Stop fixing. Start Feeling.
What would it take to stop fixing everything? No really. Pause for a moment. Consider. What would it be like to allow yourself to be in the muck, in the quicksand, in the fear – and know that you are exactly where you need to be?
This might sound scary. I get it.
But here is what I know: Trying to force things does not work. Ever. Ok, almost ever.
Finding ease by feeling all the feels, on the other hand, is an invitation. To learn. To Be. To give yourself permission to be whole.
Recently I could sense that I was feeling off. Nothing was wrong, but I knew that energetically – I was not feeling the way I thought I "should" feel. I was dragging. I was apprehensive. And in my mind, those energies were not where I needed to be to do the BIG things I wanted to do.
I spent two days (at least) trying to change my mood. Doing things that I thought would snap me out of it - and back into alignment with the energy that I wanted to cultivate.
After all, what you feed – grows. Or as Lynne Twist says, “What you appreciate, appreciates.”
And yes, that is true. I do believe that we are mirrors for the energy that we show up with. But...there is another side to this equation.
We are human. And humans feel. We feel a spectrum of emotions on any given day. And trying to ignore our feelings, or intuition, or anything else really – only makes that thing more sticky. I’m guessing you know what I mean.
But when we allow ourselves to feel and to experience, our emotions can move more freely, without the prison bars of judgment.
I’m not talking about allowing ourselves to go down a rabbit hole of self-pity. But there is value and power in allowing ourselves to be whole with kindness and self-compassion. To say, yup...this too. And maybe even to consider that wherever we are, whatever we are feeling, is an invitation to consider something new. To learn. To open up to a possibility that we’d normally gloss over. Or maybe, it is simply an opportunity to listen and get to know ourselves more deeply.
Stop fixing. Start feeling.
There are times to fix. And there are times to BE. What I’m proposing is that we flip the equation and lead with BEING rather than fixing as our go-to operating system for our lives.
Back to my funk. After unsuccessfully willing myself to snap out of the feelings with my usual go-to tools, I went outside on my deck. I paused and took 3 breaths. And I told myself that it was ok to be in the muck and that my stuckness didn’t have to mean anything.
That simple permission slip was all I needed. I could feel the stuckness start to soften. I hadn’t set out to change anything, but the very nature of acceptance and compassion was better and more powerful than any Mary Poppins spoonful of sugar remedy.
There is a word in Sanskrit – sukha. It means ease or open space. (It can also mean happy, good, joyful, bliss.) Its opposite is dhukha – suffering or restricted space. I’d found sukha in that permission slip. Space to be – whatever I needed to feel, rather than restricting myself to the shoulds or expectations that came from my perceptions.
I do not fix my problems. I fix my thinking. The problems fix themselves. --Louise Hay
Instead of trying to change or fix, what if all we need is awareness? Allowing ourselves to notice our thoughts, our feelings, and even the sensations in our body invites us to slow down. To pause. Perhaps to get out of our way. If we let it, the awareness can be an invitation to breathe.
We are programmed to fix. To strive. To want to improve. And while I’m not saying that we should wave a white flag in defeat, I’m inviting you to consider that perhaps there is another way.
By all means, put the band-aid on when you are bleeding – but consider what would happen if the next time life showed up with a challenge, you could allow yourself to find ease and space first before going into fixing mode?