How are you feeling?

I had an acupuncturist once “prescribe” a blend of Chinese herbs for me to make into a tea.  I was supposed to drink it a few times a day after boiling it on the stove for 10 minutes at a time.  As she read of the ingredients, I remember thinking “Oh, that shouldn’t be that bad.  Sounds kinda like a chai.”  Boy, was I wrong.

The tea was made of ginger, star anise, licorice, and a few other spices I don’t remember… but it was NOT chai. It was far from chai.  It tasted like someone decided to boil a pot of licorice jelly beans down into a sludge and remove the sugar.  Gross.  What’s worse is – it made me angry.  I’m not talkin’ a small amount of anger, either.  I wasn’t just mad because I was drinking sugar-free jelly bean sludge. I was infuriated.  For a week, whenever I took a sip of this healing remedy, I would sit on the couch – tea cup in hand – and glare at the wall in front of me.  I was paralyzed by my anger. I didn’t want to stand up. I didn’t want to be touched. I couldn’t think about doing anything except sitting there, staring, and feeling angry.

Apparently, that tea was supposed to be cleansing my liver.

Apparently, what my liver needed to cleanse was anger.

I couldn’t release my anger through that tea, though.  It wasn’t working for me.  It was too much – too intense (in taste and results).  Not to mention, it really wasn’t practical to sit and stare – fuming at nothing – for 2 hours every day.  I gave up on that detox and decided to focus on healing my liver-anger solely through energy work for a while

That was 3 years ago.

Last month, I decided to get brave.  I started a new liver detox program – a gentler, less disgusting one this time – and made it a priority to pay attention to my emotions throughout the cleanse.  For 25 days, I took liver-cleansing pills and I checked in with my body every hour to see how I was feeling.  Because I’m a total nerd, I tracked each emotion in a spreadsheet: highlighting any feeling that was overpowering & thought, by the end of the detox, I’d have enough data to make some personal scientific discovery about myself & my emotions!  The discovery, though, didn’t come from the 400 hours’ worth of emotions I tracked.  It came from the app I downloaded to remind me to check back in with myself every hour on the hour.

It was a simple concept, really.  This app would ding every hour between 8am and 10pm every day.  I set the app to display a message every time it dinged:  “How are you feeling?”  Below the question, it had a button that said “Ok” that I’d press to dismiss the message after I tuned into whatever emotion I was feeling at the time.  Every hour went like this:

  • Ding!
  • “How are you feeling?”
  • *close eyes, tune in, receive information from body on current emotion*
  • *type emotion into spreadsheet*
  • “Ok”

The magic in this exercise, for me, was in that “Ok” button. That button didn’t care about how I felt. It didn’t judge me or fall into drama with me. It just said “Ok.”

  • “How are you feeling?”
  • “Angry.”
  • “Ok.”
  • “How are you feeling?”
  • “Ecstatic!”
  • “Ok.”
  • “How are you feeling?”
  • “Scared…”
  • “Ok.”

It was so simple – so neutral – and it inspired me to start thinking differently about my emotions.  Through this experiment, I reached a new level of appreciation for myself.  I started to live the belief that whatever I was feeling, in any moment, was perfectly “Ok.”

Even now that my liver detox experiment is over, I still use this as a quick, 30-second meditation.  I close my eyes, tune in, ask my body how it’s feeling, get a response, and say “Ok.”  No expectation. No judgment.  Just perfectly, neutrally “Ok.”

This week, I challenge you to check in with yourself at least once per day and do the same.  Ask yourself how you’re feeling, get an answer, and validate that whatever emotion it is… that it’s perfectly “Ok.”

Blog written by teacher Christina M. Dunlap.  In addition to her work with Boulder Psychic Institute, Christina paints soul portraits and sells her energy artwork through Etsy: viaCMD.  Stay in-the-know with stories and perspective-shifting insights from Christina by subscribing to her weekly newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/cRFROz.

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