After you’ve shifted a feeling from its reactive state to its ideal, you’re going to find that your impulses are different, your motivations are different, your beliefs and perceptions are different. This is even more true as you shift each state a complete, interrelated set. But the shape and circumstances of your life, (as well as the stimulus/response habits in your brain), can often reinforce your old patterns. It can help to be very explicit and concrete about what kinds of new patterns are wanting to arise, and make some specific choices about those.
Consider the question,
“What new life choices does this new feeling guide you to make?”
You might look at your life. Think about the shape of your life, the patterns of relationships and commitments and responsibilities, the furniture in your house, the clothes that you wear, the job that you have. At any moment of relative equilibrium, the external trappings of your life are a more or less accurate reflection of the inner state of your being. Now that the inner state has changed, what wants to change in the outer environment to match and support that change?
Many times you will find that after you have shifted a reactive state to its ideal, something in your life no longer fits. The thing that no longer fits can be relatively trivial: you may find you no longer like a certain color which dominates your wardrobe, or a painting you worked hard to acquire. Or it can be more significant: you may realize that the career into which you’ve invested 20 years of your life is no longer what you want to be doing, or that you really don’t like the weather or the landscape where you live.
So being aware that there is that dynamic, and being conscious about making new choices in your life so that the shape of your life starts to take on the natural expression of the new shape of your being, that’s going to lead you in a powerful new direction.
These choices don’t have to be big ones. Little choices, like how you start your morning, or how you choose to interact when your boss is unreasonable, or how you choose to engage with your spouse, your partner, around having some fun. Small choices about how you engage in your life will create new opportunities. Small choices will open new doors, and they’ll start things rolling in a new direction. And, at first, the divergence might be small, nearly imperceptible. But as you start down a new path, that divergence gets wider, and your life takes a new tack, a new path, and picks up momentum.
You are using feeling as a guide for choosing your path in life. It is the path of feeling, as well, to find your authentic direction and expression and contribution in this life. So asking yourself, “What different choices do I want to make?” can be very helpful.
I encourage you not to make fast, knee-jerk changes in your life, especially for the more significant things. Go ahead and toss that gaudy shirt, but keep the job until you have time to solidify a vision of your new direction and have a clear next step to take. In the meantime, find ways to incorporate your new insights and feeling states into the “how,” the way you choose to engage or inhabit the significant aspects of your life which you’re wanting to change. For example, you might discover that simply showing up differently in your job opens up opportunities you never could have predicted. Make incremental adjustments before taking drastic action.
A complementary question to the one about choices invites you to reflect specifically on action:
“What new actions arise naturally from this feeling?”
This question is really a way of inviting both new practices and new choices for behavior in specific contexts.
Start with the new feeling, and imagine yourself in a particular situation or context where the old feeling used to be. Ask yourself, “What will I do here instead? Having this new feeling as a way of being, what action naturally wants to come from this place? How will I be, how will I behave, how will I interact, how will I express myself differently, coming from this new place, this new feeling state?”
There’s so much rich opportunity for re-patterning your life when you start at the core, at the center, at the heart of feeling and allow the natural expressions — your words, your thoughts, your behaviors — to emerge naturally from that place.
Feeling is the foundation. Every conscious experience has an anchor in feeling. And we’re working with that foundation right now. By going to feeling and bringing it into awareness, and by inviting it to return to its original, ideal state, you are creating the conditions where everything in your life can realign to your authentic presence, your authentic being.