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Feelings Aren't Facts
March 25, 2014
How often have we assumed we are bad, unworthy or defective because we have felt angry, ashamed or guilty over something? How often have we endlessly indulged our feelings of self-pity and eaten over them? Have we ever let our negative feelings spoil a whole week, month, or even a year? How many times have we not exercised, eaten well or taken care of ourselves because we just didn’t feel like it?
Feelings aren’t facts. They are temporary and will pass. Feelings don’t have the power to define us unless we let them. Feelings are a natural and necessary part of being human, and they do need to be acknowledged, but we need not let them run the entire show. Just because we feel something doesn’t mean it’s true. We react to the thoughts we think and many of these thoughts are false, irrational and based on past programming. Sometimes it’s best to act in spite of our feelings.
Little children often run amok with their unbridled emotions. Part of emotional maturity is the ability to gain mastery and some detachment over our feelings. We acknowledge them, but they don’t run our lives and influence our whole decision making process. We balance them with inquiry, logic and reason. We don’t need to act on our feelings, unless it’s safe and appropriate to do so. We also need to practice discernment over when it’s appropriate to express them to others and when it’s best to keep them to ourselves.
If we find ourselves in a work or social situation and we’re feeling emotional, we can practice detaching from our feelings until it’s safe to process them. We may need to come home and take a shower or a brisk walk. We can write in a journal or beat a pillow or call a friend to express our feelings. We can meditate, breathe, chant or pray and ask God to relieve us of the feeling. If we eat over our feelings, they never get worked through and we begin to feel dead and heavy inside. Sooner or later unexpressed feelings do get acted out in the form of temper tantrums, meltdowns, depression, anxiety, self-sabotage, illness, substance abuse and/or overeating episodes.
If we’re feeling depressed, it’s important to engage in some nurturing self-care that can make us feel better. If the depression goes on for too long, it’s important to get help and not give in to the feelings of wanting to eat and isolate from life. This can make it worse. In spite of our feelings, we may need to force ourselves to take a walk, engage in self-care, and interact with others, which will often make us feel better.
If we feel like bingeing or overeating, we can acknowledge the feeling, then pause and distract ourselves with something else. The feeling will soon pass. We need to learn to ride out our urges as they’re temporary. They will usually pass in around twenty minutes. We can write out a list of things we can do to distract ourselves and then do them when the urge arises. If we’re feeling like we don’t want to exercise, the best thing is to not engage in an endless, internal dialogue about it, just do it anyway. We can tell ourselves that we will do it for 10 minutes and usually once we have started, we can keep going for a longer time.
As we learn to not act on our feelings and give in to our urges around overeating, we begin to feel more confident and empowered. We see that we do have far more control than we ever gave ourselves credit for. We had simply surrendered to our feelings.
I am learning to pause and delay gratification and think about the consequences of my actions. A life of acting on my feelings and urges is a life out of control.
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Feast for the Eyes - Spring Blossoms - Photography by Catherine L. Taylor
I pause and think before I act on my feelings.
I can heal what I allow myself to feel.
I am willing to feel the full range of my emotions.
I am willing to practice better self-care and coping tools.
I am open to what my feelings are telling me.
I am capable of making better choices, in spite of what my feelings may be telling me.
I am defined by my actions, not my feelings.
Is emotional eating keeping you from losing weight and living the life you want? Are you ready to get off the diet rollercoaster and master your weight and your life?
If so, you may be a candidate for coaching. Coaching can make the difference between success and failure.
I have found that people who struggle with food and emotional eating are released from that prison once they learn the skills of mindful awareness and mindful eating, emotional self-nurturing, developing a spiritual or meditation practice, and learning to set appropriate limits and goals.
This turns off the urge to overeat and engage in other compulsive behaviors. When you feel better, you eat better! I have walked this path myself, and it has led me to peace and freedom.
The goal of my coaching is to create a lighter, balanced, healthier, nourishing and joy-filled life. You will begin to see results in all areas of your life because How You do Food is How You do Life!®
I coach and mentor people in the areas of: permanent weight loss, food addiction, compulsive, emotional overeating, binge eating recovery, creative self expression, spiritual direction, mindfulness, meditation, self care and stress management, self esteem and body image issues.
Note: My work is spiritually focused, not religious, and fits with any belief system you may have, even agnostic. My work assumes that you have all the wisdom and answers you need inside of you.
What you call this place -- God, intuition, Higher Power, inner wisdom, or true self -- is up to you. I am simply a guide bringing you back to the truths that are already inside of you.
I hope you have enjoyed my newsletter. Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing. I love to hear what's working for you and read about your success stories.
Catherine L. Taylor
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©2013 Catherine L. Taylor. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reprinted in any form without express permission from the author.
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