Sunday, 1 March 2015

How Emotions Can Influence Our Health

Letting go of feelings is a natural process which helps us stay connected to the Flow of Life.

Positive feelings feel amazing.  Many people enjoy expressing positive feelings for that reason.  It just feels good.

Feelings born in the tummy flow out freely when one feels good.

When negative emotions are involved the process of expressing them does not always seem as simple.

In order to express a feeling we first need to feel it, and many of us would rather not feel the negative feelings.  Instead we decided to suppress them, in hopes that we will never have to deal with them.  Some people get really good at suppressing all or part of their feelings.  This traps the feelings inside ourselves.  As more emotions are piled internally on top of each other we start to run out of room.  The emotions start to find other ways of escaping causing all sorts of mental and physical symptoms to their human.  We may find ourselves having to spend more and more energy managing the great collection of emotions within us instead of putting that energy into other things.
We sever our smooth connection to Life's Flow.  

We can not suppress our emotions all our lives.  Eventually we run out of internal storage room and they find a different way of escaping.  There are natural, healthy ways to release emotion.  Suppressed emotions can cause mental and physical strain to their human.

There is no need to panic...

Part of our life mission is to learn how to deal with our feelings to the best of our ability.

It is easy to start and we do not need anything special or expensive.

All we need to do is to start consciously feeling our emotions.  Even if we can not manage to stay present for what we feel in the moment a feeling is conceived, we can always revisit that moment later on, in a more comfortable space.

It is very helpful to accept that this process may not feel pleasant at first, 
but still to commit to a positive, new outcome.

A more in depth post on how to learn and manage emotions is right HERE.

In my personal life...

I feel most of my emotions start out of my stomach and rise up with my breath to escape through my head.  (Hence the illustrations.)
Maybe this happens differently for others.

Depending on my state of mind, body and soul combined, sometimes I would feel certain feelings get stuck on their way out; in my chest, in my throat.  Paying attention to how I feel in my body, mind and soul is a new practice for me.  Prior to this all my life I had other cooping mechanisms.  Suppressing emotions was one of them.  Eventually my stomach started to get "eaten" away by them.  Pretty much literally.  Many things in my body stopped working properly and I got really sick.  This was my encouragement to pay attention.  Which is what I am learning how to do now and slowly healing my tummy.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

FEAR + DOUBT: Results Within the Thought Process

Before a conscious thought that could be expressed in words is born, my mind goes through an entire process of "pre" thinking. 

Playing with my thought process one evening, I was able to see the different stages that my mind goes through (within a millisecond) in order to get to a conscious, firm thought / conclusion.

The greatest discovery from the exercise was the realization of how quickly my patterns of Fear and Doubt enter into each equation!  I have perfected the pattern of inserting these two into almost everything that goes through my mind.

Which means Fear and Doubt affect almost all my decisions and actions!  
And; therefore, most outcomes! 

My mind tricks me.
Instead of calling Fear and Doubt as they are, my mind gives them other names depending on circumstance.
The list goes on...

Examples with Fear and Doubt:
thought:  Perhaps I can also enter into that art contest.
realistic reply:  Nope, look at all those awesome artists, there is no way you even stand a chance.

thought: Oohhh I want some tea with chocolate!
responsible reply:  Nope, that will make you fat and caffeinated and plain no good.

Thought Process with Fear & Doubt Inserted

GAME: How to Catch Fear and Doubt

Feelings are the answer.  I suggest playing a game with your thoughts.  Have a quiet space to just relax and watch your thoughts go by.  Think of something that makes you feel good.  See how quickly that feeling is interfered with.  The instant you feel your true happiness and excitement changes to something slightly more negative is the moment in your thoughts you want to revisit.

You might want to see what the interference with the feeling of happiness feels like. Sometimes you might label it, 'SADNESS', sometimes the feeling is too complex for words.  Just feeling it is enough. 

Try talking to the feeling too,
"Hi, who are you?  What are you doing here?  Where did you come from?"
Pause after every question.  Often the answer comes within moments.  Answers come in a variety of ways, not just words.  Sometimes an event from the past pops into memory, or a person's face or another feeling that is connected to something else in your life.  I would encourage anyone to follow these little clues deeper into themselves.  I am often surprised and thankful to find out where they lead.

It is a fun game.  What is there to lose?

After playing this game...

I tried following my thought process again, but this time completely canceling any negative influences.  Results were not only positive, but amazingly unexpected!!

Examples without Fear and Doubt:

thought:  Oohhh I want some tea with chocolate!
reply:  Why not?
thought:  Well I just wanted to make myself happier about the last thought of not being good enough for an art contest.
reply:  Just go for it.  It will be fun.

Thought Process without Negative Influence

I started to realize things about myself I was not consciously grasping.
Working with these new realizations I was able to improve my state of mind within moments!

Is this some sort of magic?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Lions

An old painting sketch from 2012, found in my art supplies.  Took the time to finish what was half done and abandoned a few years ago.  A bit of the new and old combo.  Nice to have it finished.

The Lions

acrylic on canvas
11" x 14"

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Going Backwards in Life

I have been working on self-growth and self-improvement full time for over 3 years now.  After a while on this path, certain patterns start to emerge.  One major one for me is the feeling of going backwards.  One day I may feel on a roll, making amazing progress in many aspects of my mind and life.  The next moment, I find myself facing a familiar dilemma from say 3 months ago and then 7 months ago and all my life it seems.  A dilemma that keeps reappearing in my life.  Something I felt and hoped would have been let go long ago, only to sneakily reappear a bit further on in life to make me feel like I am going backwards.

Situations like this are often met with frustration within me and then doubt of whether or not I am actually learning ANYTHING!

My fellow co-adventurers on this mission called Life.  If you encounter similar feelings and fears do not worry.  Here is what I have figured out and what may actually be working in your life as well.

We are NOT going backwards!  (Woo hoo!)

Some lessons in life are intricate and full of complexity.  Learning a lesson that Life has provided for us does not always feel "good".  Once we learn a part of it we feel relief and are able to let that part go.  This does not mean; however, that we have learned everything there is to learn from this lesson.  It is like a video game with levels.  Once we complete one level we feel great, celebrate, take a break.  Then we go back to conquer the next level in order to complete the entire game.

Life presents us with lessons level by level.  Once we conquer one level in a lesson sometimes we are given a break.  The break may be a minute long or a few months long, but eventually, if the full lesson has not yet been learned we are presented with it again some time down the road.  We recognize the lesson from our past.  We remember working on it.  We wonder; 

Why is this happening again?  
Am I going backwards?  
Am I making ANY real progress?! 

The lesson reemerges not to take us back to the beginning, but to pick up from where we have left off so we can continue learning.  Life is a great instructor!  It pushes us to learn, but at our own pace without overloading us to the extreme.

Some lessons are extremely challenging, yes.  But let us be honest.  Once the lesson is learned life becomes so much more amazing!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Under The Sea

Thankful to these jolly creatures and their bright environment!
Through the process of creating them I have learned some important stuff and was able to let many things go.

Under The Sea

acrylic on canvas
2.5' x 3'

Here are a few close ups.

And sometimes it's fun to take a peak at the process too.


Saturday, 31 January 2015

What are you Doing? If God Ruled the World.

 *  In the following idea, the word God is used to describe a concept , but for your convenience please substitute any word you feel more comfortable with; Universe, Spirit, the Great Void.....  I also refer to God in the masculine form, only, because that is a traditional view of most people in the part of the world I live in.  Yes, God is probably not a man, nor a woman nor a plant.  As a matter of fact God could be anything or nothing or who even knows.  But for the purpose of illustrating this idea please pretend God is a He.  Thanks.


Yes, if God ruled the world completely, our lives would be perfect and beautiful.

Doesn't that sound nice? 

Actually, if you believe in God you probably believe that He DOES rule the world.
Wait then.... Where is our ultimate perfection?  Where is our total happiness and beauty?
May I suggest that the loop hole lies in Free Will.  Each individual on Earth has Free Will.  Yet, we may not be using our Free Will in the most effective manner.

If you are like me, someone who missed the memo on the proper uses of Free Will somewhere along the line, consider the following.

Where are you right now in life?  Are you happy?  How did you use your Free Will to get here?  Have you even been aware of using your Free Will in life?  How can you use your Free Will to get to the next place you want to go?  Where is the next place you want to go?  Why do you think that is where you need to be?

Too many questions? 

Suppose for a moment that God gave us this life and has a magnificent plan for us.  All we have to do is work with Him and follow His Grand Plan for our life.  This is where Free Will comes in.  He gave us a choice.  We can work together and have a magnificent experience according to His Grand Plan or we can choose to work on our own and see where that leads us.

The second choice means that at any given time we could "cancel out" God's plans for us and take over ourselves.   Well that is what is happening.  We took over planning and running our lives so much that we turned into a society of DOers.  We DO it all ourselves.  We pride ourselves on how well and how fast we can DO.  We Do and Do, but without any idea of the Grand Plan in place.  Which means we are constantly guessing at what we should Do next.  Since we are not following the Grand Plan we are Doing ourselves further into Pointlessness and Confusion.   We Did ourselves into the situation we are in right now.

Well why would God not step in to help us then?

Because God is a respectable fellow.  He fully respects our desire and choice for Free Will.  He is not going to step in and push us out of the way.  Nope.  He will patiently wait until we ourselves decide to ask Him for help.  We need to decide that this might be the right time to stop guessing in life and return back to following the Grand Plan that was designed for us.  All we have to do is invite God back to help us along.

What?!  And give up our Free Will?!  Sounds terrible!

Let us consider.

Would you not give up your Free Will to live your ultimate Life?  No need to answer. 

We are not actually being asked to give up our Free Will.  On the contrary, we are encouraged to exercise it.   We must use our Free Will to decide to ask God for help with our lives.  We must use our Free Will to decide to Trust God, to entrust our lives with Him. 

Working together like this we will reach our dreams.

We Trust, and He Does the work.  What could be better?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Fork in the Road - Make the Best Decision Game

Ever get stuck in making a decision?  Just not sure which way to go?

Here is a game to help.
Start by playing with decisions that are not very important.
Should I eat this cupcake or granola bar?  
As your confidence grows, move on to more interesting decisions.

When in doubt of which way to go internally follow these 2 rules:

      1. Make your decision by following the very best, internal felling option. 

          Never follow fear.

      2. Use your thoughts after you determined which option feels best.  

          Otherwise things get confusing.

Every action is guided by a feeling.

This is the case even in those who are less emotion driven and more thought driven.  Ultimatly every action made by any person is guided by feeling.

Those more sensitive to feelings get more practice knowing and differentiating the waterfall of human emotion.

Following our own feelings should always lead to the best result possible.  Unless, there is already something unresolved within and is concerning the issue in need of action.

Here is an example so you can see what I mean:

To get to an important job interview John ponders about taking a shortcut through a rough area of town to catch his bus on time.  His mother's warnings, about the dangers of that area, ring through his mind.  John is faced with a decision to make.

The right decision is the one that feels more right, more exciting, more lively.  The wrong one feels off, wrong, fearful or any other type of negative.

Let us say poor John tends to think a bit much and succumb to making decisions based on fear. He feels a warm, loving, fuzzy feeling when he thinks about his mother's advice, but instead he acts on fear of missing the bus and the interview.  He follows Fear and jogs through the rough neighborhood just to get some unwanted attention on his way to the bus stop.  OR  John has always listened to his mother, and while he feels how easy it would be to stroll to the bus stop using a shortcut his fear of disobeying his mother (who says she is always right) stops him.  He takes the long, safe route just to see his bus pull away without him.  Is this not what happens to us when we feel fear, yet think we are making a reasonable decision based on thought?

Nothing Good can come out of following Bad feelings.

In this go around John has practiced this game before.  While John loves his mother he feels that strolling through the shortcut is an easy and comfortable solution.  He does not fall under the fear that his mom may have placed into him and catches his bus without a hitch.  On the other hand, he may feel best about the loving, fuzzy feelings for his mother and decides to trust them.  He takes the long way to the bus stop.  He may or may not miss the bus, but he may have avoided a serious confrontation. 

John and his situation is fictional.  Of course there can be a thousand other outcomes.

Time goes on and we never know what might have really happened IF we made a different choice.  However, by following our best feelings we know we have made the the right choices because we followed the Good feeling in every situation.