I’m going to tell you something you may or may not already know: those habits and ways of thinking that you know—deep down somewhere—aren’t working for you are the same habits and ways of thinking that are so ingrained in you they’re almost impossible to shift on your own.
We know when things don’t feel right, but it’s understanding what the source is that is our difficulty. We know we feel like crap, we just don’t know what’s keeping us stuck.
And, we almost always have the same reaction and the same feelings around where we’re stuck, and continue to take the same actions to “fix” the problem.
When we do this too often, not only do we continue to feel exhausted, frustrated and disengaged, but we develop chronic states, which can lead to illness.
We also cut ourselves off from our true nature and the guidance that is personal to us, whether they come in the form of synchronicities, dreams, unthinkable solutions, opportunities for growth.
And it’s not just you: Your friends, family, colleagues and partners all have their own blind spots to their own habits and ways of thinking, and they often cycle around and around these areas of their lives.
So while understanding the root of this suffering is difficult to do on your own, there is a way to peel back the layers and better understand what’s missing in your life or where you took that fork in the road that led you to feeling the way you currently feel.
My spiritual teacher, Dawn Eaglewoman, once told me that our greatest power is at the moment of choice when we say yes or we say no. But once that decision has been made–having a child, marrying a certain person, taking a job or not taking a job—we are no longer are fully in control.
When I was in distress, unable to unravel what was going on, and wanting to blame, react and stay in my stuck place, Dawn would ask me a simple but powerful question: “How’s that workin’ for you?” Something Dr. Phil would ask Oprah!
This question always snapped me out of the pity party I was wallowing in. My simple answer was usually “not so great.” Once I could acknowledge that, I could begin to further explore the root cause of my suffering.
Today, I’m going to take you through an exercise to help you do just that.
First, I want you to ask yourself: “What’s not working?”
In your journal write out whatever comes to mind. No censorship. No judgement. Just write as fast as you can.
Then ask yourself again: What’s not working?
Keep writing. Don’t try to solve the problem or judge the problem. Just keep writing.
When you feel you’re done, or your writing is feeling repetitive, STOP. Take a deep breath. Sit quietly and observe yourself. Scan your body. Observe the sensations in your body.
Do you feel heat? Pulsation? Stabbing pain?
Write out these sensations and be aware that you’re identifying experiential sensations, not emotions, or labels. Your language will be a verb, an adjective or an adverb (for example: sticking, heavy, light, soft, flying, ripping, etc.). Remember to breathe and observe your sensations.
It may only be one sensation, or a cluster of sensations, or it could be sensations in different parts of your body. Unfortunately some of us are only aware of sensations when it is a specific pain in our bodies. It’s how your body is trying to get your attention!
I’ll talk about the ways the sensations in your body opens up opportunities for new messages, new opportunities and understandings in future teachings, but today, I just want you to recognize how and what you’re feeling.
Here’s why this simple exercise can be so powerful: We often label our feelings and have elaborate stories about what happened. It’s natural and part of expressing what’s wrong.
But we’re not doing that today. Instead, through this exercise, I’m using a technique called the Feedback Loop to help you access another part of yourself that will open up the possibilities of receiving deeper answers.
When we recognize our unique sensations and create that mind-body connect, we drop down a level—one that’s beyond our cultural and familial experiences and that takes us to the core in ourselves.
We connect ourselves to the pulse of life, to the vitality of life, to the energy of all things. And that’s where we begin to unravel new answers and find new opportunities.