I love to start out a conversation with friends and clients with “What’s new and good?” That’s something I picked up from my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and it’s served me and those around me fairly well. Sometimes the responder launches into everything fantastic that has happened since we last spoke. That’s always a joy to hear. But sometimes the responder comes back, “I haven’t been feeling that good lately.” In those words, I hear a judgement. They think they have failed in some way because they can’t report that they’re feeling good.
We love to hear when our loved ones or clients are “feeling good.” As a health or lifestyle coach, it’s an opportunity to give ourselves a pat on the back, although a client’s success, in my experience, rarely has as much to do with the coach as the hard work that the client is doing in their own life. As a friend or family member, you hear “feeling good” and your heart swells with gratitude or pride, just knowing that your loved one seems to be doing well.
But what does “feeling good” really have to do with anything? Feeling good is subjective. You can be horribly ill, be suffering from an injury, be trapped in an abusive relationship with someone else or yourself and do things to make yourself “feel good”. And whatever you’ve done to make yourself feel this way may or may not be leading you in the direction of healing and wholeness.
Sometimes, in an effort to make ourselves feel good…or even just “better” we do things that are not in alignment with our path of well-being: We eat or drink to excess. We look for that adrenaline rush in sex or drugs (prescribed or illicit). We bury ourselves in work, try extreme diets or workout regimens. We strive so hard to feel good or better when maybe we could be investing our time or emotional energy by exploring the blessings or lessons that not feeling great can teach us.
Try it for a moment…even if you’re “feeling good” right now. Close your eyes and connect with any emotion, pain, anxiety, or sense of disconnect that you might not be paying attention to right now. What can it tell you about how you’ve been treating yourself, your body, your soul, or those around you? Is there a guru within that “not-so-good-feeling place” that has wisdom for you? What is it saying?
Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE feeling good. I love hearing that people in my life – my clients, my family members, my friends – have positive things going on in their life and they are uplifted by the energy that those activities bring them. I support everyone moving toward things that feel light and grow inspiration. But I urge us all to double-check our motives for choices we make. Try to understand that difficult things that don’t necessarily “feel good” can be equally as transformational as things that “feel good”. See if you can surrender the need to avoid or cover up uncomfortable things. Allow yourself to feel the wide spectrum of emotions that we, as humans, have the privilege to feel and then honor the message that comes to you as a product.