Act in ways that make you feel what you want to feel. ~Danielle LaPorte
I started listening to The Fire Starter Sessions a few days ago. I was already familiar with Ms. LaPorte’s take on aligning your actions with what she calls “core desired feelings,” but listening to these audio sessions has been a good reminder to actually take that advice. I spend a lot of time as a wellness coach asking about what underlays a desire to lose weight or stop smoking or get in better shape. In a corporate coaching world, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get people to pick up the telephone for appointments, much less talk about what they truly desire for themselves. But sometimes we go there. Sometimes people are willing to look deeply into what is driving them to want something different. And it’s always a feeling.
“I want to lose 25 pounds so I can fit into my skinny jeans.”
Great – What makes you want to fit into your skinny jeans?
“Well, I bought them on sale, they are super cute, and it’s the style people are wearing right now.”
Ok. I hear you saying you want to get value from your purchase and be able to wear this style comfortably and with confidence.
“Yeah, I guess so. I just want to feel good about how I look.
How is being confident about your appearance in those jeans going to make you feel?
“Self-assured. Sassy. Like I can float into a room and accomplish anything. Like I can make decisions and own them. I want to feel bold.”
As Danielle would say – BOOM. That’s what you are going for. Looking good in jeans is one thing. Feeling sassy and like you can boldly float into a room with a huge amount of self assurance is quite another.
Once identified, those core desired feelings are our cornerstone. They are the fire starters. When we can act in ways that make us feel how we want to feel, or at least have the potential to lead to those feelings, we are moving in the direction that is truly going to serve us best. We are growing what wants to grow and letting go of what isn’t ours. We are leaning into our authentic ways of being on the planet, and we are aligning our actions with what makes us feel fully alive.
When I started outlining all the feelings that I want to feel last night, I found myself writing words like “calm” and “content” and “satisfied” and “joyful.” Which are all things that I do want to feel and my usual “go tos” when asked this type of question. But as I started to make myself go deeper – a classic “practice what you preach” moment – I found the word abundance. Not a shocker, since the title of this blog has that very word in the title. However, feeling into what “abundance” means for me led to the word “full” and then “full” led to “accomplished.” It didn’t lead to calm or content or even satisfied. So I suppose, right now, I want to feel abundant in all life-giving ways – in my relationships, in my wellbeing, in my generosity, in my time, in my care of the earth, and in my sense of joy. I want to live each day in a way that fills me up, so I feel full of wonder and appreciation of beauty and light. I want to feel accomplished in the sense that what I do with my days matters and does something that contributes to the healing of the world. And now that I know what those feelings are when stripped down, I can start to act in ways that result in feeling that way. If I had just stuck with calm, who knows? Maybe I’d be setting myself up to never take the risks I need to take to feel fully alive.
I already know that one of my top priorities is getting outside every day and moving in the fresh air — there is something about that act that makes me feel connected to the earth and accomplished for the day, no matter what else the day brings. Acting in ways that make me feel what I want to feel? Well, that sounds like a good way to feel fully alive.
How do you want to feel?