I was at Winner’s the other day doing a little Christmas shopping when a stranger came up to me and told me she ‘loved how quickly I made decisions.’
I laughed, wondering why a stranger was paying attention to how I chose my purchases.
She went on: “I just watched you walk down the aisle, pick up those two huge gold ornate candlesticks; you looked at the price tag and instantly put them into your shopping cart. That was incredible to watch.”
All I was thinking was why is this woman watching me shop?
But she didn’t stop there: “I mean I can’t make a decision that fast. I will see something I like. I’ll hold it in my hands for a few moments. Then I always put it down and walk around the store to think about it. I’ll even go home or to other stores to see if I can find something similar for a better price. Usually, when I come back to buy it, it’s gone.”
We laughed and talked a bit longer. I explained, ‘When I know, I know! No amount of time is going to help me know what I like or what I think someone else will like. It’s my gut instinct. And it’s how I live every part of my life.’
In fact, I bought the very first wedding dress I tried on! I knew what I wanted, I explained it to the staff, and they were able to find the right dress for me. No wasting time. No second-guessing. No wondering if I should I chosen differently. I walked in, tried it on, loved it, bought it. The whole experience lasted no longer than 30 minutes. Trust me, both my daughters were with me when the sales lady told them I was the most empowered bride she’d ever met!
Yes, it is empowering to know what you like and to chose it.
And it’s certainly not just about Christmas shopping and yet, shopping is a powerful reflection of how you live your life.
How many of us are just like this woman? We overthink. We mistrust ourselves. We waste time. We don’t end up with what we want. We don’t listen to our inner ‘traffic light’:
Red Light: Stop. No. Put it down. Walk away now.
Yellow Light: Proceed with caution. Buyer beware. Do your due diligence.
Green Light: Go. Yes. Take action now. You got this!
The truth is we all have the ability to know and do what is right for us. What is best for us. What works for us. We know!
And when we don’t do ‘what we know’, we start to lose our ability to make decisions swiftly and effortlessly. We give away our power. Over time, we find ourselves ‘stuck’ in life!
You too have an internal compass continually pointing you toward your true Self, and away from things that will take you out of alignment.
When you allow yourself to “feel your feelings” rather than numb, deny, or escape them, you too can access your inner GPS easily and effortlessly.
For years I’ve taught my clients the difference between a feeling and an emotion. A feeling is simply a visceral reaction to an outside stimulus. It has no thought. It has no judgment. It is not right or wrong. It simply is, happening here and now. It has no attachment or connection to the past or future. It isn’t angry, sad, or happy; it just is—a sign, an instantaneous sensation within your body—it is your “gut instinct.”
This feels expansive, empowering or strong . . . true!
This feels contracting, disempowering, or weak . . . false!
A feeling moves quickly and doesn’t linger. Feeling your feelings is mandatory if you want to be empowered! The secret is learning how to feel a feeling without becoming it.
Emotions are different from feelings. Emotions have the added component of thought. When we react to a feeling we begin telling ourselves a story about it; we attach a belief to it.
As you know already, our beliefs are created by our view of the world. Beliefs create emotions. Emotions create chemical reactions within the body—almost instantaneously. Chemicals are addictive.
Often an interaction can begin to break down when people allow their emotions into the driver’s seat. Before you know it, your “gut instinct”—a simple feeling designed to move you in the right direction—has turned into an uncomfortable exchange triggered by your emotional baggage and self-limiting beliefs. The healthier you are (meaning you’ve healed your triggers), the easier managing your emotions will be.
If you want to get really good at knowing what is RIGHT FOR YOU, try this homework tip:
Practice checking in with your internal GPS throughout the day by asking yourself, “What do I feel right now?” Be an observer of your emotions rather than a judge. Witness them without reacting. Feel your feelings without trying to numb or solve them. And remember, when tough times come, and they will, you do not need to get pulled down into a disempowered emotional place. Remind yourself: “This too shall pass.”