Feel Your Way To Fulfillment!
When we break things down to the simplest of terms, what we really want most out of life is to feel good. We may have lofty goals and grand visions for our life and that’s definitely not a bad thing, but at the end of the day, it’s really all about how we want to FEEL. I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately with people that are stuck in this vicious cycle of projecting their happiness onto the attainment of some achievement or the arrival at some future destination in their life. The common experience they describe is one of a perpetual sense that something is missing and an inability to put their finger on what it might be.
The problem is one that we all face to some degree or another. The something that is missing is our PRESENCE and attunement to what is unfolding in our lives RIGHT NOW. This results from the belief that we are separate from that which we desire and creates a constant experience of wanting, chasing and never quite having or being enough.
The truth, however, is that the experience of fulfillment and happiness is available to us all the time, if we choose to allow ourselves to have it. In order to do this, we must turn our focus inward and we must have our eyes on the present rather than some other point in time. If we are constantly looking out into the future or past then we could say our focus is on some moment “out there” ”rather than on this moment “right here”. What tends to happen is that even when we achieve our goal and we arrive at the point we thought would bring us so much happiness, we are unable to truly experience fulfillment because we’re still looking “out there” at the next thing.
The solution is a simple one but it can be scary because it requires us to do one of the things which many of us fear most: to actually FEEL our feelings.
In order to do this, we have to be truly present and willing to be honest with ourselves about where we’re at which isn’t always easy. I have been learning to inhabit the present more fully and check in by asking myself and others: “What are you feeling right now?” By tuning in to what we’re feeling and breathing into it, we can immediately shift our focus from being future or past-oriented to here and now.
Once we are tuned in to what we’re feeling now, we have located our current position on the map. The first thing to do is to simply acknowledge and accept where we are. This means just BEING with whatever we’re feeling, observing it without judgment and just allowing it to be. When the sensation is an unpleasant one, this willingness to just be with it and let it be will actually allow it to pass more quickly. If we try to run away from it, numb it or distract ourselves by using any one of a number of vices and crutches, this only provides temporary relief and the underlying disconnect remains. Conversely, when the state we’re in is a positive one, there is a difference between fully experiencing it and holding on for dear life. When we try to grasp onto joy or love too tightly, the feeling is more likely to slip through our fingers and escape us. As the saying goes: “This too shall pass.”
Once we know and accept where we’re at, we can choose to alter our experience by setting our focus on a different feeling. One way would be to think about what we are grateful for and feel the rays of GRATITUDE that light us up inside. We could also focus on the feelings of love we have for those nearest and dearest to us and experience the sensation of warmth in our hearts. In this way, we are able to access our “feeling good” place on purpose at any time.
Why is this important? Well, if we accept the idea that what we ultimately want to experience when we achieve our goals and realize our vision is a certain feeling, the only way to get there is to determine what that feeling is and then check in with ourselves from moment to moment and use our current feelings as a compass. So first, we establish our destination by envisioning the feeling experience we wish to have and then we use our internal GPS to lead us there by tuning into to what we’re feeling in the present moment and discerning which experiences are in alignment with the desired feeling and which ones are not.
So what are you feeling in this moment? Are you willing to just be with it and let it pass? What would you like to feel? Once you have a feeling intention, set that as the destination on your internal GPS and tune in to attract the experiences and reality that will embody those feelings.
Written for The Daily Love (June 30th, 2012)