Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Nothing More Than Feelings


"How are you Inventing Your Life Today?" - the lead story from my last issue of Power & Presence - drew comments from several readers. Most of the comments went something like: "I wish I could have the degree of control over my life that you apparently do."

I want to say, I wish I had the degree of control over my life that it apparently looks like I have.

Earlier this summer, several of my 20-something neighbors who live in the apartments next door had a long and lively conversation in their back yard, which lies just beneath our bedroom window - wide open on this particular warmish night. The conversation included beverages of one type or another (I hazarded some guesses), the containers for which, when drained, got thrown (loudly) into a recycle container. These antics took place between 2:30 and 3:30 A.M.

I debated for a while whether I should get up, dress, go next door, and have a conversation of my own. After tossing and turning for about 15 minutes, I decided to communicate through my open window. I got up, and - I believe in a fairly centered way - called out: "Quiet, please." They heard me, I think, since their voices quieted a bit. And while the cans continued to go into the recycles, they did so with perhaps a bit less energy.

But the damage was done, the horse out of the barn. What were my chances of getting back to sleep? I tossed and turned for another half-hour but couldn't find my way back. I got up, walked the house, muttered oaths to myself, and finally began to notice light dawning and birds chirping around 4:45. I lay down again and dozed intermittently between 5 and 8, and eventually got out of bed to face the day, tired, depleted, and still angry.

I remembered my story about "Inventing Your Life," and its theme about the meta-communicator being the padding between my feelings and me. There wasn't much padding after a sleepless night. I talked to my husband. I honored my feelings. I even appreciated my neighbors' cluelessness. I mean they're young adults having a summer outdoor party. Okay, it IS the middle of the night, but I may have done similar stuff at that age. But in spite of my best efforts at reclaiming equanimity, I mostly gave myself a pretty hard time about the fact that I'd written that story. Here I was having FEELINGS. I can help others better manage their emotions, so why couldn't I manage my own? Why couldn't I make them go away?

I re-read my story. It helped. I didn't say I wasn't supposed to HAVE feelings, I said I was supposed to be able to be aware enough to notice them and ride their waves. I said I wanted to make behavior choices based on my better instincts instead of acting out the emotion in unconstructive ways. I guessed that I had done that with my partying neighbors. I hadn't been mean-spirited or behaved reactively.

"Beyond That"
Then I understood that I wasn't upset with my neighbors any more; I was mad at myself for having such strong feelings. Like somehow I was supposed to be "beyond that." Because I teach and write about centering, I should be above these tiresome emotions.

In those moments of upset, I comprehended experientially that centering doesn't take emotions away. On the mat of life, as in aikido, the attack will come. It may come from the outside (my noisy neighbors) or the inside (strong feelings). How will I manage the energy? Will I freeze, fight, fall over, or move in toward the energy and use it wisely? I can be centered and upset. I hope, in fact, I am centered when I'm upset. When I'm centered I will hold the emotional energy differently.

In time, as they always do, the feelings died down and transformed, much like the thunderstorm that also passed through that night. By afternoon I was on the actual aikido mat and back to feelings I enjoy having in my body. "Inventing Your Life" is pretty accurate. The option to have or not have feelings is not under my control (at least not yet). The ones I had that night and early morning were not pleasant or wanted, and I could not MAKE them go away. All I could do was sit with them, watch them move through body, mind, and spirit, talk about them to caring friends, and care for myself while I was having them.

Soon I will be laughing about that night. (I already am.)

And soon I will have a longer conversation with my neighbors - in the daylight, when we're all centered, open to dialogue, and able to talk about how we want to live next door to one another.

Center does not equal an absence of emotion. Center equals presence with emotion. I am not a bad person because I have strong feelings. Feelings just are; they can in fact control us, or with some watching, waiting and positive intention, we can engage and direct their energy with awareness and purpose.

2005 Judy Ringer, Power & Presence Training

About the Author: Judy Ringer is Founder of Power & Presence Training, specializing in unique workshops on conflict, communication, and creating a more positive work environment. Judy is also a black belt in aikido, and is writing her first book on the connection between aikido, conflict, and living a more purposeful life. To sign up for more free tips and articles like these, visit http://www.JudyRinger.com

Note: You're welcome to reprint this article as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the 'about the author' info at the end).


MORE RESOURCES:

Fast Company

How To Manage For The Four Types Of Motivation
Fast Company
After all, Manucci says, the very word motivation is derived from the Latin "motivus" (movement) and "tion" (action or effect). "But movement depends on 'what we see' around us, and the effect of our actions is based on our 'possible answers' to what ...



La Crosse Tribune

Motivation Nation lifting school spirits
La Crosse Tribune
La Crescent High School senior Rowan Swift, the leader of Motivation Nation, is one of a dozen seniors in the group that this year hopes to promote pride in both the school and community. She's holding a sign seen in many yards in La Crescent meant to ...

and more »


Did DeVonte Lambert just provide Louisville with extra motivation?
FOXSports.com
Auburn enters the 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic as a double-digit favorite against Louisville, which should provide the Cardinals all the motivation they need to get ready for the game. Now the ACC team may have a little bit more fuel to add to ...

and more »


Is My Feedback Motivating? Part 3
Huffington Post
Posting this series of blogs scared me a bit. The value of using pure informational feedback* over other forms of feedback almost always triggers an emotional response. Over the past five years, respected colleagues have tolerated my position, refused ...



Comment: Pushy parents not best way to motivate athletes
Times Colonist
It's no secret that athletes who are highly motivated by an internal desire to do well tend to have better careers than athletes whose main motivation is a parent pushing them. Sport psychology has shown that athletes with intrinsic motivation for ...



Coach responsible for motivation
Sunbury Daily Item
After reading the article about Line Mountain football in the Fall Sports Preview, I was appalled at Coach Rodney Knock's comments. He said the players don't play with emotion. To quote Coach Knock: “We've got to be emotional out there, we've got to ...



247Sports

Jeremy Pruitt says Georgia doesn't need any motivation for ULM
247Sports
ATHENS -- Saturday's matchup between Georgia and Louisiana-Monroe is one the Bulldogs should win. They are a 35-point favorite or better at just about every online sportsbook and Warhawks from the Sun Belt Conference simply don't appear to have the ...

and more »


Sydney Morning Herald

Rugby World Cup 2015: Dave Dennis will use Wallabies omission as motivation ...
Sydney Morning Herald
Waratahs captain Dave Dennis says he was bitterly disappointed to miss out on Michael Cheika's 31-man Rugby World Cup squad but will use that as motivation to continue the Sydney Stars' unbeaten start to the National Rugby Championship. Dennis ...

and more »


Lincoln Journal Star

Prep volleyball: Marian finding plenty of motivation
Lincoln Journal Star
“I learned a lot from Rochelle in terms of game preparation and motivating players, and we're doing many of the same things in practice that we've always done,” McLeay said. “I know these kids are ready to compete against someone else besides ...

and more »


Yahoo Health

The Secret Ingredient You're Missing for Stronger Motivation
Yahoo Health
If you can find the right source of motivation, you'd shock yourself with the things you could accomplish. But if you're even thinking this way in the first place, you probably already know how important it is to eat well and stay active. You are ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.