Saturday, 21 January 2012

The "Feel Good" Philosophy

by Eilleen

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well. A few months ago, I attended the launch of Sharing Young Women's Stories - a campaign run by Equality Rights Alliance to fight negative body image. It was a great night and I felt very privileged that I was able to talk to many inspiring people doing good work.

Postcards being handed out at the launch. Photo by GR from Equality Rights Alliance and published here with her permission.

One of the people at the launch, Carly Jacobs, gave a particularly great speech. She talked about her "feel good diet". After years of dieting, calorie counting and unhealthy obsession over her body type, Carly finally hit upon a feel good diet. She started to eat what made her feel good. This doesn't mean binging on junk food (that often made her feel sick, not good), it also didn't mean she starved herself. Rather she ate what made her feel healthy and energetic.

Since that time, I've been reflecting on what Carly said and I realised that her philosophy can be applied to so many more areas of my life - my health, my consumption of goods and also my ongoing simplification of my life.

So here is my "feel good" list:

1. I feel good when I hang out with my kids, my family and my friends
2. I feel good when I am outdoors, riding my bike or paddling on the lake
3. I feel good when I am at taekwondo
4. I feel good when I eat home cooked meals
5. I feel good when I eat out at a really nice restaurant
6. I feel good when I have a clean house
7. I feel good when I declutter
8. I feel good when I do a good job at work
9. I feel good when I get a good night's rest
10. feel good when I make the time to just enjoy the view from my house
11. I feel good when I help others
12. I feel good when others help me
13. I feel good when I iron (yes I know its weird but I really do enjoy it)
14. I feel good when I make the effort to look nice
15. I feel good when I play the piano and when I sing
16. I feel good when I am painting, crafting or sewing
17. I feel good when I massage other people (I think this is related to my thing with ironing - smoothing out knots and all that hehe)
18. I feel good when I read a good book, blog post or article
19. I feel good when I achieve my savings goals

The times when I have felt overwhelmed and anxious is when I do the opposite to the list above - when I don't take time out to be physically active and enjoy the space around me. I don't feel good when I've been frivolous and ended up with a leaner bank balance and with too much stuff that I barely use and don't really need.

Now looking over that list, I realise that basically I feel good when I respect myself and the space around me, when I connect with others and when I act in accordance to my values.

What about you? What's your feel good list?