Feel all the feels

Joey Garcia

I feel drained by the hypocritical politics of my workplace, but I don’t know what will happen to me if I quit. I live paycheck to paycheck, and have no close friends or family to help me out financially. I haven’t had any luck applying for jobs elsewhere. How can I get motivated to keep working at a place I hate?

By saying yes to every corner of your situation. Like this: “Yes, I feel depressed and stuck. Yes, it seems overwhelming. Yes, I’m going to figure it out.” Embracing the way you feel is an act of kindness. Acceptance invites you to stop judging your feelings, and to shift into noticing that feelings are just energies that exist in us. That awareness inspires this realization: It’s not necessary to sit in every emotion. If we do, feeling frustrated can lead to living in a corset of resentment. Feeling miserable can lead to living beneath a cloud of hopelessness. So feel your feelings, and then progress toward the life you desire.

Motivation comes from understanding that you are not the only person struggling with an unsatisfying, low-earning job. A lot of people are caught in similar traps. The challenge isn’t finding the perfect employer. The real work is an inside job—inside your head, that is. Are you willing to risk what you have, for what you are being called to become? That’s the real question. Yes, I’m saying that your problem is not really about bills, or pay, or a hypocritical workplace. Those are obstacles, certainly, but not dragons too big to slay. The monster you must face is fear of change. Is it OK for you to be the one who finds the path to joy? Yes, it’s risky to go your own way. But do it and you will become the one who teaches others how to be free.

I’m a stay-at-home dad of three kids, ages 1, 3 and 7. I love my family, but I can’t hold it together anymore. My 7-year-old girl is always screaming about something the 3-year-old did, and I yell at them a lot. When my wife comes home I want her to take over, but she’s exhausted, wants to chill and have me handle stuff. I feel like I’m in charge of everything, and it’s wearing me down. I’m not sure what to do.

Delegate. Do it well, and your children will have life skills that allow them to sprint past peers to school and career success. Begin by guiding your 7-year-old. The next time she summons you to referee, ask her to take a few deep breaths. Then invite her to suggest steps toward an outcome that leaves everyone feeling good. She might say she doesn’t know. Ask her how she has seen Daddy or Mommy handle things well in the past. Be patient. Wait quietly until she offers an answer. Encourage her by gently telling her you need her help. Over time, she will rise to lead. You must also tell your wife you need a break. Invite her to take a 30- minute decompression from the workday after she arrives home. Then she must take over while you head out alone on a 30-minute walk, or a soak in the tub or a bike ride. Do not think of these breaks as a luxury. It is essential for your family’s well-being for you to have personal time and peace.

Meditation of the week
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you are. [Otherwise] you trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask,” said Jim Morrison. What can you release to be ready for your rebirth?

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