Soul Stories: Monique Muro
Oh that fun little f-word: Feelings.
We do everything that we can to get away from them, to not have to be present with them.
We dive elbows-deep into a vat of cookie dough (or a bottle of wine), we move 3,000 miles away, we mindlessly binge-watch ridiculous reality shows, we order our dream wardrobe from Bloomingdales at 1 a.m. only to send it all back the moment it arrives.
But what are we so afraid of? What if each feeling were just a little nudge from God or the universe or whatever you believe in? What if it was pointing us to a lesson? Or a truth about ourselves?
What if our feelings were just treasure troves of information full of little gems about who we are, what we like and dislike, what serves our higher purpose, what makes us fulfilled and in alignment?
What if-- instead of pretending we are spiritually evolved beings who don't have negative feelings-- we recognized that by disregarding them we are disrespecting the experience of life and all it has to offer us?
The dark stuff is important too, no matter how much of a spiritual gangster you are.
I love this piece by my friend Monique for Soul Stories because she dives deep into this topic of feelings, showing us how a decision we view as trivial could really hold a greater message.
Particularly I love it because of Monique's journey. After a near-death experience a few years ago she tuned into her spiritual side and didn't just stop at healing herself... now, in her spare time she keeps a blog and dedicates herself to creating resources that assist others to find healing as well.
She has the sweetest smile and is ridiculously smart, but more importantly ... generous. She is so willing to lend her knowledge and insight to help others. I feel so blessed to have found her and call her a friend.
The Beauty of Following Your Feelings
Tonight I found myself perusing Barnes & Noble for the better part of an hour.
I’d felt some discomfort and anxiety after work, so I thought I’d stop at the bookstore, which for some reason always makes me feel better.
Every title or book cover that caught my eye had me picking it up, skimming the pages, and smelling the insides. It felt so good to just be in a bookstore, feeling physical books in my hands.
After a good amount of time, I had three books in my hand, and I was ready to checkout, but something stopped me. Buying these books didn’t feel right. There was something about walking towards the cashier that just felt wrong to me.
I couldn’t quite pinpoint it, but if I had to attach words to the feeling, they would be ‘why?’ and ‘cover up’.
If I had to attach full sentences to the feeling, they would be...I don’t need these books, what am I doing? Do I really need these?
I just didn’t feel that whole body yes, something Kris Carr once described in a Hay House interview. I was feeling some kind of weird buyer’s remorse before the buying even started.
I stood there in the aisle for a minute, trying to listen to what I was feeling, flipping through the books in my hand as if they held the answer.
After a couple of minutes, I put the books back, and left.
Following your feelings
The beauty of following your feelings, no matter how bizarre they are, is that you don’t need to have a reason to act on them. They just make you feel a certain way, and the more you pay attention to and follow them, the more things become clear.
I couldn’t put any logic to the reason I walked out of the store bookless that night, but the feeling I had getting in my car without them was ‘oh yes, this feels right’.
Could it have been because I spent way too much money the weekend before? Or maybe because there are two unfinished books on my nightstand right now, with little room in my bookcase for more?
But even if your mind can convince you of a dozen different reasons for doing something, your feelings don’t lie.
If you’re feeling icky walking into that dive bar alone in a sketchy part of town...listen to that feeling. It’s doing you right.
In my case, I felt that buying those books was a cover up, a temporary high to ‘fix’ my feelings of anxiety the hour before.
But feelings don’t want to be fixed, they want to be felt. They’re like a build-up of air in your chest, waiting for you to open your mouth and exhale.
There’s no shame in opting for the route that just feels right in your business, relationships, or career.
Hell, I take the long way home from work each night because it feels more right to be on quieter, less crowded streets during rush hour in LA (the truest hell there ever was).
There’s nothing wrong with feeling right.
The Trouble with Feeling our Feelings
The biggest issue with feeling our feelings is we judge them like the new girl in town, before we even get started feeling them.
I’d say judgement is 90% of the reason why we refuse to feel them in the first place. For example, say you get a bad feeling about someone you just met, but then you feel bad about getting that bad feeling, and the feeling bad part sort of makes the original bad feeling worse.
A friend of mine described this really well with anxiety. She said she read that the anxiety you get when you’re in a plane or on a highway is called ‘clean’ anxiety, but the feelings of shame and frustration you feel about having the anxiety in the first place is called ‘dirty’ anxiety, and it makes things worse.
It’s like adding bad feelings to the bad feelings you already have, so you end up with feelings on feelings and before you know it you’re turning to a glass of vino to get away from them all (but they’re always the first to greet you in the morning).
In my experience, no matter how terrible you feel for having the feelings you do, there is a REASON you have the feelings you do, and sometimes that reason isn’t clear to you but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to worry so much about why you’re feeling so glum so much as you should just feel glum and see where it leads.
For example, I couldn’t stand there in the Barnes & Noble and try to figure out why I was feeling so bad about buying these books. I understood the books would always be there, and that I needed to act on this feeling, because the more I moved in the direction it wanted me to go, the better I felt.
How to Feel Your Feelings
Your feelings are where the gold is, and where the answers start appearing through the fog.
Above all, my favorite thing about them is that they’re temporary. So while you may be thinking ugh, how am I supposed to feel these feelings I’ve been trying to get away from!, it’s easier to feel them and let them exist, because you know that the sooner you do, they’re going to be gone a lot faster than if you tried to shove them in a drawer.
One of my favorite mantras for anxious feelings is: This is only a feeling, a temporary feeling, and it will pass.
Repeating that to myself makes the feeling smaller, and not as huge as my mind sometimes leads me to believe. And just reciting to myself the idea of the bad feelings being temporary (and not YUGE) always puts me at ease.
Above all, I like to think of feelings as notifications. The so-called ‘bad’ feelings notify me that I need to give more love somewhere, and the so-called ‘good’ ones notify me that the light in me is real, without effort if I allow it.
Explore the way you feel, to the fullest extent.
Write it out, talk it out, do whatever you need to do to fully immerse yourself in your feelings, and it will open up so much more clarity, as well as avenues to healing.
Don’t go unconscious to the beauty and tragedy of what it is to be alive.
Monique Muro is a hyper spiritual poetry and sports lover from LA. She curates a business and blog freebie newsletter called Business & Blog Freebies, in an attempt to help bloggers and business owners learn as much as possible without paying for expensive online programs. Above all, she encourages love over hustle, and being prolific over perfect.