2020 is the year I am learning to feel. To really feel my feelings and listen to their wisdom. Feelings of fear. Feelings of frustration. Feelings of guilt. Feelings of anger. If you don’t like how you are feeling right now, I offer you the reminder that you have a choice to keep pushing those feelings down by filling your life with so much action that you can continue to ignore those feelings (as I did for so long) or…sit with them.
What I have realized is that when I don’t squash them down, numb them or ignore them, they have wisdom for me. That wisdom can become your North Star as you walk the path to revealing the truest version of yourself. If I don’t like the way I am feeling, I have learned to ask myself:
HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL?
This is the first step in the goal-setting process of The Brave Journal, the accountability tool I created last year as part of my own transformation process. Why? If you don’t chase a feeling, you’re always going to feel dissatisfied with your results. All worthy goals are merely items on a checklist without the feeling they evoke in us. I learned this the hard way, I went after many of the goals that society told me that I ‘should’ want. The right school, job and status titles, but when I achieved them, I found myself disappointed that they did not deliver the happiness I had expected of them.
Before transitioning into a new career, I started from a place of clarity on how I did and did not want to feel and from this place, I was able to create impactful change and ultimately, be happier. That’s what is available to all of us.
It takes a high degree of vulnerability to access what you are really feeling. It’s uncomfortable and absolutely necessary for our individual and collective growth. I have spent the past week leaning into the guidance system of my own feelings again. Feeling sick to my stomach as I watch the news of George Floyd’s death. Feeling sadness as I heard a close friend tearfully share for the first time the trauma and exhaustion of what this event and the continued racism in her life really looks like, a perspective that despite all of our conversations, I had never taken the time to ask about or listen to before.
A younger version of me would not have wanted to feel this. It would have been too uncomfortable and I would have stayed silent. For this, to my Black friends, in particular, I am sorry for not listening sooner.
It feels like fear to share this – who am I to speak about this subject? I am still very early in my self-education on my White Privilege. And yet, who am I not to use that privilege as a platform to state today and always that Black Lives Matter. We all have a duty to protect each and every one of us until our laws and organizations protect all of us equally.
Wherever you are in your own journey, feeling into the absolute inhumanity of what has happened, propels you to take action for change. For those who are still unsure about protests, may I offer the perspective that this is actually about taking on a leadership position in your own life? Sometimes for the first time.
Leadership is Unreasonable
Leadership is the willingness to be seen exactly where you are, to bring your full self, your vulnerable self, your authentic self bringing your opinions and views, uncurated, unformed and offered in hopes that they are part of a journey to real change.
There are many people out there right now that are protesting as an expression love, it’s their own way of showing compassion, it’s their own way they believe they are truly making a meaningful contribution.
If you are trying to protect the way you look instead of wanting to address the problem or feel into what is on your heart, we will never really be able to make meaningful progress together.
Human beings are meant to feel our way through life.
We’re not what we do. We’re how we feel when we’re doing it.