How Do You Want To Feel

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I’ve not ever really participated in the “word of the year” practice that comes up around this time. If you haven’t heard of it, many people choose to select a word that they will use to guide them throughout the new year. My Facebook feed usually fills with explorations for The Word and “AHA’s” when people find it, along with beautiful descriptions of why this is The One. It’s insightful and inspiring. It just isn’t for me.

While I typically feel that one word held onto for an entire year is too constricting for my purposes, I will say that there is a tremendous amount of power that can come from a single word.

Take this one, for example:

Unburdened.

That word came to me about a week ago during one of my walks. And it led to an entire windfall of new words, feelings, and direction for the upcoming months.

***

As I was thinking about that whole “word of the year” thing, I considered what I wanted to DO in the new year.

How do I want to grow my business (if at all)? How do I plan to spend more time with my family? What do I want to do to the house, what do I want to do with my diet? You know, all of the questions that typically arise around the changing of the calendar year.

And you know what? It was exhausting. So many to-do’s entering my awareness. But I didn’t and don’t WANT any more to do.

So I changed the question.

How do I want to FEEL?

And, as usual, a different question was far better than different answers.

(I’ll add a note: I’m not the first one to ask this question. Many others use this as their guiding question, in classes, books, workshops, etc. … Danielle LaPorte, for example. But this time, when I asked it of myself, it became my own. It didn’t matter how anyone else was practicing it - this time, it finally clicked.)

How do I want to feel? The first word that came to mind was unburdened.

And I took a long, full, deep breath.

Unburdened. Yes.

I pondered things I could do to feel this way.

Super simple things to do came to mind. Respond to the email that’s been in your inbox for a week. Do the laundry instead of putting it off until tomorrow. Make the decision you’ve been wavering on - make it today.

I pondered what sort of things would get in my way, and how I could gently avoid those.

Such as this: Clinging - clinging to needing to feel this way all of the time. I’ll feel unburdened and then re-burdened and then hungry and then in the mood to watch Netflix. Such is life. It is only by clinging to it - thinking I SHOULD be always feeling unburdened - that I will create suffering for myself.

And I pondered how else I want to be feeling.

My body eased, my breath flowed, and something within me whispered, “thank you”.

***

This is where I am right now, and this is where I want to invite you to be.

As the new year approaches, try to focus more on how you want to feel versus what you want to do. Then let your actions follow. By setting your intentions first on how you want to feel, you make it more likely that your actions will follow those intentions - that you won’t be doing, doing, doing, and still feeling crappy.

I’m curious - when I ask the question, “How do you want to feel?” - what comes to mind?

Please leave a comment below and let me know. Let’s inspire one another on this path.

Lisa Wilson3 Comments