best friend or all those less fortunate than us.
One of my favorite exercises was taught to me by my life coach of many years.
When you’re ready, find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes and place your hands on your heart. Breath into your heart. Notice how powerful and beautiful it feels. Focus for a moment on that strength and beauty. Feel appreciation.
Now think of the situation that is causing you pain, suffering, frustration or grief. For example, “I’m frustrated these jobs keep getting cancelled, and I don’t have more money in the bank right now to grow my business and live the lifestyle I desire without getting into debt.” Be specific.
Keep feeling your heart and listen carefully to it. What is it trying to tell you in this moment?
With your eyes still closed and connecting to the power of your heart and mind, pay attention to what comes up for you. Then ask yourself:
In this situation, all I need to remember is: (I’m safe, for example.)
All I need to do is: (Trust.)
All I need to focus on is: (Doing my best.)
Take as long as you need. There are no right or wrong answers. The important thing is to simply let yourself feel and be open to the truth pouring from your heart. For me, the truth is that I am safe, and all I need to do is trust and focus on doing my best.
Many of us spend our lives overstimulated and exhausted just trying to keep up to survive. That could mean we forget to return to our breath, slow down and listen to our inner knowing. Our heart always knows the answer. We just have to give it the time and space to speak our truth to us. To accept ourselves.
This exercise is free, relaxing, takes just minutes and can be done again and again with any situation to help us to be present in our lives.
When we are in gratitude, we cannot also be in fear or anger.
I also love this exercise because it’s a great reminder that we are 100 percent responsible for our life experiences. What an empowered place to live from! Certainly setbacks and disappointments, trauma and tragedy can and will arise, but we don’t have to stay stuck in despair. Our hearts and minds want to work together to bring us a fulfilling life.
Author: Kate Eckman
Image: @walkthetalkshow Instagram
Editor: Sara Kärpänen