How to move forward after the election

My heart is slowly healing and my fear for our country’s future is slowly dissipating…because there is no other option except to heal and move forward, sooner rather than later.

However you feel about this election–devastated/stunned/neutral/hopeful/pissed/happy/scared–I invite you to feel inspired.

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we have control over so few things and it’s a humbling and sobering experience any time we realize that.

What can we actually control? Ourselves. Our choices. Our reactions. Our thoughts. Let’s focus on that. That gives us a lot to work with. Remembering what we can control has given me a lot of hope this week.

Now more than ever, we need to live from that perspective, from what we can control. It’s time to take a hard look about what we’re doing in our lives now, and how we can show up more powerfully–so that these next four years are wonderful and productive, regardless of what happens in White House.

It’s time to take action on those goals–academic, personal, professional–we want to accomplish, but we keep putting off.

It’s time to drop the negative beliefs we have about ourselves (“I’m too much” or “I’m not enough”) and get to work on what we want to accomplish and experience in this life. Those beliefs keep us small, hold us back, and prevent us from doing the stuff we want to do.

It’s time to get out of our comfort zones in small and big ways.

It’s time to just do things a little differently, to just act and create instead of thinking and talking.

What does all of this look like in regular life? Maybe it means committing to going to yoga at 6am 3 times per week, and actually getting out of bed and going. Maybe it means telling people how you really feel instead of trying to make everyone happy. Maybe it means replacing the time you spend Youtubing reruns of Girls Next Door (ummm me) with an uplifting podcast. Maybe it means looking for a job that really fills you up and is more in line with your passions. Maybe it means going out on dates now, not putting your love life on hold until you lose weight/fix something about yourself.

There are so many ways we can play bigger in our lives. There are so many ways we can be active and powerful. And when we do that, we give others permission to go after their goals and dreams too. And then we awaken the whole world.

Let this election–regardless of how you feel about it–inspire you.

4 easy ways to release pain and discomfort fast

Throughout the day, we experience many situations, people, and thoughts that trigger uncomfortable emotions within us, like sadness, fear, anger, shame, etc. And it’s totally normal and natural for we humans to want to avoid those emotions. Maybe we don’t want to experience any pain. Maybe we have to much to do and can’t take the time to feel. Maybe we view those emotions as weaknesses that will just bring us down. So we ignore them. We numb out. We cover up those emotions by working, eating, drinking, thinking about something else, exercising, watching TV, whatever.

And all of that is okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to numb out or focus on other things instead of feeling certain emotions. I do it.

But here’s the thing. When we numb out or avoid feeling certain feelings a lot, those feelings don’t actually get released. Rather, they follow us around and haunt us in the back of our minds. This leads us want to push down those feelings even more. And the more often we push down our feelings, the more they affect our daily lives. We just cover up our feelings with more layers of work, TV, alcohol, food, artificial conversation (however you numb out) and we begin to feel inauthentic and disconnected from ourselves. Our relationships suffer. Our anxiety increases. Life feels harder. We experience less and less inner peace.

What’s the answer, then, to experiencing more inner peace, authenticity within ourselves, and more open relationships with others?

We let ourselves feel our feelings more often.

Here are 4 easy ways to feel and release your emotions so that peace, authenticity, and freedom set in:

1. Identify where you feel your emotions in your body. When your’e hit with a pang of anxiety, fear, or discomfort, bring your attention out of your head and into your physical body. Scan your body for where they emotion may reside. Do you feel nauseous? Does your chest feel tight? Is your heart beating faster? Do you have a headache? Just paying attention to where that emotion is living in your body will shine light on that feeling, allowing it to release.

2. Breathe into that space. Once you identify where that feeling is in your body, take a big inhale and then send your exhale to that part. Imagine refreshing, cool air cleansing that part of your body on the inside and washing away that feeling.

3. Say out loud how you feel. You can do this in the car, bathroom, to a friend you trust. State how you feel. Say, “I feel ________.” Say that line over and over, describing how you feel. This tool gives you ownership of your feelings, showing you that having those feelings is totally justified and okay. Nothing phony. Just you being real about how you feel.

4. Journal about how you feel. Set a timer for 5-10 mins. Let yourself freewrite and do a complete brain dump of everything going on in your life and the thoughts spinning in your mind. Doing this with a timer is important because you know that you won’t have to experience your feelings forever; just for a few minutes.

Feeling our feelings really is the easiest and fastest way for them to move through us so that we can move on with life as stronger, more open and authentic people.