How do you feel?

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It’s likely you’re asked this question a dozen times a day. It’s also likely you respond “fine”.  Maybe some days you choose to dig a bit deeper and share a few more expletives like “fricking awesome sauce” or “sick as a tick on the back of a flea”… but in general our answers are often robotic pacifiers that have nothing to do with how we actually feel.

It can be tough to feel; to allow ourselves to “feel real”, feel authentic, full-on emotions. And it can be even tougher to express them. Whether it’s something happy, sad, mad or glad, emotions can be really scary, overwhelming, awkward and even hysterical (like in the sighting of a baby kitten or Robert Downey Jr, for instance).

I on the other hand have always been someone who really feels things big…“turn it up to 11” big. I don’t just get excited, I get elated, and on the flip side, sadness is a plummeting pit of mud-infused despair.  It’s sometimes a bit of a rolly-coaster ride but my feelings are a big part of me and my creative self-expression.

Once upon a time during a particularly bumpy round in the ring of life, I got knocked out; broken into a bazillion bits and was down for the count. Completely shut down, shut out and shut off. Nothing could get me to open the vault.  As it turns out, sometimes it’s a good thing to be broken.  It gave me a break – from feeling – and a chance to decide how I wanted to rebuild. It also inspired me to write my book.

The long and “oh so dramatic, made-for-TV movie” of the re-opening of my emotional vault was in fact a mini-series in the making!  Blood, sweat and tears, plus a mish mash of starring roles in “Mud Gurl”, “Down & Out Damsel in Distress” and “There’s no such thing as Perfect” to name just a few.

The adventure back was very enlightening. I leaned a lot about walls, forts, drawbridges and dragons.  I learned to play with swords and shields. I explored the colours and tastes of emotions; and I found peace and inspiration in letting the rainbow of feelings in. It was a mind-bending experience and not to minimize all the work, because it was Rocky Balboa hard…but my two greatest insights that continue to help me “feel real” on a daily basis are these:  choice and the dial. Once you realize you can choose how you want to feel and then give yourself permission to take control of the dial (dial up or down), this very awareness let’s you manage a kaleidoscopic realm of emotions at your disposal.

So I ask you…how do you feel?  And may I recommend not to just think about it, but to let yourself feel it.

I feel excited, like a herd of giddy llamas stampeding down the Machu Pichu trail, because I’m following my dream. I also feel anxious, like the sound of an approaching swarm of bees buzzing, because I’m about to share some pretty personal stuff with you in my book.  But more than anything I just feel so darn grateful (bigger than the strength of 10 Grinchs + 2) to be feeling real and be just “fine” with that.

Life is amazing. What started with one emotional challenge snowballed into a Crackerjack box of over 80 “how to” lists for all the different situations that life throws at you. So whether you’re dealing with a bad hair day, looking to amp up your empathy, tune into your vulnerability, celebrate your sexiosity or manage your anger, fury and wrath – it’s all here waiting for you inside the emotion-infused pages of How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living An Awesome Sauce Life!  Coming soon!!!!!

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