I use G-Mail (it does a wonderful job on Spam, I can check it easily anywhere…) and today I find myself in cleaning mode. Like most e-mail programs, G-Mail has a “Draft” folder for e-mails that I started but never finished or sent. I noticed I had 14 e-mails in this Draft section, and before I destroyed them all, I scanned through them one more time.
Reviewing these unsent messages, I felt a wave of relief for not having done so. There was a definite theme among them — these messages were all forums for me to deal with some problem. In them I was trying to plead my case, make my point, convince someone to my way of thinking, win the argument.
I remembered how in writing them, several caused me to hem and haw for 30 minutes or so. In short, when I checked in with myself, I did not feel good about sending these messages.
So I did not.
And they remained in my Draft folder for weeks or months until I just deleted them moments ago.
My point is this: When I wrote these messages, I believed they were critical to write. I HAD to address the PROBLEM. I HAD to FIX the SITUATION. I HAD to RESPOND to the issue or the PERSON. This stuff was IMPORTANT.
But I’ve been experiementing with not taking action in my life unless it feels good to do so.
When I share this experiment with some people, they choose to argue for why this is impossible (e.g., “Life is full of things I do not like doing, but I HAVE to do them!”), and this mindset will keep you from ever changing much in your life. Yes, things need to get done, but see what happens when you allow yourself to FEEL GOOD before acting. Just try it.
I started this experiment with e-mails. I noticed that every now and again, I’d get a message that pushed a button in me. Anger, fear, frustration. Whatever.
My conditioning was that I wanted this situation resolved. I wanted this person to see my point. I wanted this person to acknowledge me. I thought by taking action (writing back) I could make my own discomfort with the situation disappear. So right away, I start crafting a message, trying to hit the perfect tone. All the while, if I looked at how I FELT in writing this message, the answer would be clear.
So even though I’d spent the time to write them, I stopped sending some of these messages and they ended up in the Draft folder. Limboland. Many of these e-mailed contained “urgent information.” Deadline stuff. But they sat gathering cobwebs in the Draft folder until now.
Re-reading them with a fresh eye, I could see how I’d gotten caught in a web of drama of the moment. Looking back, the interesting result was that nothing of consequence did not get done from my failure to send these messages. Things either worked themselves out or the issue just fell away. And I know I eliminated hours and hours of angst and drama by not acting from a place of disconnection.
I deleted all 14 messages… the words that were SO important, SO critical at the time.
I’ve expanded this way of being — only taking action from a place that FEELS GOOD — beyond e-mail and the more I experiment, the more I FEEL GOOD, and so on into an upward spiral.
Start with your e-mail. Click “send” only when you feel aligned.
See what happens.
And move on from there.
P.S. Another way to think about this is to consider what it’s like for to RECIEVE a message from someone who is angry with you, feeling desperate, etc. It’s a REPULSIVE energy, no? Choose not to be that person.