Do You Experience Your Feelings or Analyze Them Away?

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Doctor Neha: Blake is a brave soul who I met several years ago when he contacted me on social media and said, “By the way, I saw your video blog today and it really moved me. I just wanted to let you know that I felt so touched.” That’s how we ended up here. So, welcome, Blake. You said that a few years ago when we met at a speech conference, you knew of my work then, but that it impacted you more now. So I’m curious about what changed. What made that transition happen?

Blake: There are a few things that led to that shift. When I met you three years ago, you told us about—I’m going to mess up the name—something like five level of communication.

Doctor Neha: The five levels of agreement.

Blake: I’ve seen that issue come up many, many times with text messages, with meetings, or with friendships. When I wanted to meet up and their response is, “Sure,” but that’s not a complete commitment. We don’t have an agreement there, or any step toward actually doing that get-together. So I’ve noticed that in texts how entertaining it is that we often get three-quarters of the way to an agreement, but it might not be complete. Any time I see that, I think back to the conversation that we casually had over that dinner and determine what level of agreement we had. That was one thing I learned that I’ve kept since then, so thank you for that.

What’s really shifted since that time three years ago is with my fiancée, who’s a naturopathic doctor. I’ve been more in tune to her ways than I was three years ago. So much of that is around what’s going on physically and how that might be a result of something emotionally or ancestrally (if that’s even the word). Your videos and your newsletters have a lot of themes about those kinds of connections between our physical, mental, emotional health and conversations and best practices.

The third thing that really put me over the edge is that one year ago, I went to Bali. And whatever they sip on in Bali—whew! It’s all about things that are unhealed and things that have not been addressed. What I noticed about the combination of 1) being in love with a naturopath who is into health, wellness, healing, and inner work and 2) taking a trip to Bali with her and being around the Polynesian ways was around my feelings. I’ve always been very good at communicating feelings. I’m a speaker for a living so I can talk my way into and out of most situations. So if you want to ask the question about my feelings, I can articulate feelings. But it wasn’t until about a year ago when someone just called me on the truth that I don’t necessarily feel my feelings.

I can intellectually have a relationship with them, but I’ve always been a pretty optimistic, upbeat guy—and when you’re a motivational speaker, that helps on a business front. But a woman in Bali said to me, “If all you do is focus on the light, you’re not letting in the dark.” But dark was a bad thing to me from an emotional point of view, but it’s really about feeling feelings versus only speaking and thinking my feelings. So in one of your videos, I believe you spoke with a woman about being with her feelings as she was going through a transition. I thought, Ooh, Neha, go. A year ago that wouldn’t have struck me because I was a consistent and effective thinker of feelings. I would journal a lot because I loved writing. So I could write feelings and I could speak feelings, but I don’t think I’d ever felt feelings.

Doctor Neha: Wow! That is huge. First, let’s start with saying Bali is magic.

Second, you’ve gotten the distinguishing piece about emotions that speaking about feelings is very different than experiencing them. Experiencing them has a letting-go quality, a surrender to allow what I call energy in motion. A lot of people can talk about it or explain it, but they won’t actually surrender to letting that energy move through them.

It sounds like that’s what you’re embarking on. What a game change it’ll be because you have to allow emotions to move through you. If they don’t, they end up getting stuck in you—because that energy has nowhere to go.

The other idea that you spoke about, the light and the dark, you said, “I didn’t know it was good to acknowledge the dark. I thought, you know, why don’t we just focus on the light?” I find you to be an optimistic person. And if you end up avoiding any emotion that’s uncomfortable, the harder emotions like anger, then you limit yourself. Brené Brown speaks about this in her TED talk on the power of vulnerability: basically emotions move up and down like an amplitude, and when you stuff one of them, you actually stunt your ability to feel the amplitude of the other. So if I’m not willing to feel fear, anger, resentment, whatever it is, then I also have limited my capacity for how much joy I can feel.

Blake: Wow.

Doctor Neha: Since you are a happy, optimistic, go-lucky guy, I have a feeling you’re going to experience a different level of those emotions as you let feeling your feelings move through you. You may even experience a heightened sense of emotions. So, congratulations! This is incredible, and I’m honored to have been someone on your journey.

Blake: I also wanted to reflect back on what you shared three years ago about talking and communication being such a big vehicle of the work that you do with people in your business and your practice. Back then I thought, That’s cool and I’m a fan of that. But now I’ve experienced and benefited from those tools, some things from your conversations, your blog and what you’re doing with TalkRx. It’s so powerful, and I look forward to more people getting to benefit from all that.

Doctor Neha: I thank you for your wisdom and your appreciation. You are soul well beyond your years. I look forward to staying in touch and seeing how we can collaborate using communication. All right. Take care.

Awareness Prescription to Feel Your Feelings

  1. Start paying attention to your physical signals in response to situations. Your body is talking, so start listening. (Refer to the Body Map in TalkRx Chapter 2.)

  2. Ask yourself, what emotion (worry, fear, excitement, happiness, nervousness, etc.) is behind this physical signal? (See chapter 11 in TalkRx for an emotional vocabulary list.)

  3. The next time your body indicates you’re experiencing that emotion, slow down so the emotion can move through you. Don’t try to ignore it, stuff it, or change it. Just experience it as if you were surfing a wave.

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