Feel This, Not That

feel this, not thatOne of my goals with each client is that after the session they are feeling better than when the session started. Now “better” is a relative term but to put it simply, I strive to move them up the emotional scale… to feel this, not that.

Earlier this week a client called me out and questioned not only the validity but also the efficacy of a process that we had been working on together – and that was awesome! True progress! It was awesome because after a few weeks working together this was the first “spark” or backbone this client had shown since we started working together…

Facing and inordinate amount of overwhelm, this client would often check in at the beginning of our sessions, on a scale of one to ten, particularly low… Lower than most other clients on their worst days. To help this client sort out what it is they can control versus the things they cannot in life, I had the client draw up a list reflecting the same, urging the client to focus on what can be done by self as opposed to what needs to be turned over to the universe, God or whomever or whatever.

The point that the client challenged me on (rather passionately, I might add) was that it is impossible just to “ignore” completely the things that we cannot control… they are still out there. I agreed, that yes, they are still out there, but it comes down to what you focus on and what you focus on dictates what and how you feel. There are the things you can take care of versus the things that you just worry about; and each of those two things creates different emotional states. Accomplishment and progress resulting from what we “get done” on a daily basis drives a positive state, whereas just worrying and looking at the same lump of dung all the time results in a negative state of mind.

Feel This, Not That

Would you believe that sometimes I try to get a client mad or angry during a session? Really, I do! But why would I do that? Why would I want to get a client agitated when it is my job to help? Because the reality is that anger is actually a more positive feeling than fear or depression, anger is a step or two above those states and by moving the client to anger… in a sense it can be a relief for the client depending on the situation.

Not to mention, that when we are angry, especially at situation or even ourselves, and if we have truly had enough, that is usually also the point in which we vow to change and begin to take action to do so.

So if one were to work up the scale from the bottom to the top in a feel this, not that format…. This is what it would look like.

Feel depression, not fear.

Feel guilt, not depression.

Feel resentment, not guilt.

Feel hate, not resentment.

Feel revenge, not hate.

Feel anger, not revenge.

Feel criticism/blame, not anger.

Feel worry, not criticism/blame.

Feel annoyance, not worry.

Feel boredom, not annoyance.

Feel satisfaction, not boredom.

Feel hope, not satisfaction.

Feel joyful expectation, not hope.

Feel happiness and excitement, not joyful expectation.

Feel passion, not happiness and excitement.

Feel joy, not passion.

Feel gratitude, not joy.

Feel love, not gratitude…

Feel this, not that – each of these states as listed above from the lowest to the highest represents the next “best feeling” that is available to you to reach for. And whenever given the chance or opportunity ALWAYS choose to feel the higher of two emotions in an effort to keep working up the scale.

Each step up the scale represents a “step up” or a step which is a more positive shift. Sure… positive doesn’t always look so positive but by consciously choosing to grasp the next or higher emotion, and then the next one after that, you will build momentum and eventually be able to escape the domain of the “negatives.”

Feel this, not that – again… between two emotions, always strive for the higher or “better feeling” one as that will make the next one even that more accessible in order for you to “keep moving up!”

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 21 July 2010

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