Making your feelings work for you

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Being a girl around dudes all the time can leave me feeling overly self conscious of my emotions. I try to go out of my way to be easy to tour with and not one of “those girls” who follows her feelings around and creates drama. 

But sometimes, I fail miserably.

Sometimes I feel like if someone breathes on me the wrong way I’ll crumble into a heap of ash. This usually happens when we’ve been on the road too long and I feel the exhaustion of performing at 10,000% night after night and meeting hundreds of new faces in a new city. The pressure pushes at me, I ignore/resist it for a couple weeks, and then I start to crack. But that’s not so scary. At least I can understand why I’m at the point of emotional exhaustion, at least I can explain it to myself. Then I don’t feel like such a crazy person.

But sometimes, I have insane emotional meltdowns for no rational reason, and that is when I can easily start beating myself up. I feel so stupid sometimes, crying in my room at 1 a.m. for no good reason. Does that ever happen to you? (I know all you ladies are raising your hands right now.)

When this happens, go to bed. I mean it. Do not journal ten pages or try to turn your feelings into a brilliant hit song, or write your ex-boyfriend letters. Just go to bed.

Then, in the morning, clap for yourself that you made a marvelous choice and did not stay awake and feed your sadness last night.

And THEN make a plan:).

Here’s what our plan is going to look like: I want you to use your imagination and picture yourself feeling the way you want to. For me, I pick someone who I think is awesome (usually Angelina Jolie) and idealize their life for a few minutes. I imagine all the bliss they must feel, with their looks and friends and admirable career and all the world at their fingertips. Some words that come to mind are confident, fearless, beautiful, brilliant, independent, compassionate, self-assured, patient, focused.

Never mind that Angelina or whoever you picked probably does not feel all these wonderful things all the time, that is irrelevant. The point it, you’ve identified some key good feelings that you want. 

Now you’re gonna pretend to have those feelings.

Close your eyes and picture what you’d feel like....if you felt like that. If you were that gorgeous. If you were that self-assured. Let all those wonderful pretend feelings dance around in your head for a few minutes, just for fun. For me, when I start to pretend I feel confident, I sit up a little straighter. When I pretend I feel beautiful, I am more likely to look you in the eye and smile. When I pretend I am brilliant, all of a sudden my day to day tasks seem important-I am doing something mysterious and wonderful with my life, because I am brilliant, and if you don’t understand that’s because you aren’t on my level yet;).

The thing is, you can do this all the time. If you’re out with friends and feel more reserved then you’d like to, picture someone whose social energy you admire and imagine you have those feelings of fearlessness too. Before you know it, you won't feel like you're pretending anymore, you'll just feel...confident…fearless...brilliant. I have had some of the funnest nights of my life like this. And I don’t feel fake, or like I’m not being myself, I actually feel like I’m being myself at my best, like for once I’m telling my feelings what to do instead of the other way around! 

If you catch yourself envying someone’s life and wanting what they have, try to remember that you don’t actually want their wardrobe or friends or success, you want to feel the way you assume they feel because they have these advantages. The sad thing is, they probably don’t feel all that more amazing than they did before they got all that stuff. But you can. You can learn to feel good about yourself before you climb to the top only to realize there’s not much there. You can be happy and self-assured before you fulfill your life’s dream. 

To summerize: Outside circumstances don’t change inner feelings for more than like five minutes. Good thing you can take five minutes right now and start feeling the way you want to!

Much love,

Ariel