Friday, March 12, 2010

Wait Ten Minutes

I lived in Chicago for 13 years. The wind and Lake Michigan would do some crazy things there. The weather people had a saying--"If you don't like the weather, just wait ten minutes and it will be different."
In my experience, the same thing is true with feelings.

Peter Fenner often works with his students to explore their feelings, particularly those sticky ones that seem to ruin your day. He may ask a student to describe the feeling. Where is it? In the stomach? The heart? What does it feel like? Sharp, dull, stinging?

In the process of describing the feeling, the feeling changes. In the process of trying to find the feeling, what one finds instead is that it can't be found. It moves. It changes. And even the persistent ones tend to dissipate if we just accept and examine them, rather than trying to escape them.

Remarkably, this process seems to work with just about any feeling. It works best with another person doing the exploring with us, though. We don't seem to have the patience to do this kind of exploration on our own. And we tend to think about the result ("I want to get rid of this now!") rather than engaging in a true examination.

The next time you are feeling frustrated, or upset, or anxious, I'd invite you to find a friend, examine what you are feeling for a few minutes, and see what happens.

Have a great weekend--I'll be back Monday.


No comments:

Post a Comment