Listening to and Understanding Your Feelings

I think that listening to your feelings is one of the most powerful and under-rated skills for empowerment and self development. Feelings are part of the language of your inner guidance. Sometimes pesky, sometimes hot, sometimes fun, sometimes funny, sometimes exhilarating — feelings speak volumes in a single impulse.

The other day, I was somewhat surprised by a comment a relatively new client made to me. She relayed to me a conversation she had with another VP in her company about her work with me. She told him, “Jeanie is teaching me to manage my feelings.” I didn’t correct her on that perception because this was an expression of her perception and her experiences. Eventually, though, I’ll express alternative ways for her to understand her relationship with her feelings — and she’ll hear me when she’s ready to hear me.

Since that conversation, I’ve reflected several times on my own view of what I’m regularly teaching (or trying to teach) about feelings. So, here is a list of ways I regularly express how I relate to using feelings.

* Listen to your feelings
* Honor your feelings
* Recognize your feelings
* Know your feelings as you move through your day
* Ask your feelings
* Use your feelings
* Understand your feelings
* Ask your feelings to speak to you
* Let your feelings guide you
* Manage yourself after recognizing your feelings

In fact, the list could go on. I talk a lot about feelings, mainly because feelings are almost totally misunderstood, perhaps especially in the work place. The prevailing paradigm about feelings includes beliefs that one person is responsible for another person’s feelings, that some feelings are wrong, that feelings must be explained or expressed to others.

The only way I can make “manage” a concept that works for me is expressed in the last one in the list, to manage yourself after recognizing your feelings. I think feelings are a powerful way to manage yourself. That wealth of information in your feelings tells you in a nanosecond whether you are moving toward your heart’s desires or away from your heart’s desires.

So, today, ask yourself many times: How do I feel? How do I feel? How do I feel? And listen to the answer.