Did you just flick me?
I’ve been channeling a 90’s vibe lately. I graduated from high school and college, established a career, ditched crappy boyfriends and met my husband all in the 1990s.
It was a pivotal decade for me.
Like millions of other Gen Xers, I watched every episode of Friends on Thursday nights. There are so many good one liners from over the years that I’m going to see how creative I can be with connecting them to life coaching.
Connectedness (seeing how people and ideas map together) is one of my strengths, so why not use it?
The episode that popped into my brain the other day was the one where Rachel and Monica are fighting over who gets to date Jean Claude Van Damme, cheeseball of all cheeseballs.
As Phoebe tries to mediate, Rachel and Monica go at it until Rachel “flicks” Monica.
Then all bets are off, there’s more flicking and then full out girl fighting.
And then Phoebe does what my grandmother used to do with her kids, she pinches them both by the ear.
If you’ve never experienced this method of “calming” things down, let me tell you, it’s 100% effective.
My grandmother was only five feet tall with 6 kids - 3 boys which all ended up to be at least 6 feet tall. The ear pinch sure kept them in line. And when she took care of my sister and I, just the threat of the ear pinch stopped us in our tracks.
I digress. Back to flicking.
Flicking is quite effective at getting someone’s attention, right?
Did you know your feelings are flicking you? They really want you to pay attention to them.
And we are really good at pretending that they aren't flicking us.
We would rather be like Phoebe and be oblivious to feelings. It looks like more fun because you end up singing songs like “Smelly Cat” rather than dealing with it all.
Why do we resist or avoid our feelings so much?
Is it because we think the negative ones feel REALLY bad and who the hell wants to feel bad?
Is it because we think we can’t handle the negative feelings?
Is it because we think we want (and should be) happy all of the time?
Whatever the reason, not paying attention to feelings causes us more suffering in the long run.
Resisting may provide short term relief, but ends up growing a shit pile of negative feelings.
Then it’s extra hard to be happy all of the time.
And we’ve proven to ourselves that our feelings are a scary, dark place where we don’t want to go.
Time for a deep breath. Or two. Or five.
Here’s the key. Feelings are products of our thoughts. If you think crappy thoughts, you feel crappy feelings.
The next time you get flicked with a feeling, ask yourself:
What is this feeling trying to tell me?
If you acknowledge and describe it, the feeling will be less intense and more manageable. You can stop to reflect. You gain awareness. You can question whether it’s useful or not.
I feel a heaviness in my chest. I’m feeling disappointed. Why? What am I thinking?
This process opens you up to change.
Not because you want to be happy all of the time.
Because you want to learn how to handle any emotion that comes your way.
That’s true empowerment.
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Life can be hard. Let coaching lighten your load.