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The Permission to Feel Everything

The past few weeks for me have felt like total overdrive.  Important meetings, lots of events, family emergencies, and not a lot of time for little ol’ me. I tend to take pretty good care of myself so when things start to feel super busy I have a reserve of energy to go the distance.  Yet, this is a slippery slope. There is a fine line between tapping into my reserves to go the extra mile, versus depleting the reserves all together.  One minute I can feel totally fine driving myself harder than I typically like, and the next I can feel like I am heading straight into a melt-down. This week was one of those weeks where I caught myself heading dead center into melt-down-land-o-rama.

Fortunately though, I’ve become a keen observer of the warning signs and flashing red lights associated with running on empty. The number one blinking red light for me is resentment.  I live a pretty great life and gratitude is a massive value for me, so when I begin to feel resentment competing with gratitude I know something is off.

So here’s what happened- instead of staying stuck in the cycle of go-go-go, I flagged myself. I took a different approach and went back to bed.  Yup, I spontaneously cancelled plans, and allowed myself the extra time I needed for sleep.  I scheduled a massage.  I gave myself the time I needed at the gym, and went to the spa with a friend.

The thought “is this legal” went through my head; however, as I relaxed more into the permission to feel exactly where I was, the more I realized I needed to s-l-o-w down. This allowed me time to tune into things brewing for me internally that I had yet to address.  I realized by giving myself permission to stop I was doing something just as valuable as my work in the external world: feeling what was really happening for me internally.

I share this with you because permission to be human is a vital philosophy I use in all aspects of my life and business. It’s something I believe can change your life too.

Success requires honestly owning up to the human experience, and accepting that consistent action really isn’t an option.  Sometimes we need to stop.

We have to embrace the fact that sometimes things may get messy, and that’s totally fine (from a productivity standpoint, it’s preferred). Success is not about achieving perfection; it’s about progress, and most importantly, it’s about becoming your optimal, authentic YOU. It’s about leading a full, fulfilling and real life. In real life, there is occasional pain,unhappiness, resentment, anger, as well as joy, satisfaction, happiness and love. It’s a both/and situation, not an either/or. The more we learn to dance with all of our emotions, the stronger we become.

When we accept the difficulties and discomfort, we are better able to create what we really want: Optimum health. Maximum focus. Absolute ease. This requires radical honesty, starting with feeling all of your emotions fully, even the ones you try to wish away, and not resisting your truth.

Harvard Social Psychologist Daniel Wegner’s Theory of Ironic Processing tells us that when thoughts are denied or repressed, they are likely to become more dominant. This theory shows that if you don’t give yourself permission to feel the range of your emotions, you will see them in other areas of life, even when they are not really there. In fact, the more you resist them, the more they perpetuate. By learning to name your emotions for yourself—even the sneaky ones like resentment, jealousy, and envy—you expedite the process of transforming them into more amicable, and productive, states of being.

It’s up to you to accept all of your emotions and choose the most appropriate reaction to them, should a reaction be required at all. There is nothing wrong with feeling all of your emotions, even the difficult ones like resentment, anger, hatred and jealousy. (Once you fully accept an emotion, it’s easier to let it go.) It’s your behaviors and actions that have ramifications, not your emotions.

Accepting all of your emotions leads to more resilience, freedom and consciousness. The quicker we get real with ourselves, the faster we can transmute what we need to release.

Having greater levels of resilience enhances your ability to take the risks required of you as you step into a bigger version of yourself. This helps to develop a type of self-esteem that is not contingent on what other people think or how they evaluate you! Instead, it comes from an inherent sense of worth and the freedom to self-approve while you boldly move in the direction of your bigger dreams.

This week consider what emotions you are resisting.  Are there feelings within you that you are pushing out because they are not convenient to feel? What would help you better access them- time alone, granting yourself the permission to be human and take a break? Radical acceptance?

As we race towards the holiday next week, consider what you need right now. What’s one way you can honor yourself today?

As always, I send you my love.

Big hugs,


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1 Comment

  • Nathalie Villeneuve

    This is such a BEAUTIFUL article Jenn. I lovedevery about it and I truly agree with you about listening to the red flags when they show up. I love to know you girl and will follow you in 2014!!
    Happy Holidays!
    ~ Nathalie

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