How do you want to feel?

Several weeks ago I had fallen quite hard
while running on snow covered concrete.
Not a brilliant thing to do.
Since then both my elbow and shoulders have been a
constant reminder of what happens when moving
body parts meet an immoveable object at high speed.
Like most people will, I’ve been taking it easy,
and lately it has occurred to me that I am acting
like someone who is injured. I’m moving slower,
noticing every pain from those areas and reducing
those movements that cause discomfort.
You know how it goes…

Now, In my early twenties I had the great fortune
of being introduced to the minds and thoughts
of some very extraordinary people.

And like it was yesterday, I heard these words today;

“If you want to FEEL enthusiastic, ACT enthusiastic!”
(Thanks Zig :) )

I heard this while I was walking across the room.
And almost instantaneously, my own words echoed;

“If you want to FEEL healthy, ACT healthy !”

In that instant, I took charge of my health.
I straightened my back and walked taller,
and I no longer felt the pain I’ve had.
I moved my arms and at most experienced the ache
that comes with not using them on a regular basis
- not the deep sharp excrutiating pain that I’ve been feeling.
For the rest of the day I felt fantastic !

Now, those of you who know me know that I like to whistle.
I feel happier when I whistle !
For many many years when I’ve wanted to feel better,
I would start whistling – and I do that to this day.
Same thing.

“I do not sing because I am happy,
I am happy because I sing”

(-William James)

Now, I have a recipe for you and I.
But first, 2 questions :)

How are you feeling ?
How are you acting ?

If you’re like most people, you probably react to how you’re feeling.
You receive news that makes you mad,
and chances are you’ll be/act mad to varying degrees.
AND… the longer you do that, the more that feeling will persist.
Something happens to make you feel sad,
and you begin to do things that sad people do.
Guilt… Anger… Grief… Helplessness…
These and many many more are emotions that
typically carry with them a set of behaviors
that we tend to carry out as if programmed.

What I have noticed in most people is that
these feelings, though normal reactions & emotions
- are kept in play far longer than need be.
And yes, oftentimes it is because of
the attention received from others
- but that will be a topic for another day.
Just keep in mind it takes a certain kind of
brutal honesty with one’s self to discover that little fact…

All right, to those who are still reading
you remember that old phrase
“You don’t know what you don’t know” ???

If we don’t know how to break out of the
downward spiral of emotions that cause our reactions
which further feed our emotions; then we just don’t know,
and we simply let what happens happen.

Eventually time will pass,
(does it heal all wounds, really?)
and emotions will fade until eventually
we come back to some form of “normalcy”.
BUT IF we know that action affects emotion,
then that puts the control in our hands.

Now, I am not saying that you should
put aside your emotions and pretend
that you aren’t feeling what you’re feeling.
I am not telling you to “Fake it til you make it”.
Our emotions serve us and are there for our health.
To deny and stuff them over time leads to worse problems.
You know this to be true.

What I am saying is that if you want to stop
being overcome and controlled by these emotions
- then start taking steps to slow the fall.
Here’s a good start that ALL of you know:
“Laughter is the best medicine”.
Science has known this for years.
Put it to use !!!

Now, I know it’s hard to find something funny
when you can’t see through the tears,
and it’s tough to smile through the gritted teeth of anger.
Still, if you truly wish to overcome
being overcome by your emotions;
you can and will once you are ready.
Let the healing and strengthening attributes of your emotions run;
just don’t let them overrun you.
You will continue to feel how you act.
If you want to be happy, act happy.
If you want to feel sad, act sad.
If you want to feel productive, do something useful.
If you want to feel joy, do something for someone else.
If you want to feel compassion, comfort someone in need.
There are countless things you can do
to put yourself on the road to feeling
how it is you WANT to feel.

…and now you know :)