“The bottom line is that every choice you make comes either from love or fear. When your choices come from fear, they will lead you to more suffering; when your choices come from love, they will connect you to the happiness that has been within you all along. You just couldn’t feel it because you can’t feel fear and love at the same time; you’ll have to choose. You can choose.”
–Patricia Moreno, The intenSati Method
How do YOU want to FEEL?
This was the question I asked my Sati Sunday class. There was some silence, but out of that emerged words like blissful, joy, happy, strong…
The exact words each individual used were different; but, interestingly enough, they were all of the same feeling. Every person in that room wanted to feel “good.” In the end, it’s not so much about what you call it, but how the word feels and how you want to feel.
In the book I’m reading, The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte says, “Everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way.” Our feelings dictate our actions. Every choice we make either comes from the umbrella of positive feelings (happy, love, joy, strong…) or the umbrella of negative feelings (fear, anxiety, judgment…). Everything we do is driven by the feeling itself. Our feelings are game changers. Our feelings are sparks of ignition that set us in motion. Our feelings are power. And our power is in how we want to feel.
For the past year, I have been living my life with a feelings-first approach. For the past year, rather than be attached to a certain outcome like landing the ideal job or being a certain weight, and rather than attach that sense of success or freedom or happiness to those external things, I have been seeking out the feeling itself. What I have discovered is this: I am happier when I seek out the feeling of happiness, rather than think it will come from being a certain weight. I feel stronger when I seek out the feeling of strength, rather than equate it with how many push-up’s I can do or think I should be able to do. I feel freer when I seek out the feeling of freedom, rather than think it only comes from eliminating aspects of my life to make space.
Following the feeling and that is what you will find.
The notion of living feelings-first is a foreign concept for most of us. We are told it is the outside agenda that gives us the feeling. We are told when we have this job, we’ll feel successful. We’re told if we go to college, land the job, get married, and raise a family, we’re living the American Dream. We’re told we have to do this or have that to be happy. I lived a good majority of my life this way, thinking my happiness came from what others thought about me or what the number on the scale said. And the more I sought happiness or freedom outside of myself and attached it to those outside circumstances, the more I lived under the umbrella of negative feelings; which was the exact opposite of how I wanted to feel. What offered me a shift in perspective and in the way I choose to live my life was a very simple question,
How do I want to FEEL?
That question was a breath of fresh air. It was an open door, a blank page, a pause of possibility, an invitation of potential. When you ask this question, be prepared to receive it ALL. As soon as I asked myself, “How do I want to feel?” a stream of words flooded the page, words I wasn’t even aware I had wanted to feel. Bottom line: we all want to feel “good.”
When we live with a feelings-first approach, we seek out varied experiences that can elicit that feeling. We don’t limit ourselves to a certain person or situation simply because it should give us that feeling, or has in the past. We seek out avenues to feel that way simply because we’re going for the feeling.
What living feelings-first looks like:
We begin by asking ourselves, “How do I want to feel?” The voice inside whispers, free. “Ok,” we say, “What does free look like or feel like?” It feels expansive, boundless, open. “Ok. I like how that sounds. What can I do today that will allow me to experience free?” Spend less time analyzing what you think you look like in front of the mirror; let your day unfold naturally; lose yourself in a deep breath; smile….
The experiences that will allow you to get into your desired feeling may not always be the same. When I’m not exactly loving myself or how I look, but want to feel love or free from my limiting beliefs, some days it might require I say, I love you to myself in the mirror. Other days it might require not fussing with an outfit or simply thanking my body for all it allows me to do. The experiences will almost always vary depending on what you need that day. The important thing is to go for the feeling.
Just as we can’t think two dissimilar things at any given point in time, and just as we can’t say two different things at the same time, we also can’t FEEL two things simultaneously. In the opening quote, Patricia says, “The bottom line is that every choice you make comes either from love or fear. When your choices come from fear, they will lead you to more suffering; when your choices come from love, they will connect you to the happiness that has been within you all along. You just couldn’t feel it because you can’t feel fear and love at the same time; you’ll have to choose. You can choose.”
In the end we have a choice: we can live our lives from a feelings-first approach and seek out experiences that allow us to feel that way, or, we can live our lives with an outside agenda. We just can’t live both at the same time. We can’t say we want to feel happy, but concern ourselves with experiences that leave us feeling unhappy. We can’t say we want to feel love, but live in a state of fear, attached to certain outcomes. Our circumstances aren’t always within our control, but the choice as to how we want to feel is. And the minute we ask ourselves how it is we want to feel, the moment we say YES! to following the feeling–to whatever experience will allow us to get into that feeling-state–is the moment we truly understand how powerful we are. When we practice feeling good and know we can make a choice to feel “good,” to seek out ways that allow that to happen, our life will never be the same.
So…how do YOU want to feel today? What does that feeling look like? And, what is ONE thing you can do today that can allow you to get into that feeling-state? Click HERE to answer these questions using the Feelings-First 3-step process worksheet.
To new braveries of BE-ing and the courage to follow the feeling,
All Good Things and All Things Feeling Good