Coach, counsellor and mom shares on emotional awareness, the myth of happy, and how we can change our lives by learning to get better at feeling – instead of always chasing ‘feeling better’
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In this episode I discuss:
- Can we use happiness as a measurement of success in life, marriage and parenting?
- The pursuit of ‘feeling better’
- Feelings as a parent
- Are you aware of your emotions?
- How are we coping with our feelings (dealing rather than feeling)
- All feelings are welcome
- Feeling in the moment
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FULL TRANSCRIPT (unedited)
Hey friends, welcome back. Welcome back to the simple on purpose podcast. As you know, I take the summer off, so that I could be, you know, momming it up with all of the kids at home and doing counseling and working my environmental health job making those work.
I also secured myself in office space in town so that while everyone was home, I could have that space to go to we were also doing rentos. If you’re in this simple Saturday’s email, you’ve heard all about this, we were doing rentals between my office in our bedroom closet, and I have a wall up now I have a wall in my office, I am all back put together. In my own little office space, it’s reduced its size, I’ll make sure to share some photos as we’re getting it all put together. It’s kind of exciting thing. Last night, I was up googling artwork in my office. Now that I don’t have enough artwork laying around the house. But here we go. I wanted to have a fresh piece of art. That’s always exciting.
Anyways, here we are September. And I don’t know about you. But in September, I tend to have this sentiment where I reflect and remember a year ago, remember what the kids were doing and what grades they were going into what we were doing what I was doing with my life, what was different and like how much has changed. And I think this is something people might ask themselves around January, you no fresh new year, but I think I’m the kind of person who asks, is it in September, maybe because the kids are moving up a grade in school, maybe because my birthday is at the end of August. But it’s almost like a metaphorical Page Break in my year.
And as I’m thinking like, oh, what were we doing a year ago, I also think what will next year be? And I don’t get stressed about this question or like worried what decisions will I make? But I asked it with hope that I’m gonna set some intention. What do I want to happen? What do I want to be doing this time next year? Where do I want to be?
And so I’m thinking last September, I knew that that was going to be my year really focusing on one to one, counseling and coaching. And I also knew at that time that a year from now, this September, I was going to return to these online group settings. I’ve done them in the past, I’ve loved them so much. And as I went through this past year, even I was getting questions is Is the life on purpose Academy running? Are you doing group programs, and I did one group session this year, a handful of you came to that and we left the call with women saying can we do this again, like I want to come to the next one. So now is the time now is the time that I committed to doing that. It was something that I put on the backburner with hopes and anticipation that I would come back to it.
So this fall, you can expect two things from me one is I’ll be here on the podcast is often as reasonably possible with bi weekly episodes for you have, of course the email newsletter, I got to add that one in there. But the other thing you can expect from me now this fall is a monthly workshop and a monthly group coaching session. So I’m not going to go into it a super ton here. But I will tell you two Fridays a month these are going to happen.
One will be a session that will be a group session open to any topic you’re working on any simple and purpose related topic. If you are stuck with decluttering if you want to work on your relationships, or parenting if you’re feeling stuck with a habit change or a goal or a direction you want to take if you want to talk about procrastination, perfectionism, overwhelm, mindsets, these are all things that we have talked about in the group settings, this would be a place to bring your questions and get coaching at a very, very affordable price.
And the other session will be a workshop. So I’m going to teach for 30 minutes, kind of really dig deeper into some good juicy topics. And then follow that up with 60 minutes of q&a and coaching. So I’m choosing to do this by having a series that we build on from session to session for the four months. And you don’t have to attend all of them, or any of them you do it feels right for you. So I’m going to link that in the show notes. And as an intro to the fall series, I’m going to tell you the topic will be emotions on purpose, being purposeful, and how we handle emotions rather than living on autopilot. And today I want to talk about that contrast that this whole series is going to make which is a contrast of trying to feel better, versus getting better at feeling and
why do feelings even matter? Because you can live a lot of your life without ever having to address your feelings in maybe you have lived a lot of your life that way. But when we start to turn inward and reflect and pay attention to our emotional experience, we realize that that actually does matter. And we can do something about it. It’s really fascinating to me, that we are a feelings generator and a feelings processor like we are designed to have feelings, all kinds of them. We are created with the biological and cognitive capacity and functioning to feel feelings, all of the feelings. So feelings are there for a reason. They’re creating a biological response in us. And we are designed to do something with him.
But what do we do with our feelings? What do we do? What do you do when you are like stressed out at home, yelling at your kids when you don’t want to be? What do you do when you’re feeling kind of like low key angry to your partner? Or maybe just flat out resent them? What do you do when you’re frustrated with a family member or work situation? or upset with your own self in your own circumstances and your own progress? What do we do with these feelings? There’s kind of what we do on autopilot. We resist them, avoid them, use them as rationale, we fight with our feelings. Or we use our feelings to feel the fight as a justification of our fight. We hide our feelings, we cope with our feelings, we try to talk ourselves out of our feelings. That’s my specialty. I am like a professional. If you want help on that, just joking JK. We react to feelings, we run off with our feelings, maybe we let them take over, we let them balloon up, we let them get big.
And we’re doing this all day long. Really, if you think about it, we’re being washed in the waves of our emotions all well, trying to swim to the shore of feeling better. That’s our solution to the feelings. We don’t like feeling. Just find out how to feel better.
And feeling better used to be my goal, not just for me. But for my kids and husband, I operated with this core belief that I wasn’t even aware of that we should all just be happy. Because happiness is how we know our life is right. If we are happy, then we’re doing it right. We’re making good choices. We’re making right choices, we’re doing the right things, check, check all the boxes, we’re doing it right. If my kids are happy, then I’m a good mom, I’m doing it right. If my marriage feels happy, then we’re doing it right. Nothing to work on here, guys, we are happy. And these are myths that I had bought into because especially in our culture, we get the message that happiness should be our default state of operation. And any deviation away from it means we are not living, right. We’re not living well, we’re not doing it right. So I have an episode on that I’ll link to in the show notes about the hustle for happy. And don’t hear me say that happiness is wrong. I just don’t think it’s valuable to use it as our measure of success. Or that one emotion that we are constantly in pursuit of that we will fully accept. But it is isn’t it we spend a lot of energy just trying to feel better. And maybe if we can’t get to happy, we can just get to numb.
We are in a state of moving away from what we don’t want to feel and chasing what we do want to feel. And you know, I think it’s worth saying that some of us are more comfortable feeling anxiety than peace. Some of us are more comfortable feeling guilt than confidence. So the term feeling better can actually look a little bit different for each person. When we talk about our emotional experience, one major thing we need to acknowledge is just how little awareness we often have our emotions. Because if I asked you how you’re feeling, you’re probably going to tell me what you’re thinking. But what are you feeling? What emotions have you felt today? What did you feel this morning? What did you feel during the day? Can you name maybe three specific emotions you noticed in yourself today, I know a lot of us, we’re going to have to pull out the old feelings chart and really sit with that one.
Because we can often name the emotion that we have after the fact after we’ve gone through that experience. And we’re quiet and reflective. Or we can name it when it becomes so overpowering. so overwhelming, that we just have to acknowledge His presence.
In early motherhood, I could walk around feeling like a kettle about to boil and my teeth would be clenching, I would be snappy. I was angry. But I spent a lot of effort resisting being angry. And in the moment, if Connor had asked me how I was feeling, I would say nothing. It’s fine. You know, the good old fine word, the F word. Or I would say something like, I’m just tired. I’m overwhelmed. And probably those were absolutely true as well. But only later when I could sit with it. I could actually give myself permission to say no, I’m angry. And I didn’t like that. I didn’t like say I’m angry in motherhood because it was such a stigma. I think it still is a stigma to be angry as a mom and I’m sharing the story to really highlight that we’re not often aware of our emotions, or are we are calling them something else. Something more acceptable, something more palatable, something we don’t have to explain or process or rationalize. Being a tired mom was easy for me to process and explain then being an angry mum.
But without emotional awareness without knowing, and closer to the moment is better what exactly my emotional experiences, I can’t really understand it or work with it, I can only just cope with it. And by cope, I mean trying to move away from it, move away from feeling it. Whether that is through using distraction or numbing, dealing with the emotion that I don’t want to have is coping with the emotion and coping has its place. Absolutely. We all need coping strategies, especially for the big hard things in life. But our life cannot be a daily series of coping mechanisms. We can’t just live a life of coping. We also need to do the work of engaging our life and working on the hard things rather than just coping with the hard emotions.
One reason for this is that our coping strategies often become our bad habits. And now we have that to deal with as a problem. Another thing is that we’re we’re just trying to constantly feel better than we’re losing the skill of getting better at feeling. And then what happens, we lose tolerance for the emotions we don’t want to feel, we lose access to the intuition, the offer, remember, emotions have a reason, we lose the opportunity to process emotions in our body. And we often suffer suffer from the physical stress of that we reinforce to ourselves that these emotions are unacceptable. They are intolerable. We never learn how to work within them because we’re constantly running from them. And we also never learn how to love and validate that part of us that has these emotions. We are ostracizing our own selves.
These things all matter. These things matter to our life experience.
Because imagine how different you would go about your day. If you weren’t afraid of feeling anger of anger coming up for you as a mum, or believing that you could sit with restlessness. Or if you trusted yourself to handle being lonely. How about if you validated your jealousy rather than villainize it? What if you could work with doubt rather than letting it be the decision maker, if we know how to get better at feeling that we don’t need to constantly avoid our emotions, or turn right to coping mechanisms as an escape, that we turn to when they show when they show a little glimmer of their presence.
This work has been so valuable in my own life I can think of today like about 10 different emotions that I noticed within myself, and how I handled them with, not with fear but with curiosity and an interest in just acknowledgement that these feelings were there. And I want to teach this series because it is a conversation I have with almost every counseling and coaching client, almost every single client, we talk about the basics of emotional awareness, emotional coping, emotional processing, an emotional response.
And so I want to cover all of these topics with a little bit more depth, and personalized q&a and coaching for you. Whether or not you join the workshops, I hope this episode alone has given you some more awareness of what your own emotional experience might be in a day. I hope it gives you validation that you’re a human who feels feelings and that all feelings are part of the human experience. There are no wrong feelings.
And if this is something you want to work on, join for one or some or all of the emotions on purpose workshops this fall. The first session is September 29. And we’re going to work on creating an emotions map to help you understand your own emotional landscape. It’s a newer exercise, I’m really excited about it. And that group coaching session that’s happening quite soon it’s happening September 15 9:30am PST, there’s going to be a link in the show notes for a smoking discount for this kickoff call for the Fall series, and also as a birthday discount to help me celebrate my birthday with you guys. Because I am 41 Now, friends, it’s so good to be back with you.
And remember I love to hear from you guys. So as we’re going through the fall together, remember to drop me a line somewhere take me on Instagram, email me from the simple Saturday’s email, leave a comment on the website. leave a review of the show somewhere. And all in all, anything you’re ever looking for to dig in from this episode, head to the show notes. Go to simple on purpose.ca Click Listen, all of the episodes all of the show notes and the transcripts are there for you. And the links to the workshops if you think that’s going to be a good fit for you this fall. I would love to see you. Alright, have a great week.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai