Something my family always makes fun of me for is my love of talking about feelings. You might be in the same boat right now, wondering what the value is in evaluating and discussing our feelings, but I want to offer to you today that it’s one of the most important things you can do.
Understanding our feelings and where they come from is so vital to your growth because it’s what drives us in life. Our main motivation in life is to feel a certain way. Whether you want a particular quilt, a fabric line, or a house, the truth is it’s not the thing you’re seeking, but rather the feeling when you get it. And this week, I’m sharing a trick to help you harness your feelings to get what you want.
Join me this week as I introduce you to a tool called “The Model,” which is an organized way to manage your feelings. I’m laying out the common misconceptions we have about feelings, where they actually come from, how you might not be fully experiencing all your feelings right now, and the detriments of doing this.
So, one of my favorite things that my husband and my kids make fun of me for is they say, “Mom just wants to talk about her feelings. And we all just love talking about our feelings.” Can you relate to this? Welcome to today’s episode where we’re going to talk about why talking about our feelings is actually going to be the thing that’ going to help you create the life that you want. Are you ready? Let’s go. I am Dara Tomasson and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode seven.
Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good? After 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.
Alright, welcome to today’s episode. I’m going to be sharing about why feelings are so important. Now, I went to quilt market for the first time in October of 2019. And Texas did not disappoint. It truly is the place where bigger is better. It was amazing. And I had the best hostess who drove me around and showed me so many fun Texas places, like Joanna Gaines, I got to go and see Magnolia.
But one of the things that fascinated me about Texas was this gas station called Buc-ee’s Now, I’m not sure if any of you have been to a Buc-ee’s, but there were probably 50. I’m not even sure if there was more gas tanks and it blew my mind. So, the reason I’m bringing up Buc-ee’s fuel tank is because our emotions are what drives us in our life.
So, our main motivation in life is to feel a certain way. We might think we want a certain house, or it’s a car, or a longarm, or a certain quilt, or a fabric line, or grandchild, or whatever that is. We think that it’s the thing that’s going to make us feel a certain way. But I’m here to tell you it’s not the thing that creates that for us. It’s the feeling that we want to have when we get that object or get that circumstance to come to pass.
So, stay with me on this. As I’m recording this I’m thinking about all the other podcasts that I’ve listened to. And so, for some of you, podcasts might be new for you. And the fact that I am sitting in my studio with my longarm in front of me. I have spent hours and hours free motion quilting listening to podcasts. And I just want to invite you to take this time to let yourself listen to all these amazing concepts that I’m going to be teaching you. Because of me taking this time to listen to podcasts in the past I have been able to do so many things in my life that I never thought was possible.
I never thought that I could be a size 6. I never thought that I could build the kind of business that I have. I never thought that I could have the kind of relationship with my husband that I have. I never thought that I could be the kind of mom that I am right now. And I’m getting just a little bit emotional. As I picture myself hours and hours standing in front of my longarm quilting for clients not really that happy with my life, feeling I was really out of control and feeling really discouraged.
And I remember when I discovered life coaching. And I’m going to shout out to Jody Moore. I just binged listening to her podcasts. And because it showed me that I wasn’t broken and that I could be fixed. And it’s so much fun for me now to be a podcaster giving back to the world especially to you quilters. I get you and although we’re all so unique and different, there is a common thread of a passion that we have that gives us that common ground and understanding.
So, I just really want to thank you all for being here. And I really want to invite you to keep listening to this podcast. And keep opening your mind to the possibility because change doesn’t have to be that hard and it doesn’t have to be that long. And so, as you apply these principles I just want you to remember what I said, we’re not quitters, we’re quilters. And the only way we quit is when we give up, so don’t give up.
And of course, I always want to hear your feedback and this is, we’re just becoming friends and you’re already my friend, and I can’t wait to meet you. So, let’s keep going on today’s podcast.
So, as I think about my feelings as I just was expressing them to you. I used to have a really hard time understanding and being okay with the feelings I had. I spent a lot of time buffering. So, we’re going to talk a little bit about buffering today. Because I didn’t really know how to manage my emotions. I’m going to use emotions and feelings interchangeably. Now, the other thing I want to just clarify as I’m using definitions right now. There is a difference between a sensation and a feeling.
So, a sensation is something that happens to our body and then it tells our brain that this is what’s happening. So, if you walk outside on a winter day, you will have the sensation of cold. If you prick your finger on a needle or if you cut it, heaven forbid on a rotary cutter, heavens knows I have enough of those scars on my hands, you will have a sensation, the skin will say “Alert, alert, you’ve been cut.” Or, “Alert, alert, it’s really cold.”
And so, you have a sensation and then that travels through your body to your brain, to register to your brain, oh, you are cold, put on some warmer clothes or go back into the warm house. Or you are cut, go and – it gives you directions of what to do next. Go and get a band aid. Go and wash it off. Go get attention.
So that is a sensation, whereas a feeling is we have a thought, I give the example of, I’m late. And when you’re late, that’s a thought and then your thought is then triggers an emotion or a feeling. And the feeling is panic. And so, when you have panic, we have hormones that are released into our body. And in this case we have adrenaline that is released in our body, and that adrenaline what it does is it shoots us – this adrenaline runs through our body quickly, our heart starts beating very quickly. We might start sweating, our eyes get bigger because we need to be able to go.
It’s go time. So, it gives us a shot of adrenaline so that we can be in action to address the issue of being late. If we see a brand new baby, we have a thought, this baby is so cute. And then our body kind of relaxes. And we have endorphins that are released through our body. And some women might have a physical reaction of a letdown for nursing, or something.
So, this is actually happening all the time. We have a thought, that thought then creates an emotion. And then that emotion we will release chemicals, hormones in our body. So let me share the definition of feelings, for example. So, feelings are just vibrations in the body. The brain signals to different organs to release hormones or chemicals based on the thoughts you are thinking. Some of those chemicals feel good in our body, like dopamine and serotonin for example while others don’t feel good such as cortisol and adrenaline.
These chemicals circulate through our bodies causing us to feel simple sensations such as a tightening, a buzz, heat, tenseness, queasiness or throbbing. None of these sensations are intolerable, they are simply tremors within us that help steer us towards what our brain believes will help us survive or thrive.
So, the way I like to describe it to my clients is that we will have a feeling. And it’s literally like we’re getting tapped on the shoulder saying, “Hey, did you know you’re feeling scared right now?” Or, “Hey, do you feel you’re feeling disappointed?” Or, “Hey, do you feel whatever that feeling is?” And so, it’s letting us know that we’re having a human experience, and so when we’re having different human experiences we have different ways of working through it.
So, let’s say for example if we’re feeling stressed, if it’s saying, “Hey, you’re feeling stressed.” And you can say, “Why am I feeling stressed?” It’s because I thought that somebody was going to be here at 9:30 like they said, but they’re not here yet. And so now the rest of my day might not look the way I had planned it. And when things go the way I planned that causes me some discomfort because now I have to go back. It’s going to require me to take some time to readjust my schedule, readjust my thinking.
So that’s all that’s happening. So, let’s go to where feelings really actually come from is they literally always come from our thoughts. So, we could say, “I haven’t finished my quilting project yet.” So, the feeling is disappointment, or the feeling is – or if you have a thought like the weather’s really nice, the feeling is relax. Or there’s a tornado coming, the feeling could be scared. Every single time we have a thought there is a feeling that’s attached to that.
So, we have a circumstance that causes us to feel a certain way. And then we have a thought about that. And then whatever thought we have about what’s happening is that we have a feeling with that. So, one of the problems we have is that we have been socialized to believe that if someone says something positive to us then we are supposed to believe that we can have a positive response. So, if our teacher says, “Good work.” Then we can believe that that’s good work.
I remember taking a quilting class with Judi Madsen, the Green Fairy Quilt. And I remember her walking around the class and saying, “That looks good.” And I’m like, “That doesn’t look good. It looks terrible.” But that’s our conditioning. And so, if someone says something negative to us like, “I don’t like how you quilted that.” Then we can feel we’re conditioned to believe that we have to feel a negative response.
Now, if someone says to us, “I don’t like your purple hair.” But you don’t have purple hair you would be confused but not hurt. Because nothing that they said to you is of truth. But if someone said, “I don’t like your quilting.” If there was part of you that believed that your quilting was bad, then you would maybe tend to believe that that’s true, and then you don’t get your own back.
So, when you recognize that all feelings are just created by your thoughts you can learn to manage your feelings better. Instead of looking to control or change the people and things outside of you, take a look at what you are thinking when you feel bad. So, like I said, feelings are not dangerous. They are literally just vibrations in our body. Now, how to find your thought that’s creating your feeling. So, one of the things that I do in my program is I teach my clients how to work what’s called The Model.
Now, The Model was created by Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School where I am a certified weight and life coach. And I use the model every single day. I use it with my clients. I use it with myself. I use it with my kids. I use it with my husband. I now have an organized way to manage my brain. So, in the past we would not really understand what was going on. We would be using a lot of default thinking.
So, if someone said, “I don’t like that.” In the past your response would be, “I’m not a good person.” Or, “I need to make people feel better.” Rather than stopping to think about, okay when someone says that how does that make me feel? How do I act when they say that to me. And then what is the result of that?
And so, when you can recognize this unintentional model as unintentional way of thinking and we can slow everything down, then we get to decide well, do I want to believe what they’re saying? Do I even care what they say? Does that really matter to me? And then you can now create a life of intention. So, when I talk about managing our brain, I literally am talking about a way to organize our thoughts and then we can see what’s really going on and then we get to be able to decide if that’s the kind of person we want to be.
So, we are all super unique and different. Every one of us comes with judgments and information based on our past experience. We experience everything that happens outside of us through our judgmental lens. This is a good thing in many cases. It helps us to navigate and create the results we want to most of the time. But sometimes we need to be willing to let go of our beliefs about what is true and real in order to feel better.
So, for example when we first learned to brush our teeth it was very difficult. And as we learned the skill of brushing our teeth we got better and better at it. Now we have a skill. And most of us have default thinking, just like brushing our teeth, it’s like a muscle memory, and we have default thinking. And so, when we can identify our thoughts, so for example if we are always judging other people, then now we’re seeing everybody through judgmental eyes. And we have to decide if that’s going to serve us or not.
Alright, so I’m going to just walk you through when I talk about what is the default thinking and what happens a lot is we have a circumstance like Quilt Guild member said words, or a Quilt Guild member said they don’t like my quilt. So, then your thought is I must not do a very good job at my quilting. So, if that is your default thinking, and then that feeling would be shame, and then out of shame your actions would be, don’t show your quilts to other people.
Don’t create your own style, maybe just make all the quilts from all the quilt shops. And don’t ever really give yourself the opportunity to be creative and allow yourself to have your own style. And then the result is you don’t learn to be your own most creative quilter.
So that’s an unintentional model because that’s running on auto play. So that is the work that we’re doing, and that’s why emotions are so important because when we avoid our feelings, then we don’t get to live the kind of live we want. So, I’m going to introduce this concept called buffering. Now, I’m going to describe buffering the way I describe it to my clients.
And when you think about a buffer, there’s a couple of different ways. But one of the ways I like to think about it is, when you move furniture you don’t want to scratch the floor. And so, you put a little pad, or sometimes I even get creative and put some fabric underneath the piece of furniture and I slide it along the floor. So that pad or that fabric is in-between, it doesn’t allow the floor and the furniture to touch each other. So, a buffer is something that it goes in between us being able to feel a certain feeling.
Now, a lot of times we use this because there’s – someone says words to us and we feel uncomfortable. And so, we don’t want to feel bad. We don’t want to have that negative emotion. And so, we put a buffer in there. So, we will go to, what’s your buffer of choice? Tell me. So, is it eating? Is it shopping? Is it going to social media? Is it gossiping? Is it procrastinating? Is it people pleasing? Is it perfectionism? There are a lot of ways that we go outside of ourselves to try to make ourselves feel a different emotion.
So, this is how I like to define buffering. Buffering is when we use external things to change how we feel emotionally. It’s something we do to keep us from fully experiencing our lives, to hide from reality, to procrastinate, to not show up and face the music. We don’t want to face the truth of our lives because we don’t want to experience any type of negative emotion. We feel entitled to feel happiness and pleasure all of the time.
So, notice that if you are thinking I need to feel happy all the time, that’s an entitlement, and that entitlement is not going to serve you. So, if all it took for us to have happiness in life is to be rich and skinny, all movie stars would be on top of the world all the time. So why do we have movie stars who are really thin and really rich in rehabs? It’s because they don’t realize that in order to have a balanced healthy life you need to have a balance of 50% happy and 50% not happy.
So, another way to describe buffering is that you have an urge to have something, and you decide not to have it. And so, let’s go to even that definition. I have an urge to be on Facebook and just to escape myself, or an urge to just go have a nap and just escape my life, or an urge to go gossip, or an urge to go shopping. You have that urge because you want to feel a different feeling. You want to ignore the discomfort you have in your body. Or even some of us have comfort, when people say things that are really complimentary to us, we can have discomfort in that as well.
So, you have an urge to change a feeling inside you, and so you’re trying to do that with an external activity. So, those are two different ways of looking at it. So, as you think about your life and as you think about how you have gained the weight that you have, or how have you accumulated the size of stash that you have. What is it about your life that you’re not loving? I want you to ask yourself how did you get there? What did you do to constantly gain the weight? What did you do to constantly have more fabric than anyone could imagine?
What did you do to spend eight hours, or however many hours on Facebook? Why are you doing that consistently? So, now I’m going to talk to you about why don’t we just buffer all the way through so we can make it to the end? Because we could do that, and some of us have. Some of us are 60, 70 years old, and you’re still doing the same things you did when you were 30. You’re putting your life on pause when you buffer all the time. You’re not progressing, you’re just keeping yourself pretty much exactly how you are.
I have a lot of clients who talk about when they were living at home and they have all these issues with living at home. And I say, “Well, how long has it been since you lived at home?” And some of them, they haven’t lived at home for 60 years. So, you’ve lived three times longer away from home than you have at home. But because they don’t let themselves go into their brain and do the work of resolving issues, and forgiving, and moving forward, they stay stuck at being 12 years old.
That’s why grown adults have temper tantrums, because they preserve themselves in certain areas of their life and they just go back to when they were 12, or when they were five. So that is why buffers are so dangerous. In fact, I say to my clients, “It doesn’t matter if you lose weight because your worth is already set. You’re not going to be more of a worthy human if you weigh less pounds.” No, but why it’s so important to do this work with buffering, is eliminate buffering is because you get the benefit of seeing what’s going on.
So, let me explain. So why don’t we just buffer all the way through so we can make it to the end? Why don’t we just eat as much as we want, or drink as much as we want, or buy as much as we want? Well, if we could have all those pleasures with no consequences nobody would care, but there are consequences. Buffering does cause pain. Buffers only provide temporary release from negative emotion, which always comes back harder than it started. So, this is right from my textbook from The Life Coach School.
This is what is happening for you. When you go out and buy yourself a brand new car you can’t afford, you have that one rush of pleasure and then you have the payment to deal with. When you overeat, you gain weight and you feel sick afterwards. There’s always an equal opposite consequence that keeps us from being worth it even though we tell ourselves it is.
So, on the other side, when you take away all those buffers and pursue wellbeing you come out so much better on the other side. In fact, when you allow yourself to really feel your emotions, you get to know yourself in a much deeper way. When you get to know yourself in a much deeper way, you start finding the cause of your unhappiness. And then you can start to change them. This is sustainable unlike the false pleasures.
So natural pleasures are the kind we’re meant to experience in our lives. The pleasure we’re meant to get from food is the pleasure of eating a regular meal for food. Healthy, eating healthy is a constant steady stream of wellness that get to experience over and over again.
So today I was coaching my mastermind clients and I was talking about buffering. And I said, “Every time we buffer, it’s like we put a t-shirt on. And then we buffer again, we put another t-shirt on, and then we put another t-shirt, and another shirt, another shirt, another shirt.” So, we have 400 shirts on, and we’re so padded and we’re so uncomfortable because we have all these shirts on and we don’t even know who we are anymore. We don’t know what our body looks like because we have so many shirts on.
Because one of the questions that my client asked, and it was such a good question was, “Well, weren’t we already amazing and wonderful?” I said, “Yes, our worth was already set.” And I want to tell you, we have this amazing brain, our brain is such an amazing asset. And our higher brain, it actually really wants to help you solve problems.
So let me ask you this, let’s say you’re having a conversation with someone and you can’t remember the name of somebody, or you can’t remember the name of this concept that you’re thinking of. And you’re like, “Oh my goodness, I can’t remember it.” You kind of put pressure on yourself and so you can’t remember it. And then you’re doing dishes, or you’re having a shower, or you’re sleeping, and there it is, it comes right to you. Because your higher brain says, “Hey, I want to help you. I want to help you have a better life. Give me jobs.”
It’s like our digestive system, our digestive system loves digesting carrots, and chicken, and broccoli, it loves it. It’s like, it’s got minerals and nutrients and I get to chew it, and I get to break it apart, and I get to extract the minerals and the nutrients. My goodness, my body loves to do this. But when we give our body a bunch of chocolate, or candy that has all sorts of names that we don’t even know how to pronounce, the body is very underwhelmed. It’s like, oh boy, this is boring, this doesn’t help me. This is not helpful.
So, when you give up your buffers you’ll still get upset, but you’ll deal with it differently. You won’t head for the ice-cream, which will just make you feel sick. And it’ll keep you from solving the problem. And the thing that’s so much fun for me is that I don’t just say, “Hey, let’s take away your buffers. Good luck.” No, I teach you tools so that you can overcome them. I teach you like I was telling you about the model. So, then you can actually examine what thoughts you’re having and you can see what the emotion is that’s causing and then you can solve for that.
So, when you trade the false pleasures in your life for wellbeing, you gain confidence. And that confidence begets more confidence, which begets more confidence, which of course just keeps going. The more confidence you have, the more empowered you feel. The more wellbeing you have, and the more you have to give and offer the world.
So, I’m just going to do a little side tangent on this for a moment. One of the things that happens for so many of my clients, myself included was we have all sorts of ideas about our society, our culture that we kind of gleaned that it’s selfish to take of ourselves. So, this is kind of this concept that is a little bit confusing because do you think that if you weigh a lot of weight, and you don’t take care of yourself, are you able to be the best version of yourself, if you weigh 280 pounds, 350 pounds, 425 pounds? Do you have the amount of energy?
And this is nothing to do with how you look in clothes. This literally just has to do with are you having the same kind of energy that you would have? Are you able to clean your house as effectively? Are you able to have conversations with people as well? If you are, I’m having brain fog, if you’ve had too much sugar and flour. Are you able to even focus on a relationships if you’re having a lot of pain? If you have sciatica and all these knee, and ankle, and hip pains.
And then you’re going to be having to have surgeries. And you’re going to have to be focusing on diabetic medication. Are you really going to be your best self when you have those limitations? I work with a lot of clients that have mental stresses, mental challenges. And they know that when they hear my podcast, when they hear what I’m teaching, that resonates with them because they want to be free from anxiety. They want to be free from worrying about perfectionism. They want to be free from having to people please all the time.
The one little bit of pleasure they get is from this false pleasure of people pleasing, and they’re always leaving themselves behind. So, food is just one of the symptoms of a buffer, that’s all.
Alright, so let me recap for you. There’s a lot that I’ve put into this podcast. Every time we have a thought, we have an emotion. And that emotion is a vibration in our body. That vibration goes through our body and lets us know what’s happening. But when we cut off our emotions from our body by buffering we do not allow ourselves to communicate in a great way. So, there are women who weigh 300 pounds and have no idea that they are as big as they are because they have literally cut off that ability to have a thought and have a feeling, they shut it down.
And one of the things I want to teach you is that when you fill yourself with more food you have less ability to feel emotions. And when you’re constantly giving yourself a lot of flour and sugar, that reduces your ability to feel your emotions. When you’re constantly shopping, and social media-ing, and doing all those things outside of you, you are not in your body, you cannot feel those feelings. But you don’t have to be afraid of your feelings.
Your feelings literally are just vibrations throughout your body that tell you what’s going on. They just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Hey, did you know you’re feeling that?” So, when we allow emotions and don’t react to them we are able to fully feel and experience our lives. And so, this is what allows us to be the driver in our own lives. We are no longer at the mercy of anything. So, there you go. And one of my favorite thoughts about emotions is that I’m so glad that I have emotions, because that means I’m not a psychopath.
So let me go back to when I was introducing the topic about the gas tanks at Buc-ee’s. So, I want to tell you that whatever emotion you’re feeling will be the fuel for your actions. So, if you fuel yourself up, so I want you to imagine all those gas tanks at Buc-ee’s, one says happiness, one says joy, one says disappointment, one says anger, one says revenge, whatever they say, all the different emotions. So whatever emotion you’re feeling because of all the thought you’re having, you go to that gas tank and you fill it with that.
So now you’re being fueled by envy. What kind of person are you when you are fueled by envy? So, if you go to that other gas tank and you fill it with love, what kind of filter is that? And how do you show up when you’re filtered with that?
Now, I have a pair of red heart glasses, they’re red tinted glasses in my drawer. Because when I worked at a quilt shop we used to sell these red glasses and they would help me see the tones if I have a nice spacing for my quilt. And so now my filter is like the red tinted. And so, I want you to imagine that for yourself. It’s the same concept of the fuel tanks at Buc-ee’s. So, what fuel are you fueling yourself with? Because that’s what’s going to generate your actions. That’s literally going to be your energy of how you’re going to act.
And then the next question I want to ask you is, what would it be like for you just to allow that emotion? Just allow that vibration in your body, and now you don’t have to react, avoid or resist it, you can just accept that emotion and then you can just start living your life.
So, what do you want in your life? And I want to tell you, it’s not the house that’s going to create that joy for you, it’s not the vacation that’s going to create that joy for you. It’s the feeling that you’re going to have when you go on that vacation. It’s the feeling that you’re going to have about yourself and about your life when you have that house. I promise you. Because a house and a vacation, those are circumstances, they are neutral. It’s always your thought about them that is the feeling that is generated from that thought, that is what you desire.
Thank you so much for joining me. Take care.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away $100 gift cards to Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gathering shop to four lucky listeners who follow, rate and review the podcast. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the podcast.
My goal for this show is to provide you with tons of value. So please let me know in your review if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover. Visit daratomasson.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.