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From Redirection to Connection

By Charlene Rayburn

sign arrow rightOriginally, I’d pull out the “101 Activities To Do Besides Eat” list from Am I Hungry? Workshop 3 as a fun, creative way to find something to do when I wanted to eat, but knew I wasn’t hungry. But, more and more it has become an incredible tool to help me sort through and figure out exactly what emotion I’m feeling in any given moment. Now, I sometimes use it specifically for that purpose.

As I run through the list of ideas, I start to see a pattern of the types of activities that I mentally resonate with, or reject. If I’m anxious, the activities that suggest physical movement are more appealing. If I’m feeling a little hurt, the comforting activities seem like a better choice. Although sometimes, I’ll do something that is listed, most often, I don’t do the exact activity, but rather once I’ve discovered what’s really going on, another idea will pop.

Most of the activities are a great suggestion for more than one emotion, but once I run through the list and pick out several that sound good, the picture becomes clearer. For example, does buying myself flowers sound good? Is it because I’m disappointed and flowers are cheery, or I’m excited about an accomplishment and want to celebrate?

Here are some examples of the feelings and activities that tend to go together for me:

ANXIOUS –Walk around the block –Wash my car

EXCITED –Dance a little –Kiss someone

CONFUSED –Write in my Awareness Journal –Listen to my inner conversations

TENSE –Get a massage —Take 5 slow, deep cleansing breaths –Chew some gum –Rent a DVD

ENERGETIC, BUT BORED –Finish an unfinished project –Start a hobby

WORRIED –Say a prayer –Meditate –Call a friend

A BIT BLUE –Write down something I am proud of this week –Count my blessings

ANGRY –Scream!

DISAPPOINTED –Make a positive statement about myself  and repeat often –Light a fire or some candles –Say what’s on my mind In my finer moments, I’m attracted to the activities that align with my values and motivate me, for example: –Jot a thank you note to someone –Do something nice for someone anonymously And, the more I practice mindfulness and truly understand that awareness is always a great idea, I’m getting better at choosing one of the absolute best activities for ANY emotion or state: —Feel my feelings


About the author

Charlene Rayburn, CVCC, lives her passion for mindfulness and intentional leadership by serving as a personal and professional leadership coach, by managing a department of dedicated employees for a Fortune 500 sized health insurance organization, and by facilitating Am I Hungry?® workshops and coaching sessions. She has coached extensively with individuals and groups outside the corporate world, as well as with executives, leaders, and teams in non-profit, private, public, governmental, and educational organizations spanning the globe. Charlene received her coaching certificate through the Center for Coaching Mastery at Coachville, LLC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management from Davenport University. She is a member of the National Management Association. One of her most emotionally challenging and rewarding experiences was serving as a volunteer at the Center for Battered Women. Charlene currently lives in Michigan and enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, reading, learning, cooking, practicing yoga, and watching her grandson grow, who lives with his dad, her stepson in Fort Worth, Texas.

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