TT #31: Yeah but what are you really feeling

This is a little writing exercise I used when I was in a poetry class and wanted to get my brain flowing.

First, notice what you are feeling right now emotionally. What are the physical sensations of that emotion in your body right now?

For example, I am revving up to start a workday so I feel attentive and a little eager/anxious. I feel this mostly in my tense forehead and tight chest.

Now let's do the writing exercise.

fill in the blanks:

if this feeling were a…

taste, it would be:

smell, it would be:

touch/texture, it would be:

sound, it would be:

sight/image, it would be:

That's it! Just fill in the blanks. Here is mine:

if this feeling were a…

taste, it would be: a cappuccino

smell, it would be:  the neighbor making dinner

touch/texture, it would be:  the feeling of putting more wax on my board when I am getting ready to surf

sound, it would be:  the intro music to a TV show I like

sight/image, it would be:  light from the sunrise hitting the treetops first

This tiny tool always helps me understand what I am feeling. After doing it today, I would say the tense, attentive, anxious energy I was talking about is actually just the feeling of beginning— sensing the hints of something about to happen.

What about you? What did this exercise leave you with?

You are awesome,

 Johannah

TT #24: Are you in the past or future?

Today's tiny tool is just a question:

Which feels closer to you, the future or the past?

When you drop into memories, does it feel like you could reach out and touch them? Are they crystal-clear? Or are they a little distant, disconnected, detached from you now?

When you look to the future, is it rushing towards you? Could you reach out and grab it? Does it feel like everything is about to happen? Or is the future less urgent, less known, untouchable?

It's possible that neither is true for you: you are not closer to the future or the past. This doesn't necessarily mean you are fully in the present – consider if you have a fantasy world you often visit, or if you try to lose yourself in the present (work, hobbies), or feel like you are trying to pounce down on the present (overindulging, impulsive decisions).

You might be a mix of all three. I lean towards the future. It feels very close to me. It fuels my sense of anxiety – the future gives me a sense of urgency or impending doom.

Knowing that I feel the future so imminently helps me lean on the present. If I start to feel stressed out about something a couple months away, I try to remember something that happened a couple months ago. I notice how far away a couple months ago is to me. I remind myself that that's actually how far away the future is as well.

Whether you are more in the past, present, or future, how can you use this information to support yourself? If you aren't sure where you are, take today to notice when you drop into memories or anticipation.

You are awesome,

Johannah

TT #20: Just because I am a coach doesn't mean...

If you are reading this in bed on Saturday morning... same. 

Today we are writing poems. Sometimes the word "poem" intimidates me and makes me not want to write one, so I refer to a poem as a “po” in all my Google Docs. I'll be doing that here too. There is this great format for writing a po that gets to the heart of an issue we are having. It's called a “Just Because" po.

Here's the template:

Just because I am __

doesn't mean I am__

doesn't mean I am__

doesn't mean I am__

I am__

 

Here's mine:

just because I am a coach

doesn't mean I am perfect

doesn't mean I know what is best for you

doesn't mean I give advice

I am not a mentor

Your turn! send me the po if you want to share it. And if you are down with a bigger audience, let me know if I can share it on social media. 

You are awesome,

Johannah

TT #12: good versus bad

How often do you say "good" or "bad" in a day? Most of the time when I use those two words, neither one is actually true. "I am a bad surfer.” Actually, I am doing pretty well when I consider that I am not athletic and haven't been surfing for long.

“He went to a charity dinner; he’s such a good person.” He gives some of his money away, not sure what kind of person he is though. Value judgments don't paint a full picture. And they create heaviness where we could feel light.  Consider the weight around "the traffic in LA is terrible" versus "there is a lot of traffic in LA." In the first example, you are going to feel terrible. That's the only possible conclusion.

In the second example, you are stating a fact but leaving yourself room to choose how you feel. Taking out the value judgment moves something from a complaint to an observation. The same can happen with the word good: "I used to be a really good swimmer," versus "I used to have more time for swimming and a coach who was invested in my growth." You are moving yourself from getting frustrated to being compassionate, and all you did was take out the value judgment.

Notice today when you use words like "good" and "bad." What is actually true? What happens when you rework the sentence without those value judgments?

you’re awesome,

Johannah

TT #6: Disadvantages

Choose three disadvantages you have in your life right now. These can be huge things or little one, here's some ideas: unreliable income, allergic to condoms, not having a car, haven't slept in four days because you have a newborn, can no longer afford therapy, hate your job...

Write down those three disadvantages. Now write the advantages of that disadvantage.

I'll start:

Not a native Spanish speaker— I can zone out conversations easily when I read in public

My hands can't type, or do other valuable things— broke a social media addiction and hired an incredible virtual assistant

I am not athletic – I get to surf because it feels good, not to live up to an identity 


Share yours with me here or on social media! This is a good conversation starter.


you're awesome,

Johannah

TT #4: mantra time

Mantra. 

It is actually two words. Man is Sanskrit for "the thinking mind." Tra is Sanskrit for "to liberate." When we use a mantra, we are freeing ourselves from our thinking mind so that we can go deeper into our consciousness. Take a moment right now to notice your breath in your stomach or gut. From that place in your stomach ask your thinking mind, "what do you need to hear today?"

 The answer I got was, "nothing bad is going to happen." So that's my mantra for the day. If I feel myself getting anxious or start to spiral, I'll give my thinking mind this little phrase it needs to chill out.

What's yours?


we're awesome,

Johannah

ps. This is the translation I was given from a Nepalese Buddhist monk. There are other translations for this word out there.

TT #3: we're okay

How do you talk about yourself? I used to talk about myself like I wanted to distance myself from her: "yeah, ignore me", "I have no idea what I'm doing" , "wow, that was stupid of me."

Traveling solo forced me to have my own back. New phrases arose: "it's okay, we are okay", "I'm doing the best I can", "we are going to be fine."

Consider how you talk about/to yourself–especially in situations when you drop something, are surrounded by superiors, or people are waiting on you. 

Can you have your own back instead?

Today, make a notes section in your phone. At the top, write "I don't abandon myself.”  Write down the self-abandonment phrases you hear yourself saying today and what you would like to start saying instead. 

Send a screenshot to a friend for accountability. And because self-kindness is contagious.

We're awesome,

Johannah

TT #2: I deserve…

You deserve the good things coming for you.

Write down five things you deserve today. You can write this list in a notebook, in the notes section of your phone, or in a word doc. Throughout the day, put a little check every time one of the things on the list happens. As you make the check say to yourself "I deserve this."


Here are mine:

  • I deserve to buy myself a treat at the grocery store.

  • I deserve the compliments I receive.

  • I deserve help when my hands are inflamed.

  • I deserve waves when I go out to surf.

  • I deserve any good news I get today.

we deserve it,

Johannah

ps. If you want accountability… send me a photo of your list.