More often the question might be posed, “how do you feel?” whether someone else is doing the asking or ourselves. I know for myself, it’s a double-take kind of reaction to read those words – I’m just not used to approaching how I feel from this angle. How would I like to feel? Initially leaves me stopped in my tracks – I’ve really never thought about it pre-emptively but rather in real time – now or reflectively on the past.
This is such an interesting question to dig into. On the surface of it it may seem simplistic and obvious. We all want to feel happy, for example. There’s a bunch more that I think likely apply to us all: secure, safe, loved, content ….. Which is a great starting point. In my experience I’ve found the longer I sit with this more suble things surface and in the most unsuspecting environments and moments. So I encourage you to begin this inquiry with a view on it lasting a while. Personally I began looking at this with writing. Simply writing down some feelings I’d like to have. In the days that followed I added to that list, sometimes at the most unexpected moments I’d gain an insight. And I believe they’ll continue to arise along lifes journey – I think it may be kind of an on-going way of re-framing things.
This is akin to starting at the finish line and working your way back to the start, tracing a path to get there. How do you get from how you feel now to how you would like to feel? What actions support that shift? This is your next line of inquiry. I recommend you really soften and look inward with curiosity about this. For example, if I want to feel grounded, isn’t it sort of necessary that I start to inquire what’s going to help me feel grounded? If I want to feel physical strength – or anything for that matter – what is it that’s going to help me get there?
Begin by getting a lovely notebook and dedicating it to this work. Ask yourself the question, How do I want to feel? And then get writing. Don’t get into thinking about it too much – inquire at a feeling level. What feelings tend to dominate currently and are there any you’d like to trade up to or entirely new kinds of feelings to engender? Depending on your age, that may play into the question too. How do I want to feel as I continue to age and move through all the beautiful passages associated with this reality? For example, if I want to feel rested, then maybe I need to get to bed earlier. If I want to feel more connected to people then perhaps I need to move through some comfort zones and get myself out there socially or take a class or host a party.
I’ve found that if I get quiet and still, and then feel the feeling – reflect on what it feels like and then encourage it to arise, it comes fairly naturally and easily to trace my way back to what actions/behaviours could help me find my way to feeling that way. And then we can begin to streamline our choices around what are most supportive of us getting there. I found that going through this process actually made the choices somewhat make themselves – it wasn’t like I had to really make a choice – I just did whatever it was. I believe this is congruence in action. Living in alignment with your desires, and acting in accordance with those desires to achieve them. It’s incredibly energizing, liberating and empowering and offers limitless potential.
So get your notebook and start asking yourself, how do I want to feel? Inquire into every aspect of your life and take your time. In some respects it’s a little like learning a new language so be patient with yourself. You will become more conversant with your current feelings and knowledgeable about what actions serve developing them to their highest. The truth is that when we feel good about how we feel and are living our lives to continue to support feeling good, then the sky’s the limit. And now more than ever this is what we need to bring out into the world. The value of this contribution is priceless and the ripple effects tremendous.