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How do you want to feel?

How do you want to feel?

This was the question asked in a recent HeartMath session I participated in that shifted so much for me.

Because when I reflected on it, I realized that the way I wanted to feel wasn't a typical feeling word.

Often we're told to connect with regenerative feelings like love, joy, gratitude and compassion. And calling on those doesn't seem to address an underlying need that I feel within my being so my efforts sometimes have a stagnant quality, like trying to launch a boat in the mud where the shoreline used to be.

So how do I want to feel?

It truly is simple. At the end of the day, I want to feel like I matter.

When I feel like I matter, that my voice matters, my contributions matter, my ideas matter, my efforts matter, my work matters, my parenting matters, my friendship matters, my presence matters. I feel deeply nourished, expansive and light. Bubbles build within me, rising up and out.

I want to give. I want to live. I want to sing. I want to dance. I want to play. I want to create.

Worries, fears, and anxieties all drop by the wayside. When I feel like I matter, I don't need to shoulder those burdens anymore.

And so, I've been experimenting with focusing on the feeling of mattering when I meditate with my Inner Balance trainer and throughout the day. And I find myself much better at invoking that feeling within me than typical "feelings" words.

And this isn't a surprise.

Contrary to popular belief, feelings aren't universal. Yes, as humans we are emotional beings. But there isn't some shared neurological blueprint for our experiences of specific feelings like love or frustration. These sensations manifest in unique ways for each of us depending on the culture we were raised in, our upbringing and our neurophysiology. (Checkout the work of Lisa Feldman Barret for more info here).

That means that tending to our emotional world is a bit more complex than often meets the eye. It's not always as simple as choosing to be happy or joyful.

For me, I experience joy, love, happiness and gratitude when I feel like I matter. Focusing on this underlying sensation is much more empowering than struggling to manifest something that feels out of reach for various and sundry reasons.

So I encourage you to ponder this - how do you want to feel? Really pause, quiet your mind and see what arises.

And in reflecting on that I invite you to go beyond conventional feeling words and consider what is the thing that creates a void you want to fill within yourself? You can fill it by manifesting the sensations of that "feeling."

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