September 3, 2022 by Molly Patrick
Bathe in the delightful feelings
I talk a lot about the importance of sitting with challenging emotions and not doing anything except allowing them to be there. In other words, feeling your feelings.
Embracing the suck is how I came to know it back in 2015 when I quit drinking and smoking. We sometimes forget that being happy all the time isn’t the point of our human experience.
When we accept this, we drop the “this challenging thing shouldn’t be happening” mental playlist, and instead, we can fully experience the pain or sadness in our lives for what it is without adding a layer of suffering on top.
Yes, feeling the hard stuff is so very important.
And this is where I take a hard left and offer up that feeling the delightful stuff is just as important.
We tend to run away from challenging feelings by resisting, reacting, or avoiding them. We also tend to run away from pleasant feelings because we’re on to the next thing so quickly, we don't give ourselves a chance to bathe in the goodness.
I encourage you to make your own list, but here are some things that are truly joyful for me:
Watching my cat take a nap in a sunny window.
Thinking about someone I love.
A fridge full of food right after I batch cook one of our meal plans.
Getting into bed at night and reading.
Watching the colors in the sky as daylight fades.
Eating a big ass salad for lunch.
Arriving in a city I've never been to before.
Eating a ripe, juicy mango.
Putting my feet up after batching.
I don’t know about you, but I usually do these things and then quickly move on without giving them a second thought.
Instead of moving on quickly, what if we pause and take a few minutes to revel in the positive emotion we’ve created for ourselves?
What if we allowed the delicious feelings to linger and permeate our mind and body?
What if we didn’t run away from those good feelings like we so often do with challenging feelings?
What if we allowed them to be there a little longer and paid more attention to them?
When we stop and allow ourselves to really feel wonderful feelings, we are more likely to feel wonderful feelings more often. This is backed up by neuroscience and it’s called positive neuroplasticity. Check out the work of Rick Hanson if you want to learn more about this.
So yes, feeling the hard stuff is important, but let’s not forget to feel the good stuff too.
Whatever you do this weekend that generates a feeling of real joy, take a minute and enjoy the feeling before you do anything else.
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Written by ex-boozer and ex-smoker, Molly Patrick that will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.
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