For the next couple of days, I was being so deliberate about asking the answers to come to me. But, nothing was coming and I was getting frustrated. And then, I noticed how strong this feeling was to get answers, and I recognized a sense of desperation (a negative feeling) within the desire for answers. So, I knew I was pushing too hard, and would have to release my grasp on my desire to get answers. So, I decided I would let go… just live life, and trust the answers would show up. So, I let go.

Two days later, I wasn’t concerned about receiving the answers anymore, instead I was “chilled out” on that topic. And I noticed I had been feeling really good, really happy for what seemed like no particular reason, except perhaps the expectation that good things were in store for me.

I wasn’t yet sleepy when Paul went upstairs to bed, so I stayed downstairs to watch some TV. Within a couple of minutes, I noticed this feeling come over me. I felt the desire to go to the pantry and fridge to eat something. I checked inside myself to see if I was hungry, and I wasn’t. I was still satisfied from dinner that was 3 hours before. So, I told myself to NOT to go to the pantry, and just watch TV. But, the feeling persisted, and the more I resisted going to the pantry, the stronger the urge became until it became a driving force. This driving force was so powerful, it was extremely difficult NOT to follow its lead, so off to the pantry I went to get some chips. But, it didn’t matter that I was eating chips, I thought “WOW” since I have such clarity about having this strong feeling, let’s use this as an opportunity to find out what it’s about. So, I more deliberately felt into the feeling in order to identify it.

I felt intense anxiety and frustration. Mmmm, “what does that mean?” I asked of the feeling. And instantly, I was recalling a memory from when I was a teenager. I was remembering how I’d wait until Dad went off to bed around 11:00 or 11:30 (Mom and my siblings were already in bed). And once I knew everyone was asleep, I had the house to myself. During the time before I went to bed, I was in control of ME. No one to watch over what I ate, or didn’t eat. No one to tell me what I ate was right or wrong. I was free from “their” external control. I could exert my own control. I could do whatever I wanted without an audience of judgment. So, I’d immediately head to the kitchen. I ate one food until I was satisfied with it’s taste. Then, I eat something else, and then I’d eat something else, and so on until I was stuffed. Always making certain I didn’t eat too much of any one thing that Mom would notice… this way my midnight munching would go undetected.

I realized the feeling that I was currently experiencing was that same feeling I had from this teenage memory, and have continued to have ever since. I pressed in for a deeper meaning, and recognized I just wanted to FEEL FREE! I wanted to be free, and not be controlled by the peanut gallery of well-meaning, but VERY wrong voices that were present in my environment. So, there I sat, feeling this feeling that originated at least 30+ years ago, and I felt the same way as I did back then.

I was surprised by this, and yet not surprised at all. This was another of those insidious feelings that I’ve experienced so regularly, that I’d just come to “live with it” – so I didn’t really give it any attention, thus it fell outside of my radar, where it was allowed to live on day after day.

So, now I’d identified the feeling and it’s meaning (the desire to feel free and not be controlled). And I began to converse with myself about this… and I realized, I am FREE today. There’s no one judging me as to what to eat or not eat – at least no one whose opinion matters to me.

This doesn’t mean, I’m not bombarded with the ridiculous media that constantly tells me and the rest of the world what I should or should not eat – but I no longer feel all that influenced by them since I decided years ago, that the media is just trying to sell stuff to make money and are willing to say anything to do it even if it UNTRUE – and most of it is UNTRUE!

I am free today, I am free today! No more external voices judging me. And with that, I didn’t feel the need to go to the pantry to eat anything else.

What does that mean? Could it be that easy? Will that driving need to eat late at night when I’m alone show up again? I don’t know. Again, time would tell. For the next week, I was aware of how “THAT FEELING” did NOT show up. So, I’ll just stay aware as time moves forward. But, I have the sense, I’ve taken care of that particular feeling issue. Because negative feelings show up to indicate that we are thinking in ways that are not in alignment to the way our inner being thinks about us. And until we address the feeling and align our thinking to what our inner being knows about us, the feeling persists. And in this case, the message is that the freedom I was seeking way back then, I have. And I really think that if I’d known how to identify and process my feelings back then, I would have found that I was free even then in ways that I’d not allowed myself to see.

And the fun didn’t end there…

Minutes later, while I was watching a TV interview with Janet Jackson, she was asked what her favorite body part was after she’d discussed how weight had been an up and down issue for her. My ears perked up – being curious to hear how this gorgeous mega-super star would respond. Her answer: “the sway of my back”. Mmmm. I thought that was interesting. There was a commercial break, and I was off to the powder room. I was still mulling over Janet’s answer, and it made me think about the small of MY back. Just then, I found myself putting my two hands around my back waist – with my fingertips touching in the center of my back – something I do often. This allows me to feel the smallness of what feels like a petite waist. While my hands were still around my waist, I felt my face begin to smile brightly as the feeling of LOVE for my petite waist filled me. In that moment, I was aware that I LOVE this part of my body. I milked the feeling for a few more moments when I began wondering… If I loved this part, are there others? And I felt an immediate response of “Yes” – as I began to scan my body starting from the bottom. I love my muscular calves, I love my sexy feet, I love my loooong legs, I love the shape of my breasts, I love my long slender arms, I love the angle of my shoulders , and I love my high cheek bones. I was astonished by my exuberant display of love for so many parts of my body. How did I not see this before? And just then “I’m fabulous” popped out of my mouth. I was giddy with delight as I continued to repeat out loud: “I’m fabulous”, “I’m fabulous”, “I’m fabulous”!

This outbreak of love for my body was shocking. I had no idea I could ever feel this way. But, there it was! The feelings were real. And I knew as the words came out of my mouth, I totally believed it, I knew it was TRUE: “I’m fabulous!”

For me, these two late night experiences were like bonus gifts from the Universe! It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting that night, but since the awareness of the anxiety & frustration came so clearly into focus, I went for it, and got a huge gift… followed by having a mini-love affair with parts of my body, resulting in a new empowering belief (I’m fabulous). This was a great night!

ASIDE: I recall doing exercises where I had to write down what parts of my body I could appreciate. I think my list was just as long back then, but my feeling was not LOVE for my body parts, it was barely LIKE. I remember going through the motions of the exercise, but certainly did NOT experience anything close to this night’s reaction.

I’ve come to understand that where you are emotionally, has a lot to do with what thoughts & circumstances you have access to experiencing. And our emotions can change based on what we choose to give our attention to. It’s easy to understand this with this example: Think of a small child who has just fallen down and begins to cry. Then, someone tries to console the child, but the child continues to cry UNTIL they hear the sound of an ice cream truck, and are asked if they want some ice cream. Then, all of a sudden, the waterworks stop, and a smile is on their face as they are now focused on the ice cream. In this example, their attention was diverted from the pain of having fallen down to the joy of ice cream. And it’s no different for adults, except, we are not as easily “fooled” into being distracted from our pain. Adults have all sorts of excuses to hold on to negative feelings.

To provide greater understanding, think of ALL feelings on one emotional continuum, where on the farthest end there is Love, Appreciation, & Joy – this the POSITIVE feeling end that feels self-empowering. Then on the opposite end, there is Despair, Depression, & Grief – this is the NEGATIVE feeling end that feels most disempowering. The truth is, YOU have the power to move in either direction on this emotional continuum. You CAN BE deliberate as to what you choose to focus on. Although, most people are unaware of their power to change how they feel…so they live “by default”. At least that’s what I call it. They experience whatever’s in their environment, and don’t discipline their thoughts to see things from the positive viewpoint. And there ALWAYS is a positive perspective. They let their thoughts run amuck and control their experience. But, we have the power, to choose to perceive a circumstance from a more positive perspective OR a more negative perspective, and which one you choose determines the quality of that experience. This is a really big topic I’ve touched on here. But, for now, I just want to give you a small taste of it.

So, with this emotional continuum in mind… there is another component to consider. You can only receive thoughts & experiences that are within a close proximity to the energetic vibration you are currently at. So, if you are feeling ANGER, and are choosing to see your situation in a more negative perspective, you may begin to think thoughts, such as rage, revenge, hatred or guilt OR you can lean in the positive direction, and your thoughts may lead you into feelings such as blame, worry, discouragement, or overwhelment. I know these “positive” feelings don’t necessarily sound positive in nature, but when taken in context, where your starting point is anger, then feeling discouragement actually feels like an improvement to feeling anger. And to make a shift in your feelings and your vibration in any area of life where you’ve felt stuck, it is recommended to move in the direction of the positive end of the emotional continuum in incremental steps. By taking baby steps, you are ensuring that you will not slide backwards. It is unlikely that a person that has been depressed for an extended period of time, can suddenly be joyful the next day and stay there. But, they can find a thought that gives them back some of their power, so the feeling of depression is relieved a small amount, followed by another thought that allows them to feel a bit better, and so on.

If you recall at the beginning of this night, I mentioned that I was feeling really good and really happy. And when I headed off to the powder room, I was feeling joyful having just resolved an issue as well as being appreciative for what had just transpired and feeling empowered by it. So, I was definitely in the vibrational vicinity to easily receive the thoughts that I did. And in contrast, I recall when I was first doing those exercises years ago. I was in despair, and was extremely depressed about being overweight. So, no wonder the exercise did not provide the intended results – which was to find at least a level of appreciation for some of my body. But, I could barely believe any of the things I wrote down. Feeling as negative and pessimistic as I did, I stayed focused on how hopeless the situation felt, and didn’t know how to do anything else.

Allowing yourself to start becoming aware of what you focus your attention on, will allow you to know what your thoughts are attracting. The vibration you are emanating can be identified, by what shows up in your life’s experience. That’s why I knew that if pneumonia was showing up in my life, then there must have been a negative thought I’d been focusing on, with enough regularity, that I kept that vibration active. And I also realized since I was so clueless about what that thought could be that it must be one of those sneaky thoughts that I think so often, I’m not aware of it. So, by taking care of negative feelings as they pop up, instead of shoving them down only to be dealt with on a bigger scale later, is by far MY preferred way to live life.