During Snowmageddon a few weeks ago, I massively misjudged my fellow human’s capacity for panic-buying. As a result, I ran perilously close to running out of milk for my porridge, the husband almost had to drink short blacks instead of lattes, and the veg for two of our dinners consisted of roasted peppers and shallots. Clearly this is not a situation I wish to find myself in again, so when I awoke yesterday to a blanket of white outside, I quickly donned my walking boots and rucksack, and began trudging the route to the supermarket.
While I was trudging, I found myself contemplating the strapline of my online yoga teacher, Adriene: Find What Feels Good. Now on the face of it this seems quite an innocuous, and good, idea. On the yoga mat I’ve interpreted it to mean that I should get to a place that feels good, and stay there. And off the mat, it could be interpreted to mean that you should find what it is you like to do, and do that.
But how does that allow for challenge? Surely if we are to keep learning and growing, both on and off the mat, we need to challenge ourselves? And putting ourselves in challenging positions doesn’t always feel good. It can feel difficult, frustrating, embarrassing, annoying, and even a bit scary.
And this is where I arrived at while trudging through the snow. I was thinking about how ‘find what feels good’ is a great mantra to live by, but that this didn’t feel good. I was annoyed that I was having to walk through the snow to get food. My rational mind suspected that the snow would have melted sufficiently by mid-afternoon for me to drive to the supermarket. But my irrational mind kept asking ‘what if all the food has gone by then?’, and so I felt compelled to walk there to ensure that my family was fed. And then I realised that ‘find what feels good’ isn’t as superficial as it first appears.
Because of course life is full of challenges. There are loads of times when you have to choose to do something you don’t want to do if you’re to move forward. And I found that this is exactly when ‘find what feels good’ comes into its own. It’s just that you have to focus a bit harder on the ‘find’ part. Just because something doesn’t immediately feel good, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that feels good about it. Sometimes you just have to search a little bit deeper. On the mat that might mean taking a pose to the next level, and focussing on breathing into the areas you feel resisting. Or finding a sense of achievement in even attempting something that felt impossible a few days, weeks, months ago. Off the mat, I’m offering you three ways you can use to find what feels good in challenging situations. I hope they help and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below. 🙂
One: Come out of the detail and reconnect to the bigger picture. When we feel frustrated or annoyed, or that something is just too hard, it can help to look at the bigger picture and find the good in what you’re trying to do. So ask yourself why you are challenging yourself in this way. What’s the purpose of it? What will you get as a result? What will you not get if you don’t rise to the challenge?
Two: Find another way of doing that feels better. There’s more than one way to do most things, so find another way. This could involve using a different method, or finding a different place, or doing it with different people. The good thing is that you get to choose, and you can experiment with different ways until you find one that works for you.
Three: Appreciate where you are now. Take a step back and admire how far you’ve come. It’s so easy to forget what we’ve already achieved, especially if you run your own business. When you work in a company there are people taking care of everything that isn’t part of your job description, but when you work for yourself you have to be the admin team, IT support, sales and marketing, all the things. Appreciate yourself and your achievements, and imagine how fantastic you’ll feel when you’ve overcome this challenge too. Keep hold of that feeling and connect with it on a daily basis.
If you find blogging particularly challenging, and you’d like help to reconnect to the bigger picture and find another way of doing it, then click here to find out how we can work together. I offer one-off consultation sessions; a monthly ‘Write And Review’ service, during which we draft the outline of four blog posts, and I review them once you’ve written them; and a ghost blogging service.