Feel it (don’t fight it)

One of my favorite albums is Sam Cooke’s One Night Stand! Live At The Harlem Square from 1963.  His voice is so richly beautiful, and the live context showcases his energy & musicality.

Now I know his song “Feel It (Don’t Fight it)” is about love – of music, of dancing, of experiencing the two together. But when the lyric “Don’t fight the feeling” plays on repeat in my head, I can’t help but think of one thing:  anxiety.

Bear with me.

When I feel anxious, telling myself “Don’t fight the feeling” is one of the best pieces of advice I could give.  I’ve found that when I FIGHT the anxiety (which I always do; heck I did it several days this week!), the anxiety gets worse.

If I can remind myself to just FEEL it, to sit with it, to breathe through it, I am calmer and the episode seems to pass more quickly.  Now this takes patience, and the will to do something that could feel opposed to your natural instinct!

Check out the song, and maybe one day you will find “Don’t fight the feeling” playing on repeat in your head, just when you need it.

There’s a monster in my head!

Inc said it perfectly in their recent article How to Tame the Negative Talk in Your Mind:

It’s one of the most destructive forces you’ll ever have to face, and it’s inside your own head.

You might not realize it, but you’re “talking” to yourself all day long.  And for most of us, a lot of it is negative.  One thing I’ve learned is that the brain is obsessive – you feed it one thing, it wants more of it.  Negative thoughts can compound upon each other, sending you into a stinky state of being in no time.

Here are a couple of my favorite points:

1. Listen to what you’re telling yourself as if you were telling it to other people.

In response to my negative talk, a therapist once asked me, “Imagine you are talking to a younger version of yourself – you as a child. Would you say all those things? Or would you be more understanding, more patient, positive?”

7. Distract yourself to reboot your mind.  Stop thinking and start doing.

This can work. If you can remove yourself from the current situation and take a step forward! That first step is the hardest part, but worth it. Put the Nike swish in front of you if you have to and Just Do It!

‘The Fonz’ helps children of the world!

A lot of us have disadvantages.  These are a gift when we can use what we’ve learned in our struggle to help others.  Henry “the Fonz” Winkler is an excellent example of this!

He talks with The Rotarian in their latest issue about his struggle through school, and eventual dyslexia diagnosis at 31 years old.  Winkler by no means has swept his challenge under the jukebox, but instead has become an advocate for kids that learn differently all over the world.

Not only is he the author of a series of over 2 dozen books about Hank Zipser, a child with dyslexia, I was surprised to learn when he auditioned for Happy Days, he advocated for showing the Fonz’s emotional side, in addition to his cool exterior.

After the Happy Days episode aired where the Fonz got a library card and checked out his first book, it’s reported library card registration by youth went up 500%!

He has spoken to thousands of students the world over, and hears the same experience he had as a child.

Now, there are incredible teachers who understand about learning differences and teaching the child who learns differently. It’s about looking at the student as a whole, teaching children how they learn, not how we think they should learn.

Thank you Henry Winkler, for being an outstanding citizen and role model for our children!